Clearing out Messie’s apartment brings treasure to light

Clearing out Messie’s apartment brings treasure to light

Anyone who has lived a long life has a lot to tell. If you haven’t had the opportunity to tell others about your life, you might leave behind exciting mementos and souvenirs in your home that testify to times when the owner was still young and adventurous.


The strangest videos. (Scroll down to the article.)


Sometimes it is only after someone dies that you discover how exciting and moving their life was. Those who can tell a story about this are above all those who look after the legacies of the deceased: estate administrators and antique dealers.

Alex Archbold from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, has been fascinated by antiques since he was a child. He is always on the lookout for antiques to buy and finds his goods at flea markets, house closings and estate sales. He loves to rummage through the old things, always looking for something special, something unique.

A few years ago, Alex met a very special old lady. Bette-Joan Cebuliak Rac had put her car up for sale because she had not used it for a long time and would not do so in the future. The car was a real collector’s item: a Cadillac from 1964.

Alex came to look at the car but was not allowed into Madame Rac’s house – she said it wasn’t tidy enough to receive guests. Alex met her again and again in the city in the following years, the two chatted and stayed in contact.

“She was a colorful bird, always dressed in bright colors, always with a big smile on her face,” recalls Alex. “It was said that she didn’t have a lot of money, and I hoped that selling her car could help her out a little.” Madame Rac made extra money with piano lessons and was known as a patient and funny piano teacher. Somehow she managed to get enough for a vacation to Hawaii every year.

Then came the day when Alex heard that Bette-Joan Rac had passed away. Your house was about to be evacuated and all of its contents were for sale. He knew she had an old piano and maybe some other nice old furniture.

But when the antique dealer looked around Madame Rac’s home, he was shocked. The old lady was a so-called “messie”, someone who obsessively hoards odds and ends and can’t throw anything away. All the rooms were filled with mountains of junk. No wonder that she did not want to receive any more visitors in this messie apartment while she was alive.

Alex bought all of the messy contents of the Messie’s apartment for Canadian dollars 10,000, hoping he would go away without a loss. “I had no idea that the eccentric old piano teacher was really rich!” He says today.

© Youtube / Curiosity Incorporated

While clearing out the messie’s apartment, Alex and his team worked their way through the house for days. Little by little, they found wallets full of banknotes, real silver dollars, bags full of precious jewelry and a bar of pure silver weighing 2.8 kilos. The treasures were hidden everywhere: in the pockets of clothes, in old files, even in shoes.

© Youtube / Curiosity Incorporated

During the clearing out, Alex only really got to know the deceased owner. Bette-Joan Rac had left stacks of photo albums. The pictures showed her at every age, from early childhood to old age. She had been fascinated by fashion, design and music from a very young age. Under the photos she had carefully noted what clothes she wore, what this item meant to her and when she preferred to wear it. Many of the pictures showed her mother, who had been very close to her all her life and was her great role model.

Madame Rac was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1944. She discovered her love for ballet and piano very early on, and her parents saved up until they could buy her first piano. She grew up happy, dancing and making music.

But when she was 21 years old, a serious car accident put a brutal end to her career as a dancer. She devoted herself entirely to playing the piano, even studying at the Royal Conservatory of Music and graduating as a teacher at the age of 24.

Madame Rac had documented her piano lessons as well as her life story. By the end of her life she had given over 47,800 piano lessons and passed on her love for music to countless people.

© Youtube / Curiosity Incorporated

Alex captured the whole story of clearing out the house in a series of YouTube videos. Here you can explore every corner of the house with him and discover the life story of the piano teacher (in English):

Madame Rac not only left behind valuables that Alex and his team brought in around 400,000 Canadian dollars (about 260,000 euros), she also passed on her creativity and zest for life.

She became a legend and will surely never really be forgotten by the people who met her.

Thumbnails: © YouTube / Curiosity Incorporated

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