Photo albums are more than just a way to store old snapshots. Sometimes, they can tell a story, and give us a glimpse into a time long passed. They can preserve our memories—and can be a major comfort when a loved one is gone.
Recently, Nathaniel Franco, from Las Vegas, saw an old photo album lying on the side of the road. It looked like someone had thrown it away—but something told Franco to check it out anyway.
“I thought it was just garbage,” Franco told KTNV. “It wasn’t.”
Because when Franco opened the album, he was stunned by what he found: dozens of vintage photographs of a beautiful woman.
They photos revealed a long career as a professional showgirl.
Within the album, he discovered the dancer’s name: Renee Lee.
The photos spanned years, full of glamour portraits, backstage snapshots, and newspaper clippings. Each one captured the glamorous heyday of the profession, every costume decked out with feathers and sequins.
As Franco turned through the pages, he got to know about this stranger’s illustrious career.
“She did Broadway in New York, and here in Las Vegas she did shows,” Franco told KTNV.
“She was the quintessential showgirl.”
Franco sensed that the album was thrown out by mistake. He set out to track down Renee Lee, hoping to return the valuable photos to her.
However, he discovered that Lee had died.
Still, knowing how the album thoroughly captured Lee’s career, he felt it would have meaning to her family. He teamed up with KTNV to track them down.
The search didn’t take long—the family got word, and immediately reached out.
They had, it turns out, thrown away the album by accident. Her nephew, Matthew Gucu, helped his father clean out his house and he says the album must’ve gotten mixed up in the trash.
He’s glad that fate put the album in Franco’s hands—and saved it from being destroyed forever. Lee may be gone, but the memory of her extravagant life will live safely with her family.
“We’re really grateful this was found,” Gucu told KTNV.
“She was the ultimate entertainer.”