Month: January 2015

Kathleen and Ira’s Wedding Album

I found this wedding album at Mid-South Outlet in their boutique section in January 2015. I thought it was such a beautiful album and it was so sad that it had somehow ended up in a thrift shop.


I found their granddaughter, Kaydee, almost right away on Facebook that evening and sent her a message.  She was completely over the moon.

You are an angel to reunite our family with that beautiful cherished album.

I returned the album to her family on 29 January 2015.

Jack Pirtle’s Chicken

I believe I acquired this circa 1905 cabinet card of Orva and Hershel Lewis from Sheffield Antique Mall in the mid-2000s.


Upon researching the names years later, I came across the history page of the old website of Jack Pirtle’s Chicken. Young Orva would grow up to marry Jack Pirtle and the two of them would run the now famous chicken restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee.


I returned the photograph to their son and his wife, Cordell and Tawanda Pirtle, to their company office on 22 January 2015.

Blanchard’s Twin Brother was a Cub Scout

I found Jimmy Tual‘s Cub Scout Graduation certificate at Second Time Around Flea Market. I can’t remember when I found it, because I kept it for quite a while. I thought it was cute and I like Cub/Boy Scout items.

In December 2014, I decided to look up the names on the certificate. I was saddened to discover that Jimmy had died 21 April 2012.  But I also discovered that he had a twin brother named Blanchard! So I wanted to contact him and ask if he would be interested in his brother’s certificated.


As I have done before, I sent photocopies of the item to an address I found on to make sure it was correct and wanted. I quickly received a phone called from Blanchard, who is a really nice guy! And he was really happy at the possibility of having it returned.

During the holidays, I came across something else related to the Tual family. A Malco pass to a free movie from 1961, made out to his parents Mr. and Mrs. Blanchard Tual.

It was very close to Christmas, and he had family in town, so schedules were busy and it was forgotten about. On 16 January 2015, I hand delivered the items wrapped as a package to the Tual house, which happened to be just a couple minutes from my own.

Ten days later, I received a thank you letter from Blanchard.


Photos Thought Lost in a Fire

I found a large batch of photographs, in a water damaged album, in the summer of 2014 that belonged a family with a baby born in the mid-1980s named Bobby. They were from Second Time Around Flea Market. I almost gave up looking for him, because I kept running into dead ends.  I put them away for a while, then went back to them at the end of the year.

In early January of 2015, I found an address on that I believed could be little Bobby’s home, so I made photocopies of the photographs, wrote a quick letter, and mailed them to him on 12 January 2015.

The next day, I received a phone call from the young man. He sounded out of breath, he was speechless. He could not believe that these family photographs even existed. He didn’t even have any baby photos! “We thought they were all lost in a house fire!”, he told me.  He also told me, with excitement, that he couldn’t wait to show them to his mother. “She’ll flip!”


I returned the entire batch of photographs to Bobby on 16 January 2015.

Norma’s 1939 Baby Book

I think I came across this tiny baby book at Antique Warehouse in 2012 or 2013.  I researched the parents’ names in the book using in early 2014. For some odd reason, the mother had never written the baby’s name in the book, but I was able to find out that it was Norma from the birth date.

I can’t remember how I came across her granddaughter Keaghlan’s name, possibly an obituary, but I found her on Facebook and sent her a message on 23 March 2014.  I didn’t receive a response until 14 January 2015! Better late than never, I guess!


I still had the sweet little baby book, of course, and quickly wrapped it up for her. It was returned to Keaghlan on 15 January 2015.

Great Great Grandmother Jane

I found this large beautiful old framed photograph, circa 1910, at a Goodwill store in Collierville, Tennessee. An usual place to find actual photographs of people. It had info written on the back that I couldn’t quite make out, but I thought I would take it home and give it a try. It’s a great old photograph, and only $5!


I used to try decode the handwriting on the back and hopefully make a connection to either census records or a preexisting family tree.  When I was able to figure out the name, I was able to trace it down to someone who had died recently and to an obituary with the names of living relatives. Those always help.

I first got in touch with her great great grandson Houston, but he no longer lived in Memphis (where I live), so he put me in touch with his sister, Emily. She was very happy to hear about the photograph, but with the holidays, setting up a meeting to give her the photograph just wasn’t working out.

On 15 January 2015, I packaged the framed photograph and left it at her door for her to find when she came home as she was out of town.  She was quite happy to see it once she got home.


She also gave me $20, which I put toward future vintage items I intend to reunite.

Joseph and Mary Ella’s Marriage book

I found this beautiful little marriage book at a junky shop called Second Time Around Flea Market.  It belonged to a couple named Joseph and Mary Ella who were married on the 22 November 1940. Using a combination of and, I was able to find Joseph’s stepdaughter, Michelle, on Facebook.


Oh my goodness. That is my precious stepfather who was my mom’s high school sweetheart. They married after Mary died and were married 35 years. Papa Joe was the only dad I ever had. I would love to have that Marriage certificate. Papa Joe was. WWII Veteran and the most wonderful man you will ever know. My mom and Papa Joe were so precious together and mom was never upset when he talked about Mary. The funny thing was that my mom’s name was Mary too. I bet that confused the government.” – Michelle


I mailed it to her on 12 January 2015.

Chris’ Childhood Photos (2)

I found a batch of childhood photos belonging to a bother and sister that lived in West Memphis, Arkansas back in July 2014. The photos were in a junky shop called Second Time Around Flea Market. Upon returning in January of 2015, I found three more photographs that I believed to belong to Chris.


It turned out only two of the three were of Chris and his family, but he was still quite happy to have received them and sent me a sweet letter in return (along with the photograph he didn’t know).