Love Story In A Shoebox Finds Its Way Back To Family

The love letters and other items date back to the 1920s.

NAMPA - Sometimes treasures aren't found in a chest, but rather a small shoebox. 

"It's something that you never think you'll ever see," Janice McIntosh said.

Love letters from 1924 to 1926, a Bible, and little trinkets, a love story all belonging to McIntosh's grandma and grandpa. There were 30 letters in all. In them Janice’s grandpa, Lawrence, would write to her grandma, Etta, about traveling for work and how he couldn’t wait to get back home to see her. Two of the letters were even written before they were married.

"It's history and the little things that my grandma had, it's very humbling," McIntosh said.

History that was nearly lost almost 25 years ago.

"We found that box in 1994," Randell Hodgkinson said.

Hodgkinson, at the time, was working on a hydroelectric plant in Horseshoe Bend when he came across the little shoebox.

"They were tearing down all of these shacks and this one shack I just happen to be looking in it and I saw this shoebox," Hodgkinson said.

It was a box that he easily could have just tossed away, but decided not to.

"It had all these letters and all these trinkets and stuff. So we knew it was special to somebody," Hodgkinson said.

Hodgkinson and his wife spent the next decade trying to find that special somebody.

"Couldn't throw it away," Hodgkinson said.

After years of no luck, he decided to pass the task onto the KTVB newsroom.

"I just gave it to some guy that came out from the front desk and said ‘see you later. Good luck,’" Hodgkinson said.

The person Hodgkinson is referring to is KTVB Managing Editor Gary Salzman.

"I took it as kind of a challenge. I wanted to find these people," Salzman said.

However, finding these people was easier said than done. It took Salzman three years to finally connect a name in the love letters to a name in an obituary.

"That obituary listed other family still alive, and through that effort I was able to locate Janice," Salzman said.

On Thursday, this lost shoebox was able to find its way home.

"It was a big surprise for me," McIntosh said.

A love story meant to last, surviving the test of time.

"It's be something that will be passed down generations for sure," McIntosh said.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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