Purse Lost by Teen Girl in 1959 Is 'Unintentional Time Capsule' for Her Surviving Family
When the purse made local news, emails started pouring in. One message was from the family of Andrea Beverly Williams, who sent some information that solved the mystery. “It’s such an unintentional time capsule of her,” one of the woman's daughters says.
In 1959, a 13-year-old girl lost her purse in the gym at her elementary school outside Houston, Texas. It stayed lost there for decades, until it was recently found inside the floor, by a contractor who was hired to renovate the building.
“I was shocked to find a purse in there,” Armando Rodriguez told Inside Edition.
He thought it would be “a wonderful feeling” to reunite the purse with its original owner. It was then handed over to Richard Lewis of the local historical society. Inside, he discovered photos and other mementos.
When the lost purse made local news, emails started pouring in. One message was from the family of Andrea Beverly Williams, who sent some information that solved the mystery.
Williams died in 2015, but she had nine children, and three daughters still live nearby.
The sisters were amazed to see old photos of their mom’s classmates and their grandfather. There were all sorts of notes, like an invitation to the Valentine’s dance and even a love note.
A small calendar inside the purse gave a clue to when their mom lost it, because everything after April of 1959 was blank.
There was also a manicure set and a civil defense card outlining what to do in case of a nuclear attack.
For daughters Deborah, Rhonda and Andrea, it was like entering a time machine.
“It’s such an unintentional time capsule of her,” Rhonda said.
The sisters are donating their mom's purse and its belongings to the local historical society so others can enjoy a trip back to 1959.
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