You never know what you’ll find in the supermarket lost and found bin – just ask Tairsa Worman.
During an end of the year sweep of bins at the 222 Safeway and Albertsons stores in the Northwest and Alaska, an odd discovery appeared: three metal boxes containing about 1,000 photographic slides. They were turned in sometime over the past four to six months.
"All these memories have been lost," Worman said. "It would be wonderful to reconnect them."
Worman works for Safeway/Albertsons. She said unclaimed items from lost and found usually get donated to charity, but Worman didn’t know what to do with this treasure trove of family history.
So, she started looking over every one of the slides for leads.
"I feel like this could've been my life, like these could be my grandparents’ pictures. My mom and dad’s pictures," she said.
The slides date back to between 1967 and 1979. They show what appears to be a happy family of four, including a towheaded brother and sister who would be in their 40s or early 50s today.
Worman hopes going public with the pictures will jog someone’s memory as to who they belong to.
The slides and brief handwritten notes tell the stories of birthdays, Christmases, and vacations, but they don’t tell who these people actually are.
Lost family photos looking to be returned
Worman is a former journalist who has become somewhat obsessed with finding the family. Amid the hundreds of pictures, she developed two clues.
One slide shows an old Ford Mustang with the license plate readable. Another shows a boat named “Omen” with the registration number on the bow. Unfortunately, the Department of Licensing doesn’t keep records dating that far back.
There is another connection, however, to Boeing. There are pictures that appear to show the launch of the 747 line in 1969. Some appear to show test flights. Pictures taken inside one of the planes indicate someone may have been a Boeing engineer.
But that’s as far as the clues lead.
Worman theorizes the three metal boxes may have been mistaken for valuables by a burglar and dumped outside one of the grocery stores. Despite repeated attempts, she hasn’t been able to determine which store found the photos.
She remains hopeful, however, that by putting light on the situation someone will be able to bring the mystery into focus.
"It would just be such a gift," she said.
If you think you know who the slides belong to, please contact us.