Finding Sharon

When you’re married to a man who has what I call “hoardy” tendencies (I’m making that a word so feel free to use it), you never know what you’re going to find in your house. Just a few weeks ago I wrote about the Shaun Cassidy album Tim discovered in a thrift store, and since then, I listened to both sides of it once, and now it’s resting peacefully in our album collection between The Doobie Brothers’ “The Captain and Me” and Glen Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman.” I’m not sure I’ll need to listen to “Da Doo Ron Ron” on a regular basis, so if you need to borrow it, just say the word.

Months and months ago, Tim was rummaging through thrift store items and found this little photo of a kid named Sharon, so he brought it home. Isn’t this just the cutest thing? The little cardigan, the super short bangs, the curly picture day hair? The “School Days” label? I love it all.


A quick side story: You may recall that once, Tim found a plastic work ID outside of our house and instead of tossing it, spent time doing the research to find the owner, and that research led to a great friendship with a man named Manni who became my comedy coach for the two times I gathered up the courage to try stand-up in Austin. Another time, Tim found a money order in the HEB parking lot and tracked down the owner and hand-delivered it to the person who lost it. I was in the shower the other morning listening to The Bobby Bones Show’s segment called “Tell Me Something Good,” and they told a similar story about a Good Samaritan who found a money order for someone’s rent and tracked them down and delivered the money order to its owner. I thought about Tim returning the money order, and right there in the shower, said a little morning prayer to thank the big guy above for my big guy at home.

This photo has been sitting around for months and months, and at one point I made a meager attempt at finding the owner. I’m guessing that Tim did the same, but life gets in the way, and so Sharon became part of the contents of our house. The other day, after hearing the money order story on the radio, I decided to try a little harder. There was a name on the back of the photo, but I assumed that was a maiden name, so I ran a few searches on the last name and found an obituary for a woman with the same last name who had a daughter named Sharon. Once I had Sharon’s married name, I did a simple Facebook search to find her, but of course there were many people with the same name. A little deeper digging helped me find one of two possible options, so I sent a friend request to the first woman, with a weird little message that went something like this:

“Sharon, this is a weird message to send, but I think I have a photo of you from middle school. My husband shops in thrift stores frequently and I think it’s you based on your maiden name that’s written on the back. If you want it, I can mail it to you!”

In the message, I gave the specific details, knowing that the person I was writing might have thought I was a complete loony tune. Weeks passed and the person accepted my Facebook request but didn’t reply, and I thought that was a little unusual, but you never know about people. Just as I was about to give up and try the second person, Sharon replied, said she thought she’d written me back but actually hadn’t, and that yes, she was the woman in the photo. I found this to be incredibly exciting, so I smacked Tim awake to share the news. He wasn’t quite as thrilled, but he did say he was proud of me for doing the investigative work. He knows the value of good research!

Tomorrow, I’ll be dropping the photo of Sharon in the mail so she can keep it in the family. Sharon is a nice woman who lives outside of Austin and doesn’t drive here much because of traffic.

I’m terrible at math, but I figured that if Sharon was in middle school in 1955, she’s around 74 years old now. I really love that Sharon and my mom likely share some of the same memories, though she’s a few years older than my mom. That Sharon and my mom probably have some of the same favorite songs, books, and movies. That this sweet little photo helped me connect with a random stranger who may think I’m a weirdo, but that’s okay. I’m just glad I found her.



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