To anyone but its owner, the black-and-white photo likely doesn’t hold much value.
Found on a South Surrey sidewalk on Boxing Day, it depicts a woman sitting with outstretched legs in what appears to be a field, her arms encircling a curly-haired toddler who is standing by her side, dressed in overalls.
But Trevor Brucki – who noticed the photo while out walking the family dog with his wife Lois and their two kids, Ryder and Olivia, in the 16000-block of 24 Avenue – is sure it’s an important memory for someone.
Now, he’s crossing his fingers that efforts to reunite the image with its owner are successful.
“I’m thinking, what if I were that little boy or child, and it’s your parents or something like that,” he told Peace Arch News.
“I just want to get it to the right person.”
Brucki said he has posted the image on “as many chat groups as I can” in an effort to track down the owner.
Just prior to New Year’s Day, the post had been shared on the White Rock/South Surrey Community Group Facebook page 18 times, and drawn comments including “Such a precious picture. I hope someone recognizes it.”
“If it was mine, I’d want it back,” Brucki replied. “Never know how important that memory is to the owner…”
The wallet-sized photo appears to date from the early to mid 1940s – some 80 years ago –judging by the woman’s clothing and characteristics of the photographic image.
On Tuesday, Brucki said he had been contacted by several people claiming to know the woman and child in the photo, but that he had been reluctant to hand it over to anyone without more compelling evidence that it was their property.
“I think about the way that family dynamics work sometimes. Someone might know who was in the photo, and might want it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s theirs,” he said.
One woman, who lives on Vancouver Island, told him she believes it’s a photo of her grandmother and uncle, he said.
“She wanted me to mail it to her, but I encouraged her, if she has relatives over here – who were likely to have been the ones who lost it – to have them reach out to me and pick it up in person.
“So far, I haven’t heard back from them, but I’m hopeful it will find the right owner. Right now, it’s sitting on my desk.”
Brucki said his theory is the photo lived inside a wallet or a purse and came adrift while the owner was paying for something, subsequently slipping to the sidewalk without them noticing it.
“I just want to get this back to the right person,” he said.
Brucki said the photo’s owner, or anyone with information that could help him get the image back into the right hands, may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
– with files from Alex Browne
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