GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — Jarrett Brown was checking out the sales at Ralph’s Antiques over the weekend when something caught his eye.
“I like history, and I thought the photos were interesting,” Jarrett said of his find. “I believe the photos were taken around or during World War II, and they show all different parts of the world. Anywhere from Scotland all the way to India places like Italy and France.”
The photos appear to show a young man’s journey across the globe while serving in the war.
“Places that he went, people that he met, it looks like there’s some family photos in there,” Jarrett described. “I just had the idea that they probably meant something to someone.”
He paid $5 for the collection, and wasted no time posting them online.
“I figured that he probably had some family who was still around here,” Jarrett said.
Within 24 hours, the post found its way to Tina Musial in Two Rivers.
Tina explained that her sister-in-law first saw the pictures, “She sent it to me and said, is this, is this Uncle Bill?”
A birth certificate included in the photo collection confirmed that the mystery man was William Randerson.
Or, to Tina, Uncle Bill.
“He had a great heart and a wonderful sense of humor, he would always keep us laughing,” she said.
Bill was in the airforce and never married, but Tina says he was close to her family.
He passed away in 2008.
He had a brother, Tina’s father, and a sister.
“This is kind of bringing back, just the heart of the family,” Tina said, “because none of them are around anymore so it just stirs up all the good feelings of the three of them.”
They’re not sure how the photos and documents ended up at Ralph’s Antiques, but Tina says her family glad Jarrett found them.
“All these things sitting in a box in an antique store that were my uncles and are coming back home now, so we’re really just thanking God for the wonderful connection,” she told Local 5.
A connection from Green Bay to Two Rivers, and from the past to the present.
“I think it’s really important for people to have their history so that they can pass those stories down,” Jarrett said.
Jarrett reached out to Local 5 Tuesday afternoon to share that the pictures were in the mail, on their way to Tina and her family.