The “lost” memory album is going home!

6 Apr

Another “lost” cause has ended happily.

Several weeks ago, I posted a blog about a memory album filled with mementos and photos which a friend of mine had found at a local Goodwill.

The album itself was nothing special; your basic sticky-paged photo album we’ve all used for years for our family photos. Its 19 pages were filled with photos dating back to the early 1900s, picturing relatives and special events. Several more pages were filled with cards and letters, many of them apparently made by children and grandchildren.

My friend turned sleuth and was able to determine the album was probably owned by a woman named Caroline Kolupski, who used live in North Greece. He reached out to me for help in locating Caroline’s family so it could be returned. Perhaps, he thought, if I wrote a blog about the album, someone might recognize the photos or names.

My readers came through.

Within just a few days of posting the blog, I was contacted by not just one, but two of Caroline’s relatives who still live in the area and who were excited about the prospect of getting the album back. After that, it was just a matter of arranging a time for the hand-off.

That happened earlier this week when my friend and I met Marilyn Kolupski Kraitsik and Sandy LaDonna Kolupski for breakfast at The Original Steve’s Diner in Penfield. Marilyn is one of Caroline’s daughters, Sandy a niece by marriage.

We had a delightful time, getting to know each other and revisiting the details of the photo album’s journey from Goodwill to breakfast table. The album lying between them on the table, Marilyn and Sandy paged through it, pointing out Caroline and all the aunts, uncles and grandparents pictured in the old, fading photos. We were introduced to so many people and so many wonderful memories.

It was especially delightful to learn more about Caroline, who passed away in 2000, and the Kolupski clan.

Caroline had nine brothers and sisters, and her husband Lou had ten siblings. They raised four children of their own, three girls and a boy. A strikingly beautiful woman, Sandy remembers that her Aunt Caroline, “one of our sweet aunts,” was “as beautiful inside as well as outside.”

The ladies were also able to fill in some blanks. For starters, I’d theorized that the album had been assembled for Caroline because she was going into a nursing home or was in the hospital. Instead, Marilyn believes it was one of many photo albums her mother had put together, and the cards and letters tucked in the back had been added later, perhaps as part of a group Christmas gift.

As for how it ended up at Goodwill? Marilyn thinks when her sister was clearing out some of their mom’s old things, the album got mixed into the bags and boxes and not noticed.

When breakfast was over, Marilyn tucked the album under her arm and both she and Sandy thanked us — again — for finding and returning it. They were clearly thrilled to have it back, and we were equally pleased to have followed the story to its happy ending.

In hindsight, we shouldn’t have worried that we wouldn’t be able to find the photo album’s owner. There are still a LOT of Kolupskis in the Rochester area, and they’re all related. So it was really only a matter of time before “Grama” Kolupski’s album would find its way back home.

Thank you to everyone who shared the blog and have followed the story. (Click here to read the original blog I posted about the album.)

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2 Responses to “The “lost” memory album is going home!”

  1. Kathy Taddeo April 7, 2022 at 7:15 am #

    Beautiful story, Missy. You blog brings joy in unexpected ways. 😊

    Sent from my iPhone


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