A lot has changed in the last half century. People have come and gone, history has been made, but somewhere, a purse lost in 1954 stayed the same, waiting to be found and reunited with its rightful owner.

Lost and Found Alert: Martha Ina Ingham’s handbag from 1954 has been found in the Franklin Square demolition. We would…

Posted by Greater Clark County Schools on Thursday, February 7, 2019

In 1954, 16-year-old Marty Ingham Everett lost her black purse behind a cabinet in the science room at her school, Jeffersonville High, in Indiana.

And there it stayed… for 65 years! Everything changed last month when some construction happened at the school and the crew found it.

As is the times, the school district posted on Facebook about their find, and Everett’s son happened to see the post, quickly notifying his mother.

Stepping back in time

Soon the purse was mailed to Everett, who is now retired and living in Florida. Everett, now 81, said it was stepping right back into girlhood.

“It was like opening a time capsule,” said Everett, who is widowed and has a second home in Grasonville, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

As might be found in any teenage girl’s purse, there were even love notes from the boys she was dating at the time

“Dear Marty, I’ve heard that Paul has asked you to go the prom with him,” read one of the notes. “If he hasn’t, I would like very much to take you. Love, Torchy.”

“Dear Marty, Bobbie and I aren’t going back together,” began a letter from Carter. “I’m just continuing to walk her to classes. She asked me if I would, and I told her that I would. I’m just trying to be friends with everybody.”

Everyone on Facebook was very caught up in the romance of it all.

“Ask her who she went to the prom with!” one woman posted on the school’s Facebook page. “I gotta know!”

“Does anyone know who she ended up going with? Burning question!” wrote another.

“We all want to know who she went to the prom with! I’m rooting for Torchy,” added a third.

Spoiler alert: Everett’s date was Carter Williams.

 “He was my first boyfriend,” Everett said. “I had an awful lot of things in my purse, but I know that the letter from Carter was special. That’s why I kept it.”

She added: “The letters from the other two boys meant something to me, too. Why else would I have carried them with me everywhere?”

Now that she has the letters and the purse back, Everett won’t ever let them go again.

 “I was floored when I sat at my dining room table and took everything out of the purse,” she said. “How incredible that everything was still there and ended up back in my hands.”


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