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Woman Purchases Fantastic Old Sewing Machine, Never Expects Surprise She Finds Inside

A letter written over five decades ago has finally arrived at its destination because of a simple purchase at a local thrift store. Kathi Arnold of Columbia, South Carolina thought she was just buying a sewing machine. She was thrilled at finding small bits and bobs from the past in the sewing machine like patterns and an old-fashioned pair of scissors. What she found next made her gasp for breath. It was a letter written in 1963 by Sgt. First Class Walter R. Smith, Jr. to his wife, Roberta Patricia Smith.

It said: “Hello my darling. I got the sweetest letter today from the sweetest little angel on earth. You do write wonderful letters, sweetheart and they tell me just what I want to hear, that you love me. I am so very fortunate to have you love me, little one. I don’t know what I did to deserve this, such wonderful love, but I don’t question it. Your loving husband — Forever, Walter.”
After reading the contents of the letter, Arnold was so taken aback by the idea of finding the person who wrote it and the one it was meant for that she began her own sleuthing. After a couple of dead ends and no luck finding answers at the thrift store, she contacted the local news and said “I thought, ‘What an important part of a family history this would be,’ and I really wanted to get it back to either the person who wrote it or the person who received it or their family."

From there, she hit some luck as a private investigator Paul Silvaggio became interested in the case. He said “I didn’t know whether Walter or Roberta were still alive, but wondered if there were family members who might find sentimental value in the letter.”

Eventually, he finally found the nephew of the woman the letter had been addressed to. It turned out the couple had been married until the husband’s death at the age of 41. His widow died in 2014. They never had any children together.

Photo: IJ Review

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