The oversize brown envelope sent to The Morning Call last Nov. 30 was passed along to me. A couple of pictures tucked inside showed men in uniform.
Someone had found the envelope and photos near the Pickles restaurant along Chestnut Street in Emmaus, on the side of the road. A note from the finder has his or her local phone number but no name – the envelope was mailed to The Call from Hellertown. I called and left a message a week ago, saying I had the envelope and wanted to talk to whoever found it, but no one got back to me.
The four photos are a mystery. No one in the pictures is identified. There’s no indication of when or where they were taken.
The worn envelope is labeled “News Photos from Call-Chronicle Newspapers, Inc., Allentown, Penna.,” in the upper left and in the lower left: “Photographs: Do Not Fold.” The reference to the Call-Chronicle meant the envelope predated 1980, the year the Evening Chronicle folded.
But no photographer’s name appears on any of the prints. They in fact look like family photos, not pictures taken for a newspaper.
Three of the four photos appear to have been taken during the World War II era. A print 4 by 6 inches shows two officers in Navy, Coast Guard or Merchant Marine uniforms (shown above). The man standing on the right is the subject of a second 4×6 photo, which appears to have been taken at another time because his jacket has a name tag. (We blew up the image but couldn’t make out the name). He also appears with a woman, probably his wife, in a 7- by 9-inch color print (shown on the left) that was made years later. A fourth photo, 3 by 3 inches, shows an elderly woman posing in 1940s dress in what looks like a park.
Who are these people? Why were the four photos in a single envelope, the property of Call-Chronicle Newspapers, which dropped the Chronicle 33 years ago? And how did it end up on a roadside in the 3900 block of Chestnut Street in Emmaus?