File Under: Life’s Little Mysteries
“I came into work and there was a black purse sitting on my desk,” said Library Director Andrew Kim. “I thought it belonged in lost and found.”
But this was no ordinary lost purse. On further inspection, it was revealed to be something of a mini-time capsule purportedly from a half-century ago.
Contractors found the purse in the course of installing an enhanced HVAC system, a project scheduled to be completed mid-summer.
Inside the purse were intriguing artifacts: a nail brush, a lipstick, a single earring, a Mongol 480 pencil, and two black and white photographs. One is of a youngish-looking girl reminiscent of the character Scout in “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The other is of an older woman, bundled against the cold and standing in front of a snow-covered house….
There is a dentist appointment slip for Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 3:05 p.m. The dentist office was located across the street from the library at 333 Park Avenue in the building currently occupied on the first floor by BMO Harris Bank. The dentist’s name was Arthur S. Dunn. His phone number is listed on the slip as Vernon 5-2157. The hand-written name on the slip appears to be Ellen Pritikin. Attempts to find her or someone who might know or have known her have been unsuccessful.
A check of Glencoe vintage telephone directories and good old-fashioned Googling determined that the only year in which Oct. 11 fell on a Tuesday and that Dr. Dunn’s phone number matched the number listed on the slip was 1966.
“Definitely me.” Ellen Pritikin Polito confirmed in an email that she is the woman whose long-lost purse recently was found after more than a half-century inside a wall at the Glencoe Public Library. But she has no clue how the black leather clutch got there. “Perhaps it was stolen and dumped there?” she suggested. “I have no idea.”
Library Closes The Book on Hidden Purse [HT: Reader Tom Appleton]