A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Old photos found, in search of their owner

Written September 1st, 2021 by Hasso Hering

Ricky Putman sits with the album he recovered from a downtown trash can.

Ricky Putman was walking back to work downtown after a stroll on the Dave Clark Path when something odd caught his eye: A photo album was lying atop the trash can next to the bus stop at the Albany Post Office.

That was last Thursday, Aug. 26. He retrieved the album, cleaned it up and has spent the past week trying to find out if whoever once owned the album wants it back.

There are photos in this album, all black and white except for one, and a few first names, but no last names.

There’s no telling how or why the album ended up in the trash. Did someone steal it along with other stuff and discard it because it’s of no value to the thief? Did someone clean house and find these old photos left by a previous tenant and just want to get rid of them?

Old photos? How old? The style of bathing suits and swim trunks in the beach scenes says 1950s or early ’60s. The style of the photos themselves says the same thing. Here’s a sampling:

Various clues point to the pictures having been taken on Guam and featuring Coast Guard personnel.

The most obvious are the shots of a ship designated W43. That would have been Coast Guard Cutter Iroquois,  which was commissioned in 1946 and should have had a crew of 143.

Another photo is labeled “Chetalkwau on Station Victor.” The Coast Guard had a cutter named Chautauqua, of the same class as the Iroquois, and there is still an address in Guam called U.S. Naval Station Victor Pier. The region’s Coast Guard headquarters is there.

In search for clues to the owner, Putman was checking various sources including the Albany Regional Museum, where they suggested he contact me. On Wednesday I met with him and took a few photos. If anyone reading this knows how to find the album’s owner or who it is, tell me in the comments below and I’ll let the finder know. (hh)

2 responses to “Old photos found, in search of their owner”

  1. FATE at Farm State says:

    Pro Tip:

    Hand it off to the Albany downtown museum.
    (They will follow any paths to Victory)

    I’ll buy you the drink reward you deserve.

  2. HowlingCicada says:

    Are all the interesting things lying ATOP (wish we could use italics) trash and recycle bins? Or is it just ease of seeing them?

    Recently I found a perfectly good, like-new microwave oven sitting atop a recycle bin. I left it there overnight, just in case it wasn’t really intended to be thrown out. It was exactly what I very much wanted. It’s only flaw was some crud on the rotating glass plate which easily washed off, though I scrubbed the whole thing thoroughly with alcohol before taking it inside.

    My half-cocked theory is that it was used in a failed cannabis extraction experiment since it was found close to a couple of suspected grow-room apartments (not in Albany).


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