Rene and Maribel Ortega own the downtown shipping store located on Range St., We Pack & Mail. Recently, the Ortegas bought a mini shed to renovate into a fake school for their eight-year-old daughter, Bella, as a birthday present. An older man from Live Oak sold the shed to the Ortega family. After having the shed delivered, the Ortegas found bonus content in their shed: an old photo album with photos and an obituary. âThe little shed had an album on the floor, open and full of dirt. Inside the album was a bunch of old photos, a graduation photo and an obituary, Maribel said.
Shortly after purchasing the hangar and making this discovery, the Ortegas invited Ken and Emerald Parsons to dinner and showed them the photo album that was in their hangar. Browsing through the contents of the album, Emerald Greene Parsons recognized the name of the person on the obituary. A Mrs. Nannette Herndon Beland, who died in 2002 at the age of 33 in Laucier, Louisiana, was a resident of Madison earlier in her life and graduated from Madison County High School in 1986.
In addition to the obituary, a senior photo with the name and year of graduation was also included, belonging to Kim Adams Wiggins, who is a resident of Madison County and Beland’s sister-in-law. The rest of the older images included on the album were primarily from Wiggins’ father, Christopher John Adams. Wiggins suffered a fire in Pinetta several years ago and had lost this photo album several years before this incident due to various moves. For this reason, she did not have photos of her father or older family photos. Emerald Greene Parsons was able to find and contact Wiggins, and confirm that this photo album belonged to him. âI was shocked. It had been years since I saw them,â said Maribel. Wiggins was able to connect with the Ortegas in their downtown store, and after many years, his photo album of family was finally returned to her. “It was great. I was so happy we were able to return those memories to her,” said Maribel.
Wiggins now has photos of her father during her years in the military, as well as other family photos she considered long gone. A bit of history has been preserved, and due to chance and luck, Wiggins possesses family treasures that she never thought she could salvage or return to him.