Texas man reunited with 27-year-old message in a bottle he wrote as a child

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It took 27 years, but a man in Texas has been reunited with a message that he and his childhood friends once wrote and left behind after placing it inside a bottle.

Over the weekend, a group with the Keep La Marque Beautiful Commission in the city of La Marque, found Brian Standefer’s message in a bottle while picking up trash at Highland Bayou Park, FOX 26 Houston reported.

Standefer was about 10 years old when he and three friends wrote a note on a piece of cardboard, asking the finder to call one of two phone numbers. The message was likely written around 1995.

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“If not home, leave it on answer [sic] machine,” the note says. “Please leave phone #.”

Standefer and his friends each signed the cardboard and placed it inside a bottle.

“We said, maybe one day we’ll be able to find this treasure,” Standefer told FOX 26. “Honestly, I forgot about it.”

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The bottle – and the message inside – were found 27 years later. 

Terry Pettijohn, who was picking up trash with the Keep La Marque Beautiful Commission in Highland Bayou Park on Saturday, was walking along the shore when he found the bottle, he told FOX 26.

A group cleaning up trash in La Marque, Texas, over the weekend found a message in a bottle from around 1995 – and even tracked down one of the people who signed the note.
(Courtesy FOX 26)

“It was buried about halfway,” Pettijohn told the station. “I said, ‘You know, I think we’ve got a note in the bottle.’”

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Inside the bottle, Pettijohn found Standefer’s note.

Pettijohn told FOX 26 that he called the two numbers which were written on the note, but both were out of service. 

The commission was still able to track Standefer down through Facebook and return the note, FOX 26 reported. 

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“I had to do a double take on the piece of cardboard,” Standefer told the station about when he saw the note. “[I thought] that’s my phone number. That’s my handwriting. That’s my signature.”

Standefer said he and his friends had dropped the bottle about two miles away from where it was found.

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The discovery of the message and bottle has added meaning for Standefer since one of the friends who signed the note recently died, he told FOX 26.

“My best friend [Travis], he actually passed away a year-and-a-half ago,” Standefer said. “This gives me goosebumps. He had something to do with it, shining down, saying, ‘Everything is going to be okay.’”

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