Lost Diary From 1930's Returned to South Jersey Family - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Lost Diary From 1930's Returned to South Jersey Family

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"Pages are falling out and we're trying to keep it together and not let anything happen to it. But we couldn't put it down either," said Judy Alvarez. She and her family didn't expect to find a diary from the 193o's while shopping in a thrift store.

"And then you come across these handwritten pages in pencil," said Judy who said it read like a romance novel.

"We fell in love with this little love story of this gentleman courting a young woman named Mabel."

16-year old Melissa read it aloud on the car ride home.

"January 4th. It was a Saturday in 1930. Mabel and I went for a little walk and came home and we had a fine time," she read.

Judy said the family couldn't put down the diary, "It was all the entries he had written, where he had walked past her house or he had taken her to a show. It was really intimate. It was really sweet and romantic."

The love story was so powerful that the family decided they had to return the diary to the author's family. His name was Charles Clyde Colwell.

"It was an amazing piece of family history," said Judy.

So they searched online until they found a Charles Colwell III. He's the diary writer's grandson and lived not far from the Alvarez family in South Jersey.

Charles Alvarez III said he was skeptical at first, "You know somebody's calling me and telling me they found a diary. I was waiting for them to say send us a check," he joked. "I'm overwhelmed. It's a piece of history in my life that I didn't even know about," said Charles. Charles, his wife Michelle and his brother John were in awe.

"He was like a guys guy. He didn't strike us as one that would write a journal," recalls Charles. The family is thankful the Alvarez family reunited them with the precious find.

"It's made us go in the basement to dig out the photo albums and put the history together of Charles' family. It's very special," said Michelle.

Photos are all Charles had of his grandfather who died when he was 18. An emotional piece of memorabilia they'll cherish.

"He doesn't have much family. He has his two brothers. His parents and grandparents have passed away so to see a piece of history like this it's family," said Michelle with teary eyes.

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