An East Dallas family is hoping WFAA viewers can help solve a mystery and put names and faces to a 1940’s era wedding photograph found by accident, buried in the back of a turn-of-the-century garage.
"So, they actually found it back here,” said Emmy Ordonez, pointing to the far northwest corner of the detached garage behind her uncle’s home. They rent the home and, a full year ago, were cleaning out the garage.
"There were a bunch of bags piled on top of each other,” she said. “And it was just there in the back corner just lying there."
It's an old photograph, weathered by water and time, but with two bright and youthful faces on the happiest day of their lives.
"I mean they look so happy,” Ordonez said of the couple pictured on their wedding day.
"My grandmother said he's very handsome and good looking,” Ordonez laughed.
The problem is they have no idea who the handsome WWII Army Private is or the name of his stunning dark-eyed brunette bride with a lily bouquet and wearing a full-length satin dress that gathers in a large train around her feet.
"It's gorgeous,” Ordonez said. "As a family, we want to find the rightful owners of this, so they can actually have something to look back on."
For a year now, Ordonez’ family has been searching for who the bride and groom might be. Neighborhood groups on social media joined in offering potential names and clues, but so far, nothing has matched. It’s a picture that's been sitting in the garage back corner of their rental house for decades. They say even the owner of the home has no idea who they are.
“It seems to go to a dead end,” Ordonez said.
The cardboard cover of the 11x17 sepia photo bears the name the company that printed it “Portrait by Valeche” and a penciled copyright on the inside frame indicates it came from New York.
"And so, that's all we really have,” said Ordonez.
What they'd like is to help find the names of the wedding couple and someone to return the picture to.
"If it was my great-grandmother or someone down the line in my family, if it was me, I would like to have it back,” Ordonez said.
Until they can find out who the couple is, Emmy Ordonez will stare from time-to-time at the young couple captured in the photograph, frozen in time at roughly her own age, and imagine what their story might be.
"I can imagine it was a time of war, and he probably came back to get married. And they were just trying to be happy,” she said.
And now, faced with a mystery, she and her family hope it’s a picture that had a happily-ever-after too.