Message in a bottle surfaces 35 years later - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Message in a bottle surfaces 35 years later

Posted: Updated:
Sean Keown Sean Keown
Justin Shepard Justin Shepard
BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. -

A long lost message surfaces in Bellows Falls decades after its writer sent it adrift.

"This is where we grew up and this was one of our favorite swimming holes right down here," said Sean Keown.

Keown and his family spent a few minutes enjoying Wednesday evening by the banks of the White River, in Rochester.

When he was just a handful of years older than his three-year old daughter, he and a pal each stuffed a handwritten note in glass bottle, before sending it afloat down river.

35 years later, it was found by Justin Shepard, "I found this bottle, and I found the note."

Keown couldn't believe it, "Before I received this letter, I hadn't thought about it in years I had no idea that I would get it back."

There's now way if knowing how or if the bottle got lodged somewhere along the river, but Sean believes Tropical Storm Irene dislodged it before it popped up more than 75 miles down river.

14-year-old Justin Shepard stumbled upon the bottle as he and his dad explored the area beneath the Bellows Falls dam.

The bottle lacked a cork, and though soggy, time and water exposure didn't erase the note, with the writer's name and phone number

"I tried calling the number and it didn't work at all," recalled Justin.

So he popped the digits into Google, and that's when he realized what he thought was an "R" in Sean's last name is actually an "N."

Before long he put a copy of the note in an envelope and sent it to Sean.

It arrived Tuesday night.

"I got his phone call and he said he'd been waiting 35 years for someone to find it," said Justin.

"I was so excited I actually called my parents, said Keown.

Sean's old note also promises a a reward for the bottle's finder, "I was thinking maybe a candy bar or a soda, at the time I was in elementary school. Yeah, it's going to be a cash reward now"

Sean says he lost touch with his old pal who he spent so many days with by the river

Since his bottle re-surfaced, he hopes a few internet searches will help him find his buddy as well.

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