Life
5 siblings get closer look at late mom’s past when her lost purse from 1957 is found
I don't think they expected to learn so much about their mother from her old purse.
Sasha Alonzo
09.21.21

It was like going back in time for the children of Patti Rumfola.

Do you ever wish you could have known or seen what your parents were like when they were younger? Well, for one family they got their wish when an old purse belonging to their mother turned up. There’s something about looking at old photos or trying on their old belongings such as an old purse or mirror that can surface a rush of emotions.

North Canton City Schools / Facebook Photo
Source:
North Canton City Schools / Facebook Photo

Last 2019, one of the janitors at the North Canton Middle School was repairing one of the school’s old lockers. While he was removing one of the detachable metals of the old lockers, something caught his attention.

Covered in dust was a red purse

Inside Edition / YouTube Screenshot
Source:
Inside Edition / YouTube Screenshot

He immediately took it to the school admin, and they tried to trace the owner of the purse. At last, they were able to trace the purse or what we can also call the red time-capsule to a Patti Rumfola. Then, they tried contacting the North Canton Alumni Association so they would be able to return the purse.

North Canton City Schools / Facebook Photo
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North Canton City Schools / Facebook Photo

Tucked away since 1957

The organization figured out that Patti lost the purse around 1957 and that she graduated from Hoover High in 1960. However, they received the unfortunate news that Patti Rumfola had already died last 2013 at the age of 71 in her home in DuBois, Pennsylvania.

North Canton City Schools / Facebook Photo
Source:
North Canton City Schools / Facebook Photo

She would have been thrilled to see her red purse, but it was too late. North Canton City Schools then posted on their Facebook page the update on the red purse.

Because Patti could no longer get the purse, the school decided that they should contact Rumfola’s closest relatives – her five children.

North Canton City Schools / Facebook Photo
Source:
North Canton City Schools / Facebook Photo

In the school’s Facebook update:

“Patti’s five children were together for a family gathering in the fall where they opened the purse to have a glimpse into their mother’s life as a teenager at Hoover High School.”

North Canton City Schools / Facebook Photo
Source:
North Canton City Schools / Facebook Photo

Just a teen

Patti was around 14 years old at that time when she lost her purse. Everything that was inside of her purse was exciting for her children. They shared that the things found in the red purse tell a story of a typical teenager who was happy, bubbly, and an active member of her community.

North Canton City Schools / Facebook Photo
Source:
North Canton City Schools / Facebook Photo

Some of the items that they found inside her purse were her American Junior Red Cross card, some ticket stubs, a YMCA membership, and a pocket calendar. There were also photos of her closest friends, a letter, and of course, some sharpened pencils and pens.

North Canton City Schools / Facebook Photo
Source:
North Canton City Schools / Facebook Photo

All of the items inside her purse were well-preserved!

Each one tells a story about Patti. Her children couldn’t be happier with everything that they saw.

Of course, like any other teenager her age, Patti also has two lipsticks, a compact powder from Evening in Paris, and a stick of gum!

North Canton City Schools / Facebook Photo
Source:
North Canton City Schools / Facebook Photo

The prints were still very clear! Even her cosmetics still smelled nice, according to her daughters.

“Those of you who may have gone to school in the 1950s or 1960s may have memories of some of these items. In one of the photos, you will see nine coins from Patti’s wallet. Each of her five children kept one of the wheat pennies as a token of remembrance of their mom,” the North Canton Middle School continued on their Facebook post.

North Canton City Schools / Facebook Photo
Source:
North Canton City Schools / Facebook Photo

Each item held a fragment of Patti that allowed her children to see a part of her more than sixty decades ago. She was gone, but these memories allowed Patti’s children to build new memories of her.

Inside Edition / YouTube Screenshot
Source:
Inside Edition / YouTube Screenshot

The small little purse packed a mean punch full of items that were once important to their mother. Watch the video below to see the contents for yourself.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Sasha Alonzo
hi@sbly.com
Sasha Alonzo is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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