ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - Black and white photos from a bygone era, newspaper clippings and yellowed greeting cards were all found inside a photo album left behind in a shuttered St. Pete thrift store.
Krystal Barnes discovered the album in a pile of discarded junk. She had to know who the photos belonged to and why they were seemingly discarded. Especially since one of the smiling figures who appears in photo after photo inside the old leather album was a soldier.
"This is history. I'd hate to see someone throw this away. There's school pictures in here, him growing up, this has got to mean something to somebody," Barnes told FOX 13 after reaching out to us for help finding the soldier's family.
An old newspaper clipping inside the album revealed big clue: the soldier's name. According to the article, Private First Class Robert Ogilvie entered the Army in 1951. He'd graduated from Alleghany High School in Cumberland, Maryland in 1949.
With a name like Ogilvie, it didn't take long to track down relatives.
"You hear about stuff like this happening to someone else, but you never imagine it happening to you, so it's pretty amazing," laughed Bobby Ogilvie, Jr., Robert's son.
Sadly, Robert Sr. passed away 11 years ago, but his name lives on. His sons, Bobby Jr., Bobby III and Robby IV all still live in Maryland.
Following in Robert Sr.'s footsteps, Bobby Jr. and his son Robert Ogilvie III, also serve: they're both firefighters. Bobby Jr. says he's not sure how his family's album wound up in Florida, but said he's grateful it did.
"I haven't seen a lot of the old Army and high school pictures and stuff like that because they actually had a house fire, his parents, while he was in the service, and a lot of that stuff got ruined," explained Bobby Jr.
Now, 65 years after the album was created, the priceless piece of the past will finally end up back in the hands of the Ogilvie family, thanks to one woman who wouldn't let a soldier's past be forgotten.
"He was somebody's son, somebody's husband, grandfather. It would break my heart just to see it go by the wayside," Barnes said.
FOX 13's Kellie Cowan plans to hand-deliver the album to the Ogilvie family when she travels to Virginia to visit family for the Thanksgiving holiday.