DALLAS - It was a WWII era wedding photograph found in the back of an east Dallas detached garage. And for a full year, the family that found it in their rental property has been trying to find out who the mystery couple might be. A WFAA viewer solved it with just one phone call.
Earlier this week Emmy Ordonez showed WFAA where her uncle found the wedding photo, still in its protective cardboard frame, buried under garbage bags in the back corner of their two-car garage. Slightly damaged by water and time, it shows a smiling bride and groom on their wedding day. The groom is in his Army uniform, the bride in an expensive satin gown with a lengthy elaborate train gathered around their feet.
"They look so happy," Ordonez said.
But no one in her family could identify who the bride and groom were. A full year of searching for answers in city records and enlisting the help of neighborhood social media groups turned up nothing.
"It seems to go to a dead end," Ordonez said.
But then a distant relative of the bride and groom saw their picture on TV, and called Robin Pritchard.
"I grew up with that photo," Pritchard said. "Those are my grandparents."
"I was shocked. My heart rate went through the roof. I mean I was like literally shaking," she said when she saw the wedding photo in a WFAA story. "I'm going around minding my own business, and all of a sudden I get this phone call and see my grandparents photo on the news! It was very weird."
Pritchard is the granddaughter of Albert and Madeline Eisenberg. The photo is from their wedding in August of 1941. He was 27. She was just 19. And, in Brooklyn, New York, she was literally, the girl next door.
"They met because they lived across the street from one another," Pritchard said. And the wedding photo is one Robin remembers from her childhood. She says it was always on a dresser at her grandparents' house.
"As a child, I used to sit and just stare at it. Of course, it's beautiful. She was a beautiful bride. He was a very handsome groom," she said.
The bad news about the recently discovered photo is that Albert and Madeline are no longer with us. They died several years apart, Albert first, then Madeline, both at the age of 85. But, they were married more than 60 years.
"They did," Pritchard said. "Because they loved each other."
As for how the picture ended up in that east Dallas garage, a distant cousin used to live there. It apparently got misplaced and left behind. But for a granddaughter, who had the same birthday as her grandmother, and who still wears her grandmother's 1941 engagement ring, getting that lost picture back will be another precious gift. The Ordonez and Pritchard families plan to meet and exchange the picture soon.
"It means something that someone cares about other people enough to try and get something that might mean something back to them,” Pritchard said.
A picture, and two lives, that very much meant something to a family glad they can now stare into those young happy faces....again.
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