OKLAHOMA CITY - Perusing thrift stores and antique shops is not an uncommon pastime for Amanda Gonzalez. She grew up doing it.
"To Goodwills, thrift stores with my paw paw when I was a little girl and he would call it treasure hunting," Gonzalez recalled. "And that’s what we’d go do, is we would go find our treasures."
Last Friday, Gonzalez and her husband had taken the day off and were driving around town doing some shopping and decided to stop by the Goodwill store at 1320 W. Reno where she found a photo album sitting among the piles of items on their last chance for another home.
"I just thought it was something old and I didn’t think there was stuff in there," Gonzalez said of the padded, light-blue cloth-covered album with lace trimming, "Memories" embroidered on the cover. "And I picked this up, started flipping through it thinking it was empty, and it wasn’t."
Filled with photos: black and white, color. Polaroids, graduation pictures, family trips, weddings, funeral service cards and newspaper clippings.
"I didn’t expect to find this down there. Especially with everything that’s in there. If it was me, I’d want to have it."
Throughout most of the album are two common denominators, clues Gonzalez said could lead to tracking down family, reuniting the album with rightful relatives: Roger and Naoma Lambert. An undated newspaper clipping announcing Roger Lambert's retirement said he worked at Tinker AFB for 40 years, first starting with the U.S. Army Air Force as an aircraft propeller mechanic in 1947.
A picture is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes. And if that's the case, an entire album of pictures is a story -- and then some -- but a partial story that Gonzalez said she will keep safe until the right people can be found.
"Somebody’s whole life in a book," she said.