OKLAHOMA CITY - Marco Chavez is one of the owners of 1492 in Oklahoma City. It’s a big show to run, but two days ago, he went up to office when he had some downtime.
“So I walk upstairs, had a little downtime, and I’m cleaning the office,” Marco said. “And I notice this ledger type thing up there. And I just come up and I yanked it down. And I’m like ‘oh my god,’ we still got this here.”
What Marco found shocked him: A photo album filled with hundreds of pictures, all of a family he didn’t know.
“I looked in and I said ‘oh my god,’ these pictures are still here,” Marco explained. “I knew that this was somebody’s kids, somebody’s grandma or great-grandma, who might be or might not be here. But these are special memories. And these are just the type of things we don’t throw away.”
That album was marked only with the year the pictures were taken -- 1994.
The problem: How do you find the owner of something like this, people you don’t even know?
The answer: Social media. So, Marco put his social media manager into action.
“I said, ‘hey, listen. Can we make a post about this?” Marco explained. “I don’t anything besides laying out a few pictures to show.”
That post ended up getting shared hundreds if not thousands of times all over the state as Oklahomans worked together to find the owner of the album using social media.
“Before, it was wait on a phone call for someone to claim it,” Marco said. “Or, I don’t know, take out an ad in the paper, say found a family photo book. It didn’t come with pictures.”
That post was put up two days ago and it didn’t look like the case would get solved. But just as we were talking to Marco, a break in the case.
“I just got done talking to the mother on social media and she was explaining to me that her or one of her daughters were going to come by,” Marco said.
The owner of the album was shocked it turned up.
“She was like, ‘oh my god, yes, that’s ours. Thank you very much. Either me or one of my daughters will come pick it up from one of you guys,’” Marco said.
We couldn’t speak to the owner of the album, but the important part is that she’s getting back a trove of memories thanks to social media and the good people in our state who worked together to make this happen.
“It just tugs the heartstrings,” Marco said. “It’s one of the reasons why I call Oklahoma home. People are just genuine, in the actions, in the feelings. We wear our hearts on our sleeves.”