Woman uses power of Twitter to return long-lost family photo

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A picture can be worth a thousand words, but for one family, all they have to say is two: “Thank you.”

About 15 years ago, Victoria Johnson came across a decades-old family photo in a book she bought at a used bookstore in New York City. With the help of social media, she was able to return the lost photo to a family in Richardson, Texas, on March 3.

Johnson said her curiosity made her hold onto the photo for over a decade, but she recently felt compelled to return the photo.

“It was about helping humans connect with other humans,” said Johnson. “That’s been hard in some ways during the pandemic.”

Johnson posted the photo on Twitter hoping someone would recognize the family. Within 48 hours, the niece of the man in the picture reached out.

“I think that’s my Uncle Sheldon and family,” Carol Howlett from Hudson, Ohio, wrote.

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Through that connection, Johnson reached the youngest daughter in the photo. Now 65 years old, Valerie Sudduth said she had never seen the photo before, but remembers it because it was the first photo with her mother’s new husband.

“My first impression was, that’s my new haircut! And I was really, really happy because I had a new dad,” said Sudduth.

Sudduth said she’s grateful that Johnson saved the photo.

“This was social media at its finest, meant to do what it is supposed to do,” she said.