YORKTOWN, Va. — A Facebook community effort helped connect a message in a bottle back to the Poquoson boy who threw it in the water, 44 years later.
Megan Daliege posted about the mysterious bottle on Independence Day, and it's been shared on Facebook almost 500 times in 24 hours.
"Today we found a message in a bottle off the York River not far from York River State Park1," she wrote. "It was in what I believe to be a late 70’s early 80’s Pepsi bottle and said it was from Poquoson VA. We called the number but it was out of service… we would love to find Kendra or Don Kendra and tell them we found it… do your thing Facebook. (Maybe: Don Kendrick)."
Spoiler alert: Facebook did.
The story started when Brian Daliege and his son were walking along the York River between York River State Park and Camp Peary. They spotted what looked like an antique bottle resting on one of the cliff-like ledges above the water.
"The river comes up and there's a 4-foot drop, and it was on top of that, like a big wave had pushed it up there," Daliege said.
He said his son likes to collect bottles, so they grabbed it, and could tell right away that it was old. They didn't know how old, though.
"I dunked it in the water and cleaned it a little, the threads, and the top finally came off," he said. "Those caps have a little round rubber disk. That was still stuck to the top of the bottle."
There was a message inside, written in large pencil strokes.
"If you find this bottle call 868-7694 Poquoson Va. United Sates [sic] ask for Don Kendrick."
The number didn't lead to a Don, but Megan Daliege's Facebook post took off, with people searching for the author.
"It kind of went from just local people that we're friends with on Facebook to people we've never even heard of before," Brian said.
Soon, they got a comment from a person named Tracy Kendrick, who said this could be from her husband, Don.
Daliege said they're pretty sure he's the boy who tossed this bottle, and three others, into the Poquoson River 44 years ago. He was 12 when he wrote the message.
Daliege said the mystery is solved, and for now, they've got the bottle at their house.
"We've offered it back to Don Kendrick, we haven't heard back yet whether he wants it or not," he said. "It's just a cool story."