Help Bring Flea Market Journal of Syracuse Marine Born in 1901 Back Home
You never know what you're going to find at a flea market. The journal of a Syracuse Marine, born in 1901 has been discovered. Can you help bring it back home?
If you've ever been to Gino's Cheese Steak and Onion in Fayetteville, New York, you know they have more than just great food. There are a lot of weird things hanging on the wall, most found at flea markets. But the recent find might be the most interesting -a journal at the bottom of a box of used books.
Life of a Marine
Inside the journal is a look into the life of a US Marine, from his first deployment to Cuba to his final flight home in 1953. The last words written in the journal are “home at last.”
We knew right away that we needed to buy it, not for our wall, but because this man cared enough about his story to write it down in such detail. His story didn’t deserve to be buried on the bottom of a box filled with dusty Betty Crocker cookbooks from 1976.
A few days after Gino's posted the rare find on Facebook, the owner was uncovered thanks to some help from customers. The journal belonged to Clarke Van Deren who was born on June 6, 1901, in Syracuse, New York. He signed up for the military on February 4, 1942. Van Deren passed away in 1975 and his wife, Esther Van Derne died in 2005.
From what we can gather, they didn’t have any children, but there has to be family out there. We’re convinced someone somewhere would want this piece of family history.
Instead of keeping the journal for their wall collection, the staff at Gino's wants it back where it belongs. "As much fun as the staff and regulars have had reading this man’s story, what we’d really like to do is track down the man’s family and give the journal to them."
If you have any information that can lead to the journal finding its way back home, reach out to Gino's on Facebook.