John and Trina Hollander put a message in a bottle in December 1990 in Calhoun. It was tossed in the Green River from the home the couple was living in on Richland Road.
Recently, and more than 30 years later, the bottle was found in Ripley, Tennessee.
“We were always finding treasures along the water and we never found a message in a bottle, so we decided to make our own,” Trina Hollander said.
John Hollander said he and Trina had forgotten about the letter but they remembered doing it.
The couple had not yet married when they made the message, but had been together for four years. The house from where the bottle was launched was a fixer-upper for the couple, which they later purchased. The Hollanders said they don’t live in the house anymore, which they named the Green River Gator Farm.
“Once (Pam Stanfield) contacted us and she sent a picture of the note, we knew who sent it,” John Hollander said.
The bottle made its way down the Green and Ohio rivers and into the Mississippi River where Skylar Mae Stanfield and her father, Daniel, located it at Open Lake in Lauderdale County near Ripley on April 17. The bottle took a trip estimated at 250 miles, according to John Hollander.
“We were totally surprised,” Trina Hollander said. “If it wasn’t for social media, they would have never found us. They found us within an hour. We were shocked it had survived this long.”
Trina Hollander said they were at a friend’s house when their son called her and told her to check Facebook because he was tagged in a post about it.
The Hollanders said they never expected the message to go as far as it did.
“Once we did it, it was just a fun thing to do at the time but I never thought anyone would find it,” John Hollander said.
The couple said they doubt they will ever send out a message again because it was just a one-time “fun” thing.
The message reads: “We wanted to see how far this will go. It’s almost Christmas, ho ho ho! This bottle was launched from Calhoun, KY. 12-21-90.”
According to John Hollander, Skylar Mae was excited to receive the letter.
“It’s so exciting because now we have new friends in Tennessee,” Trina Hollander said.
Karah Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org