For John Amalfitano, 60, the past is ever-present.
Amalfitano’s Dunellen, New Jersey home is filled with relics from a bygone era, items that he says he has a connection with.
“I don’t know what it is with me,” he told CBS News.
The most memorable item in his home is an unusual find: A chicken egg that a neighbor found in an egg carton in 1951. Written on the egg is a message from a Miss Mary Foss of Forest City, Iowa.
“Whoever gets this egg please write,” Foss had written, along with her name and location. Amalfitano said his neighbor held onto the egg for 50 years, without bothering to find Foss or write back.
The neighbor then gave it to Amalfitano, who held onto it for another two decades before sharing photos on social media. He posted pictures of it on a “Weird and Wonderful Secondhand Finds” Facebook page, wondering to the three million members of the group if Foss was still alive.
The group scrambled to find Foss. The message was 72 years old, and many feared it wouldn’t be easy to find Foss, but in less than a day, they had tracked her down.
Foss, now 92 years old, told CBS News that she remembered writing on the egg. As a teenager, she had worked in an egg packing plant and dreamt of meeting someone in a far-off place.
“We all dream,” she explained. The note on the egg was her own message in a bottle.
Now, more than seven decades after writing it, she’s made the connection she longed for — and been reunited with her egg. Amalfitano and Foss met on Zoom for the first time recently, and Amalfitano was sure to show her the egg, its message still visible.
Foss seemed delighted to see the egg again, but said she likely wouldn’t meet up with Amalfitano in person.
“He’s got his problem, keeping an egg that long,” she said.