In 1961, a bracelet slipped from the hand of an easily distracted six-year-old boy in Fayette, Missouri.
Almost sixty years later, Pam Kilpatrick Crawford, a grandmother and active community volunteer, was browsing the jewellery case of a Goodwill thrift store in Athens, Georgia, when she spotted a man's bracelet. The small medallions attached to the chain caught the eye of the self-described "thrift store and flea market junkie." She recognized them as being from University of Georgia. Looking more closely, she saw the name, "J. McRee Elrod" engraved on the back of one the medallions, which further intrigued her, because McRee was the maiden name of her husband's mother.
She bought the bracelet for four dollars, brought it home, and it sat half-forgotten on the top of her dresser for several weeks until she decided to put a call out to her Facebook friends to help her find "J. McRee Elrod."
Every self-respecting Southerner with a Facebook page is going to have friends who are keen genealogists and internet sleuths, and Pam Crawford is no exception. Within minutes, one of her friends found an online obituary for J. McRee Elrod, who had died aged 84 in June of 2016. He was a Georgia native, although he had spent all of his adult life outside of Georgia, and his mother had lived in Athens for many years.