School Returns Lost Old Purse to Owner’s Family

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. wedge / wɛdʒ / (v) – to squeeze something into a very small space

    She wedged all of her things into her mini bag.

  2. go through (something) / goʊ θru / (phrasal) – to carefully look at or check something

    Airport inspectors have to go through all bags to ensure the passengers’ safety.

  3. in hopes of (something) / ɪn hoʊps əv / (idiom) – with an expectation that something will happen

    They checked the CCTV footage in hopes of finding the criminal.

  4. whereabouts / ˈhwɛər əˌbaʊts / (n) – the exact location of someone or something

    My strict dad uses a GPS tracker to monitor my whereabouts.

  5. memento / məˈmɛn toʊ / (n) – a thing that reminds one of a past event, another thing, or a person

    This bag is a memento of my trip to Paris. I bought it with my mother.


Read the text below.

An old red purse was found wedged between a locker and a wall in an Ohio middle school and returned to the owner’s family.

In May 2019, an employee of North Canton Middle School (NCMS) found the purse while he was repairing the school lockers. He took the purse and handed it to school personnel. They all examined the bag and went through its contents in hopes of finding its owner.

Some contents of the purse included library cards, a membership card for a youth organization, photos, makeup, a note from a friend, and some old coins. The school found out that the purse was previously owned by Patricia Rumfola, a student who graduated from the school in 1960. The contents revealed that Rumfola lost the purse in the late 1950s.

The school took to Facebook to ask people for help in locating the whereabouts of Rumfola. After months of searching, the school located Rumfola’s children and learned that she had already passed away in 2013. In a recent Facebook post, the school expressed its gratitude to the people who helped in the search.

The school included an old photo of Rumfola and pictures of the purse’s contents in the social media post. One of the pictures shows some old coins from Rumfola’s purse. Each of Rumfola’s children kept one of these coins as a memento of their late mother.

According to one of Rumfola’s friends, the late NCMS alumna would use the purse only for special occasions. She also shared that Rumfola never mentioned that she had lost the purse.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think the search for the purse’s owner was worth it? Why or why not?
• In your opinion, is it appropriate to post about someone’s personal belongings on social media? Explain.

Discussion B

• What are some items that bring back old memories for you? Discuss.
• If you could keep a memento of a certain person, what would it be? Why?