Behind every vintage item is a story. And if the antiques inside Anthony Brooks' Blue Collar Vintage Salvage shop in Leicester, Massachusetts, could talk — he says there would be 100,000 stories.
But what he found inside a box — likely rescued from a demolition and just sitting in a trailer in Oxford for decades — is the beginning of a story to which he hopes to learn the ending.
"Basically eight or nine photo albums, his high school yearbook, a lot of papers from the military," explained Brooks.
U.S. & World
These albums and papers chronicle about a decade in the life of Leon Earl Walker, nicknamed "Lee."
Born Nov. 9, 1951, and raised in Webster, he graduated from Bartlett High School in 1969 — even though he was already enlisted in the Army and went on to serve in Vietnam.
Among his Army accolades preserved in a scrapbook are well-wishes for his deployment, his 101st Airborne Division patches and old articles about his service.
There are even photos of his travels throughout Europe, as well as college papers from his time at Clark University.
"I get the gut feeling that he was an incredible guy and a really good man," Brooks said.
Walker would be 67 now, and Brooks would love to be able to find him, or any of his relatives, to be able to reunite them with this little slice of history.
"I just want to make sure that somebody gets them in their hands that can appreciate them," said Brooks.
And maybe Brooks can learn the full story of the man behind these vintage treasures.
"It would just be priceless," he said.
Brooks says if you think you know Walker or any of his relatives, you can contact him on the Blue Collar Vintage Salvage Facebook page.