A purse, lost 65 years, provides a glimpse into the life of a 1954 teen

Let’s take a moment to visit one of our favorite themes here on NewsCut — when the internet does that thing it does best.

Martha Everett didn’t mean to provide a time capsule to the people of Jeffersonville, Ind. She simply lost her purse, which has now been found. It contains the artifacts of a lost generation of high school teenagers: lipstick (“made in New York,” it said), wrappers of Juicy Fruit gum, the school’s basketball schedule, a ribbon for the mile relay, bus schedule, a mirror, her Social Security card, a note asking her to the prom.

She was Martha Ina Ingham back then — 1954 — and that’s how the school knew her last Friday when it posted a picture of the purse on its Facebook page.

Lost and Found Alert: Martha Ina Ingham’s handbag from 1954 has been found in the Franklin Square demolition. We would…

Posted by Greater Clark County Schools on Thursday, February 7, 2019

Back then, you didn’t need a big circus to invite a person to the prom. You just slipped her a note between class and hoped it didn’t end up in a purse for 65 years.

Those were the days. Teenage angst in pencil.

Simpler ways of communicating? Sure. But the irony is the newfangled ways of today took less than a day to find “Marty” and reunite her with the simpler past.

A member of her family spotted the post on Facebook. Someone else even recognized the name “Torchy” in the prom note (Clyde Morris, if you must know).

“I think it’s fantastic — it’s an opportunity to take a look at 1954,” said Chad Schenck, who’s supervising the demolition of the old high school. “You could see just in some of the things in the handbag, just how much pride she took in being a student at Jeff High. I think that’s really a neat story in and of itself.”

There are still mysteries to be unearthed in the story. Who’d she go to the prom with? Did she catch Paul? Where is Martha now? How did she lose it? Did Bobbie and Carter ever get back together?

The internet did its own sleuthing, finding news articles that she was to be married to Richard Folea, of Washington D.C., in 1957. But it’s clamoring for the unresolved details of the mystery. The internet is good at doing that thing it does; not so good at being left in the dark.

Marty now lives in Florida. The purse was mailed to her today.