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Woman Finds Her Childhood Essay In Used Bible After 65 Years

SAN CLEMENTE ( — One local woman is on a mission to figure out who previously owned a Bible she recently purchased from a San Clemente bookstore.

That's because 75-year-old Marion Shurtleff says she discovered a childhood essay she had written tucked away inside.

"I call it my OMG story ... my Oh my God," Shurtleff said. She told CBS2's Stacey Butler that five months ago she walked into a tiny new used bookstore and bought the Bible.

"I thought a while that I'd like to have another Bible to compare with my Bible that I had to see how the verses changed," she said. "I flipped through it. I liked it."

When she took it home, she noticed a yellowed folded letter inside.

"And a couple times, I opened the Bible and I looked at this side and I looked at the other side," she said.

Two months went by before Shurtleff took a closer look.

"And then I opened it up, and instantly I saw my name," she explained. "I recognized my handwriting. I hollered. I started shaking. I cried. I had goose bumps."

Slipped in between the pages was an essay that Shurtleff wrote 65 years ago to earn her merit badge for Girl Scouts. It read in part, "Be kind to animals. Do not pick flowers. Don't walk on the grass."

Shurtleff says she wrote that letter in her hometown of Covington, Ky., more than 2,000 miles away.

"How did it get here? I think there's got to be a tie to the person who kept this. Why would they keep it?" she wonders. "Maybe it was sent to me for a reason. Maybe that person should be in my life."

Shurtleff contacted the bookshop. So far, there are no leads.

But Shurtleff, a cancer-survivor, is not losing faith. She is hoping a relative of Bonnie Jean Edwards – the woman who graded her paper – lives somewhere in the Southland.

"I want to try and find the person who had the Bible. Who would keep this? Why? It's just a big 'Why?'" she said.

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