On Dec. 28, 1939, a card was delivered to Pendleton resident Lorin Hecker by Andy Dalrymple, a railroad conductor for the Union Pacific Railroad. Dalrymple said he found the card on the Portland Rose, an upscale passenger train established by the UP in September of 1930 that made the run from Chicago to Portland. He said the card had not been found in a mail bag.
But here’s the mystery: Hecker’s grandmother, Mrs. M.E. Calbreath of The Dalles, mailed the Washington’s birthday card to him on Feb. 19, 1914, when Hecker was just a young man. It mysteriously vanished en route to his home in Biggs, just 21 miles from his grandmother’s house. The front of the card was fairly well worn, and no other postmarks were on the envelope to show where the card had been during its 28-year hiatus.
Hecker treasured the card, because his grandmother had passed away some years after mailing it to him. Hecker planned to investigate the card’s strange journey, if possible, in order to submit a story to “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.”