▶️ Garage sale find leads to search for handmade book’s owner


Grant’s pass residents Jim and Melissa Hiller were recently married in June.

“We decided to go to Bend to celebrate our honeymoon,” said Jim Hiller. 

While they were in the area, Jim, a professional furniture refinisher, figured they’d take the opportunity to visit garage sales in the area and see if they could find something worth taking home.

Turns out they did find a nice piece of furniture. And just a few days ago, they also found something special inside that piece.

“About three days ago I opened it up to work on it and found that book. Actually, the piece of furniture everything was empty, and this drawer was locked,” he said. “And I happened to find a key to unlock it and that was in there. It’s just a handmade book.”

The book contains, among other photos, pictures of three girls who Jim and Melissa believe lived in Bend some years ago.

“It says, ‘The Alligator, The Fish and The Whale.’ It’s the names, like the nicknames they had of the three girls,” said Melissa Hiller.

Jim and Melissa believe it was the girls’ mother or grandmother who wrote the book, including chapters and stories of the girls’ lives.

So far they’ve learned a lot from the book. They believe the father’s name in the book is Ken and the mother’s name is Kling.

Melissa has even marked some of the stories in the book that spoke to her.

“This one is one of the girl’s was in a swimming competition, well they were all in a swimming competition and that particular one won.” Melissa said. “And this girl really liked cars a lot and so she was always playing with cars and trying to drive cars and couldn’t wait.”

After finding the book, Jim decided he needed to get it back to the daughters, or granddaughters – whomever it was originally written for.

 “To me, their mother or their grandmother put a lot of work into this, and I feel it’s kind of special,” Jim said. “You know, special to the mother, and probably special to the girls.”

Jim and Melissa reached out to the Internet for help, posting in several Bend community groups to try and find the girls.

Jim says he’s hopeful they’ll be found.

“Actually, somebody noticed it on Facebook and recognized the logo on one of the shirts and that was from Albany so, you know, we were talking about it putting it on Facebook up there,” Jim said. “I’m just trying to find these girls and see if they want this back.”

If you have any information that could help Jim and Melissa reunite the book with the girls you can reach out to either of them on Facebook, or call Jim at 541-761-3005.



Join the Conversation

Top Local Stories