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Without realizing it, the Morgan family lost something in the late 1960s. It was a tiny fleck of metal of little worth.
When the trinket turned up again recently, it still has no monetary value but ignited rich, sentimental memories about the deceased family patriarch and a cherished pet. It also became the latest bond in a dear neighborhood friendship.
Evelyn Dupin bought a place to live on Sonora-Hardin Springs Road in 1963. Four years later when she married Jim Morgan of Vine Grove, one of her co-workers at Dow Corning, they established their home together in that Eastview house.
Among the things Morgan brought into the marriage was a beloved German Shepherd named Blitz.
Although her husband died in 1999 a few months after he retired from Dow, Mrs. Morgan still lives at the same spot not far from the intersection with U.S. 62. For the last 27 years, Joyce Perry has been her neighbor.
“They are just wonderful people,” Mrs. Morgan said, explaining how the Perrys’ grandchildren daily carry her newspaper to a chair on the porch. At 72, it’s not easy for her to bend over and pick it up.
After a recent storm, Joyce Perry was picking up sticks in her front yard when something metallic caught her eye. She didn’t recognize it but it was inscribed “If found, return to J.C. Morgan” and contained her next-door neighbor’s address.
She hesitated before returning it, worried about upsetting her friend. She prayed for guidance before taking the metal chip to the widow next door.
“Joyce said she didn’t want to upset me or make me cry but she had something to give me,” Mrs. Morgan recalled. “I said, ‘Tell me what it is, Joyce.’”
“I don’t know what it is but it’s yours,” Perry said.
It was Blitz’s dog tag.
“He was such a wonderful dog,” Mrs. Morgan said.
Her oldest daughter taught Blitz to jump through hoops. He was devoted to Jim and their daughters.
The dog was so protective that less friendly neighborhood children sometimes would torment it and fire BB guns or pellets at the shepherd. The family eventually decided for the dog’s safety to give it away in 1969.
Blitz didn’t adapt to the change well. Mrs. Morgan said the new owner thought the dog “grieved himself to death” because he missed his master’s family.
She never knew that Blitz lost his dog tag but she knows it had been waiting at least 44 years to be found by an understanding and cherished neighbor.
Since the discovery, Mrs. Morgan has spent time digging through boxes of family photographs looking for a snapshot of the dog and her late husband. She and her daughters, Debra Morgan and Stephanie Morgan-White, have delighted in the telling and retelling of family stories about Jim and Blitz and growing up on Sonora-Hardin Springs Road.
It’s a little piece of metal lost and forgotten for more than four decades that now is the Morgan family’s prize possession.
Ben Sheroan can be reached at (270) 505-1764 or email@example.com.