Woman tracks down soldier's father after 40-year-old letters arrive in her mailbox.
When the old letters arrived Monday at Sharon Bear's Michigan home, she quickly knew she needed to unravel a mystery.
"1972 and 1973. I thought, 'Holy cow'!" Bear said.
The Beverly Hills woman had no idea that her search would lead to a strange twist.
The letters were from Daryl McGhan, who was stationed at Fort Wainwright in Alaska in the early 70s.
He mailed them to his parents Rex and Arlene, who lived in the home where Sharon Bear lives now.
"I'm sure this is a treasured piece of their son that they might like to have," she said.
The air mail stamps cost only 11 cents.
Bear says she would have never read the letters, but the envelopes arrived in the mail opened.
The soldier wrote about the weather, a recent earthquake, and a car he had purchased for $75.
Through her own research, she discovered that McGhan is still living in Alaska.
She wondered about his parents.
She found out that Arlene died in 2009, but Rex is alive and well at the American House retirement community in nearby Hazel Park.
Sharon, letters in hand, greeted the smiling 96-year-old man on Wednesday.
However, before she got too far into the conversation, Julie Anderson gave her the real story.
Anderson is the daughter of Rex and the sister of Daryl.
She explained to Sharon that she had found about a dozen of her brother's old letters and recently mailed them to Alaska.
She figured it would trigger old memories from his Army days.
"They must have come out of the envelope," said Anderson, as the two women shared a good laugh.
Apparently, someone must have found the two letters and put them in the mail.
They arrived at the old address, actually for the second time.
Sharon Bear still read the letters to Rex McGhan, and invited him and his daughter to visit their old house.
Daryl McGhan now runs an automotive repair business in Fairbanks.
He says he's looking forward to reading the old letters, when they finally arrive.