Mystery solved

June 22, 2014

When Max Walker, Observer Publishing Co.’s classified advertising manager, needed some props to promote “Kiddie Want Ad Week” April 11-16, 1966, he didn’t have to look far.

He found newspaper photographer Jim Fuller’s 5-year-old nephew and his own 5-year-old daughter, Kimberly, put printer’s hats on them and sat them in the photo studio.

Where the duck came from, nobody knows.

Kimberly Walker Brownlee was at the Claysville community vacation Bible school when her husband called her last Monday to say her photo was on the front page of the newspaper. Her friend, Peggy Teagarden, was next to break the news.

“My father passed away in 1968, when I was still very young,” Brownlee said. John Northrop, former publisher, remembers Walker as a friend and longtime employee of the paper.

Retta Mills recalls taking her son, Jeffrey, to the studio. “The little girl kept saying that the duck was shedding; it was losing its feathers,” Mills said. “But my son thought she was saying something else, and he said, ‘Mommy, she’s saying bad words.’”

Brownlee doesn’t recall much from that day, except that the duck was shedding something else besides feathers.

Brownlee, who lives in East Finley Township, said she married her high-school sweetheart, has two grown children and four grandchildren.

Jeffrey Mills is a computer programmer who worked at Washington Hospital for more than 30 years. He was en route to Myrtle Beach, S.C., last week, and we were unable to reach him.

Look for another Mystery Photo in next Monday’s Observer-Reporter.

Park Burroughs has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1972. He is the winner of numerous state and regional awards for feature, column and editorial writing. He is the author of two books, “Enter, With Torches: Recollections of a Grumpy Old Editor,” and "Washington County Murder and Mayhem." He retired in September 2012 but continues to contribute to the O-R’s news pages.

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