January 28, 2020
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The Jonesport woman who put a message in a bottle in 1983 has been found

Courtesy of Paul Mendes (2)
Courtesy of Paul Mendes (2)
An old Coke bottle and a message found recently in Massachusetts by a beachcomber has his family wondering who the mysterious sender was, more than 36 years ago.

Jenny Brown is still out there.

Now a 48-year-old mother with two sons and four grandchildren — with a fifth grandchild due this week — Jenny Brown still lives in Jonesport, almost 37 years after she sent a message in a bottle from there that was discovered on Cape Cod two weeks ago, according to her sister, Kathy Brown.

The Browns expressed surprise at how they have been bombarded with social media messages and telephone calls since a BDN story published Monday night reported that Joshua Mendes, a 48-year-old grocery store clerk, discovered the Coke bottle while beachcombing in Provincetown, Massachusetts, two days before Thanksgiving.

Dated May 14, 1983, the note listed a Jonesport post office box and had a simple message: “Please write me.”

Jenny Brown said she remembered sending the message in a bottle but only spoke briefly to Mendes’ father, Paul Mendes, on Tuesday. She wants to see the bottle and note herself, to be certain.

“It is still early going,” Jenny Brown said Tuesday.

Jenny Brown recognized the PO Box listing in the letter. Her mother had that mailbox for 30 years, she said.

“I think it is pretty neat. It’s been a long time to have something you threw in the water wash up,” Kathy Brown said. “It took her by surprise.”

Jenny Brown said that she and a friend dropped bottles together on that May 14, possibly from the town marina in Jonesport or a nearby bridge. Her friend’s bottle was discovered a day after launch, having only floated one town away.

But Jenny Brown’s bottle traveled about 200 nautical miles from Jonesport to the beach combed by Joshua Mendes. He found the bottle in cliffs about a mile from Race Point Ranger Station in the Cape Cod National Seashore, a national park.

A former police officer in Provincetown, the 73-year-old Paul Mendes said that all kinds of flotsam usually washes up on the beach — lobster buoys, lobster traps, children’s toys, parts of wrecked ships, current-tracking buoys — but that bottled messages are pretty rare.

Curious about the message and newly armed with emails that helped them track down her contact information, the Mendes’ contacted Jenny Brown on Tuesday morning.

“It’s a big part of the story,” Paul Mendes said. “We wondered if she would remember doing it.”

 


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