27-year-old message in a bottle found during Texas park clean-up

A group that removed more than 400 pounds of garbage from a Texas park found something special among the trash — a message in a bottle launched 27 years earlier.

Members of the Keep La Marque Beautiful Commission said they removed more than 400 pounds of garbage during their Coffee & Cleanup event at Highland Bayou Park.

Participant Terry Pettijohn said he was cleaning up the shoreline when he found the message in a bottle.

“I’m walking along the shore there, and I saw the bottle,” Pettijohn told KRIV-TV. “It was buried about halfway. I said, ‘You know, I think we’ve got a note in the bottle.'”

The message inside the bottle included two phone numbers, but both were out of service. Group members searched the four signatures on Facebook and were able to contact Brian Standefer, one of the message’s authors.

“I had to do a double take on the piece of cardboard,” Standefer. “[I thought] that’s my phone number. That’s my handwriting. That’s my signature.”

Standefer said he and three friends were 10 years old in 1995, when they launched the bottle about two miles away from where it was found.

Standefer said he remained close friends with the other three message authors, but one of them died about a year and a half ago.

“This gives me goosebumps. He had something to do with it, shining down, saying everything is going to be OK,” he said.

The City of La Marque said in a Facebook post that the bottle had survived “several hurricanes & countless storms” in the time since it was launched.