10 Year Old Message in a Bottle Solved
A 10 year old message in a bottle from a Southington, CT teen has been solved, thanks to…well, to you guys! My Bottle Buddies! I recently posted about a 10 year old message in a glass root beer bottle found by Michael Wieloch, a volunteer with the Quinnipiac River Watershed Association, in the Quinnipiac River in Meriden, Connecticut. The message was written by a 15-year-old girl named Amanda who was helping her friend babysit. I thooought we might have found her Instagram profile. Remember that? Turns out I was wrong…
Well, meet the real Amanda!
One of you beautiful readers figured out the real Amanda behind this note, and you let her family know. First, I heard from Amanda’s mom, Jacquie:
The 2007 message was written by my daughter Amanda Tattersall. That is my old phone number and her old myspace…My friend who knows my daughter and Shantel’s family put together the pieces of the puzzle and forwarded me the article this morning. Amanda said she will reach out to you.
And then BAM! A comment from Amanda on the first post:
My mom sent me this link this morning, my name’s Amanda Tattersall, this is my message in a bottle! We each wrote a message in one of the bottles, I guess I did a good job of fastening the cap on my rootbeer bottle! I can’t believe someone found it, and I can’t believe I thought MySpace would still be relevant haha.
Ohhh MySpace…haha! We hardly knew ye…
Meet Amanda Tattersall
Once I was able to confirm some details, it was clear that Amanda Tattersall was indeed the Amanda behind this 10 year old message in a bottle.
Amanda was kind enough to share the story behind the bottle with me. Although she and Shantel are no longer in touch, the bottle brought back a special moment in time for Amanda. She wrote:
Shantel and I used to spend a lot of time babysitting her siblings together. I moved around a lot after I turned 13, but during the time that message was written I was living in Southington again, near JFK Middle School, so I would walk up the bike trail to hang out with her. IBC root beer was always a treat for us, because it was a bit more expensive than canned root beer. It seemed like a fun activity to do with the kids. I remember us saying that the Quinnipiac River is so big it could end up somewhere far away. Shantel, Derek, Aliyah, and I each wrote a message and walked up the bike trail with the bottles and dropped them off the bridge into the river.
We were at her dad’s house at the time of the message, and we always used to take [her siblings] out for long walks over there. The sidewalks were much better for roaming around. And they had a bulldog that we used to take with us sometimes. We’d always end up at a little convenience store getting those Drumstick ice cream cones…
Amanda was right. The Quinnipiac river runs south to New Haven, CT, then drains into Long Island Sound / the Atlantic ocean. Her bottle, had it just managed to eke out past New Haven, could have ended up on literally any coast in the world. You might recall I found Janet Rockware’s message in a bottle in the Caribbean in 2008 after she sent it in the Delaware River in 1981. These things happen.
But, although Amanda’s message in a bottle didn’t travel far in terms of distance, it did “travel” a decade in time. Of the bottled note’s long absence, Amanda wrote:
That’s the wackiest part to me. Seeing that note and my old handwriting was surreal, I forgot how I used to do my lower case “a’s” in that style. The Myspace reference was hysterical to me, that was such a popular website during the time, I remembered thinking that Facebook was lame and paled in comparison. I’m just glad I didn’t include anything too embarrassing, like a bunch of Motion City Soundtrack lyrics or a list of my favorite 2007 celebrity crushes.
Amanda, 10 Years After Her Message in a Bottle
Today, both Amanda and her mom, Jacquie, are professional investigators. Imagine that! Here we all were, trying to solve the mystery of Amanda’s message in a bottle, while she was out solving her own mysteries! I love it.
In fact, you might even recognize Jacquie. She recently appeared on the CBS TV show Hunted as a Fugitive Hunter. SO. COOL.
“I’m not surprised at all that Amanda sent a message in a bottle,” Jacquie said, “She was always a mystical child and she still has a very active imagination. She always loved to write fantastical stories, with rich, full-bodied characters experiencing magical events. Amanda has alway had a bright twinkle in her eyes, like she comes from a land that is full of wonder and creativity.”
Messages in bottles, I often say, open windows between the worlds of different people. But this 10 year old message in a bottle provides a window into Amanda’s own past. Something as simple as her changing handwriting highlights how we all change over time. I mean, I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid. I’m still not ruling it out, I’m just saying that, as of now, I am a writer and musician. So, you know. Things change! And the MySpace thing. Has any other website ever had such a meteoric rise and precipitous fall? Goodness. I just checked. It still exists.
Will Amanda Meet the Man Who Found Her Message in a Bottle?
I reached out to the Quinnipiac River Watershed Association in an effort to put them in touch with Amanda. I have not heard back from them as of this post.
If she gets to speak with them, Amanda said “to be honest, I think I would mostly just have to apologize to them for contributing to the litter in the river they are aiming to clean up.”
I have to say, though–in defense of 15 year old Amanda–her message in a bottle doesn’t exactly seem like trash to me. For one thing, it was a glass bottle. Glass is just silica (mixed, maybe, with a bit of iron or manganese or whatever for color), and breaks down to sand over time. But on top of that, Amanda’s message in a bottle got the QRWA’s mission to clean up the river in the news, and raised awareness about the real problem, which is plastic pollution. Remember, at least 2.5 million tons–that’s million tons–of plastic makes it out into the sea every year from rivers alone. That is what we need to focus on cleaning up and preventing. And the QRWA does exactly that–so kudos to them!
If you ask me, Amanda’s 10 year old message in a bottle was a little treasure. A glimpse into a surprisingly simpler past that was not all that long ago. For one example, in 2007, Facebook was barely a thing–it was, in Amanda’s words, “lame”; today, it runs our lives.
But, thank the high heavens, you can still get IBC Root Beer in glass bottles.
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