East Texas Man Finds Modern Day Message In A Bottle - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/19/06-Alba

East Texas Man Finds Modern Day Message In A Bottle

A balloon message from a 2nd grader makes it's way fifty miles across East Texas, and lands on the property of a man with the same last name. 

Larry Guest and Gregory Guest have the same last name, but they're not related.

Larry said, "I couldn't believe that your name was Gregory Guest, and my name was Larry Guest, we have the same last name."

Gregory responded, "I can't believe that."

The story began last September, when Gregory Guest made the grade, and took part in a program at Alba Golden Elementary.

Paula Palk is Gregory's second grade teacher.

She said, "If they get the A-Honor Roll, they get to go outside and lift off the balloons. They get to watch the balloons float away, which is very exciting, and then they wonder, 'Is somebody going to find my balloon?"

About 180 "balloon messages" are released each year, but only a few are returned.

Dina Allred is the counselor in charge of the program.

She said, "In a year's time we'll receive, anywhere from five to six, not very many."

As Gregory sat in class, wondering if his message would ever be returned, it was making it's way fifty miles across East Texas to Larry Guest's home.

"My brother-in-law and I were, walking a fence route on my property down behind my house, and we finished looking at the fence and started walking out of the woods, and I saw a little plastic bag."

Jim East was with him.

He said, "Well, what in the world is this? hanging in the tree out there."

Inside, a small note. It said, "My name is Gregory Guest. I am in Ms. Palk's 2nd grade class. I made straight A's at Alba Golden Elementary, and we send off balloons to see whose travels the farthest from our building.

Larry was going to simply mail the note back to the school, like it asked. Then, he showed it to his wife.

He said, "So I took it to the house, and was talking to my wife and she said, 'Why don't we deliver the note, in person, to the little boy?' and so that's what we decided to do."

The meeting showed Gregory, his straight A's were important.

He said confidently, "I want to be a paleontologist, because I've always wanted to actually be able to find dinosaur bones. I may just be able to do that now."

You never know, he just may.

Lindsay Wilcox, reporting.   lwilcox@kltv.com

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