BLENDON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — It’s a rule: You’re not supposed to read other people’s diaries. A father and son broke that rule when they found one inside their Hudsonville-area farmhouse.
Kodi Brandt’s family has lived in a farmhouse on Bauer Road in Blendon Township for 20 years. On Jan. 6, he found a diary tucked away in a storage area in what used to be his sister’s bedroom. The diary was from 1973 and its last entry was from Jan. 7, 1974, almost 44 years previous to the day.
Kodi Brandt wanted to find the owner of the book to return it.
“I keep all kinds of little mementos from my younger age. I figured she might like it, too,” Kodi Brandt said.
“We thought we could never find her,” Dave Brandt, Kodi Brandt’s father, said.
In 1973, Rae Sloss was 13 years old and growing up in Ferndale, just outside Detroit. Today, she’s Rae Green, the founder and president of Sanford House Addiction and Treatment Centers in Grand Rapids.
Kodi and Dave Brandt didn’t know that when they started searching online to find the girl who wrote a few pages in a book with the words “One Year Diary” on the cover.
It was a mention of her little brother Vic that led them to Green.
“How many Victors and Raes come together on one voter registration card? It’s got to be her,” Dave Brandt said.
After they tracked Green down, the Brandts used another name she mentioned in the diary, a beloved aunt, in the subject line of the email they sent her. They hoped it would peak Green’s curiosity enough to click on a message from a stranger.
It did. Green met with the Brandts Tuesday to get her diary back.
“I remember this so vividly now that it’s in my hands,” Green said.
It details precious memories.
“Looking back, this has been the best year of school so far. On November 17th, I went on my first date,” Green read from the diary.
“Hopefully, you forgive us for reading,” Dave Brandt said.
“Oh no! There’s no forgiving to be done,” Green said. “I love that you remembered something about me that I did not remember and now we kind of have this lifelong connection.”
“The most resounding heartfelt piece of this is just that you had interest into a tiny silver of life of a 13-year-old girl in 1973,” Green said.
A mystery remains: how the diary ended up in the Brandts’ Blendon Township farmhouse. She grew up in Ferndale.