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Supermarket Cashier Finds WWII Love Letter in Lost and Found

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While sorting through junk mail and coupons destined for the shredder, a cashier at an Asda supermarket in England made an extraordinary discovery. Shuffled in with the papers in the store’s lost and found bin was an envelope date-stamped 1945. Stacie Adamson saved the parcel when she realized it had been written during World War II, and now she’s on a mission to return it to the original owner, Manchester Evening News reports.

The love letter was sent by a British woman named Dorothy to her sweetheart, Harry Hughes, while he was stationed in what is now Sri Lanka as a pilot for the Royal Air Force. In the message, Dorothy writes of voting in the General Election earlier that day and about her dreams of marrying Harry when he returns home.

Jump forward 71 years later, and the romantic memento somehow ended up in the lost property bin of the Greater Manchester Asda. The store workers aren’t sure how it got there, but they’ve since turned to Facebook to spread the story.

Thanks to some online sleuthing, Adamson was able to track down old footage of the same Harry Hughes mentioned in the letter. The video belongs to a series titled Calling Blighty, which was filmed in India and Southeast Asia during the war. You can visit this link to watch Harry give a shout-out to his mom, dad, and his girl Dorothy back home.

Adamson reached out to the website that posted the video and they’ve agreed to join her search for Harry or someone close to him. She said in a news statement from Asda, “My ultimate goal is to hand the letter back in person to Harry—that would be absolutely amazing. If that isn’t possible, giving it to a member of his family would be the next best thing.”

[h/t Manchester Evening News]

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Food
This Couple Has Spent the Past 30 Years Visiting Every Cracker Barrel in the U.S.
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Ray and Wilma Yoder are probably America's foremost amateur experts on Cracker Barrel restaurants. As Eater reports, the Indiana couple is on a 30-year quest to eat at every single Cracker Barrel in the U.S. And they’ve almost completed it.

Ray Yoder of Goshen, Indiana, first started going to Cracker Barrel regularly when he worked delivering RVs across the country. Soon, Wilma was coming along, too, and the couple began hunting down Cracker Barrel locations in earnest, a pastime they’ve pursued for the past three decades.

Cracker Barrel got its start in Lebanon, Tennessee, in 1969, and according to Ray, visiting the restaurants while on the road felt like being at home. “It has a down-home spirit, and everybody is friendly,” he told the Lebanon Democrat. He told the paper that stopping at Cracker Barrels helped relieve boredom when he was on the road.

Ray and Wilma Yoder stand in front of two RVs outside a Cracker Barrel.
Now, he and Wilma are celebrities to those in the Cracker Barrel know. Cracker Barrel’s corporate leadership invites them to opening day at new stores. Employees know of them, and sometimes they receive gift baskets when they come in to cross a new Cracker Barrel off their list. People ask to take their picture when they visit.

The 80-year-olds have just two rules for their visits: At each location, they always buy something, even if it’s just a cup of coffee, and leave a tip. There’s no limit on how many Cracker Barrels they’ll go to in a single day, though. They once visited 10 different locations on a drive along the East Coast. Overall, their Cracker Barrel adventure has taken them more than 5 million miles across 44 states.

The Yoders recently visited their 644th Cracker Barrel, attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new location in Lavonia, Georgia, in early July. They’re hoping to hit up the last Cracker Barrel on their list—until the next one opens, that is—by heading to Tualatin, Oregon, sometime later this year.

Update: Portland news station KGW reports that the Yoders have now completed their quest, stopping in at the Tualatin Cracker Barrel on August 28. The company flew them to Oregon for the occasion, which marked the end of their 645-restaurant journey. For now, at least.

[h/t Eater]

All images courtesy Cracker Barrel

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Animals
Watch a Panda Caretaker Cuddle With Baby Pandas While Dressed Up Like a Panda
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Some people wear suits to work—but at one Chinese nature reserve, a handful of lucky employees get to wear panda suits.

As Travel + Leisure reports, the People's Daily released a video in July of animal caretakers cuddling with baby pandas at the Wolong National Nature Reserve in China's Sichuan Province. The keepers dress in fuzzy black-and-white costumes—a sartorial choice that's equal parts adorable and imperative to the pandas' future success in the wild.

Researchers raise the pandas in captivity with the goal of eventually releasing them into their natural habitat. But according to The Atlantic, human attachment can hamper the pandas' survival chances, plus it can be stressful for the bears to interact with people. To keep the animals calm while acclimating them to forest life, the caretakers disguise their humanness with costumes, and even mask their smell by smearing the suits with panda urine and feces. Meanwhile, other keepers sometimes conceal themselves by dressing up as trees.

Below, you can watch the camouflaged panda caretakers as they cuddle baby pandas:

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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