KENNEWICK, WA. -- We asked for your help and we got an unbelievable response. First we want to thank our amazing viewers for all their help.
A paddle from 1968 is what everyone is talking about. There are 28 names on it, many people might recognize, like Greg Rish or Davie Bledsoe.
A couple days ago we first brought you the story of Rick Ferh who found the paddle in the wall while fixing a leak underneath his sink. The paddle is from 1968 and says "Teacher of the Year Award Winner Mr. Frank Deymonaz".
Through all your emails we've narrowed it down to a 6th, 7th, or 8th grade classroom from either Jefferson Elementary or Chief Jo Junior High. One man emailed us whose name is on this paddle. And he solved the question of what it was used for, we believe.
He said he doesn't remember being in any special club, but teachers at that time, including Mr. Deymonaz used different items for punishment, like a paddle.
We've also learned a lot more about Mr. Deymonaz. Several people have told us that he was the principal of Vale Elementary and Middle School in Oregon.
Frank unfortunately passed away in 2005, according to our emails and an online obituary, which is what Rick thought happened. Now the goal is to find the closest remaining relative.
And we're well on our way. We've had two emails from people claiming to be his grandchildren, including one who is currently serving in Afghanistan. So this story has even reached overseas.
Stay tuned everyone, we should have another story on the paddle coming soon.
KENNEWICK, WA. -- A man in Kennewick needs your help to return a piece of history to it's rightful owner.
You never know what could be hiding inside the walls of your house. Rick Fehr found that out two months ago when fixing a leak beneath his bathroom sink.
"Behind this wall," Fehr told us. "It was below the pipe. It was real soft and I just pushed through it. And I hit something and I dug it out. And out came that paddle."
Out came this piece of mysterious wood in nearly perfect condition. On top reads "Class of 1968." On the bottom, "Best Teacher of the Year Award Winner, Mr. Frank Deymonaz."
Rick immediately knew what the paddle was used for, corporal punishment. He grew up in Pennsylvania, and felt the sting of a few paddles when he was a boy.
"Oh yeah," Rick said. "I know how they feel."
"Not good right?" we asked. "No not at all."
There are 28 names on the paddle. Some of them with numbers next to their name, Rick assumes for how many times they were paddled that year. None got the paddle in Mr. Deymonaz's class more than Matt McElroy.
"Maybe he was the trouble maker," Rick joked. "Maybe he stole it."
Where Rick found the paddle left him curious.
"Wow. Why would somebody have this here," Rick said. "Because the house isn't that old, it's the class of 68. I think somebody took it away, stole it, and were going to get caught with it. And said I want to get rid of it."
After hours of online research and discussions with people on Facebook, Rick thinks he narrowed down the paddle to a Richland school. He talked to the school district but didn't get much help.
"They just didn't seem interested in it," Fehr said.
Rick is now focusing on finding any last remaining relative of Mr. Deymonaz.
"My ultimate goal is to find this gentleman's family whether it's his children or his wife," Fehr said. "And I'd like to present it to them and say, this is what I found and I think it should belong to you guys."
Because Rick thinks on his dinner table and beneath his sink are two locations where the paddle doesn't belong.
"It needs to be a proper place and it's not my house," Rick said. "It's not mine."
Next time you do some home repairs, keep an eye out. You just never know the history you might find, resting inside a wall.
Here are the 28 names on the paddle. The spelling of the names might not be exact since the handwriting is old and some of it is illegible. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you know how we can contact the family of Mr. Deymonaz. (Updated list as of 11/03/15 at 10:45 PM. If you see any misspellings, please email us!)
- Steve Wolf
- Lynn Dyer
- Mike Hajeke
- Jon Kottwitz
- Mark Foster
- Carolyn Olson
- Calla Knecht
- Joe Lipke
- Bill Cantrell
- Christy Vimmedge
- Susan Boone
- David Harty
- Tom Heineman
- Bonnie Green
- Shelly Dalen
- Kathy Abrams
- Nancy Reardon
- Matt McElroy
- Ed Devine
- Laurie Jo Haney
- Steve Byland
- Andy Kratzer
- Mark Gladstone
- Greg Rish
- Davie Bledsoe
- Ted Simons
- Debbie Hamberg
- Ed Guthrie
- Charles Hastings
- Mark Gunther
- Bill Rulon