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After Months of Searching, Restaurant Manager Finds Owner of Mysterious 96-Year-Old Bible

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Old books can be worth a lot of money, but sometimes the value in an aged tome lies much deeper than its weight in dollars.

This is exactly how restaurant owner Ruben Navarette felt when he found an old Bible left in his restaurant in Virginia.

The place is Azzurro, an Italian restaurant on River Road in Henrico that boasts “relaxed refinement, outstanding meals, and impeccable service.”

Impeccable service is right. When it came to finding the owner of the mystery Bible that was nearly 100 years old, Navarette wasn’t giving up.

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When he discovered the well-worn book inside a plastic bag in the restaurant bathroom in October 2018, Navarette thought the owner would return soon.

“I wrote a date on it and stuck in the safe because I figured for a Bible they’ll probably be back the next day,” the restaurant owner told WTVR-TV.

But the owner didn’t come back. Still, Navarette held onto the treasure that had a date and a name written in cursive on the first page.

“Eleanor Pauline Dillard” was a mystery. It wasn’t known if she received the Bible on “December 25, 1923,” or if perhaps this Bible was one she passed on to a grandchild or great-grandchild.

All Navarette knew was that this Bible had to mean something to someone. He knew he had to save it for the day the owner walked back through his door.

He could have taken the book to a rare books dealer to see if it held any net worth. While it was no Gutenberg Bible — worth millions according to History.com — there was always a possibility this man could have gotten some cash for it.

Do you own an old Bible?

But Navarette had too much respect for the old book and its owner to throw it away or sell it.

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“You don’t want to touch it because you’re afraid you may break it — it’s so fragile,” he told WTVR.

There wasn’t much more than the name and date in the way of clues. A bookmark and a picture of Jesus were all he found between the fragile pages. Not even the restaurant’s reservation system was much help in solving the mystery.

After months had passed, Navarette decided he needed help locating the owner. He reached out to local news and soon the person was found, WTVR reported.

We’re so glad the owner could be reunited with this special book. Whoever he or she is must be so relieved to have the cherished Bible back in their hands.

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Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.
Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.

Sarah's experience as a successful working stay-at-home mom and business owner has given her the chance to write and research often. She stays up to date on the latest in entertainment and offers her views on celebrity stories based on her wide knowledge of the industry. Her success as a former preschool teacher and licensed daycare provider lend to her know-how on topics relating to parenting and childhood education.

Her thoughts on faith and family issues stem from home life and ministry work. Sarah takes time to attend workshops and classes annually that help her to improve and hone her writing craft. She is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature program and her writing has been acclaimed by ACFW and ECPA.
Education
Institute of Children's Literature, Art Institute of Phoenix (Advertising), University of California Irvine (Theater), Snow College (Early Childhood Education)
Location
Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith




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