The message gives Cooper’s first and middle names, Trent Norwood, and lists his age as 9 on Dec. 4, 2010. It says he is from Cooperstown and likes to ski and sail. Believing that the bottle was therefore launched from New York three and a half years ago, Alice called the Cooperstown Crier to see if she could find the boy who sent the message.
“He got it as a birthday present a couple of years ago,” said Ashley Cooper, Trent’s mom. “I guess he wanted to keep it and drop it in the ocean. We took it out on a boat with us and dropped it in the river near Skidaway when we were on vacation last month.”
Because his last name was either washed out or not written, Cooper was not an easy person to find. Calls to nine local schools including CCS and a check with several business contacts turned up no local Norwood families. Three Norwoods were listed in the phone book, but none of them knew a Trent.
A second query of Cooperstown teachers focused on finding a boy about 11 named Trent, and was successful in locating the Cooper family. CCS physical education teacher Connie Herzig told kindergarten teacher Lisa Lippitt about the search. Lippitt reached out to several recently retired teachers, and it was Sue Miosek who suggested Cooper.
The Chisholms said they were happy to know that they had found their message maker, despite the surprise that the bottle had been launched from their home state. Instead of a three-year, thousand-mile journey from the Susquehanna River to the Chesapeake Bay to the Atlantic Ocean and down to the coast of Georgia, the bottle either made it out to sea and got washed back into the sound, or came down a series of small rivers and got stuck on Raccoon Key.