Swap meet shopper returns family photos, letters to Hawaii brothers

A Hawaii man who searches swap meets for collectables to resell on eBay ended up reuniting a pair of Hawaii brothers with photo albums and other precious mementos.

Manu Pagaraga, who made headlines in May 2021 when he reunited a woman with her 1950 yearbook and high school diploma, said he was at the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet in Honolulu when he spotted several boxes for sale that contained valuable items, including military uniforms.

“I bought it all. Took it home. Seen all of this. Oh, this is money! But then I came across the letters and I changed my mind,” Pagaragan told KGMB-TV.

Pagaragan discovered the boxes contained letters and photo albums belonging to the Takano family, from Nuuanu.

The treasure hunter said he was able to get into contact with a family member.

“With the power of social media, I got in touch with Gerald Takano. He gave me his address and his contact information. So I’m returning everything to him,” Pagaragan said.

Gerald Takano said the items likely ended up at the swap meet after his brother, Bert, was moved into an adult care home.

Takano said his brother will be happy to be reunited with his military uniforms. He said that the letters and photos have become more precious over time.

“These letters addressed to dad, it reminds of my dad who passed away decades ago,” he said.