A sign on the Forman family house in Ocean Park, as seen on Aug. 4 during the annual Illumination Night festival.  The sign has been reported stolen. SUBMITTED PHOTO/Courtesy of Valerie Forman

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — This past weekend Valerie Forman was chatting with a family who stopped in front of her Randall Avenue home while they were walking their dogs in the seaside community of Ocean Park.

She discovered the family was related to an old family friend and invited them by stop by any time. She turned to point to a sign on the house to help them remember where to find her, but the sign wasn’t there.

The sign, which reads “SNOWDON,” had been on the home since Forman’s mother- and father-in-law purchased the house about 30 years ago.

Forman said her in-laws had special memories of hiking Mount Snowdon in Wales together, and when they first went into the garage at the home at 38 Randall Ave., to their surprise and delight they saw the “SNOWDON” sign in the garage.

Her in-laws are no longer living, but the sign remains a sentimental family heirloom, and a defining feature of the home that Forman and her husband now own. It can be seen in many family photos taken over the years.

“It always starts conversations,” said Forman. “It doesn’t look like the same house without the sign.”

Many years ago, Forman had restored the sign, spending numerous hours with tiny paint brushes and carefully selected paint. She said the sign was hung in a high location with heavy wire, and would have taken a lot of strength to remove.

Forman has reported the theft with the police, spoken with other Ocean Park residents and has looked for the sign in the bushes and other spots in her neighborhood.

Forman said that her house dates back to the 1890s and while the sign could be an antique, it’s the sentimental value that’s important.

“They took a part of our family history,” said Forman.

Forman hopes the sign will show up and asks that if someone out there has it, that they drop it off in her yard.

Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or [email protected]

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