By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Does anyone know this 'eBay girl'?
You never know what you'll find on eBay.

Last week I was browsing through the popular website searching for items with the key word Ceres. Any search for local items is complicated by the fact that there's a

multitude of places named Ceres, including a town in South Africa as well as the states of Iowa, Georgia, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

Then I received a surprise. It was item 150378509564 and was listed as, "Vintage Tinted Photo Pretty Woman Ceres California 1940." The 5" x 7" tinted photo of a pretty young lady from Ceres was listed under the category of "collectibles" and was for sale for a beginning bid of $7.50. The auction ended with no bidders. It was then listed again at a Buy It Now price.

The item description noted this notation on the back of the photo: "Mrs. Virginia Gregory, 2840 Garrison Street, Ceres, CA 95307.

The beautiful woman, who bears a sweet smile, looks as wholesome as the times in which it was taken. My mind had a dozen questions. What became of this woman we shall dub the eBay girl? Was she some lucky guy's bride at the time? Did she have children? Did she move out of the area or state? If so, why? Was the war before or after this photo and did she lose anybody in it? Did she go to college or stay at home? Did she attend Ceres High?

Is she dead or living?

And lastly how did her photo end up in the clutch of a Clovis eBay dealer? I am always a bit bothered when I see personal photos being sold in antique stores or on eBay. Not because someone is trying to make a profit on them but because they are photos of someone's relatives, forever separated from their rightful place in a family photo album. Most of the time these old photos - especially the old cabinet photos of people who lived in the 1890s - end up in stores without a clue as to who the person is other than a vague "Aunt Mildred" or simply "Grandpa." At least eBay girl has a name and we know exactly where she lived.

But what became of eBay girl? Does anyone know? Or has so much time elapsed that nobody in her assumed former hometown has a clue?

A fan of the PBS-TV show, History Detectives, I struck upon the idea of making this a Courier History Detective project. I hope readers can help.

I'm not sure on the accuracy of the statement that the photo is circa 1940. Virginia's hair could as easily be reflective of the 1950s. Photos were still being hand-tinted then. We'll split the difference and assume that the photo was taken in 1945. Judging by the looks of the photo, she's probably 20 or 25 at the time, putting her birth at 1920 or 1925. That would make her 84 to 89 today. But again, we are just assuming on the dates and her age in the photo.

It would be interesting if somebody out there knows who she is (or was) and what kind of life she led. Call me or email me at if you know anything about her.