It’s a cartoon cliché: a character fishes for actual fish, only to turn up an old boot or some other piece of comic detritus. But, recently, an 11-year-old South Carolina boy did something similar in real life, snagging an old purse with his fishing rod, before, with the help of a relative, tracking down its owner.

According to ABC News, Brodie Brooks was fishing on July 3 in Lake Hartwell, near the Georgia border, when he dredged up the rotting purse. Inside, Brooks and a relative found credit cards, lipstick, pictures and other items that identified the owner as one April Bolt, who told ABC News it was stolen during a family cookout in 1992.

“I couldn’t believe it. I was lost for words,” Bolt, 49, told the network. “You never think you’d see it again. I knew somebody must’ve just gotten the cash out and threw it in the lake.”

The purse had seemingly spent the intervening years zipped up, meaning that the baby pictures, lipstick, and other items from Bolt’s past were reasonably well-preserved, for having been in a lake.

“It meant the world to me,” Bolt told ABC News. “My son is 26 now, but he was 15 months then and I had all his photos that were professionally taken in my wallet. Back then you didn’t have your cellphone with the pictures. They have water damage but you can make him out.”