Just before Christmas, Deveta Johnson saw something in the trash in Norristown that looked like an old pile of grocery bags.
She looked closer and found a tattered photo album with hundreds of World War II-era snapshots of African Americans, in wartime Europe and going about their daily lives in rowhouse Philadelphia.
"Wait a minute," mused Johnson, who had listened to her grandfather's countless war stories. "This shouldn't be in the trash."
Her decision to take the album home and show it to her mother, Valoree Nelson, has preserved for posterity what might have been lost to a landfill. In mid-January, Nelson turned the album over to the Historical Society of Montgomery County.