David Bruce: Lost and Found

• In early December of 2011, Mitch Gilbert vacationed in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the Las Vegas airport on his way back home to Greenwood Village, Colorado, he found two unmarked Caesar’s Palace envelopes. Opening them when he returned home, he found money. Mr. Gilbert said, “There was $5,000 in each envelope. I just about fell over, I couldn’t believe it.” But he did believe this: “If it happened to me, I sure would want that back.” He called the Las Vegas airport and discovered that a man named Ignacio Marquez in El Paso, Texas, had reported losing money that had been placed in two Caesar’s Palace envelopes. Mr. Marquez had won the money gambling but had lost it while running to catch a flight home. Two days before Christmas, Mr. Gilbert deposited the money in Mr. Marquez’ bank account. Mr. Gilbert said, “I think he was pretty much in shock. I don’t know if he believed it.” Mr. Marquez said, “Relief is an understatement. Cash money is very difficult to get back. I’m very appreciative to Mitch and his family. You do not find people like this. I will always thank Mitch for doing this.” Mr. Gilbert said, “I wanted to show my kids the right thing to do. It would have been a lot easier keeping it to be honest with you. But I felt like I had to get it back to the right person.” He added, “I would have loved to have $10,000. You think about all the bills you can pay. But it didn’t belong to me. It felt so good to be able to get it back to the guy. I felt like I was floating on air. I felt like a million bucks.”

• In October 2011, Mary Combs of Columbia County, Georgia, got back something that she had never expected to see again: a $300 class ring that her mother had given her in 1985 and which had been lost for 16 years. The ring was Ms. Combs’Waynesboro High School ring, and Troy Pinson’s father had found it while vacuuming a used truck that he had bought. Mr. Pinson decided to track down the ring’s owner. The Columbia County News-Timespublished an article about the ring, and one of Ms. Combs’ former classmates contacted her and she got in touch with Mr. Pinson. She said, “I was so shocked, and I was just so overwhelmed. I have been looking for it for years. I thought I’d never get it back.” The ring has an orange topaz birthstone; the name “Mary” is on one side and the image of a cross is on the other. Long ago, Ms. Combs and her mother had gone to The Augusta (Georgia) Mall and designed the ring. Ms. Combs said, “I haven’t told her yet, but when I do, I know she’s going to have tears in her eyes. She’s just going to be so grateful.”

• In November 2011, Brian McGuinn of Margate, Florida, threw away a disposable razor. In doing so, he accidentally threw away his wife’s $10,000, one-and-a-half-carat diamond engagement ring. Brian called this “the worst move of my life, horrible.” His wife, Anna, said, “I just started crying, and I would stop crying and remind myself that jewelry is replaceable.” Their trash had already been picked up, but Anna called Wheelabrator — their waste-management company — and Brian got ready to search more than eight tons of trash for the ring. The waste management company spread out the 10-foot-high pile of trash from their neighborhood to make it easier for him to search for the ring. Eventually, he did. Brian said, “Once I found it, I actually let out a manly scream!” Anna said, “It was covered in muck. He just slipped it right on my finger and promised to never touch it again.” Brian said, “She’s the love of my life. That ring was meant for her and no one else. She’s everything to me.”

• In January 2006 in Flint, Michigan, Fred Murray bought an inexpensive video camera at a Goodwill store. Inside the camera he found something of irreplaceable value: a 40-minute tape that contains footage of a just-born baby girl being weighed and measured, and then being held by her grandfather. It also contained footage of a family reunion. Knowing the videotape’s sentimental value, Mr. Murray used clues in the videotape to track down its true owners: 1) In a pillow appeared the name of the hospital where the baby girl was born. 2) Nurses mentioned the date (Friday the 13th) and the baby’s hospital ID number and weight. Mr. Murray returned the videotape to Sherry Ewing of Grand Blanc, Michigan. Ms. Ewing told him, “The only people who would have seen that tape would be family. So I guess you’re family now.” The baby girl in the videotape, who was 14 when the videotape was returned to her family, can now see the way she looked when she was just born.

• In December 2011 while riding a coach of the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail, Katelyn Peckham, age 25, lost a diamond engagement ring. She said, “I didn’t realize it until I got to work. I sat here crying hysterically for a while. Then I went back and started running through trains asking people to help me look.” Her co-workers at Conover Tuttle Pace used Twitter and Facebook to ask for help finding the lost ring. An employee of the MBCRsaw the notice on social media and used an intercom to broadcast news about the lost ring. Quickly, conductor Thomas Booth found it. Mr. Peckham said, “I just can’t even believe this happened. I’m so thankful. It’s awesome people were willing to help and the conductors were so helpful.” She added, “It was almost the worst day of my life.”Hugh Kiley, General Manager of the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail, said, “It’s the Miracle of North Station … it’s just another example of a good deed done by an MBCR employee.”

• “If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists — to protect them and to promote their common welfare — all else is lost.” — President Barack Obama

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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