Lost & Found

Early50s Was this you? The trip to D.C. a half-century ago?

Remember the man in the background feeding pigeons?

Ron Pedelty found this snapshot in a photo CD that someone left in a DVD video recorder he bought at a Wal-Mart outside Philadelphia. He knew the device had been used; the cables were missing, the manual was crumpled, and the disc contained photographs of a trip to Washington, D.C. and an elementary school graduation. The CD was titled "Early '50s."


How about this, found on the sidewalk in the 1400 block of Locust Street two Junes ago? The note had been folded in quarters:

Dear Nancy

     This letter is to let you know the information that you shared with me will remain confidential and will not be seen or read by anyone but myself. Thank you for trusting and relying on me.

Love Always,


They're both from Found Magazine, an online repository of dead letters, misplaced photographs, lost moments. A friend sent along the link, and I too, went missing for hours in its vast archives, eavesdropping on the lives of those who will remain nameless.

Unless that's you with the red balloon......

ManongrassOr this guy, hands at his waistband, the look of a young, well-fed Allen Ginsburg. Someone named Steve came upon the photo of Man on Grass. It's captioned Philadelphia, 1991.

Or this note, printed on lined paper:

Are you off punishment yet. If not when are you getting off. When are you going to come over. When are we going to the movies. Can I have my CD player back? When you come over you will get your CD. And I love you.

Mark Pricskett found on the ground it in Philly as he was waiting for the police after someone had hit his car.

The "About" section of this blog and magazine relates how Found began about five years ago, with a note meant for someone else named Mario found up on the windshield of Davy Rothbart's car in Chicago:

You said you had to work then whys your car here at HER place? . . . I hate you, you [expletive] . . . P.S., page me later.

Infertile The proprietors make occasional show-and-tell trips to Philly. Two years ago, the Inquirer went to a reading where Rothbart held court. Reporter Alfred Lubrano wrote:

Just the other day, Rothbart was reading from his book at the Barnes & Noble bookstore at the University of Pennsylvania on Walnut Street, and someone handed him a found treasure, as people always do:

"To remind you of Paris," read the note on a torn index card found on 36th Street off Walnut, "and because dolls are fun at any age!!"

What does it mean? No one can say. That's part of the fun and frustration of Found.