Found Treasures

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On the latest This Week in Photography show we chatted a bit about this great story of a guy who found a beat-up old suitcase set out as trash in front of a neighbor’s house.  He looked inside, realized it was full of old photos and decided to bring it home.  Only then did he realize that they were photos of Hiroshima, taken just a couple of months after the atomic bomb was dropped there.  Read the story here.

I’m a sucker for a good found-treasure story, even when it doesn’t involve something as historically significant as what is described above.  A day after reading that story, I came across this tale of a crappy old car that eventually sold on Ebay for $225,000.   

Can’t say that I’ve had much luck in the found treasure department.  Thinking about it just now, about the best I could come up with is a couple of old comic books I found in my Grandpa’s attic when I was a kid, including a somewhat beat-up copy of Detective Comics #105.  If it was in better shape it would be worth a decent amount but in the condition it’s in the sentimental value outweighs whatever I could sell it for.  But that does bring to mind the all-time best found-treasure comic-book story, which you can read here.  If you didn’t grow up being a comic-book geek that you probably won’t be all that impressed, but I’m sure that plenty of you out there can appreciate the uber-coolness of that story. 

So what about you, dear readers?  Anybody out there have good stories about treasure you’ve found?

Or, failing that, anybody out there with a box of old comic books (or pulp magazines) sitting in their attic that they want me to take off of their hands?  :-)

Nov20 ’08 update:  Another great ‘found treasure’ that was just uncovered (literally) is here.

3 thoughts on “Found Treasures

  1. My grandmother kept a stack of comics in a closet along with a bunch of older toys. She bought the comics back when my father was young, but she kept *everything* meticulously clean and neat so they were in very good shape. She eventually gave them to me since I was such a comic book geek. I finally really paid attention to the non-superhero issues in the stack and realized I had a VF copy of Star Trek #1. It’s no Action Comics #1, but not bad. That stack also held my introduction to Kirby’s Fantastic Four. I still remember the smell of that closet.

    P.S. Happy 75th birthday today, Grandma.

  2. I remember rooting round at the local car boot sale and finding a box of 2000ad goodies (Bristish Comic), including signed artword, trade paperbacks, etc.

    The guy was going to throw them if he didn’t sell them, so I took them home – took me right back to my childhood!

  3. A found treasure from a different angle…

    Back story – In 1985 I was on Spring Break form college in Daytona Beach, FLA. One day while playing Frisbee in the ocean my class ring (which was a little large for me) flew off my finger and splashed into the surf. We searched for a half hour and never found it. It really bummed me out since I earned the money to buy it myself.

    Fast forward 20 years.

    I received an email in 2005 from my website’s info@ email address. It was a simple message: Looking for the Todd Asher who graduated Lincoln High School 1983.

    Since my 25th class reunion was looming on the horizon I thought it was regarding that.

    I replied that I was the individual, totally forgetting that I did not actually graduate from Lincoln High School. It was closed the end of my junior year and all the students were moved to one of two other schools.

    I got a reply back. It said: My name is Dennis and I live near Daytona Beach. I may have found your class ring. Can you describe it?

    Needless to say I was stunned!

    I described my long-absent ring which I still vividly remembered.

    It WAS my ring! Lost more than 20 years earlier.

    Dennis offered to return my ring for free. Which he graciously did.

    We exchanged a few more emails and it turns out his hobby is finding things on the beach and trying to return them to the original owner. He said it’s easier now that the Internet is around.

    He said my 20 year span was one of his longest but not THE longest. He said he once returned a class ring to a woman who had lost it 39 years earlier!

    Today the ring sits on my shelf next to my diplomas.

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