Good Bye


FOUND by Anne McLaughlin in Atlanta, Georgia

I found this while hiking on my birthday this year. It was tucked carefully beneath a fallen tree on a little-used path which emptied into a clearing of wildflowers The handwriting appears feminine, but to what or whom she says goodbye to is left to the imagination.

Life, Living of


FOUND by John Schnall in New Jersey

I found a spiral-bound book of index cards sometime in 1983. This card was the first page in the book. It’s clear the writer didn’t follow his or her own advice, as the rest of the cards were blank, and the book was eventually discarded. I like to imagine a situation where the writer would be looking in the “L” section of his index card file, trying to find this card to remember what to do with his life.

March 22nd


FOUND by Melissa Bontempo in Ohio University, Ohio

This book was found next to a dumpster at Ohio University. I can’t remember the date, but I probably found it near the spring of 2000. It belonged to an old woman who had presumably passed away recently. Other personal items, including a handwritten joke book, a funeral register, and a sheet of paper that listed all her medical conditions were nearby. This book is several decades old. The cover says “Birthdays” and is re-bound with tape. Other than birthdays, she recorded facts from her life, when each of her friends died, anniversaries, the circumstances of her pet’s death, surgeries, etc. I found this page, where she notes her husband’s burial particularly heartbreaking, as she retraced her own words repeatedly.