Monday, November 10, 2008

Baby Cradle

I do not know how I lost it. We moved everything out of the unit and into our new house but somehow this gargantuan antique cradle did not make it. Since then, I have also lost a set of keys and 3 large photo albums at my mom's house, my grandma's wedding set and my class ring which I last saw about a year ago.

Last seen in a storage unit in 2005.

Sara Frazier, Elko, NV

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Stories from Event Horizon

The following are stories of lost objects collected (and mapped, according to the locations where they were last seen) at last week's Event Horizon, in Somerville's Davis and Union Squares.

Rachel Smith of Somerville, MA, last saw her white umbrella with a black floral pattern in a taxi in Cambridge, MA, almost one year ago. She wrote, "I left it in a taxi when it was pouring rain out. I still can't believe I forgot it - I had it for three years. It was a souvenir from London, so it meant a lot."

Rachel G., also of Somerville, had two lost object stories, beginning with a book - The Tender Bar - last seen in January 2007 in Lima, Peru. "I was staying with friends of a friend," she wrote, "when I packed my bag again, the book was not there." She also lost a pair of purple floral underwear in Skopje, Macedonia, in August 2005. She added, "Seven girls, one hotel room. It was a little chaotic."

Jessica S-D, of Boston, lost a silver scarf in a Super 88 cafeteria sometime this spring. "I left my scarf on the chair," she wrote, "and when I went back to get it the staff said they threw it away."

Hannah, of Somerville, lost her keys in New York City on April 11, 2008. She doesn't know exactly how they were lost but assumes she left them in an Amtrak train or in a taxi.

Elena, from Cambridge, MA, forgot her black jacket at a 5 star restaurant in Paris, France, in June 2005.

Jesse J. of Boston has no idea how a red leather jacket went missing in May 2002, somewhere between Berlin and Leipzig.

Moving away from literal objects, Sarah of Zhejiaing, China, wrote about how she gave her heart to a careless French man in October 2006. Location last seen: Hangzhou, West Lake.

A group of children originally from India, now living in Somerville, wrote cryptic notes about how they lost mice, a doll, a game card of some sort, and a wallet. The one little girl among them blamed one of her brothers for the lost doll.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Set of Vinyl Monster Miniatures

It was a childhood toy, and I grew up.

Last seen in 1995 in Singapore.

Ian C., Boston, MA

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Book of Poems

Well I guess I have always had this love of poetry. Quite frankly if I hadn't been discovered as rather decent looking in college (after years of abysmal nerdiness) and let it get to my head, I would have minored in English. Instead, I stayed on the path of helping others find and cure their demons (psychologically or physiologically). Okay so back to what I lost. I am like the elderly parodied on 90's comedy sitcoms that frequently digress and then lose their train of thought...."kinda reminds me of the time I....." Okay, so my 4th grade teacher gave me a book of poetry and I devoured it. I even created a melody to this one poem and would sing it. To this day, I am not quite sure what the title of the poem is, but I know it could be found in an elementary english textbook that featured compilations of poems. When my family moved to a better part of town the book was lost. I think of that poem often and have tried in vain to find it. I don't know why it spoke to me so profoundly, but I guess like artwork, the interpretation is in the eye of the beholder. I am rounding the big 4-0 and remember parts of this poem from when I was probably 8 or 9 years old. Anyone out there know where to find the complete poem, I would so welcome your help. Part of it goes like this: "Now touch the air softly, step gently one two. I love you til windows are all of a room. And the table is laid and the table is bare. And the ceiling reposes on bottomless air." Amazing how the simple things are the most enduring and endearing. Thank you for this opportunity to clear the shelves of my mind and search for a forgotten love.

Last seen mid-70s, Bridgeport, CT.

Bird, CT

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Silver Ring with Light Green Stone

Most of mom's jewelry was stolen long ago by robbers watching her comings and goings as they replaced roof shingles on the neighbor's house. She is elderly now and has been giving my three sisters the last few pieces she has each year, things that were missed by the thieves. Perhaps thinking I'd feel left out, she gives me a trifle too sometimes.

She had to go into the hospital this Christmas, alerting us to her mortality.

I entered her house alone to fetch her a sweater and saw an envelope addressed to me with holiday stickers all over it. I opened it to find an old silver ring with a translucent pale green stone; inside the envelope it read "Maybe a pinkie ring?"

I was very touched and wondered if this might be the last Christmas gift I would receive from her. Blurry minded, I put the ring and envelope in my pocket, and toyed with the ring and my coins the rest of the day.

I lost the ring soon after. I am very disheartened, but still have the envelope with her note and stickers on it.

Last seen in Redlands, California, on January 3, 2008.

Drewl, Chicago, Illinois

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Labyrinth Pendant

When I was 16 my best friend and I were on a class trip in San Francisco; we visited Grace cathedral and spent a long time walking around the labyrinth there, which is a copy of the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral in France. The following summer my best friend went to France with her family and visited Chartres. She brought me back a pendant with the pattern of the labyrinth - I loved it. The following year I was in NYC and the pendant disappeared out of my hotel room (lost or stolen). I was upset about it for years.

When I was 20 my father and I were in France together. I insisted that we go to Chartres. The stain glass is stunning. I replaced the pendant. I wear it with a few other charms every day.

Original last seen in a hotel room in New York City.

E.S.W., Boston, Massachusetts

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Marks & Spencer Raincoat

I was wearing one of my most favourite coats on a day coated with drizzle and fog. After my meeting in Canterbury I boarded a train for Tunbridge Wells and put my coat in the overhead bin. As we approached west Kent the sun came out and as I left the train I totally forgot my coat. I happily departed the train without a thought in the world of my dark blue M&S rain coat. It was only 3 weeks later when a spell of rain returned that I realised it was gone...forever.

Last seen on a Southeastern train, October 2007.

Paul-Marc, Sussex, England

Monday, July 30, 2007

VOLVO Jacket

I bought this jacket in England at an outdoor flea market - it was a black zip up jacket with a bright orange lining, and the word "VOLVO" stitched in orange and red on the upper pocket. I loved it, and carried it everywhere with me. On a plane trip to NY (I think) with my family, I wasn't feeling well, and used the jacket as a pillow between the seat and window. We had a connecting flight and when we started to board our second flight, I realized I didn't have it with me :( In my disorentation leaving the first flight, I had left it on the plane. I never saw it (or anything else like it) again. *sigh* it was such a cool jacket.

Last seen on a seat in a plane to New York, 1998.

Katerina, Chicago, Illinois

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Blue Bird Brooch

When my father's paternal grandmother passed away, each of her great-grandchildren (there were 5 of us at the time) received a gift bought with money "from" her. I don't know what my two male cousins got, but my brother was given a dog clock (with moving eyes), my sister received a necklace (as far as Mum can remember), and I was given (supposedly, as I was very young and have no recollection of the said item) a name-bar brooch with a blue bird on it. I do not even know if it was engraved. I can only suppose it may have been lost when we moved shortly after I turned 4.

Last seen (but not by me!) 1966-69 (at a rough guess), between Bayswater and East Kew, Victoria.

Judith Martin, Victoria, Australia

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Little White Fluffy Kitty Doll

kitty as an angel
Kitty was my best friend when I was 8 years old. She went with me everywhere - especially on car rides to entertain my siblings and me. The last time I saw Kitty was during a trip to Los Angeles. My dad had pulled over into a random parking lot to retrieve something from the trunk, and placed most of the toys my brother and sister and I had thrown around all over the backseat. Somehow, between putting random dolls, pillows, and ninja turtles in the trunk, Kitty fell out of the car. I'll never forget how distraught I was after realizing Kitty was nowhere to be found - and probably lying in a gutter somewhere. Mostly, I felt guilty for not taking better care of my little friend, after all she had done for me. My little sister even drew a picture of Kitty as an angel to help cheer me up. It helped a lot.

Rest in Peace Kitty!

Last seen in 1993 in the backseat of my parent's Ford Taurus.

Jennie, Bakersfield, CA.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Several Fine Cotton Lace Doilies, Runners, etc.

I had been married to a very abusive man. In desperation to get away from his abuse, I accepted a job miles away, whereupon I began to realize he was terribly abusive. I decided to divorce him, and though I'd trusted him with my belongings, I returned to NY, shocked to find he'd carelessly tossed everything I owned into two outdoor storage sheds. Most of it was damaged beyond repair.

Amongst the devastation of losing so many irreplaceable things, such as knitting patterns which are now long out of print, no matter how hard I searched, I never found my doilies and runners. These doilies and runners had been gifts from my Grandma to me. She'd crocheted them long before I was born, and when I'd complimented her gorgeous work, she took them right off of her furniture and gave them to me. Just like that. I'm not a doily/runner person, but I cherished this beautiful, fine work, wrought by my loving Grandma's patient hands, and planned to someday display these pieces in my home.

I never got the chance. To this day, I have no idea where they went. My wonderful Grandma is no longer with us, so I can't ask her to make anything else for me. And I can't buy something from a garage sale - no other doilies or runners would be the same, anyway.

Last seen in Peekskill, NY, 1992

Melanie, Illinois

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Giant Pencil Drawing of Me

In my late teens, I lived with a man in his thirties who was very abusive toward me. He had his charming and romantic moments, however, and in one of these he drew a portrait of me on some kind of artboard that was about two feet by three feet.

When we split up, I put the portrait in the trash because I felt so much anger against him. But as the years went by and no one else ever drew a portrait of me (or wrote a poem or composed a song) I came to realize how rare an expression that portrait was and I have always wished I kept it, despite never wanting to see the artist again.

Especially now that I am forty, I realize that no one else will ever admire the beauty of my youth so much that they make a work of art based on it. There are many lost objects in my past - including an entire storage locker full of childhood memories - but I have thought of that portrait most often and in most poignant terms through the years.

Last seen in Louisville, Kentucky in 1987.

Sparrow, Kentucky

Friday, March 23, 2007

Black Kid Fur-Lined Gloves

My father took a tracing of my hands with him to Hungary and came back with these beautiful gloves for me. They kept my hands toasty through 2 1/2 nasty Canadian winters, but one day, as I rode the train from school to meet the man who would eventually become my husband, they were lost. Equivalent exchange, perhaps?

I kept checking with the lost and found, but wasn't overly shocked that they were never turned in. I hope they were picked up and loved by someone who really needed them.

Last seen January 8, 2003, at the Bay subway station.

ja'ne, Toronto, Canada

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Evil Eye Earring

Sadly, the earrings that were supposed to watch over and protect me from evil - disappeared unexpectedly, just one...I wear the other one - but feel that it's not full force.

Last seen on my ear, Spring/Summer 2005.

Jennifer Schmidt, Brooklyn, NY

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Froggy Keychain

I've had this froggy keychain for about 10+ years. I named him Harrold and he was the guardian of my keys. People associated me with him, so if I ever misplaced my keys, Harrold was recognized and returned to me. In college I sewed a belly-button on him. Then one night while shopping at Trader Joe's he disappeared*. I was actually pretty upset. Who will take care of my keys now?

*Thankfully he left me with my keys.

Last seen February 15, 2007, at Trader Joe's.

Laura T., Arlington, MA.

AC Moore Bag filled with 7 T-Shirts

6 white t-shirts (1 small, 1 medium, 2 large, 2 x-large) and one tie-dyed t-shirt.

I remember bringing the bag to school and running a couple of errands at school with the bag in my hand. I went to Student Affairs with it. Then, I went to visit Aimee in the print shop. Lastly, going to an appointment in the Artist Resource Center (ARC), I thought that I might have put the bag in my locker in the screenprinting room, since I was going to screenprint on them, but they weren't there.

Last seen February 1, 2007, in the Artist Resource Center at SMFA.

Tony Carneiro, Boston, MA

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sumo-Wrestler-Shaped Squeaky Bicycle Horn

Riding home on a cold night, I hit a deep pothole with my bike's front tire and the horn that had been attached to my handlebars flew off into the darkness. It was below 15°F.

Last seen late 2005 along Huntington Avenue, Boston.

Dee, Boston, MA

Gold Bracelet with "Tiger's Eye" Beads

I was flying from Pittsburgh to Detroit and I noticed, about five minutes after exiting the aircraft, that my bracelet was missing. I retraced my steps, but never found it. The bracelet belonged to my Great Aunt. She bought it a number of years ago in Italy.

Last seen March, 2006, in the Detroit International Airport.

Janine Biunno, Boston, MA

Black/Red Sweatshirt

I have no idea how it was lost. I can't remember when I realized it was gone either. It was a crew neck sweatshirt with straight sleeves and an unelasticized waist. The inside was red and the outside looked black from a distance, but when you got closer it was actually black with very, very fine red lines in the weave of the shirt. I never wore it that much and it was probably a year or so before I realized it was gone, but I'd sure like to know where it is now.

Last seen in Bellingham, WA, in 2001.

Matthew Meta, Boston, MA

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

set of his + hers wedding rings

My Grandmother (Father's side) had just passed away from cancer. My Grandfather and Dad were beside themselves, so my Mother, sister, and I took over duties of cleaning out Grandma Faye's belongings. Among the items in her jewelry box were two wedding bands, which had belonged to her mother and father. Because they were such a precious part of family history, we gave them to my Father to place in our safety deposit box. In his grief, he misplaced them and no one ever saw them again.

Last seen June 1995 in Birmingham, AL

Alexis, Boston, MA

Monday, March 12, 2007

Messenger Bag

Bailey Works XL Camouflage Messenger Bag + Check Book

Upon inviting several friends over to have a drinking session a person or persons who came over after I had one too many drinks decided it should be their's. That bag was my first messenger bag and something I had worked very hard to purchase.

Last seen in my apartment.

Daniel Tobias (a.k.a. Toby), Boston/New York

Sunday, March 11, 2007

White T-Shirt

An extremely dirty white t-shirt with my band's logo on it. Somewhere between washing, drying, and bringing my clothes back with me, I lost my favorite shirt.

Last seen at the laundromat.

Bill, Wilton, CT

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Black & White Beaded Choker

...that I made. There was a girl going through people's bags and stealing jewelry. She stole my inhaler, too.

Last seen at the bottom of my gym bag in high school.

Rachel, Boston, MA

Friday, March 9, 2007

Jean Jacket

I had a jean jacket that I loved and I lent it to a friend of mine. I asked for it back after about a month or so, and he said he didn't have it anymore. I asked him why he didn't have it, and he said he gave it to his girlfriend, and then she broke up with him, but she kept the jacket. I told him to ask her to give it back, but he wouldn't. I told him I would call her but he wouldn't give me her number.

That was 8 years ago.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Bodum Traveler's Mug

Beautiful Bodum traveler's mug; clear plastic with French press and rubber grip. Lovely to see tea leaves floating.

I gave it to my boyfriend to keep while I went on a school field trip. He left it somewhere. It is ironic because he gave it to me as a present for starting freshman year and keeping warm; he who giveth loseth also. I quickly forgave him. It will take lots more than losing a mug to lose me.

Last seen 2007, MIT campus, Cambridge, MA

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Metal Napkin Dispenser

Somebody ran off with the dispenser and scattered the napkins in the parking lot.

Last seen at the shelf by the door.

Whole Foods Market, Central Square, Cambridge, MA

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Yellow Sheaffer Pen

When I was nine years old, my family presented me with a yellow thick-nibbed Sheaffer pen on my birthday. For me, the pen symbolized several rites of passage. It was the first 'adult' present I ever received. It was the first present to codify my decision that yellow, not red, was my favorite color. The pen came at the perfect time, as I was transitioning from using pencils to ink in school and was the only kid in class to have a "real" pen, not the disposable Dollar ink pens handed to most young Pakistani students (for that reason, I credit the pen for instilling some long-standing intellectual pretensions and predelictions in me). I developed my signature as it currently is using that pen. I wrote my first 'A' grade essay using that pen. I signed off on my first Valentine's Day card using that pen. I literally wrote myself into existence using that pen. And then, in 1993, just before leaving for a summer vacation, I stowed the pen away safely, somewhere, perhaps in a drawer, or a shoe box, or my father's filing cabinet, or a carton, or perhaps even an empty tin of Quality Street chocolates. I never saw my yellow Sheaffer again.

Last seen in Karachi, Pakistan, 1993.

Huma, Cambridge, MA

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Ruby Flower Ring

There was a reckless time after I finished college that I was partying more than I should have been. I went to visit a friend from high school who was living in Manhattan and wound up very drunk. The next morning I woke up in a strange apartment with a friend of hers. I left in such a hurry I forgot the beautiful antique ruby ring my mother had just given me. I never saw it again...or my friend for that matter.

Last seen December, 1998, 34th Street, New York

Anita, Somerville, MA

Friday, March 2, 2007

Stuffed Bulldog

I've had a life long obsession with bulldogs. When I joined the Peace Corps my sister sent me a care package with a stuffed bulldog to help alleviate homesickness. Due to political strife, my fellow volunteers and I were taken from our sites. We only had an hour to pack our belongings. I left many things behind, but I made sure I packed my bulldog. We were consolidated at the Sheraton Hotel in Harrare where we awaited a decision regarding the fate of our program. I left Zimbabwe in May of 2000. Only when I returned to the states did I realize it was missing. I think I left it in the hotel room. I like to imagine a hotel maid gifted it to one of her children.

Last seen May, 2000, in Harrare, Zimbabwe, AFRICA

Melinda Go, Boston

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Haunted Mansion Merchandise

My childhood experiences with Disney World started when I was really young, I was two when I first went. I don't remember that visit at all. Then I went again when I was six, and when I was six it culminated with this very exciting thing which was: We were on our last ticket of the night (this is back in the days when they had ticket books to get into Disney), and we decided to use it to go the Haunted Mansion. It was the end of the park's day, so it was largely empty, and it was dark out. The cast member who let us in was so good - she was really into it, she really hammed it up, you know: "Master Gracie requests more bodies" - and let us in, and we went through that ride and it was such a perfect cap to such a perfect trip, and I never forgot about it.

I took all the spending money I had, and I blew it on the souvenirs from the Haunted Mansion. And we got in our rental car, and we started driving back to our Grandparents' place, and I fell asleep in the backseat. And the car broke down. And they called AAA, and they sent out another rental car, and we transferred into the new car. I was carried, sleeping (I had the ability to sleep through just about anything). Woke up the next morning, went to find all that lovely schwag, and found out that we'd left it in the first rental car. And it was gone, and I never saw it again. It's like my Rosebud. In my mind those souvenirs were the coolest merchandise ever made for any theme park in the history of the world bar none.

Last seen in Orlando, Florida, 1977

Cory, Los Angeles

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Club Contributions

When I was in about 4th or 5th grade, my best friend lived next-door to me, and we occasionally planned half-baked schemes such as forming a neighborhood club with secret meetings, ID cards, zip-lines connecting all of our houses, an arsenal of prankster devices, a booby-trapped fort... the typical suburban pre-teen boy fantasy. Usually, it was just as satisfying to brainstorm all the possibilities than to actually do any work to put such a thing together. The reality could never live up to the fantasy, right?

But once, in a fit of hubris, I decided to start accepting donations from my neighborhood friends for the creation of this club, with all the best intentions. I exchanged, I believe it was, Monopoly money for real money, with the explanation that I would pool the money to buy all the gear we needed (mostly the kind of stuff advertised in the back of Boys Life magazine), and then would sell it back to club members for the phony bills. Now, most of the kids in the neighborhood never had any more than a few bucks on them, so this poorly devised plan should have been harmless. But there was this one kid, Daniel, and his younger brother, who were new to the neighborhood, and they seemed, in retrospect, just very enthusiastic to be a part of our club, and had lately received either a large allowance or perhaps birthday money. I believe they ponied up well over 20 1980s dollars--what seemed like a huge sum to me at the time.

Having great concern for the security of our club's treasury, I buried the cash in my friend's front lawn, perhaps not discretely enough, for when Daniel's father came to visit my family that night and get his son's money back, it was gone. Even my 10-year-old self knew that those kids probably thought I had intentionally swindled them.

Last seen in Roseville, California, circa 1987

Neal, Boston

Sunday, February 18, 2007


my briefcase in a pile of objects destined for the Salvation Army
When I graduated from college, my grandfather insisted I have a briefcase. His gift was incredibly sweet and thoughtful but I never had much use for a briefcase, especially such a traditional style. I kept the briefcase for a few years, but when I was getting ready to move from California to Boston, the briefcase joined the garage-sized pile of other objects I had to trash, sell, or give away. The briefcase was donated, among many other things, to the Salvation Army, where I hoped it would make its way to someone who would actually have use for it. That was almost two years ago. My grandfather died recently and all I can think about is that briefcase.

I'm interested in the irrational affection we feel towards inanimate objects as well as the narrative and meaning that get attached to this otherwise mundane stuff over time, thanks to who we got the object from, or who we were with when we purchased or found it, what our life was like at the time, what it's like now, and where we've been in between, all of which is carried on in the object, regardless of whether it still exists or not. Creating a virtual memorial for my lost briefcase is the least I can do to honor my grandfather's gift, while, to some extent, confessing my guilt over getting rid of it.

Last seen August, 2005, in Oakland, California

Becky writes from Boston, where she spends a lot of time mulling over the way we deal with memory, loss, technology, and community.