I hate people who do stuff like that, too. But I also have great faith in the human race for so many reasons that are good. I know lots of stories of people working to get something returned.
Here is a story that I’m proud about. My friend Todd Butler and I were fly fishing on the Norfork River some 10 years ago. We were walking up an island. We stumbled upon a fly rod covered in grass and moss. It was perfect other than needing a little water and a paper towel to wipe it clean.
It was a top end fly rod with a name engraved, probably $850. There was a high end reel, probably $500.
Todd had a cheap Redington, a starter fly rod. The idea of him getting a grand rod/reel combo was definitely a thought.
But what we agreed to do was hunt the owner. First thing, we cleaned it up and found that it was in perfect working order. It had probably been in the water maybe one day (the generation covered that island on most days, but it was exposed on no generation like the day we fished).
Since it was engraved, we thought we had a good shot at finding the owner and eventually we did. It just took about six weeks.
First, I called the manufacturer since they had engraved it on a special order. We got that name and traced the sale to North Carolina. The person who bought it couldn’t be found. I began to think Todd was going to get a new rod.
Then, I put a note on an Arkansas fly fishing forum, with the name. Bingo, that was a hit. About two weeks later a man in Oklahoma City was reading the forum, actually about to write a note detailing how his son had dropped it in a high water fishing trip with a Cotter guide. The resulting email confirmed the owner. He’d bought it from another man five years prior, the man who had it engraved when first built.
So we arranged to ship the rod and reel to the rightful owner. And, the good news, he then purchased a new reel (high dollar) to give to Todd Butler as the reward for helping get the rod/reel combination back to the right man.
The real great news is that the son was relieved. There’s nothing like the guilt of a 14-year-old when he realizes he’s lost (probably forever) his dad’s favorite rod and reel. That was something we were glad to erase. Happy ending.
I’ve seen someone drop a $20 bill in a parking lot, raced and given it back. I’ve seen someone forget to unload everything from a shopping basket as they returned it. Maybe something was in the bottom rack, a large package of dog food. I have alerted the shopper to go back and get it.
We all do these type of things. It makes me feel good to do them. And, I bet many on here are the same way. Keep it up. There is good in the human race. It’s all around us.