I wouldn’t normally go into the details of the way I’ve spent my weekend, but this one was special at so many levels.
On Friday, while I was attending internal meetings at our 1 Market office in San Francisco, my wife took the kids to Baker Beach. Three kids under the age of six is a lot for anyone to manage, and – while bundling them all back into the car – she managed to leave our digital SLR sitting in the parking lot. We noticed its absence when we were getting the kids ready to head up from the city to Sausalito to celebrate my eldest son’s 6th birthday with some friends. We stopped by the beach on the way up there, but were clearly too late (it was already 3 hours after leaving it there).
My wife was very upset with herself, even though I’d very recently downloaded the photos from the camera’s memory (and was actually quite looking forward to the technology upgrade ;-), but we really didn’t know where to start looking for it: in Switzerland most lost items end up at the local police station, but I didn’t know whether to expect the same in San Francisco. I was very pessimistic about the chances of us ever seeing the camera again.
So we headed on to Sausalito and celebrated the birthday at the Jazz & Blues by the Bay event, which was fun. One of the real highlights of this trip has been catching up with so many old friends from when we lived in the area.
The next morning – before we headed out for phase two of the celebrations, a picnic lunch in Crissy Field followed by a visit to the excellent Exploratorium – I did a quick search on the web, to work out whether there was a central “lost & found” service in San Francisco. I came across a Lost & Found forum on Craig’s List, and posted a short announcement (this link will have expired by the time many of you read this), on the off-chance that it might work.
Well, work it did. While wandering around the Exploratorium, having fun with the kids, I received an email from someone whose father had apparently found the camera. We exchanged details and I ended up driving down to Palo Alto to pick it up. Unbelievable! There was something very reaffirming about the whole experience: the person who had found it had literally lost sleep over how he would ever get it back to us (we had not labeled the bag, of course, something that’s about to change). His son had suggested posting an entry on Craig’s List and, while checking the forum, he stumbled across the post I had made. The rest is history.