Lost and Found

... Cape Cod caper

by Natalie Thomson

Our 2002 Toyota Camry XLE climbed the 69-year-old, two-lane bridge over the Canal connecting the rest of the world to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I reached for my camera as we started to descend. We had landed on the opposite shore by the time it was definite that my Nikon was no longer with us and the helpful, disbelievers suggested repeatedly, "Look under the coat" and "Is it on the floor?"

During our speedy twenty-minute ride back down the road to the McDonald's of our most recent stop, following my testimony that I could still see it hanging by its black strap on the hook inside one of the booth doors in the ultra-clean room marked "Ladies." We were entertained as the driver told of returning back home earlier, before picking me up, to get the dog's leash which was eventually found on the floor of the front the car.  It seemed to be a day for RE-tracing routes and our moods changed from anxiety to comedy.

We learned that no camera had crossed the territory of the two volunteers at the Help-the-Tourists desk as we entered the highway-oasis. There was nothing hanging from any of the door hooks inside any of the Ladies' Room booths. The young salesperson at the souvenir store had no idea where it might be and then we got lucky!

Just the mention of "lost camera" to the Manager behind the busy McDonald's counter, produced the errant magic visual recorder. He disappeared into the back room and returned, holding up my little black zippered case with the handle of my magnifying glass peeping out of the top.  I felt as though the lines of hungry, hurried customers turned as one, their smiling faces giving silent applause and a wave of sympatico surrounded all of us.

The beautiful blonde young woman at her post behind the counter was the picture of modesty and shyness. She was pointed out as the kind, honest person who had later followed me in that next-to-last booth and brought my neglected camera to the safety of her Supervisor's authority. Her name tag announced to all of us that this was Samantha C.

Author's note: Holy mackerel! In the excitement, I forgot to take the heroine's picture for this story but, then, I'm not Brenda Starr, Girl Reporter for the Melrose Mirror. I did remember to call McDonald's and told "Brandy" about the wonderful humanistic performance on the part of one of their employees in the Travel Plaza on Route 3. Name of the city? I forgot that, also.

March 5, 2005

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