Next time someone questions you about wasting your time on Facebook, tell them the story of Jana LeVitre. She had taken over 1000 pictures on her little, waterproof Pentax before accidentally dropping the camera in Lake Tahoe. She could see it in the lake’s clear waters, but it had slipped into the deep, and no one on the sailboat had diving equipment.
She told the Salt Lake Tribune:
I was really bummed. I lost a lot of memories that day. I realized I’d just have to remember them in my mind. I never expected to see them again.
That was in the summer of 2011. It would have been the end of the story, but on January 19, 2014, Stephen Garnett went fishing with buddies. He thought he had a fish on the line, but when he reeled it in it was the camera. His photographer wife, Jamie Clark, checked out the memory card and discovered it was still working.
She posted some of the photos on Facebook. LeVitre is not a frequent Facebook user, but the popular social media site likely has fewer than six degrees of separation from anyone on it. A friend of Clark’s shared her post, and within days the waterlogged camera and intact memory card were back in the grateful LeVitre’s hands.
Social media are the butt of a lot of criticism because of the trolls who leave nasty comments, the bullies who make life miserable, the photographs “friends” post and a whole lot of silliness that goes on. But any tool can be misused, from the first wheel to the latest tech toy. They can also bring out the best in us.
Ultimately, this is the story of someone who recognized the value of a found camera and went to the trouble to track down the owner. We all know what it is like to lose something precious. When people are asked what they would grab in an emergency, photographs end up high on the list. So this little story gives me hope.
Click on the link to see more of the story and some of the photographs that found their way home.