A customer called me recently, pricing out a Fork Holder.  Seems he had lost one.  He called back a short while later to tell me he found it… in the ditch.  Not sure if it fell off while he was driving, or if he was working a recovery, but he found it, after a short search.

My experience is things are lost only temporarily.  I have many stories of losing or misplacing something, only to have it return later. I don’t even worry now when I do lose something of value.  It always seems to find its way back to me.  

One year, while elk hunting, I leaned my rifle against the truck tire, and later backed up and drove away.  I had been parked at the end of an old spur road that you could barely drive on. Not more than two hours later, a family member called for me over the CB, to ask if I had my rifle.  Someone I knew had driven out this same spur road, found the rifle, recognized it, and then ran into one of my family members out on the main road.  Hunting seems to be one activity that lends itself to me losing stuff and later finding it. I’ve found lost gloves, knives, had a lost gun belt returned to me, and last year my daughter lost her tag, license, and Hunter Safety Card, and we found them the next day on a trail we’d followed that day.

Years ago, before cell phones, tow truck drivers carried message pagers, and before that, beepers.  One late night I was sent up into the Forest Park west of Portland to meet a County Sheriff, who had found a stolen vehicle. He walked me out an old blocked-off road to this car, which was complete, but there was no way to drive to the vehicle.  The Sheriff has this idea that I could winch it downhill through the forest to the main road, which was about 500  yards. I had 150 feet of cable on my truck. He made me unspool it to prove I couldn’t do it, so I free-spooled through trees in the dark until it was all the way out, which was really silly because he just left me there and told me it was my problem.  I needed to make sure the car was impounded.

After I re-wound my cable, I left the scene, figuring we’d come back the next day with cable extensions and a
chainsaw.  I was halfway back to the shop when I realized I didn’t have my (bleeping) beeper. The forests here in Western Oregon tend to be thick, with a lot of underbrush.  At least it wasn’t raining.  I drove back up there, and fortunately I had the assistance of sound. I had the dispatcher set off the beeper until I found it.  I hadn’t particularly enjoyed being out in the dark forest the first time.  This time it was even creepier, with the faint sound of beeping getting slowly louder.  After about ten minutes I found it in the dead leaves.

My family gets irritated with me at home when there is a search for a misplaced item, because I confidently join the search, repeating the mantra, “I easily and effortlessly find the (lost item).” The idea is that if you walk around saying, “I can’t find my keys,” then your subconscious makes sure you’re right. I’m not saying my technique works best. I’m just saying I almost always find whatever we’re looking for first.  And I’m not unusually perceptive.  I think that’s what really bugs them about it.

So try it, if you’re ever in a ditch looking for a Fork Holder, or something like that.

Have a safe and profitable week.
Nick Kemper


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