“We really learned our lesson,” says Margy Shaw.
Now back home in Canada, the Shaw family knows they should have backed up the pictures from their digital camera — before they lost it at the Judge S.S. Jolley Bridge during their Florida vacation.
Margy and Dale Shaw of Queensville, Ontario, vacation in Florida every year with their son, Nicholas. This year’s holiday was especially welcome, as Margy is undergoing therapy for cancer and had surgery in September.
Just before leaving for Florida, she related, “I was told I’m not in the clear.” The trip, she said, represented “some much-needed R and R,” a chance to get away after three surgeries and four rounds of treatment, with many tests and decisions coming up.
“We just care about the pictures,” said Margy. “Keep everything else, we just want our pictures.”
She said whoever found the camera could just send them the memory card, and do it anonymously, if they chose.
The camera is a silver Kodak EasyShare Zoom, model C713. Bought in September by Margy and her son as a birthday present to his dad, it cost about $200 Canadian. The serial number, said Margy, is KCGHP8280510, but an even easier identifier would be the dried bone-colored starfish wrapped in tissue inside the black camera bag.
Having traveled down to the Sunshine State, the family proved themselves true Canadians, and went to the Tampa Forum to watch the Tampa Bay Lightning take on the Toronto Maple Leafs. Nicholas, 10, got his photo taken with some of the hockey players and referees. Pictures that are among those lost with the camera.
“We know they’re just pictures, but they have lots of meaning to our family,” said Margy.
In addition to all the Florida photos showing fishing and sunsets, there are many shots with family and friends from the fall and winter in Ontario, including skating, hockey and tobogganing.
These would be very recognizable to whoever found their camera, she said. The only photos they have from the lost camera, she said, are a few that they had e-mailed to people, who were then kind enough to send them back.
The Shaws’ Florida vacation was going wonderfully until Feb. 19, when they stopped on the mainland side of the Jolley Bridge on Collier Boulevard. They had fished there many times, but this time the one that got away was the family camera.
When they realized they had left the camera at the bridge and went back to retrieve it, it had disappeared. The last pictures on the card were shot at the bridge just before the camera was lost.
Margy Shaw realizes the odds are good the family memories are gone forever, but said she still has hope of getting them returned.
“We know if we found something that wasn’t ours, we would try to find the rightful owner,” she said. The camera wasn’t stolen, it was just found by someone, and she hopes that person is equally honest. “We hope someone has at least saved our pictures for us.”
Anyone who can help the Shaw family recover their photographs by returning the camera or the memory card can send them mail at 20 Milne Lane, Queensville, Ontario, LOG 1R0, Canada, or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.