Seek, and ye shall find!
When you’re the calendar editor for the local alternative paper, you spend a great deal of your time opening mail—99 percent of which is press releases for upcoming events. Sure, you’re the first to learn that a Nobel Prize winner will come to town, that a nonprofit will hold a benefit and that a particular museum plans to unveil a new exhibit, but so what? Though the events themselves might turn out to be fascinating, opening the press releases about them fails to elicit a high level of excitement.
Then, something happened.
Last month, we announced that SN&R would be presenting “Sacramento Found,” a photo essay of locally “found” items, in honor of Found magazine creator Davy Rothbart’s upcoming visit. We asked our readers to submit items they’d found on the streets of Sacramento—and they did! My normally tiresome task of opening mail suddenly became thrilling.
Each day, buried within the stack of press releases, I’d discover at least one envelope with “Found in Sacramento” scrawled across the front. Armed with my trusty letter-opener, my heart beating a little faster, I would slice through the envelope, revealing a new treasure: a bookmark reading “I Love You Mommy”; a cootie catcher where if you pick No. 6, you’re quick to learn that “you humped cinderella”; or a heart-wrenching letter that had been torn apart—perhaps by the writer or receiver—only to be pieced back together by the finder.
Thrilled by each submission, I would pop my head up over my cube (something we here at the office refer to as prairie-dogging), eager to share the new find with any co-worker willing to listen. Together we would imagine the scenario that led to each item’s creation and its subsequent journey to my hands. Who were these people in the photographs? Who were my finders?
Within these pages, you won’t find the well-edited text of a professional journalist. Instead, you’ll discover a collection of items that many would dismiss as trash but that we consider a treasure trove of Sacramento humanity. You’ll witness the humorous, the sweet and the heart-wrenching, all of which provide us with insight into the lives of those with whom we share the streets of our fair city.