I was driving home yesterday from work and heard this story on NPR’s All Things Considered. I had missed the first story, however, that aired about a week earlier.
The first was a commentary about a charm bracelet that had been lost 20 years ago and the person who had the bracelet accidentally placed in her luggage was still trying to find the owner. The NPR announcers had described some of the charms and asked listeners to email or call to identify some of the other charms on the bracelet in hopes they could find the owner.
The story I heard was the response to that call for help. Someone had told this woman about the story. She listened to the story online and determined that this charm bracelet had to belong to her husband’s grandmother. It did indeed. They had a phone call between the NRP announcer, the person who had the charm bracelet for 20 years and the woman who had lost it. The audible gasp in this woman’s voice when they told her that they had her charm bracelet was what really got to me.
I got home during the story. I was sitting in the driveway for awhile but then ran inside and said “we have to listen to NPR, there is this story about a charm bracelet you should hear…” – as I was turning on the radio, Karen asked – “did they find that woman’s bracelet?” She had heard the first story!
The power the technology – NPR radio, the internet archive of the story, the phone..all of it…worked to reunite this woman with her bracelet and all of the emotions and memories it stores. Better than any USB thumb drive (well, unless it is full of digital photos, I suppose!)
I loved it. I see on the NPR site that it is the most e-mailed story right now. We do love those happy news stories, don’t we?