Friday, May 14, 2010

How my blog helped deliver a message in a bottle

Some days I wonder if this blog means anything at all and whether I should keep it up. After all, the action is now all at Facebook and Twitter, right? And then, a story like this comes along: Entiat woman solves mystery of message in a bottle; and then I feel that it's all worthwhile.

Nothing earthshaking, a purely human interest piece. In a nutshell, Vickie Stanton from Wenatchee, Washington discovered a message in a bottle washed ashore. In it was a letter, dating back to 1994, written by my friend Diane Pool to her grandson Joshua. Vickie found the bottle in early March this year.

Vickie spent time searching for Diane but to no avail. Neither Google nor Facebook turned up any concrete answers. But when she finally deciphered the other name in the note and searched on "Bill and Diane Pool", the threads came all together. You can read the rest of the story from the Wenatchee World. You can even watch the video. (Yes, I get a mention in the story.)

How do I figure into all this? I had written a piece for my column in the Metro Post on Bill and Diane and their One Candle Schoolhouse project in Bonbonon.

It was my story, archived on my blog, that Vickie found.

It gives me the chills just thinking about it. Imagine that? I'm part of a link, perhaps insignificant to the rest of the world, but one that certainly means something very special to real people. I'm a clue to a mystery! You must admit, the story is much more exciting than if Vickie were to have found Diane through Facebook.

Days like this? Well, days like this the slogging is all just worthwhile. Take that, Facebook!

Postscript: In a way, it feels just right that Vickie solved the mystery only when she put Bill's name with Diane: in my mind, they will always be "Bill and Diane." In Bill passed away last year, and Diane continues her work with the kids in Bonbonon. I met Diane just a couple of weeks ago when she told me this story, but I didn't realize until now how I was part of it.