Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I have just learned that a former archivist at The Mariner's Museum in Virginia sold more than 3000 documents from the museum's collection on e-Bay over a five-year period. It was, of course, a money-making venture for him. His wife aided and abetted his scheme by letting her name be used on the internet, obviously to shield his connection to the source of the documents. They made money, they got caught and are now being punished. Just desserts, I say.

Those who steal disgust me. I just don't understand wanting something so badly that one simply takes it from its owner.

I am fortunate in what I have had stolen in my adult life (those things that I know about, of course) were not of particular value. Nevertheless, I was shocked and disgusted at the act.

When Jerry and I married, one of our friends gave us a really lovely hanging Charley plant for our front porch. It was in a handmade macrame hanger and as such was a very a sentimental gift for us. It hung on our front porch in our nice neighborhood for a year or so before someone, in the night, swiped it.

Years later we had a beautiful Royal Cape plumbago plant in a barrel sitting in front of a cinderblock wall between our house and the neighbor's house. It's wonderful lavender-blue blossoms turned that space, which previously had the look of a prison wall, into a piece of art. The barrel and the plant were huge, and the look was very dramatic. Whoever stole it from us in the night had to have at least two husky men to hoist it into a truck and make off with it.

And finally, when we moved into a senior apartment complex - a lovely, high class place, I set a paper turkey decoration at my front door as the first Thanksgiving approached. It lasted one night before it too was snatched.

These were not valuables. Not rings or cars; not break-ins or hold-ups. Everything physically could be replaced, though maybe not emotionally. But nevertheless someone wanted my things and felt no moral compunction about taking them. Had someone stolen a piece of jewelry I might have felt very sad and angry. But with these things I felt mostly disgust. I do not understand this kind of thievery and I find no excuse for it.

I'm glad the archivist's greed and dishonesty was discovered and he's gone to jail for it. Even if my little losses went unpunished, I must admit that I'm always glad when the bad guy gets his comeuppance.

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