If a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s a camera loaded with pictures worth?
For Tabeier Shine of White Plaines, N.Y., the camera held the memories of a once-in-a-lifetime motorcycle trip through the West.
And then they were gone.
Shine had flown from New York to connect with friends in Vancouver, B.C., to begin the motorcycle tour. The first day of the adventure, May 15, took them to Spokane; the second a trip to Boise along U.S. 95 and Idaho 55.
About halfway between Grangeville and Riggins, Shine’s memories disappeared – the new digital camera he purchased to document the trip fell without notice from the motorcycle and came to rest on the highway.
That’s where an ITD striping crew discovered the camera, still in its protective case.
“…one of our crew members spotted what they thought might have been a camera on the shoulder of the road,” said Jack Turner, a Transportation Technician in District 2. “Not being able to stop at the time, I went back after we had finished painting that section of road (which was a section of highway that had a new overlay on it) and picked up a digital camera in its case.”
Turner tracked down one of riders in the motorcycle excursion who in turn helped him locate the camera’s owner in New York.
“I could tell by the pictures that a group of motorcyclists was on a trip (pretty interesting I may say) and obviously someone in the group must have lost this camera,” Turner wrote in an e-mail to a member of the group. “I would very much like to get it back to the rightful owner. If you know who owns this camera, I would like to hear from them.”
“In this day and age, I cannot believe that someone went through all of this trouble to get the camera back to me,” a surprised and appreciative Shine wrote to District 2 Engineer Jim Carpenter, thanking Turner for the effort.
“I only bought this camera 10 days before I left for my trip, specifically for this trip, and I am so incredibly humbled and amazed that Mr. Turner was so kind enough to do this.
“It would mean a lot to our group (affectionately named the Epic Crew) for ITD to recognize his honesty so the world can know that among the random acts of tragedy that wear us down and cause us to lose hope, there still exists people like Jack Turner who embody the pure characteristics of model citizens, honest and kind…”
A grateful Shine now has more than just fond memories of her 2007 trip through Idaho. She also has a visual record of the trip, thanks to the persistence of Turner and the striping crew.