If You Expect the Worst From Strangers this Story is for You

If You Expect the Worst From Strangers this Story is for You

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friendly-boulder-art.jpgMy faith in human nature has never been so inflated as it was last weekend after our family get-together in Vail. Here’s the story…

On Saturday, we all went to the farmers market right in the middle of Vail. Near the end, we all met at the fountain near the covered bridge, and the kids waded around in the fountain until we left. This is easily one of the busiest pedestrian thoroughfares in Vail.
Afterwards, we went back to the condos and went swimming for the afternoon. Late in the afternoon, my son Ponder (age 7 at the time), realized that he could not find his backpack, which contained his Gameboy [with all the game cartridges] and his watch. After a thorough search, we determined that he must have left it at the fountain in Vail.

Ponder has never lost anything. He even has every pair of sunglasses we have ever bought him. He is so good about this that we just take for granted that he needs no supervision concerning his stuff.

He was inconsolable, not about the Gameboy, but about the watch. He said to me, through massive tears, “But Dad, they (Burger King) don’t make that watch anymore.” We were all very sad. Our dinner reservations were at a restaurant just on the other side of the covered bridge, so I promised him that we would not only search the area around the fountain when we went back for dinner, but we would also find the police and ask them if the backpack had been turned in.

As we exited the parking garage, we could see the fountain as we descended the long staircase. I saw something black sitting there, but it was right next to a woman sitting by the fountain, so I could not tell what it was or if it seemed to be hers. I said, “Do you see it, Ponder?” He said, “I see it, Dad.” I said, “Don’t get too excited cuz that may not be it.” But that was it. It had been five or six hours since we left the fountain, and it was still there. There was no I.D. in it, and it looked like someone had looked through it and then set it right out where all could see it.

I literally cried when we got to it and were sure that it was his. Everyone in our party was blown away by this “miracle.” In my wildest dreams, I never would have dreamed that this would/could happen nowadays.

What a charmed life, eh? Later, I said to Lori and Lorrie (my wife and my girlfriend… another long story for another time) that this was the perfect lesson for a child in losing something important… to lose it and feel the full weight of that loss, and then to miraculously get it back. It was amazing… I still get goose bumps when I think about it.
My faith in human nature has never been so inflated.

Mark Stine is a master stained glass artist living near Denver. He calls his son Ponder, his primary source of inspiration. See his art at Transparent Dreams Glass Studio


  1. Hi Mark, what a wonderful story and it is full of lessons for all of us. Ponder learned the pain of loss and how to help prevent it in the future and as you pointed out he learned to expect the positive in people. I think that as Ponder goes through life with this expectation of good in others, the good in others will be shown to him and he will have a better life because of all of this. Thanks for sharing Mark. Ed Smith http://www.brightmoment.com