Son of Yhency

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Finding Found

I'm not one to pry into the lives of others. But a few months ago, I had the fortune of a friend recommending Found Magazine to me, and my zeal for peeping into the inner thoughts of others has reached levels I've never experienced.

Found Magazine ( is a publication that compiles and prints the found notes, letters, drawings, photos, etc. of others. People from across the country (and occasionally, the world) send their found items into Davy Rothbart, the magazine's founder, and he aggregates them into a magazine that's published every few months.

The found items in these magazines run the gamut of emotions -- from hilarious to sobering, reflective to idiotic, shocking to, ummm, shocking. Because just about everything that's published is new, refreshing and completely unexpected.

For example, to the left is Davy's first "find" -- he found it sitting on his car windshield one night a few years ago -- and what inspired him to create the magazine. Note that the writer spits out pure, genuine hatred for most of the note, only to pull a 180 in the postscript with a simple request that comes out of nowhere. Strange, right? Well, this is what all of the finds are like.

Davy and his brother have been touring bookstores and theatres around the country for over a month now, doing readings of some select found items. I went to one of these in New York last month and had a great time. He's still touring, so if you're in California and other places throughout the southwest and south, I'd highly recommend catching him. The event schedule can be seen here. If you're really lucky, Davy's brother will perform his coffee-house rendition of "The Booty Don't Stop", which is based on a found recording by the Ypsilanti All-Starz, and can be heard by clicking here and then clicking "The Booty Don't Stop" link.

If you can't make an event, I'd suggest either ordering one of the magazines or just browsing the web site, which has many of the items that you can find in the magazine. A new item is loaded onto the site every day, and I find myself going whenever I'm bored. There's also a book out now, and while I haven't seen it, the reviews, not surprisingly, are outstanding. Because the lives you peer into in Found Magazine are supremely exciting, addicting and never dull.