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Ovation: The Return Of Dave Lacey’s Camera Filled With Memories.


StolenCameraI used to take a lot more pictures.  I used to be the one in the gang who brought a camera to every party to snap shots of the silly things that my family and friends would do.  I would stock up on 35mm film when it was on sale and store it in the refrigerator because I was always told it would last longer if it was cold.  Every time I picked up an envelope of prints at the drug store, I’d drop off a new roll of pictures to be developed.  I’d fill albums and boxes with some of the dumbest and poorly composed photographs the world had ever seen.  But I was capturing memories.

Sometime in the last few years, I don’t know exactly when, I pretty much stopped taking pictures altogether.  Ironically, this happened at about the same time that I started carrying a smartphone that contains a perfectly functional camera.

When Dave Lacey’s camera was stolen from his home over year ago it contained precious photographs of his wife Erica, who died from cancer at age thirty.  Dave had given up hope and come to terms with the fact that the camera and the photos were gone forever.

Recently, the Santa Ana, California police department surprised Lacey and reunited him with his camera and more than three hundred photos that he thought would never see again.  The police had found a pawn shop receipt for the camera while investigating another crime.  They recognized the neighborhood where one of the pictures was taken and tracked down Lacey to return the stolen property and the lost memories.

I think I’ll start using my smartphone to take more pictures.  I can delete the bad ones and save the rest as digital files.  I should print a few, too, to replace the old photos in the frames around the house.

Do you take many pictures?


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From → Ovations

  1. Great story ending. I am not the picture taker in the family as my wife and children do more of it. My son is very good at it.


  2. That story sort of reminds me of an episode of…hmmm…can’t remember which medical show it was. But basically some nurse decides to steal a camera she finds in her new bosses drawer. She immediately deletes all the photos without even looking at them, so that should she ever be accused or found with the camera, they can’t prove she stole it. Well, lets just say…that was the biggest screw up ever. The camera actually belonged to a patient. Correction: a patients mother. The child had battled cancer for like the past years in that hospital, and the only pictures of those last years were all on that camera. Soooo…yeah. They were gone. Forever.

    I remember thinking to myself, I need to get the heck out of this digital era, quickly. We have such a terrible habit of taking pictures with our phones, on special occasions our digital cameras…and unless they are uploaded to facebook, the likelihood is, that’s about as far as you go with them. We forget how precarious these things, internet, technology, are, and we forget to back things up. At least with old school film, not only did we have the prints, but we had the negatives just in case. Kinda like an insurance policy. I’ve really got to get on printing more pictures, or at least saving them to picture cd’s/usb’s. I do print pictures, normally to give away as gifts, in collages and such. And I do also make my own (well, i made one lol) massive collages. But I really SHOULD make more.

    Great post!


    • You’re right, it’s easy to delete digital photos. But it’s also easy to lose printed pictures, too. I’ve found that uploading picture files to helps me keep them, more or less, safe. (I wrote a post about it last September.) Using the Snapfish service, we can print an album for vacations an other special occasions like we used to put together … almost like a scrapbook … and the cost is comparable to the price we used to pay for film+processing+albums.

      Thanks for sharing your story. It’s a great reminder to back up picture files just like any other important files.


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