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September 21, 2006 | 7 Comments

Hi Garrison,
I was in the audience the night you appeared in Hartford at the Bushnell and couldn't believe how fast the time flew by while you swept us up in a cloudstorm of words and made us laugh and
remember and ponder and laugh again. Afterward, my friends and I went to my car, which was parked next to Bushnell Park and saw people standing on the sidewalk and found that their two cars and mine had been broken into by people who smashed the windows and ripped out the CD players and part of the front dashboards in the process. "A very amateurish job," one of the men said. One car was from Massachusetts, another from Hartford and I live an hour and a
half away. We all agreed that we loved your show, and stood there talking about the magical experience we had shared and someone said, "Garrison wouldn't believe this," so I am taking the liberty of writing to you to tell you why we three gro ups of strangers were joined in conversation on the sidewalk in the night.

Jane V.
Thompson, CT

For what it's worth, which is exactly nothing, I feel bad about luring you into the city and distracting you with a show while thieves stole your stuff. I feel responsible. But it could be worse. A CD player can be replaced. A friend of mine had a briefcase stolen from his car down in Arizona and the briefcase contained manuscripts of poems and stories. A grievous loss. My wife had her purse stolen from our car parked near Hans Christian Andersen's birthplace in Odense, Denmark, a purse containing her passport (fairly easily replaced) and billfold (a pain to cancel those credit cards, but it can be done) and, worst of all, a pair of earrings left to her by her grandmother. She still feels bad about that. I once had a laptop computer stolen out of an apartment in New York, but it was fairly new and not much was stored in it. And I once had a car stolen, from a parking ramp in New York. A Ford Explorer, red. I'd driven it from St. Paul to New York when I moved there in 198 7. We didn't need a car but held onto it out of habit, rented a space in a ramp to keep it in, and when it was stolen, I felt a great relief. The insurance company paid us a big chunk of change and suddenly I felt flush. No parking fee, no insurance. The car was discovered weeks later in a turn-off on the FDR Drive. It had been stripped of all valuable or interesting parts and then set afire. R.I.P. S.U.V.


Glad it was only stuff that was missing and harmed, Jane V. Strangers joined in shared adversity is generally a good thing. Once they start talking to each other, one never knows what might happen, especially if they share an appreciation for the same music.

We don't have "parking ramps" in NY! ;-)

"A friend of mine had a briefcase stolen from his car down in Arizona and the briefcase contained manuscripts of poems and stories." Were those his only copies? If so, he deserved to lose them.

I have been fortunate enough to have lived in Alaska for the better part of my life (since 1952) and have never had the misfortune of having my stuff messed with, much less stolen. Our doors are unlocked and the keys are in the ignition, pretty much all the time. I'll hate to leave King Salmon.

Thank you, Ms. Riemer, for bringing my mother-in-law back to life for me. It has been a while since I was reminded of her by comments like yours. She always knew of the evil that other people deserved.

I once had my car stolen in NY City. My briefcase, camera, files - everything important to my career - was in it. When the car was recovered the only thing missing was a case of water that had been in the trunk. was July.

I am amazed that people still break into cars to steal radios and CD players. In Australia, where I live, radios and CD players must have a PIN - they won't work if you don't key in the pin the first time you use them and then each time you disconnect the car battery. Pawn shops won't buy them without a PIN, so there are now no thefts. If you lose your PIN, you have to go to the auto manufacturer's records (for a fee) with proof you are the licensed owner of the car. If you update your sound system, you're supposed to tell the manufacturer.

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