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Desert Companion

Things Lost, Stories Found

These notes, letters, and found objects tell distinctly Nevadan stories... some sad, some funny, some just kinda weird


Sugar Street

A young girl pencils an anguished note to her teacher explaining why she couldn’t complete an unspecified assignment — her project partner wouldn’t do his share. (Boys!) The teacher writes an encouraging reply in pink ink: “I’m here if you want to scream! … Keep up the good work, girl!” Then, thanks to the opaque workings of fate, the paper got folded into a copy of Sugar Street, by Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz, and wound up at the Henderson Savers, where I found it two years ago. I keep it as a reminder of how pieces of one life can drift into another. Scott Dickensheets


wedding momento box

I found this wedding momento box at the Goodwill on Cheyenne. The box, which reads “A Token of Our Wedding,” contains memories from the lives of Charles and Barbara. The couple was married in Cleveland, Ohio, in October 1927. Inside, the box includes photos of the couple by their cars, a photo with the note “last picture 1979,” an old preserved rose, Barbara’s birth certificate from April 1906, and a death certificate from the City of Cleveland Division of Cemeteries in 1938 for Tony, Barbara’s father. It’s common for people to donate an entire house of items to Goodwill when their loved ones pass away, but old photos, such as these, are commonly donated by mistake. Hayleigh Hayhurst


Gun piece on Mt. Charleston

While participating in a beach cleanup at Six Mile Cove on Lake Mohave with Litter Free LV, I mainly cleaned up beer bottle3s, but up a hill from the water I came across this gun ... well, half of a gun.  It was in an odd location since there was not much to shoot at, but it looks like it may have b een there a while.  Hayleigh Hayhurst


Las Vegas dump site

I visit the old Las Vegas dump site on the far east side of town to find these beautiful mutants. These old glass and ceramics were warped by fires lit more than a half century ago as a garbage-disposal method by Atomic-era Las Vegans. Brent Holmes


A Walk to Remember

I bought Nicholas Sparks’ A Walk to Remember at my local library’s bookstore. A beautiful but tragic love story. Inside, I found a real love letter written on the fi rst page. After reading it, I couldn’t help but wonder what happened to them, and why anyone would misplace such a beautiful letter. Monica Anchondo



This was scrawled on a wall near the Mirage.  It caught my attention because it was more verve, personality, and playfulness than your typical urban tag.  Andrew Kiraly


Antique desk

I found this letter in an antique desk I bought at a thrift store a year and a half ago. I am guessing the author is an elderly woman who has lost her independence and freedom and is upset about it. I hope she’s alive and well, but I suspect that her belongings were donated to the thrift store after her passing. Amanda C.

(page 1)


antique desk

I found this letter in an antique desk I bought at a thrift store a year and a half ago. I am guessing the author is an elderly woman who has lost her independence and freedom and is upset about it. I hope she’s alive and well, but I suspect that her belongings were donated to the thrift store after her passing. Amanda C.

(page 2)


Las Vegas Jazz Festival

Local Adman and writer Brian Rouff remembers the address: 1701 E. St.
Louis. It was a 5,700-square-foot home that once belonged to legendary Strip bandleader Jack Eglash. Hoping to flip it, Rouff and his family moved in for a couple of years to renovate. Last day before moving out: In the closet of a rarely visited room, feeling atop a high shelf, Rouff found this poster for the first Las Vegas Jazz Festival. Check out that talent! The house later burned down, but Rouff preserved it as the haunted home in his novel The House Always Wins. Scott Dickensheets


Dear God note

I found this note tucked up in the ceiling-light fixture in the entryway of my hotel room.  I barely noticed the shadow of the item through the smoky glass and decided to reach my hand up and figure out what it was.  This person must have been pretty desperate since it was such a weird and deliberate spot to hide a note to God.  Lynsey P.


Tree of Life

As we struggled with the unbearable news of October 1, landscape architect Jay Pleggenkuhle called our city offices. He wanted to create a community healing garden. Could the city provide a site? That day, we found a Downtown lot. Jay’s design included one tree for each victim, plus a Tree of Life that would become the heart of the garden. The next day, Jay’s friend Mark Hamelmann went to the lot to plat locations for the trees. Spotting a likely site for the Tree of Life, Mark kicked the dirt to check its consistency. A gold chain anchored in the soil clung to his boot. As Mark freed the chain from the heart of the garden he found attached this pendant — the Tree of Life. Brad Jerbic



This was found on the floor of the hallway of the Luxor Towers at the Luxor. My theory is that a couple, overjoyed by the election victory of Obama the night before, had celebrated in a time-honored fashion in the wee small hours — apparently within the hearing of “The Guy Next Door.” Lisa K.


Car on Mount Charleston

I came across this abandoned car on Mount Charleston. When I asked a forest ranger about it, he said the car is so old that it is likely considered historic trash, so they will not remove it. “Historic trash” is a term for trash
that has reached a certain age so that it now has a historical significance to the area and should not be removed. Jackie Spicer


Spoiled Milk

In the Las Vegas Wash near Maryland and Flamingo, I stumbled upon a gallon of spoiled milk with “For Everyone” written on the front in black ink.
Must’ve been the neighborhood wash’s gallon of milk. Mya Constantino

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Special thanks to Found Magazine for the additional Vegas material.

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