Do You Know Where Your Luggage Is?
(Photograph by noizyboy. You can check out his Flickr photostream here.)
Life is strange thing. When I sit and think about being a human being on this planet I can spiral into deep thoughts about why we’re here and the meaning of life. My father used to say that ‘ignorance was bliss’ because if you didn’t think about such things, you just did. You did the laundry, the dishes, the shopping and everything in between without much thought or concern. But when you have those deeper thoughts about why we’re even here in the first place, you begin to question every little mundane act and it’s importance.
Over the years, one of the answers to this question for me, is that we’re here to learn and explore and share. It just makes life better and I think that’s why the internet and social networking has spread the way it has. People have a need to connect. What I stumbled upon over the weekend is a different form of connection that I thought was so quirky and weird but cool in it’s own way that I had to share. Especially because until now, I had no thought, intention or desire to visit Alabama but now I do!
In Alabama, Scottsboro specifically, is a store. An unusual store. It was started by a man, Doyle Owens, in 1970. He borrowed $300 and took a trip to Washington D.C. to buy his first batch of unclaimed luggage from the Trailways bus line. Yes, unclaimed luggage. The word that comes to mind here is…brilliant. I mean, there it is, all of this ‘stuff’, just sitting there with no where to go, until Doyle came along. Now, as you can imagine, the business is booming. It was taken over by his oldest son in the early ’80’s who has since established a relationship with certain airlines and you can imagine what that did for their business. The company is working on having an online presence and I’m anxiously awaiting that! But, until then, I think a trip to Alabama may just have to be in order!
So, if you’ve ever lost a piece of luggage and are wondering what ever happened to it, take a trip to the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Alabama and you may just get lucky!
And for those of you who are interested in some of the interesting things that have been found in these pieces of lost luggage, here’s an excerpt from a blog post by The Consumerist posted back in November of 2011. (Just imagine what’s been found since then!)
1. Hoggle from the movie “Labyrinth.”Yes. Someone checked the original puppet.
2. A Gucci suitcase filled with ancient Egyptian artifacts.
3. A rattlesnake. Yes. A snake on a plane.
4. A $250,000 guidance system belonging to the U.S. Navy.
5. A Barbie doll stuffed with $500 in cash. Best. Birthday. Ever.
6. A suit of armor. Stupid TSA probably wouldn’t let the owner wear it in the cabin during the flight, as planned.
7. A 300-year-old violin. Has Dave Carroll taught us nothing? Don’t check your valuable musical instruments!
8. An ordinary-looking sock, which contained a 5.8-carat diamond set in a platinum ring.
9. A camera designed for the Space Shuttle. NASA flies commercial?
10. A 40.95-carat natural emerald.
So, the next time you lose a piece of luggage, you can either wait the 6 months it probably takes to get there and take a trip to Alabama or relax knowing that someone out there is probably feeling pretty lucky to be purchasing your lost items.