It’s Official: I’m Already an Archeolgical Relic

Last night, a call came in while I was eating dinner. I let it go to voicemail and went to retrieve it as Vicky & I sat down to watch a movie. “This is Sean. Can you call me back at this number”, the unidentifiable voice on the other end began, “I have something you might be interested in.”

The hesitation in his voice assured me it was not a telemarketer yet that hesitation also worried me a bit…

“I wonder what this guy wants,” I told Vicky as I called the number.

Without allowing me to identify myself, the caller immediately greeted me with: “I know this is a rather bizarre thing to call you about but I have something in my possession that might be of interest to you.”

This was very strange and I suppressed a very deep sigh. I didn’t like the tone of his voice.

“My son and I are building a fence and we found your birth certificate in the dirt. I thought you might like to have it.”

This is definitely some sort of a scam, I thought. Then he read the certificate to me and I knew he was telling me the truth.

It was on a small road a half block off of Beach Blvd. near the 9-A overpass. He and his son were building a fence for a motorcycle parts dealer and they found my birth certificate as they were digging a post hole. The son got excited and wanted to take the certificate home and Google my name on the Internet. “I’m not carrying some man’s ID in my car,” the father told the son, “If the police stop me, they’ll probably arrest me!” The son persisted and the father finally allowed him to take the certificate home where – thanks to my diligent effort of getting myself all over the Internet – he was easily able to find a contact #.

“My son insisted on doing this because the document was so old…”

“Yes, and I am even older!”

“Yeah – you’re like 55! That’s my dad’s age – really old!”

A different, audible sigh came out of me this time.

Robert Leedy's birth certificate copy issued in 1975 by the State of Florida and found in 2011.

Sean told me they would be back out at the site the next morning if I wanted to come by and pick up my birth certificate.

“Hey, just in case you’re worried I’m some sort of a psycho, my son is getting ready to become an Eagle scout and I am a scout master myself.” We both laughed and agreed on a time to meet the next day.

Sean & his son, Clive posing for a photo. Clive searched me on Google and found the owner of the 1970's birth certificate.

I found the motorcycle parts dealer tucked back off of Beach Blvd just as Sean had given me directions to. A man with long hair and wearing a sort of straw, Panama hat came out from behind a recently built fence. It was Sean. A boy with tussled blonde hair followed and introduced himself as Clive as he shook my hand. Sean pulled out the birth certificate as Clive explained where he found the relic:

“It was in the dirt, right over here,” he said, pointing to a fence post,”it must have come out of this old, trashed double wide we demolished to put this fence in.”

“And you convinced your dad to let you research who it belonged to on the Internet?” I asked him. “That is impressive investigative work!”

“Yeah, I found your web site on the Internet,” he smiled,”and I really liked your work – your paintings are really cool.”

“I’m glad you like them,” I said as I stepped back over to my car and reached in, “because I brought you this in return for finding my birth certificate…” I gave him one of my prints.

I think he was thrilled. He smiled, thanked me and asked his mother who was standing nearby to put it in a safe place in their car.

Sean and I chatted for a few minutes. We were both amazed at how my birth certificate popped up out of nowhere. After all these years.

“I guess these things happen for a reason,” Sean mused.

“Yeah, I think they do,” I added.

Why that happened remains to be seen. I guess I will find out soon. Maybe.

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