Sometimes you come across an idea that's such a natural, you're amazed no one's thought of it before. Such is the common response to Found Magazine, which takes letters, poems, doodles, and photos discovered on America's back lots and gives them a place in the sun. Flipping through its scrapbooklike pages, which are filled with ephemera submitted by readers, can be a bracingly voyeuristic experience.
Happy Father's Day to you, even though you told me I can't cook and the pie I made sucked.-- Found by Danny, Delton, Wis.
"One of the reasons that these notes are so fascinating," says Found co-founder Jason Bitner, "is knowing that they weren't made for public consumption. Most writing we see is created by professional writers and artists who consider their medium and write for a particular audience. We [at Found] get to read things that are much less crafted and much more immediate. It's reality played out on lined paper."
Thursday, June 3
Admission is free
Southern Exposure, 401 Alabama (at 17th Street)
Monthly Budget ... RENT 600 ... FOOD 500. LIQUOR 600. LAUNDRY 30. CRACK 600. ATTORNEY 250 ....-- Found by Lea McKenny Wilcox, Minneapolis, Minn.
Bitner's odd vocation began at age 16, when he worked at a recycling center near Chicago. He fought off boredom by rescuing notes from the scrap-paper piles.
LOCK THIS DOOR. It will prevent unauthorized people from entering the building and defecating in the washing machine. -- Found by Popcorn Pete, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Davy Rothbart, the magazine's other co-founder, is heading up a 50-state, eight-month tour for Found's first book-length collection. Expect to see him reading some of the weirdest finds -- plus his little brother, Peter, performing songs on the guitar based on Found notes and audience members sharing their own discoveries -- when the tour lands in San Francisco this week. Dumpster divers and sidewalk scavengers: Keep your eyes open.