Over the course of our lives, we lose and rediscover many things: interests, friends, waistlines. It’s part of being human.
For this week’s edition of Summer Fridays—our new collection of must-read stories we send you each Friday—we’re exploring some of the most fascinating accounts of things lost and found, from a man who lost nearly 700 pounds to to discovery of an ancient city beneath St. Louis.
Doing any traveling this weekend? Save these links to your Pocket, and set aside some time to get a little lost yourself, whether you’re road-tripping to the lake or hopping on a plane.
The Case of the Stolen Ruby Slippers
Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson, The Washington Post Magazine
How a big crime in a small town produced a whodunit as gripping and colorful as “The Wizard of Oz” itself.
How the World’s Heaviest Man Lost It All
Justin Heckert, GQ
Paul Mason used to weigh close to 1,000 pounds. Now that he’s shed almost all of it, freeing himself from his tomb of a body, he’s facing a heavy question.
How a Beloved Hollywood Home Ended Up in Canada
Steve Vaught, Los Angeles Magazine
Revered architects Greene & Greene built the house in a nascent Hollywood. For years its fate would be a mystery to all but a few.
Traces of Time Lost
Erika Hayasaki, The Atlantic
How childhood memories shape us, even after we’ve forgotten them.
The Lost Man
Graeme Wood, California Sunday Magazine
In 1948, a man was found on a beach in South Australia. The mysterious circumstances of his death have captivated generations of true-crime fanatics. Today, one amateur sleuth has come close to solving the case.
Can the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Be Found in Cuba?
Mac McClelland, Audubon Magazine
A birder, ornithologist, writer, and photographer set off on an extreme adventure through the muck and memories of eastern Cuba.
When Things Go Missing
Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker
Reflections on two seasons of loss. Over a lifetime, we will lose some 200,000 items apiece, plus money, relationships, elections, loved ones.
Finding America’s Lost Medieval City
Annalee Newitz, Ars Technica
A thousand years ago, huge pyramids and earthen mounds stood where East St. Louis sprawls today. Cahokia was bigger than Paris—then it was completely abandoned. Recent digs have revealed this was no ordinary place.
The File – Lost Then Found
A.M. Homes, Granta
Novelist A.M. Homes writes of the ambivalence she felt after being given her adoption file and learning more about her birth parents—and what it meant for the narrative of her life up until that day.
Never Lose a Story You’ve Saved
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