Note to self, if you're thinking about putting a message in a bottle and sending it down a river, put your name and telephone number on it -- you just might see it again. Thirty-five years after Sean Keown set afloat a glass bottle stuffed with a handwritten note at a favorite swimming hole along the White River in Rochester, Vermont, 14-year-old Justin Shepard found it, 75 miles away. Even though the bottle was uncorked when he found it near the Bellows Falls dam, the soggy note was still readable. Sheppard called the phone number to no avail. He turned to the Internet instead, where he was able to track down the note's writer. Shepard mailed a copy of the note to Keown, and it arrived last week.
Keown, then in elementary school, had promised the finder a reward. He may have had a candy bar or perhaps a soda in mind when he wrote those words. Luckily for Shepard, Keown is now thinking cash.