Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Letterboxing Crime Wave in the Northeast?

I've only been partially following the story of the rash of letterboxes that have gone missing (stolen?) in the Northeast. One boxing reporter puts the number of missing boxes at about 150.

Perhaps because I'm not as emotionally invested in these boxes, I'm taking a more philosophical approach than many.

Letterboxing - for me at least - is a temporary art form - like snowflakes and sunsets. I never expect any box that I place to become a permanent fixture. And I don't expect a 100% success rate when I go looking for letterboxes.

Things happen--
weather and landscapes change with time,
hiding places are poorly chosen,
careless boxers fail to accurately replace,
curious creatures with a taste for plastic cart away a new treat,
Noxers stumble upon them,


the occasional Obnoxer will purposely remove the treasure for whatever reason.

In an area like the Northeast, that is positively teeming with letterboxes, what's 150?

The collective GASP of all letterboxers just sucked my computer across the desk.

"But, Chuck!" they cry,
"Those were so much work!
I loved those stamps,
that series,
that place was special,
that box was important . . .etc."

I know. Really, I know.
All of those missing boxes represent hours of effort and varying levels of sentiment.

Some rewards of this hobby are artistry, brainwork, nature, treasure hunting and appreciation.

Part of this hobby is secrecy and a threat is publicity.

A risk of this hobby is transience - which may enhance the appreciation.

When you leave that box out in the world and publish, on a worldwide and public platform, how to find it, what do you expect to happen?

For those of you who've lost boxes, I am sorry for your loss.

I hope the blow is lessened by knowing yours are not the first and only boxes to have gone missing.

Now, suck it up.

Plant more.

Make them harder to find.

Challenge any would be thieves to use their heads

or climb higher

or hike longer.


Celtic Quinn said...

I love that term, 'Obnoxer'. Perfect.
I agree, if you're really worried about boxes going missing, make the clues harder. Nobody's going to put that much effort into vandalism.
But I feel the same way as you and the Pepe's do- my letterboxes aren't permenent. They survive as long as they can. Every day they last is a bonus.

Just-Chuck said...

Here's what others are saying:

Any day it survives after that initial planting date is a bonus. -- P

For me, I'm happy if there is a 1st Finder before the box disappears -- S

Stop whining if all you do is fling them in the brush [and] what do you expect when you do interviews and write books that introduce it to the masses. Since the hobby is no longer WOM you get every idiot who can read playing. -- L

CresceNet said...
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Multifuncional said...
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