(This is the first of what may become a series of short text postings, on events for which I wasn't able to write and record a complete podcast, for whatever reason. --jamie)
Today is Friday, June 10, 2011.
Twenty years ago today, an 11-year-old girl named Jaycee Dugard was snatched off the street as she was waiting for a school bus, shoved into a car and driven away. Despite the fact that her abduction was witnessed -- by her stepfather -- and a good description of both the car and the kidnapper was given to the police almost immediately, it wasn't enough.
But unlike so many cases of child abduction, when the victim is found dead -- or never found at all -- Dugard was found. It took 18 years to do it; for all that time, she had been held prisoner by the couple who abducted her, Phillip and Nancy Garrido.
I do have some memory about Jaycee Dugard’s disappearance in 1991; it was pretty big news in the San Francisco Bay Area at the time. As with Michaela Garecht and many others before her, the memory of Jaycee Dugard slowly faded from the awareness of all but a few -- family, friends, perhaps the police. Theirs was the struggle to come to terms with the idea that she was gone forever, or to keep the hope alive that she would be found some day.
And if this particular posting has a theme, it would be that hope -- hope beyond reason, beyond sense if you like. Hope that sometimes is lost, sometimes set aside just to cope with the never-ending press of day-to-day life. Hope that, against all the odds, is rewarded now and then, as it was with Jaycee Dugard.
Just a few weeks ago, the trial of the Garridos ended abruptly when both of them changed their pleas to guilty. Twenty years from now, they will both be still in prison -- and we can hope we will all have forgotten them.