Local News

November 11, 2012

Plattsburgh woman finds message in a bottle



Before spying the bottle, Layman and her companion had found a fake parrot, a sailboat cushion and a cowboy-style snakeskin hat with the words “Made in Mexico,” written on a tag in the brim, she said.

She calls looking for lost or discarded items in nature “salvaging,” and Layman says the rules are simple.

“The first one that sees it yells out, ‘Salvage!’ and it’s yours.”

A good place to try your luck salvaging is near the area of Cumberland Head known as the Flats, which is popular with windsurfers, Layman said.

“That is state land. Anyone can walk the beach,” she said.


Layman, 61, grew up playing along the shores of the lake. She started “salvaging” at about the age of 15, she said.

“You couldn’t wait for school to start,” she said of her childhood. “You amused yourself in the summer with whatever you could find to do in nature.”

She has discovered some interesting odds and ends on her salvaging walks and, most importantly, had fun outside, she said.

“You can salvage on the side of the road. People lose anything.”

She hasn’t found anything of extraordinary value yet, though. The closest she came to that was a wallet with a driver’s license inside, which she came upon a few years ago.

Layman also collects heart-shaped rocks that she finds on the beach.

She hopes the three children learn that she found their note.

“I want them to know they are a success.”

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