Since 2001, Davy Rothbart has solicited garbage — excuse us, “found” items — for his brilliant mixed-media magazine, FOUND. Along with publishing partner Jason Bitner, Rothbart has put out eight issues (plus three issues of Dirty FOUND) over the years, and last year Rothbart published a book of autobiographical stories, “My Heart Is an Idiot.”
Saturday, as part of “FOUND vs. FOUND: Found Footage Festival versus FOUND Magazine,” Rothbart will read from his favorite found notes and sing songs about them with his brother, Peter Rothbart. Also presenting will be Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher of the FFF. Ahead of the reading, Rothbart shared with us a countdown of his five all-time favorite finds.
5: The Mario and Amber Note
This was the spark that fired up FOUND magazine. Mistaking Rothbart’s car for her cheating boyfriend’s, Amber left a note that starts with “Mario, I f—ing hate you” and ends with “P.S. Page me later.” Ah, the mysteries of love.
4: The Crack Budget List
The person who drew up this monthly budget doesn’t quite have his priorities in order, but at least he is saving: “Rent, $600; Cell phone, $50; Food, $500; Liquor, $600; Laundry, $30; Crack, $600; Attorney, $250; Savings, $100.”
3: The Note to Mom, Tied to a Balloon
Found in a cemetery in Illinois, this message is from a teenager to his mom about how much he misses her and loves his new girlfriend. Sad and sweet.
2: Adventure Club
This outlines the workings of a secret club: To get in, “You need to know how to climb a fence. Need to like adventure.” Rules: “No messing up the club.” And “You have to be nice to squirrels.”
1: Willis Earl Beal (pictured)
At a reading in Albuquerque, N.M., someone showed Rothbart a found handmade flier (below) by a man looking for love. The guy, Willis Earl Beal, stood up at the back of the theater and said, “Hey, that’s me!”