When I was a kid, if I had contraband items that I didn't want my parents to see (dirty magazines, firecrackers, booze, etc.), I hid it in a secret spot in our garage. But why hide something in a garage when you can hide it a tree?
That's what someone apparently did in Vermont, where a crew of Earth Week clean-up volunteers recently found an old VHS cassette hidden inside the hollow of a tree. Inside the cassette were several military medals (shown above), along with some commemorative coins and a Civil War pay stub. As you can see, the medals were attached to little price cards, which suggests that they were stolen from a dealer.
The volunteers who found the medals turned them over to the local police, who in turn contacted the group Purple Hearts Reunited, which is devoted to returning lost military medals to their rightful owners. They were able to return one of the medals — Robert Gene Woody’s 1945 Good Conduct Medal — to Woody's son, Myron Gene Woody. It turns out that that Myron had a complicated relationship with his father and knows very little about his military service, so the medal will help provide a more tangible connection to that part of his life. You can get the full story here.
(My thanks to James Poisso for letting me know about this one.)