Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website www.lenoreskomal.net.   Read more about this blog.
Posted: April 23rd, 2012
Soccer ball lost in tsunami ends up in Alaska and traced to owner

This is one of those stories that just deserves to be shared.

Debris from last year’s tsunami that devastated the eastern part of Japan is starting to show up on the other side of the Pacific.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the soccer ball that washed ashore in Alaska last week is the first official piece of debris that can be traced back to the prefecture hardest hit by the massive wall of water.

The ball was found on the shores of Middleton Island off the coast of Alaska by David Baxter who was beachcombing. According to the Kyodo News agency, the ball had Japanese writing on it, which gave Baxter clues to its owner. His wife, who happens to be Japanese, translated the name and tracked down the owner, Misaki Murakami.

“The ball, which also had messages of encouragement on it, had been given to him in 2005, when Mr. Murakami was in third grade, as a good-bye gift when he transferred to another school.”

The soccer ball traveled over 3100 miles.

Read the entire account here.

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