Righty The Mitten Returns
by Staff | Jan 11, 2013 5:04 pm
Posted to: Hometown Heroes, Media, East Rock
After Natalie Elicker lost a mitten in Mitchell Drive, she and her husband walked around for hours looking for it. No luck. Then she turned to SeeClickFix.
Within a day, Elicker had found her mitt’s missing mate, thanks to a helpful neighbor reached by the magic of the internet.
Ben Berkowitz, who founded the problem-solving website SeeClickFix, blogged on Friday about what happened.
SeeClickFix is used most often to solve issues like broken streetlights or missing crosswalks, problems that can effect an entire neighborhood. But the site can apparently also be used to address small, personal mishaps.
“Help! I lost a mitten on Mitchell Drive in the past week,” Elicker posted on SeeClickFix on Thursday, along with a picture. “It’s the right-hand partner to the pictured mitten. Help us reunite? Thanks, New Haven!”
Elicker, nee Shonka, is newly married to East Rock Alderman Justin Elicker. She said she received the mittens as a gift from Justin’s parents shortly after she and he started dating. “So I did feel pretty bad” to have lost them, she said.
Natalie said she lost the mitten on a walk with her dog on Saturday. On Sunday, she and Justin went out again with the dog, hoping he might be able to sniff out the missing mitten. He didn’t.
But just a day after Natalie posted to SeeClickFix, Eva Geertz, known on SeeClickFix as “ewg,” “I found it tonight. How do I get it to you?”
Geertz said she found the mitten on a bush outside her apartment building at 6 p.m. on Thursday. Natalie said she suspects someone picked it up and placed it there for its owner to find. Geertz said she had seen Natalie’s post and been on look-out for them mitten.
Geertz posted a photo of the mitten to SeeClickFix, and she and Natalie made a date to meet.
“We did it!” Elicker posted Friday, with a picture of her reunited mittens.
“I’m glad Natalie got her mitten back,” Geertz said. “It was an awfully handsome mitten. I’m more of a glove person myself, but it really was a lovely pair of mittens. I wish someone would give me some just like it.”
“Holy awesomeness. I heart the Internetz,” wrote SeeClickFix user “Ben.”
“What a great story! This has to be one of the most adorable SeeClickFix issues of all time,” wrote user Kevin Donohue.
“While we could easily chalk this story up to #FirstWorldProblems there is a bigger story to be told here,” Berkowitz wrote in his blog post. “In a hyper-connected neighborhood we all stand a better chance of helping each other to solve our own problems collectively big or small. Righty the Mitten could be Pepper the Dog or Your Dad with Alzheimers but the message is the same: your neighbors are there for you and your community is stronger for it.”
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As much as I think of this city as the capital of cantankerousness, one of its residents more charming attributes is picking up lost garments and hanging them on something nearby in hopes of the owners return.