Today, I found a small red plastic ball along the shoreline. Numerous balls float ashore (tennis balls, basketballs, footballs, soccerballs), but this one was of particular interest to me. Early in my tenure as lighthouse keeper, I found four plastic toy balls among the flotsam along the shore. Each was a different color–blue, green, purple, orange. All were labeled “Vinny 2005” in black indelible marker. In addition to the name and year, the orange and purple ones had a phone number and indecipherable scrawlings, like a child’s first attempts at writing. Figuring that whoever takes the time to write name and phone number on plastic balls probably wants them back, I called the phone number. Unsurprisingly, the number belonged to the area code upriver from the lighthouse. All I got was an answering machine, so I left a message that I found the balls at the Saugerties Lighthouse in case they were interested in getting them back or at least wondered where they ended up. I never did hear back. Now, two years later, I found a red one of identical manufacture: EURO-PLUS, PAT. 5038504. Any writing on it is now illegible, just a few black smudges. I can’t say for sure that this is one of Vinny’s, but it certainly adds to my collection of colorful detritus.