Texas Man Returns VHS Tape to its Michigan Owner 20 Years Later
I love when stories like this have a happy ending, especially when they involve a fellow Michigander! I am a regular donor and purchaser of items from Goodwill. Most of the time when we donate these miscellaneous items, the idea is we no longer need them and plan to never see them again. But what if one of your old donated items ended up back on your doorstep decades later? That’s exactly what happened with a Bay City, MI man’s copy of the classic 1990 film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
There’s a man in Texas named Ruben who appears to have an obsession with old VHS tapes. An avid collector, Ruben says he buys VHS tapes whenever he can find them. Now, if you’re not old enough to remember the world of VHS tapes and VCRs, quite often you would lend them to friends and family and would never see them again. To avoid situations like this many of us would include return labels to mark our possessions hoping to ensure their safe return.
Upon purchasing the TMNT movie back in September 2021 and finding such a label, Ruben says his curiosity got the best of him and he wondered: What would happen if he actually returned the tape to the address on the label?
“I honestly wasn't expecting much but a random new resident… scratching their head in bewilderment (which just thinking about was enough to make me laugh) but something else happened that ended up shocking me instead.”
To Ruben’s surprise he actually got a response! It turns out the previous owners of the TMNT tape still lived at the Bay City, MI address and remembered donating the tape to their local Goodwill 20+ years ago. The letter explains how surprised they were to receive the tape in the mail, adding they didn’t even think to remove the return label upon its donation. The original owner says the tape was purchased for and enjoyed by their now 34 year old son. Even better, they planned to re-gift the tape to their son for Christmas!
What an unexpected yet pleasant surprise for everyone involved. I must say though, I hope Ruben was kind and rewound the tape before sending it back! Check out their exchange below: