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Picture-Perfect Ending for Lost Camera
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He said he'd sat behind a couple he soon learned was the Veenendaals at the Michigan speedway.

The couple left the races before he did. Fleming spotted the digital camera they has accidentally left behind. When he went to file it with the raceway's lost and found, he found that office was closed.

He decided to take the camera with him and find the owner on his own.

As he scanned through the digital pictures on the camera, he saw the Jess Brae sign was on the side of a truck in the background of one photo.

It was the only identifying clue he could find. A search on the Internet turned up nothing.

Undeterred, Fleming decided to keep looking for the truck on his travels and he put the camera away in a drawer for safe keeping.

Eight months later, on a run from the Better Beef meat-packing plant in Guelph to Buffalo down the Queen Elizabeth Way, he spotted the Jess Brae sign on a truck.

Fleming contacted Nelson on his citizens-band radio and explained the story.

After Nelson had informed the Veenendaals of that CB conversation, a meeting was arranged few weeks later where Fleming hooked up with Evert Veenendaal at a truck stop and the camera was returned.

"I didn't even know we had the camera back," Michele said.

"Evert walked in one day and told me he had it. When we first lost it, we kept joking that this was our punishment for going away without the kids."

She said she and her husband are overwhelmed by Fleming's persistence in reuniting the missing camera with its owners.

"He refused to take any reward -- only our deepest thanks," she said.

"He never even gave us his last name.

"So the end of the story is my son has his car pictures, my friend has his (50th) birthday pictures and I have my camera and -- even better -- a renewed sense of the general goodness of people."

Fleming, 55, didn't want anything for his efforts.

His daughter works with autistic children in Palmerston and he was surprised to learn that the Veenendaals' son was autistic.

"I didn't want any recognition for this," Fleming said in a phone interview from Montreal yesterday. "If I made the day better for a child, that's all worth it.

"It made me feel good."


   







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