Student Returns Lost Camera to Grateful Tourists

'Righteous' Currier Resident's Good Deed Restores a Florida Couple's Faith in Harvard

Merle E. and Regina M. Banaszak left Cambridge dismayed last month, the victims of a camera theft. But David D. Kuo '99 turned things around, leaving them with a favorable impression of the city and the University.

The Banaszaks; a retired couple from Florida, were walking the Freedom Trail September 11 when Merle hanged his camera on a metal post and forgot to pick it up.

After several unsuccessful attempts to recover the camera through the Park Service Office, the Banaszaks gave up their search. "As far as I was concerned, my camera was gone forever," Merle said.

But Kuo noticed a return address on the camera when he was walking along the trail. Kuo picked it up and called the Banaszaks Sept. 28.

"Not only was he offering to return the camera, but he was apologizing that he hadn't gotten to me sooner," Merle Banaszak said. "What a righteous man."


The Banaszaks received their camera in perfect condition October 13, along with a note that Kuo wrote in biology lab apologizing for the delay.

"We decided to take it and find a way of giving it back," said Kuo, a Currier House resident.

Kuo said he left the camera in his room for two weeks before he remembered that it was there. After calling the Banaszaks, Kuo mailed the camera to them.

Merle said he wanted to thank Kuo, but Kuo had not given a return address. One week ago, Banaszak finally spoke with Kuo over the phone and sent him a $110 check, which arrived yesterday.

Kuo said he plans to return the money to the Banaszaks. "The note brightened up my day. But the check was way too much," he said.

The Banaszaks said they were impressed with Kuo's generosity. "It gives me a tremendously favorable impression of Harvard. It shows the caliber of person that is being educated at the University," Merle said.

"I was impressed by his honesty and the values taught to him at home and school," he said. "It's such a unique situation in today's world."

He and his wife plan to vacation in Cambridge again in the near future

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