Woman writing book about mother loses one-of-a-kind tapes

MANSFIELD – Loretta Maas and her husband, snowbirds from Watkins Glen, N.Y., lost something precious on their recent road trip to Florida.

While making a stop to check on a suitcase in the trunk, Maas believes a Ziploc bag containing eight cassette tapes with interviews she conducted of her deceased mother fell out of the trunk.

“I am just heartbroken about it,” Maas said.

Maas is writing a book about her mother’s early memories.

“She was 65 at the time and died shortly after that,” she said.

Maas said she believes the tapes were lost somewhere between Corning, N.Y., and Williamsport on Route 15 as the couple traveled on Jan. 5.

Maas said the bag was on top of a suitcase and easily could have fallen out without being noticed by her husband, who is hard of hearing.

She had her daughter search her Watkins Glen home to no avail, Maas said.

She said she remembers going down a long hill flanked by woods and fields and then stopping somewhere near the bottom, possibly closer to Mansfield or even further south, she said.

“There were no houses or towns,” she added.

Maas said the tapes are “so important to me. If it had just been some music tapes, I would just think, ‘They are just gone,’ ” she said.

Maas said she has called the Corning Leader newspaper, the Sun-Gazette and police, who have not reported anyone turning them in.

Maas said if someone did find the tapes, they can call her at 607-738-4046, or mail them to her in care of the post office at Watkins Glen, N.Y., 14891, where the couple’s mail is being held.