Lost on T, bag with earrings fares well

Boston Herald – Richard Weir – Friday, January 18, 2013

Aidan Low was en route to Back Bay to take his girlfriend out for her birthday Monday when the college freshman from West Roxbury realized he had left his backpack with her gift — a $250 pair of topaz earrings — on the back seat of the crowded Route 36 bus when he got off in Forest Hills.

“I had that feeling you get when you hit a parked car,” the University of Massachusetts Amherst pre-med student said of the knot he had in his stomach.

So he phoned his mom, Susan, who earlier had lectured him about not taking off the backpack while on the bus, and she gave him an earful. “I just went ballistic,” recalled Susan Low. “I told him, ‘Forget about it. You can just kiss ’em goodbye.’… I really thought that everybody was dishonest. … And he couldn’t afford the earrings in the first place.”

But the 18-year-old Eagle Scout who buses tables at a campus dining hall told her to have faith in humanity, that the backpack with the earrings would turn up.

And it did — thanks to an anonymous passenger and a scrupulous bus driver, Mark Turner, who today will be thanked by the Low family at an MBTA event.

Turner said he doesn’t deserve credit for being honest.

“I never even went through (the bag). It’s not mine,” the 11-year veteran bus driver said. “Why take something that does not belong to you?”

He said he was impressed that a passenger, a man in his 20s, handed him the backpack at his last stop. “You never think of somebody turning something in,” he said. “He could have taken it, too, and I would never have known.”

Susan Low, who retrieved the backpack Monday evening, wrote T General Manager Beverly Scott on Tuesday to commend Turner.

“Everybody hears when bad stuff happens. Nobody writes about the good stuff,” she said. “This is about Mark Turner doing the right thing when nobody was looking” — something her son believed would happen all along.

“I love that my mom was wrong,” he said.

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