534 Lithuanian Jews, and a story

From Executed Today, in 1941: 534 Jews, most of the intelligentsia of the Jewish community in Kovno/Kaunas, Lithuania. The story of the group’s capture and execution was recorded by William Mishell (then called Vulik Mishelski), who was a 22-year-old engineer at the time and almost became Victim 535.

Also, this morning I wrote and posted a 2,500-word account of something that happened when I was thirteen years old. I call it Standing Up By Sitting Down. It’s a little bit fictionalized, not much. I don’t think it’s my best writing. I do better writing 100% fiction.

Select It Sunday: Michael Masaoay

This week’s Select It Sunday is Michael Omas Masoay, a Filipino-American kid who vanished from San Francisco, California. (I updated his case on Charley only a week ago, looking for additional information after Annie of For the Lost suggested I write about him.) Michael packed a bag full of textbooks plus his clarinet, set off for his Catholic high school…and never showed up. He was sixteen and a half years old. It was January 25, 1989.

A little less than a month after Michael was last seen, a couple walking on Baker Beach in northern San Francisco found his bag under a rock. They left it where it was and didn’t think anything of it until they heard about Michael’s disappearance in the news, and called the police. Park rangers recovered the bag, which contained only a part of Michael’s clarinet; everything else was missing. That was the last sign of Michael Masaoay.

I don’t know anything else about this case, but it’s baffling. His case is classified as a non-family abduction. Sixteen-year-old boys don’t just vanish into thin air. They’re rarely the target of random kidnappings, either. I wish I knew more about the bag: did it look like it just washed up on shore? Or was it deliberately placed/hidden on the beach? Did it show signs of exposure to the elements or was it dry and clean? Zipped or unzipped?

I haven’t found any mention of Michael in the news since shortly after his disappearance nearly 25 years ago. Answers in his case may be found with the people who knew him in 1989: relatives, teachers, schoolmates, friends. His school, Sacred Heart High, is still around. There might be a few teachers still there who taught Michael and remember him. His classmates would now be in their late thirties and early forties.