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A dumpster, a scrapbook and a woman named Margaret

This story originally aired on May 26, 2018.

On a hot, windy night in San Francisco, a good friend of Everett musician Jason Webley climbed into a dumpster. His nickname was Chicken John, and he crouched at the bottom of the dumpster to light a cigarette. What he found, there among the garbage, turned out to be unexpected treasure: an oversized, handmade leather scrapbook that was falling apart.

Sunlight, a poem by Margaret Rucker.

Chicken carried around the discarded, early-20th Century scrapbook for years.  It contained items -- poems, newspaper clippings and other official documents -- all pertaining to the life of a woman named Margaret  Rucker.

On a visit to San Francisco, Webley and Chicken got to talking. Chicken told Webley about the scrapbook and about Margaret Rucker. Webley had an unexpected response to Chicken's find.

"Chicken, I'm pretty sure I was standing on this woman's grave 36 hours ago."

In this story, hear how treasure found at the bottom of a dumpster became a muse for artists. Margaret's story and the music inspired by her tragic life just might prompt you to ask yourself:  How do I want to be remembered when I'm gone? 

Jennifer Wing is a Producer for our weekly show, Sound Effect.