The first fossil I ever found on my own was a whole trilobite, curled up in a ball like a potato bug about the size of the tip of my thumb. I'd never seen such a complete little specimen in my life. It was resting on a bed of limestone on a hillside park in Ohio, probably knocked loose by the recent rain. I picked it up and showed it to my biology teacher, who asked if I'd mind him displaying it in the park's museum. I was thrilled. I knew my dad would love to see it, so I put it in a cup and stuck it in the back of the car. At some point after I got home, I went back to the car to get it to show him, and it was gone. When I found him and asked him if he'd seen it, he was mad at me for leaving trash in the back seat. He said he chucked it in the grass and threw the cup away.
I never did figure out where he tossed it.