True Life Stories
The Wallet Part 1
Wallet Part 2
As I walked home one freezing day, I stumbled on a wallet
someone had lost in the street. I picked it up and looked
inside to find some identification so I could call the owner.
However, the wallet contained only three dollars and a crumpled
letter that looked as if it had been in there for years. The
envelope was worn and the only thing that was legible on it
was the return address. I started to open the letter, hoping
to find some clue. Then I saw the dateline - 1924. The letter
had been written sixty years ago! It was written in a beautiful
feminine handwriting on powder blue stationery with a little
flower in the left hand corner.
It was a "Dear John letter” that told the recipient,
whose name appeared to be Michael, that the writer could
not see him any more because her mother forbade it. Even
so, she wrote that she would always love him. It was signed,
Hannah. It was a beautiful letter, but there was no way
that the owner could be identified except for the name Michael.
Maybe if I called information, the operator could find a
phone listing for the address on the envelope.
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"Operator," I began,
"this is an unusual request. I'm trying to find the
owner of a wallet that I found. Is there anyway you can
tell me if there is a phone number for an address that was
on an envelope in the wallet?"
She suggested I speak with her supervisor, who hesitated
for a moment and then said, "Well, there is a phone
listing at that address, but I can't give you the number."
She said, as a courtesy, she would call that number, explain
my story and would ask them if they wanted her to connect
me. I waited a few minutes and then she was back on the
line. "I have a party who will speak with you."
I asked the woman on the other end of the line if she knew
anyone by the name of Hannah.
She gasped, "Oh! We bought this house from a family
who had a daughter named Hannah. But that was thirty years
"Would you know where that family could be located
now?" I asked.
"I remember that Hannah had to place her mother in
a nursing home some years ago." The woman said.
"Maybe if you got in touch with them they might be
able to track down the daughter."
She gave me the name of the nursing home and I called the
number. They told me the old lady had passed away some years
ago but they did have a phone number for where they thought
the daughter might be living. I thanked them and phoned.
The woman who answered explained that Hannah herself was
now living in a nursing home.
This whole thing was stupid, I thought to myself. Why was
I making such a big deal over finding the owner of a wallet
that had only three dollars and a letter that was almost
sixty years old?
Nevertheless, I called the nursing home in which Hannah
was supposed to be living and the man who answered the phone
told me, "Yes, Hannah is staying with us."
Even though it was already 10pm, I asked if I could come
by to see her.
"Well," he said hesitatingly,
"if you want to take a chance, she might be in the
day room watching television."
I thanked him and drove over to the nursing home.
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The night nurse and a guard greeted me at the door. We
went up to the third floor of the large building. In the
day room, the nurse introduced me to Hannah. She was a sweet,
silver haired old timer with a warm smile and a twinkle
in her eye. I told her about finding the wallet and showed
her the letter.
The second she saw the powder blue envelope with that little
flower on the left, she took a deep breath and said, "Young
man, this letter was the last contact I ever had with Michael."
She looked away for a moment and looked deep in thoughts.
Then, she said softly, "I loved him very much. But
I was only sixteen years old at the time and my mother felt
I was too young. Oh, he was so handsome. He looked like
Sean Connery, the actor."
"Yes," she continued.
"Michael Goldstein was a wonderful person. If you should
find him, tell him I think of him often. And," she
hesitated for a moment, almost biting her lip,
"tell him I still love him. You know," she said
smiling as tears began to well up in her eyes,
"I never did marry. I guess no one ever matched up
Wallet Part 2
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