Two stories of lost items reappearing decades later hit the headlines as 2022 wrapped up, seemingly reminding all of us as the new year approached that there is reason to hope after all!
A Wallet Full of Memories
A contractor in Fayetteville, West Virginia, found and returned a wallet that a student lost during a high school dance in 1968. It belonged to Sharon Sue Tyler who was just 16 years old when the item disappeared, according to WVVA.
The Fayetteville Grade School, which hosted dances for older students, closed in 2019, and Bradley Scott of New River Contracting was renovating the building in December 2022 to make space for new apartments when the wallet dropped out of the ductwork. The item was tucked inside with other objects in a space that was bolted shut. It’s unclear how the wallet ended up there.
Scott explained, “There was some old admission tickets to a boxing match and some other things that all fell out of there when we broke that loose and opened it up for the first time in 100 years.”
The Search Begins
Rather than just toss the wallet into the trash with construction debris, Scott decided to post about it on Facebook in the hopes of tracking down the original owner. He thought the woman may still live in the area and may be interested in reclaiming the photos and social security card inside.
The wallet’s owner, who is now known as Sharon Day, found out about the wallet from her sister and was excited to see its contents again: “I like my pictures of the people that I went to school with and friends. It’s something that I never thought I would see or know what was going on about it.”
With Day’s permission, Scott wrote a follow-up post that contained the photos in the wallet, and several Facebook users “recognized loved ones, relatives, and classmates.” Day’s daughter, Suzanna, explained in the comments that her mother did not remember losing the wallet or know who it ended up in the duct work. Another Facebook user suggested Day lost it through a high school prank.
Blast from the Past
Most of the images Day collected were black and white and a snapshot of the 1960s generation. The year the wallet was lost, 1968, was a turbulent one for America — Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated, and the country was in the midst of the Vietnam War. The year also featured the first interracial kiss on television, courtesy of Star Trek, and Apollo 8 became the first manned spacecraft to orbit the moon.
Day is going to put the photos and other contents of the wallet into a scrapbook.
A Story with a Ring to It
In related news, an engagement ring that was lost more than two decades ago has also found its way back to its original owner. Shaina Day lost the piece of jewelry at her future-in-laws’ home in Lakeland, Florida, 21 years ago.
Shaina and Nick Day were engaged when the ring accidentally ended up in the toilet at Nick’s parents’ house. Nick told WFLA-TV, “She came to me one day and said, ‘I think I lost my ring.’ She said, ‘It was on the counter now it’s gone and I think I may have flushed it down the toilet on accident.’”
(Happy) Accidents Happen
Shaina explained what happened on Facebook: “I was cleaning water off the counter with some toilet paper. My ring was sitting on the counter. I must have grabbed my ring by accident and tossed the tp. It was one of the worst things I ever did. I’m still in shock we got it back. We never thought it would get stuck. We thought it was lost in the septic tank.”
Shaina and Nick attempted to find the ring in the septic tank but came up empty. Fast forward 21 years, and the ring resurfaced when a plumber replaced the toilet and found it inside. The couple got it back on Christmas Day 2022.
Now how’s that for some holiday cheer?
By Noelle Talmon, contributor for Ripleys.com