This article appeared in the February 12, 2021 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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How a lost wallet and $22,000 flute found their way home

Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune/AP
Paul Grisham holds his 1968 Navy ID card at his home in San Diego, Feb. 3, 2021. Mr. Grisham’s wallet was missing for so long he forgot all about it. Fifty-three years later, he has the billfold back along with mementos of his 13-month assignment as a Navy meteorologist on Antarctica in the 1960s. “I was just blown away,” he told The San Diego Union-Tribune after the wallet was returned on Jan. 30.
Linda Feldmann
Washington Bureau Chief

“Nothing is ever really lost, or can be lost,” the poet Walt Whitman once wrote. Some headlines this week provided a ready reminder of that timeless observation. Take nonagenarian Paul Grisham of San Diego, who left Antarctica 53 years ago after working there as a Navy meteorologist – and forgot his wallet. 

A few years ago, the wallet turned up in the station where Mr. Grisham had worked and eventually landed with Bruce McKee, who runs an organization dedicated to World War II vets. Through some sleuthing, he found a surprised Mr. Grisham, who didn’t even remember losing the wallet. But he was delighted to get it back. 

“My ID card was in beautiful condition,” Mr. Grisham marveled in The Washington Post. “You can see that at one time I had dark hair.”

In Chicago, a much younger man had a more searing “lost and found” experience. Donald Rabin, a graduate student in music, had left his $22,000 flute on a train and feared it was lost for good. But a few days after posting his final plea on Facebook, he heard from the homeless man who had found it – and pawned it.

Long story short, the Post reports, Mr. Rabin got his flute back with the help of the pawnshop owner and Chicago police. Now Mr. Rabin is helping publicize the GoFundMe page of the homeless man and his wife. As of mid-day Friday, they had raised $15,720 of their $25,000 goal.

This article appeared in the February 12, 2021 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 02/12 edition
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