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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lost wallet returns after 63 years behind school bleachers, rekindling memories for Oregon man

By Associated Press
4:16 AM PDT, June 30, 2009
BAKER CITY, Ore. (AP) — Bill Fulton doesn't remember losing his wallet, but getting it back more than 60 years later helped him remember the past.

The leather stayed smooth and the zipper moved as easily as it did in 1946, when he apparently dropped the wallet behind the balcony bleachers in the Baker Middle School gym while cheering for the Baker High basketball team.

Fulton's Social Security card and a bicycle license for his job as a drugstore delivery boy were positioned in their respective compartments, apparently untouched since the year after World War II ended.

"After that long, my gosh, it stayed in good shape," Fulton, 78, told the Baker City Herald. "It's hard to believe."

A worker found the wallet — along with old homework, lost library books and a 1964 talent show program — while removing the bleachers for renovations on June 17. It was brought to Fulton's door the following day by Melanie Trindle, the Baker Middle School secretary.

"He was pretty much amazed," Trindle said. "He just kept saying, 'Thank you. Thank you so much.' "

The brown pine bleachers had been in place since the school opened in 1936.

Fulton said the recovery has led him to reflect on a life that took him to the Korean War and Berlin before a return to Baker City. He worked at Ellingson Lumber Company for 30 years until 1994.

"Where did all the time go?" Fulton said with a deep sigh. "It's hard to believe that the times have gone so fast."


Information from: Baker City Herald,