Thanks to a Sport-Coated Stranger

Somewhere between where I parked my car at the courthouse and the courtroom today, I dropped my wallet with all my credit cards. Since I keep my ID in a separate card folder, I had no idea it was missing. When I got to my office after court to get the mail, the receptionist handed me my wallet and said a man in a sports coat dropped it off and didn't leave his name.

On a blustery, rainy day, this person drove or walked a half mile from federal court to my office to return a wallet I had no idea was missing. What an incredibly nice thing to do.

Since I have no idea who he is, all I can do is thank him here and hope he sees it. Thanks, stranger!

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Random acts of kindness? (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Edger on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 06:49:39 PM EST
    Yeesh. What's the world coming to?

    Things like this could crash the whole system. ;-)

    Beg to differ sir... (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 08:09:34 AM EST
    random acts of kindness like this is what keeps the system from crashing.

    We get by with a little help from our friends, and a little help from strangers.


    Rest assured, Jeralyn... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by citizenjeff on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 07:02:36 PM EST
    ...that many of us are watching or would watch your back. You're a national treasure!

    Good (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by lentinel on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 07:06:11 PM EST
    Karma begets good Karma.

    That's how I got my first writing gig (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Dadler on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 07:10:15 PM EST
    Or at least my first scriptwriting gig in H-wood. I came out of a depressing meeting with my nutty first agent -- a Shelly Winters lookalike and the widow of a fairly well-known director, who was prone to disappearing for weeks at a time and then calling me as if she'd never been gone at all -- and as I stood pondering in the sun on the Doheny Blvd. sidewalk, I watched a car drive by and hit a small bump, knocking a caluclator-loocking thing off the roof. Someone had obviously left it up there when they were unlocking and getting into their car. As the device bounded onto the street, it remained intack, only a small chip coming off, and I trotted out to retrieve it before another car came along and crushed it.

    It turned out to be one of those old digital diary things, that you kept addresses and phone numbers, appointments and other stuff in, 164k I think they were. It had the owner's name taped on it, and I returned it to him later that day. His life was on there, he said, and he was thankful beyond measure. Turned out he was a director/producer, and about a year later he and his boss ended up hiring me to write up a screenplay from an idea they'd bought. Turned out to be a nightmare (favorite line from idiot boss, re the script: "There's a lot happening here, and it's not bad that a lot's happening, I want a lot to happen, I just don't want so much going on!"), but I still got paid, though the movie never got made.

    And here's a Where's Waldo? with Dadler in a photo from a USF basketball game last year, which I found today on a website previewing The Dons' upcoming season. (link)

    I had no idea you looked like Betty White (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by CoralGables on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 07:15:27 PM EST
    Those kids are hilarious (none / 0) (#7)
    by Dadler on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 07:22:04 PM EST
    Young alumni. One game they just showed up with the Betty White sign. It's so nonsensical that it's funny.

    I think you could do something w/J's title. (none / 0) (#20)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 02:16:46 AM EST
    Perhaps a film noir.  

    All I know is... (none / 0) (#33)
    by Dadler on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 11:57:49 AM EST
    ...I used "turned out" three times within about ten words. Speed is not a virtue here.

    Are you sure it was a stranger... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by unitron on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 08:28:16 PM EST
    ...and not one of your FBI/CIA/NSA tails?

    : - )

    My wife and I have returned more than one wallet (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by Peter G on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 09:58:29 PM EST
    that we found here or there, sometimes going several miles from home to do it, and have had more than one mislaid wallet (or cell phone) returned to us by a kindly honest stranger.  Happily, I don't think integrity and consideration are all that unusual in the ordinary person.

    I found a wallet (none / 0) (#14)
    by sj on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 10:33:06 PM EST
    I have been trying to return for months. It's the wallet of a young girl and the address on it was outdated as was the phone number. I tried the library card, but the phone number they had on file was the same one I had. There are a number of cash cards -- I don't know if they have any money on them. Every now and then I google her but the old address keeps coming up.

    Sometimes you can't do the right thing no matter how hard you try.


    Do you know anyone under 28 (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Peter G on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 10:37:26 PM EST
    who could try to find your quarry on Facebook?

    Now that is just too obvious (none / 0) (#17)
    by sj on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 12:29:55 AM EST
    I'll see if I can find it in my heretofore unpacked belongings. Thanks!

    I Once Returned a Wallet... (5.00 / 4) (#26)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 10:25:59 AM EST
    ...that brought me about 5 mins of fame.

    I found it at the gas station where I was working as a mechanic while in college.  It didn't look right as it was plastic and no meaningful ID or CC, but I called the number I found in it.

    Turns out the local free press magazine was doing a story and left like 30 of them around town.  Only one was returned and it was by one of the mechanics in a town called White Fish Bay (super snotty suburb of Milwaukee located on Lake Michigan).

    My boss was so happy all the folks he was seriously ripping off believed his employees were very honest, that I got a super pay raise and the magazine included me as part of the story as the only guy who in town to return the wallet.  And he happily continued to skin the pretentious jack@sses of White Fish Bay for years.

    I still have the article and it brings a smile to my face when I think about the ill-gotten gains my Boss made because of my good deed.  Last time I visited, the place was no longer.  I heard his tanks were leaking fuel and the city shut him down, which would have been a fitting end to a glorious run on WFB.

    Did you say only 1 in 30 were returned? (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Jack203 on Sat Sep 14, 2013 at 09:35:07 PM EST
    That's ridiculous bad.

    I returned a wallet once.  Had to google the guy to find his number.  How can you look at yourself in the mirror and not do so?


    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 126 (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Dadler on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 10:28:57 AM EST
    Here A Football One... (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 11:18:07 AM EST
    ...I ran accross.  LINK

    No really safe for work.


    America's team, meh (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Dadler on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 11:29:20 AM EST
    CS is being kind. Anything associated with Jerry Jones can blow me, Mr. Arkoma Corrupt Mothereffer that he is. And luckily I don't have to find any comics, it's only Dadler originals on AN AXE LENGTH AWAY.

    Go Niners!



    Well it Was More of a Rip... (none / 0) (#35)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 12:10:21 PM EST
    ...on the fans, but OK.

    Funny thing, here in Houston there is a huge Cowboy fan base, many being Mexicans, which is really amusing when you consider what the actual cowboys did to the Mexicans in Texas in real life.


    The fans, the team, the owner... (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Dadler on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 04:34:18 PM EST
    ...to heck with them all. But mostly the owner. Odd about Houston, I'd have guessed with the Oiler history there, that the Texans would get dominant love. But I'm more a San Antonio man when it comes to Texas cities anyway.

    DeBartolos (none / 0) (#43)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 11:11:42 AM EST
    Not even sure why I mention this other than I hate the Cowboys to the core, but the 49ers ain't far behind.  Eddy Jr is no peach and I would image none of the other owners have ever punched a fan.

    yeah, you're welcome.... (none / 0) (#6)
    by magster on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 07:20:16 PM EST
    maybe take me out for Indian food as repayment.

    jk obviously. Nice to hear about nice people doing the right thing.

    What a fantatic person... (none / 0) (#8)
    by Cashmere on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 07:43:42 PM EST
    So pleased that this day was a good one for you, instead of a frenetic hassle.  You deserve this good karma Jeralyn.

    Wow (none / 0) (#10)
    by bmaz on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 09:13:15 PM EST
    That is VERY cool and refreshing.

    That made my day. (none / 0) (#11)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 09:52:54 PM EST
    "Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching."
    -- Clive Staples Lewis, writer and lay theologian (1898-1963)

    Thank you for sharing. Aloha.

    I knew the flooding was bad (none / 0) (#13)
    by sj on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 10:29:25 PM EST
    But I didn't realize how bad. Reading the article brought a chill when they mentioned Big Thompson. My parents and some other family members just barely managed to leave the canyon in time when it flooded in 1976. A few years later I became friends with someone who was in the National Guard at that time and had the job of photographing the victims. Awful.

    I've checked in with all family members but I don't know about work tomorrow.

    We checked in with my husband's (none / 0) (#21)
    by Anne on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 06:25:25 AM EST
    family, who live in Boulder, and they're fine, thank goodness.  The video I've seen was pretty scary - although the kids at UD-Boulder looked like they were having fun tubing through the halls of campus buildings...what could be better, classes canceled AND a Flood Party!

    Looks like the clean-up's going to be daunting, between clearing all the debris, putting roads back together, rebuilding homes, etc.  

    Yesterday, here in Charm City, it took me over an hour to get home...something exploded in a trashcan near the courthouse, so streets were blocked off and traffic control officers were "directing" traffic (translation: making a bad situation even worse).  Took me almost a half hour just to get out on the street from the parking garage.  Inched up the JFX in the rain, only to find that traffic on the northbound side was bad because - wait for it - there was an accident on the southbound side that had shut it down below Northern Parkway - those folks were backed up as far as the eye could see, beyond the Beltway.  Bad thing there is that Northern Parkway is the first exit, so no way to escape if you make the commitment.

    We really didn't end up getting a whole lot of rain, but we'll take it.  Already cooler and the weekend looks like 70's during the day and into the 40's at night - perfect weather!

    Hope the sun is coming out for you all today, and that will be the end of the bad weather.  


    I think (none / 0) (#16)
    by Mikado Cat on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 11:32:43 PM EST
    a lot of people are "ready" to do a good deed, but not a lot of opportunities to do ones that get noticed. Feels good on both sides to do the right thing.

    Why should notice and recognition be ... (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 01:10:30 AM EST
    ... motivating factors to do what is right? From the Gospel According to Matthew, Chapter 6, verses 1-2:

    "Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward."

    Just my opinion, of course, but I believe that doing the right thing is best accomplished without hesitation, expectation or fanfare.



    Its what (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Mikado Cat on Sat Sep 14, 2013 at 02:59:32 AM EST
    You do when nobody will ever know that tells about you.

    My comment was speaking to many good acts that go unnoticed, not any motivation for doing them.


    But the little ones (none / 0) (#18)
    by sj on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 12:31:39 AM EST
    that go unnoticed can be just as satisfying.

    Working in the law, one almost always is (none / 0) (#23)
    by scribe on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 08:50:31 AM EST
    seeing people at their worst.  It is quite refreshing then, to experience the norm - people acting considerately and with integrity.

    About 20 years ago, I was having lunch with my client (a fellow lawyer) in one of those little lunchcounter places across the street from the courthouse.  As we got up to leave to go to our hearing, we saw a lawyer's file left behind at a table next to ours.  A couple phone calls - to his office and chambers of the judge (the lawyer had that info on stickers on the outside of the file) - led to a deep gasp from his secretary followed by gushing thanks and how to return it and a promise from the judge's secretary to let that lawyer know if he came looking.

    I think most people really want to (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Anne on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 09:04:10 AM EST
    do the right thing, not least because we would all want someone to show kindness to us if we were the ones who had lost or misplaced something important.

    Two years ago, my purse was stolen out of my car [the stupidity of living in the country and never locking a door or a car in 25+ years], and I was sure I would never see it again.  A couple hours after it happened, a Verizon worker about 2 miles away spotted what looked like the contents of someone's purse, so he stopped to take a look.  He found my purse, all the checkbooks - I had mine, my mother's and my aunt's - everything, really except the wallet.  He found one of my business cards and called my office and my secretary called me and I called the Verizon guy and we drove over to meet him.  

    Then, much later in the day, I got a call from a woman who lived about half a mile in the other direction, who came home to find my wallet, and everything that had been in it, except money and credit cards, all over her front lawn (turns out her house had been the next stop on the grab-and-run tour, and she had stuff stolen out of her car, as well), and she drove over to return it all to me.

    What was an unsettling day filled with the inconvenience of notifying banks and replacing cards and getting s duplicate driver's license was redeemed by the totally unexpected return of pretty much everything else that had been taken.

    That kind of thing only has to happen to you once to insure that, should you ever be the one who finds someone's wallet or purse or important documents, you won't hesitate to try to reunite the item with their owner.


    Well Jeralyn (none / 0) (#25)
    by fishcamp on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 10:24:49 AM EST
    you were very lucky due to a good guy but I can't stand that sport coat and what is all that other stuff he's wearing?  

    If I Had to Guess... (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 10:27:36 AM EST
    ...that is a Johnny Depp pic.

    Well played sir (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by CoralGables on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 11:14:27 AM EST
    How... (none / 0) (#32)
    by sj on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 11:35:03 AM EST
    ...did you find that?

    Google is my friend (none / 0) (#37)
    by CoralGables on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 03:31:43 PM EST
    In about 3 seconds on google images I knew he was right. That hat is in a hundred Depp pictures. But it took about 3 minutes to find a picture to verify the rest.

    Johnny Depp found Jeralyn's wallet? (none / 0) (#36)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 02:05:51 PM EST
    After his last box office bomb, he probably needs all the fans he can get. No wonder he walked it all the way back to her office in lousy weather.



    maybe in my dreams... (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 04:26:45 PM EST
    I was looking for a graphic of a sports coat and his was the best pic I found. I blocked out his face to make him look like a stranger.

    Shame to block (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by sj on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 06:03:30 PM EST
    out that face. Couldn't you have blocked out the sports coat instead? That coat is tragic. :)

    Yeah... (none / 0) (#34)
    by unitron on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 12:04:14 PM EST
    ...if I were wearing that vest with that jacket, I'd want my face hidden as well.