Missing wallet returned 54 years later

Published On: Jul 12 2013 03:30:43 AM HST   Updated On: Jul 12 2013 09:56:14 AM HST
Money, bills, dollars in wallet

Penny Mathews/SXC

Jenison (WXMI) -

A man in West Michigan got a hand-delivered trip down memory lane on Tuesday when something he thought was lost forever found its way home.
There are things that come to Clarence Van Dyken's mind when you mention the year 1959: Gas was 25 cents a gallon back then, and he made $50 a week.
On Sept. 1, 1959, Van Dyken spent $16 on car repairs, something he can now prove thanks to an old receipt he found in a wallet lost 54 years ago.
Its return home started with a modern-day problem: renovations in Aron Schut's bathroom in Jenison, Mich., brought on by flood damage.
"I started sweeping up the insulation and inside was a wallet," Schut said. "So I thought, what a strange place for a wallet. And opened it up and there was an I.D. in it and I recognized the name, it sounded familiar. I know his son. So through a couple phone calls I was able to locate his son."
That son was Clare Van Dyken, who quickly called his father to say a man from his church who had purchased their old house had found the wallet between the studs by the bathtub.
"I'll be cow-kicked," Clarence Van Dyken said. "Unreal!"
Van Dyken thumbed through the worn and tethered pieces of genuine leather. Inside he found two dollars, one dated 1935. He also found a couple pictures.
Each folded up piece of paper unlocked a new memory, old addresses of relatives and neighbors, a grocery list for watermelon and milk. He also found a combination to an unknown lock box.
Van Dyken said the trip down memory land was well worth the wallet he misplaced 54 years ago.


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