Lost wallet returned after 5 month adventure

Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Anthony Garza holds up his long-lost wallet.

Last week Anthony Garza of Lewisburg got the phone call he was hoping for but never really expected to get: someone had found his wallet.

Garza lost the wallet about five months ago while he was out "in the middle of nowhere" riding four-wheelers with friends. They looked and looked at the time, he said, but never did find it. So he went about the tedious business of replacing driver's license, credit cards, etc.

The wallet had sentimental value, too. Garza said, "My dad had this wallet when he was my age."

Fast forward to Blake Fralix clearing some brush on land his dad had leased for hunting.

"Look, it's a wallet!" Fralix exclaimed.

They looked inside just long enough to get the name and address off the driver's license, found Garza in the phone book and called him when they got home.

He picked it up from Blake's mom, Lawanda, at the Tribune office, and was thrilled to get it.

"Man, I had a lot of stuff in here," said Garza as he checked out the contents. There was paper money, too, almost destroyed by the damp conditions the wallet had lain in since November.

Garza took it to his bank, Ascend Federal Credit Union, and they sent the wallet, containing scraps and shreds of money, to a mutilated currency examiner at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, D.C.

The examiner will use scientific techniques to determine how much money was there, and authorize the credit union to issue new bills, but that's expected to take three to six months.

Meanwhile, Garza's just happy to have his old wallet back and his faith in his fellow man restored.