Decades-old wallet mystery solved
UNDATED (WHDH) -- A family mystery that's lasted more than six decades came to a surprising conclusion. It involves a wallet, a thrift store, and an old cabinet.
In 1949 Harry S. Truman was President of the United States, and Donald Milford Townsend of Burbank California lost his wallet.
"I am sure he blamed it on mom for losing the wallet because that’s what dad would have done but I’m sure he misplaced it," said Dale Townsend, Donald’s son.
Normally that would be the end of a not so interesting story. Except 63 years later, that wallet reappeared in a thrift store in Whistler, British Columbia.
"When we went to sell it, in lifting it I noticed a sound and opened it up and there was a wallet in there," said Brian van Straaten.
Five months ago in the hidden compartment of an old donated cabinet van Straaten discovered what he describes as a time capsule.
His wife has another word for it.
"It is the treasure you look for when you own thrift stores or when you run them," said Lorna van Straaten.
They used every bit of information within a drivers license, union card, paper credit card and blood donor card to find the rightful owners family, but to no avail.
Then last month, "my sister called me that Rodney Whiting (my cousin) had been surfing the Internet and came across a story about this wallet that was found in a hidden compartment. And he read the story and was very fascinated by it and it turned out it was his uncle. My dad," Dale Townsend said.
"They were absolutely over the moon, and it was really a wonderful reaction. It was what I was hoping for. They were thrilled," said Lorna van Straaten.
Donald Townsend passed away in 2005. So Dale -- one of his three children-- says the return of the wallet was a blessing.