— Harold Walls was sure his leather wallet – and the $800 inside it – were gone for good, lost on the job as a Milford trash collector three years ago. But when he came to work earlier this month, a surprise was waiting for him.
“My supervisor said, ‘I have something that belongs to you.’ And he showed me my wallet,” Walls said. The $800? All there.
How Harold Walls lost his money and got it back is a tale quickly told. Walls is a trash thrower, the guy hanging off the back of a trash truck to gather up the bins. Rick Webb is the truck’s driver, and they were paired up three years ago the day Walls couldn’t find his wallet at the end of his shift.
He and Webb “went back and retraced our steps, every place we’d been,” Walls said Friday in an interview at the city’s public works building. They found nothing. He’d been planning to buy a new TV with the cash that night. Walls assumed someone had found the money on the side of the road and kept it.
“I wrote it off, honestly. I’d lost it, done and gone,” Walls said. “Ain’t no sense in harping about it or crying over spilled milk. Keep moving.” He went ahead and bought the TV anyway, a 55-inch flat-screen.
In 2012, the city government decided that trash truck had been driven long enough, and they sold it at auction. A farmer in Maine was the buyer, said Webb. After the Mainer got the truck, he disassembled the bench seat frame in the cab. What did he find? Walls’s wallet, somehow wedged so far behind the seats that it couldn’t have been found otherwise.
“This farmer out in Maine mailed it back,” Walls marveled. They never learned his name. “I was real surprised it came back with everything. ... It happens to restore a lot of faith that there are still some good people out there.”
He and Webb remain partners on a trash route, work he enjoys. “I like the physical part of it. We’re always on the go.”
He’d bought a replacement wallet, but retired it when the original, embossed with a motorcycle decoration, came back. Walls keeps it tucked far down in a pocket of his work clothes, more snugly than before.source