Last weekend, a 91-year-old man was reunited with a wallet he lost back in 1967 while working as a Navy weather forecaster.
In October 1967, Paul Grisham was shipped to Antarctica, where he worked as a meteorologist for an airport and science station on Ross Island. A year and a month later, he returned to his relatives in summerlike California, however, his wallet didn’t come back with him. On Saturday, Grisham’s long-lost notecase was returned to him after being unearthed behind a locker in the midst of the demolition of a structure at McMurdo Station. Inside the retrieved billfold was his driver’s license, a withholding tax statement, his Navy ID, and a recipe for homespun Kahlua.
Also in Grisham’s wallet was a pocket-size reference card with directives for what to do in the event of a biological, chemical or atomic weapons attack, money order receipts sent to his spouse for his poker payoffs at the station, and a punch card for beer ration. The wallet made of brown leather showed up by mail in healthy condition after a weeks-long jaunt of emails, letters, and Facebook messages between an organization of amateur gumshoes working to pinpoint its owner.
After more than five decades, Grisham claimed he can’t even remember misplacing his wallet on what he calls “The Ice” continent, though he’s grateful for the initiatives that enabled its return. “I was just blown away,” remarked the Navy vet, who resides in San Carlos with Carole Salazar, his bride of 18 years. “There was a long series of people involved who tracked me down and ran me to the ground.”
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