MILFORD (News Journal) -- Harold Walls was sure his leather wallet -and the $800 inside it - were gone for good, lost on the job as aMilford trash collector three years ago. But when he came to work lastFriday, 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.
HowHarold 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 truckto gather up the bins. Rick Webb is the truck's driver, and they werepaired up three years ago the day Walls couldn't find his wallet at theend of his shift.
Heand 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 cashthat night. Walls assumed someone had found the money on the side of theroad and kept it.
"Iwrote it off, honestly. I'd lost it, done and gone," Walls said. "Ain'tno 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.
In2012, the city government decided that trash truck had been driven longenough, and they sold it at auction. A farmer in Maine was the buyer,Webb said. After the Mainer got the truck, he disassembled the benchseat frame in the cab. What did he find? Walls' wallet, somehow wedgedso far behind the seats that it couldn't have been found otherwise.
"Thisfarmer out in Maine mailed it back," Walls marveled. They never learnedhis name. "I was real surprised it came back with everything. ... Ithappens to restore a lot of faith that there are still some good peopleout 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 said.
He'dbought a replacement wallet, but retired it when the original, embossedwith a motorcycle decoration, came back. Walls keeps it tucked far downin a pocket of his work clothes, more snugly than before.