Wallet lost in the 1950s found, returned to owner nearly 70 years later

POQUOSON, VA -- A wallet lost at a Virginia high school in the 1950s has been found and reunited with its owner.

Ester French, now 85, could not believe it when she heard a wallet that belonged to her nearly 70 years ago had been found in relatively good condition.

"It was absolutely shocking when I learned about it. Just very surprising, but interesting," she said to WTKR.

French said she actually remembers when she lost the wallet; she was around 16-17 at the time.

"There was a ledge (in the gym) that I had placed my wallet on, and when I went to get it, it wasn't there, but there was a hole - opening behind that ledge - and so my wallet apparently had fallen down and gone beneath the school, and there was nothing to do about it," she said.

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Now, French's high school is not even a high school anymore. It's a middle school. The gym where she lost her wallet in the early 1950s is undergoing a $19 million renovation.

That's how the wallet turned up: A contractor working at the site found it.

"There's a calendar from 1951; some wonderful stamps of Santa Claus from 1951. There's two pictures of people that were important to her; there's some silver coins," the school's current director of operations, Steve Pappas, said.

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Other things in the wallet include $0.85, a small newspaper clipping asking God to protect all the Navy Sailors during the Korean War, and a little blue book with names and addresses.

That blue book helped school officials track down French, who now lives 500 miles away.

French said she's excited to flip through the pages of her past.
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