Today as I was leaving my office to run an errand, something in the median caught my eye. I glanced to my left and there, blowing across the brown grass, was a one dollar bill. “One dollar!?!” I said outloud. I decided to drive on, but something about that free dollar bugged me to no end. A mile later I made a U-Turn and headed back to where I had seen the free money. I even ran a red light as I was trying to determine where I had seen it. Another U-turn and I was at the spot. I saw the dollar and stopped my car right in the middle of traffic. People began blowing their horns and I shrugged my shoulders and mouthed to them through their closed windows, “Hey, there’s money out here.” I grabbed the dollar and headed to my car. Then I saw another bill. This time it was a twenty dollar bill. And then another. When it was all said and done, my traffic violations had earned me $42.00. Awesome. I hopped in my car and headed to my errand – dreaming of the new jeans I was now going to buy on my lunch break.
Two hours later and I’m driving back to the office. As I’m sitting at a traffic light, near where I found the money, Mr. Stingy in me started to whisper, “Hey, what if there’s more money?” Damn right! I made yet another U-turn and stopped my car in the road. This time, however, I found a black, leather folder. Inside was a wallet and some mail. Upon further investigation, I realized that I had found the wallet and the personal belongings of a gentlemen who was born in 1915. I searched the wallet and found a business card. Turns out Mr. Hawkins works for a Baptist Ministry that helps find housing for impoverished children and families. Perfect. I called the office to learn that he was in Athens for physical therapy after having broken his hip. Seriously!?! I got the number of his daughter who lives nearby and told her the tale of me finding his wallet and personal affects. She began to cry. It appears that the Medical Transport company that brought him to Athens had left his folder on the hood of their van as he was loaded in. They drove off none the wiser and flung the leather folder off onto the side of the road. They had been in a panic for days as his wallet and credit cards were all missing. I gladly gave her the address of my business and handed over the wallet, the cards, and the $42.
Now as I sit here at my desk begrudging the jeans shopping I had planned on doing with the free money, I am amazed that I found myself in the midst of a plot of bad intent towards Mr. Hawkins that somehow, Someone decided to turn for good. Thanks Mr. Hawkins for your service to this country. Returning your wallet is the very least that I can do for you my good fellow. I wish I could do more.
And to my guilty and greedy conscience, just remember – if I don’t get new jeans, YOU don’t get new jeans! Happy New Year.