The other Friday, I foolishly left my wallet on top of my car while pumping gas at the Citgo on Tunnel Road. By the time I realized I didn’t have it, I was at Lowe’s—unable to purchase my items.
When I went back to check, the wallet wasn’t on the ground near the gas pump or anywhere near the station. I had hoped someone would have found it and handed it in to the folks there, but alas, it seemed to have taken a longer [distance] to fly off my roof.
So off I went to the conveniently nearby Department of Motor Vehicles office, got a replacement license, went to a friend’s house in town and cancelled my debit and credit cards, and went on with my day—having lost less than $20 in cash and a couple of hours of time.
When I got home that night, my insurance agent had left a message that a man from Fletcher had called them, looking for my phone number (which I am now going to keep in my wallet)—having found my wallet on Tunnel Road. Nice news, but I couldn’t reach the insurance office on weekend hours, so I was going to have to call them on Monday.
The next day, Saturday, I was outside … when a car pulled up our road and I heard someone call my name. Folks, I live out in the boonies, and my mailing address isn’t the same as the road I live on, but here came this man with my wallet in his hand.
His name is Tom Southern, and he was on the way to watch his son play soccer [but] had driven all the way out here near Old Fort to personally deliver my wallet. I was absolutely floored! He had a game to go to … so we didn’t do more than exchange names and salutations before he drove off, [only] to come back a few minutes later to let me know my driver’s license was in a different pocket of the wallet than I’d left it, in case I couldn’t find it!
I have since found his address and sent him a check to help cover the gas he used on my account. And my friends and I are feeling mighty excited about the thoughtfulness, persistence and beyond-the-call-of-decency our fellow North Carolinian displayed, at his own time and dollar expense. I write this letter just to keep us aware of how much good is in this world we struggle in. Thank you, Tom.
— Phyllis Berman