Robert Parker lost his wallet 45 years ago. He got it back this month.
Construction crews renovating the south lobby of Amherst Steele High School found the wallet inside a wall and turned it over to district historian and teacher Russ Marty.
He said the south wing of the building was raised around 1970 and inside the wallet was a 1970-1971 student ID with Parker’s picture.
There was also a green key, a photo of classmate Becky Szefcyk (nee Lauter), a class schedule jotted in pencil, and wristwatch warranty papers.
“The power of Facebook” helped Marty track down the rightful owner. After the lost and found information was shared 73 times, it reached Parker, who rang up Marty.
Now a resident of Toledo, Parker had no idea how the wallet had gotten inside the wall. Marty mailed it right away.
That wasn’t the only case the school system’s history detective solved recently.
The same day workers found the wallet, Marty was also given a Class of 1992 ring that had been found. He managed to discover (again through Facebook) that it belonged to a Lorain County JVS student who hailed from Amherst.
The ring had been missing 25 years; it was also mailed to the rightful owner, who now resides in North Carolina.
Earlier this year, a similar situation played out with a 1972 diploma discovered discarded in a cabinet drawer at the high school. Marty tracked down its recipient too.
“We’re always talking in school about the potential dangers of social media, so it’s really nice to see it used in a positive way,” he said. “Having been able to reunite people with personal items from nearly 50 years ago is a pretty awesome feeling.”
Marty was designated last year to preserve Amherst Schools memorabilia. He’s spent long hours tracking down relics from yesteryear and converting old prom videos that can now be viewed on the district’s website.
Just this month, he received a $1,000 grant from Wal-Mart for history preservation at Steele. He plans to use it to purchase equipment to convert old school movies to share with alumni and researchers.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.
Courtesy photos A student ID tucked away inside its folds helped a wallet find its way back to Robert Parker after 45 years.