Early Monday morning, July 30, as I followed a motorcyclist east on Balboa Avenue in Clairemon, he exited right onto the 805 south ramp. It was then his wallet flew straight from his backpack to the left, in the direction of centrifugal force and landed on the road. I decided to interrupt my plans to see what I could do.
Traveling at about 40 miles an hour, I looked in my mirrors to see a tailgater. I knew I could not pull over and safely stop. At the next light, I made a U-turn, then another toward the wallet when I could see there was no oncoming traffic in the distance. I parked in the median with my flashers on and when there was a break in traffic I made a dash for the wallet and a few credit cards that had spilled from inside.
Arriving at my destination, I searched the wallet’s contents so that I might reach the owner to inform him his wallet was not lost. The contents included a veteran ID card, a number of credit cards, membership cards, several business cards, and two or three dollars.
Garrett had a La Mesa address on his California driver’s license. Reaching home, I searched the web for his phone number without success. It is rather difficult to locate someone today in the era of cell phones, unlike when most people had a landline listed in the telephone book.
I found and called a number for a Portland address on an expired Oregon license (Family? I thought). There was no answer, so I left a message even though the number was for a person with a different name. People were listed in the San Diego area with the same name on whitepages.com, but none of the same age. According to the wallet’s contents, I knew I was searching for a young, recently discharged Marine veteran.
Next, I called the numbers on the business cards but to no avail. Finally, I picked up his AAA card, saw a member services number on the back, and tried it. After explaining the circumstances, I provided the membership number on Garrett’s card to the operator. She recognized my phone number in the database as another AAA member and then placed me on hold. Only a minute passed before she connected me with a very grateful Garrett. Another 30 minutes later, the wallet and owner were reunited.