Found-wallet mystery solved
Anne Bromley and Betty Wooding
the summer of 1971, U.Va. student Terry Dan was working for the
intramural department and living with two other students in a
room with bunk beds in Memorial Gymnasium. He figures that was
when he lost his wallet.
years later, he got a call from the University that a wallet had
been found containing his personal identification.
Paul Sullivan was working on heating pipes near Mem Gym a couple
months ago when something strange in a gap between two walls caught
his eye. He reached into the crevice and pulled out two old wallets
dirty, but mostly intact.
"Im not a detective, but I guessed that the wallets
had been stolen," said Sullivan, a native of West Yorkshire
County in England who has worked in Facilities
Management for five years.
wallets contained U.Va. student identification cards, drivers
licenses, orange Alderman Library cards, photos and notes, but
no money. The ID cards were dated 1968. One wallet belonged to
a Ralph William McCue Jr. and the other to a Terry Dan.
told his co-worker, Bill Siebert, that he wanted to find the owners.
"You never know," he said.
weekend he was able to track them down through the Internet. When
he keyed in the names, he found matches immediately, one with
the same address as in one of the wallets. It turned out it was
McCues father in Bluefield, W.Va., who passed along his
sons current phone number.
a surgeon in Akron, Ohio, and Dan, a former baseball player and
now a contractor in Memphis, "couldnt believe it. They
were elated when I told them," Sullivan said. The alumni
didnt remember knowing each other, but they both graduated
Mr. Sullivan told me there was no money in there, I told him there
probably wasnt any money in it 30 years ago," Dan said.
"It evoked fond memories," nonetheless. Along with working
at U.Va., Dan, then an outfielder on the Universitys baseball
team, also played in the Valley League, which comprised city-owned
teams of professional and collegiate players. They played seven
days a week, he said. The year after he graduated, Dan played
for the New York Mets farm team in Marion, Va., before returning
to his hometown.
was a blast from the past and its been fun thinking about
that time," said Lorraine Leahy McCue, who received Sullivans
phone call. The other wallet had her husband Bills drivers
license and student ID in it. Dr. McCue, who is a surgeon, said
he had forgotten about losing his wallet, but his father remembered
it. (Bill is a very distant cousin of Dr. Frank McCue III, the
U.Va. orthopaedic surgeon after whom the athletic training center
is named. They didnt meet until they were both at the University.)
be an opportunity to get a glimpse of the past," Bill said
about soon receiving the wallet back after all this time. McCue,
who was an R.A. his third year and lived on the Lawn his fourth,
said he often played handball at Mem Gym.
an Education School graduate who was on the Honor Committee, said
its a little sad that the wallet had been stolen and that
they have no idea what happened, but still, its incredible
it was found and that Sullivan cared enough to do something about
and Lorraine are planning to attend their 30th-year class reunion
next June, he said.
Cheryl Gomez, director of utilities, checked with the city police
(there wasnt a University Police force at that time) and
found one report of a stolen wallet.
surmises that after the money was taken, the wallets were shoved
behind the wall, where they remained hidden for 30 years.