Joe Braun: Thank you to an anonymous Steamboat Samaritan
January 7, 2019
Recently, I went to rinse the grime off of my car, which had accumulated with the ongoing snow melt. Somehow during the course of vigorously using one of Steamboat Springs’ self-washing machines, my wallet and I become disassociated. Well OK, I lost it, and of course, I didn't discover it was gone until trying to check out at City Market.
Panic ensued. I rushed back to the car to see if perhaps was there, but of course, it wasn't. Retracing my steps, I returned to the car wash, looked through the accumulated ice and grime. The wallet was nowhere to be found. A sick feeling came over me, and I just felt helpless.
My wife suggested we at least go to the Steamboat Springs Police Department to report it was missing. It was Saturday, and so when I got there, no one was in the front office. I picked up the dispatch phone and told the duty officer of my plight.
"What does the wallet look like?" he said. "It's brown and leather," I said, thinking he needed a description for his report. "Somebody just turned in a wallet a few minutes ago. I'll send an officer out to see if it's yours."
To say I was shocked would be quite an understatement. He came through the door and, lo and behold, had my wallet in his hand.
"Make sure everything is there" he said so I did and it was, including the cash. "Did the person who found it leave a name, so I can at least thank them?" I asked. "No" came the reply. "They just dropped it off and left."
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I felt as if some small miracle had just occurred — something I was badly needing at that minute.
So now, I am writing this letter to thank that person, not only for returning my wallet, but also for restoring my faith in humanity and especially toward the good people of Steamboat — about as good an example of paying it forward as I can think of. And now, it's up to me to do the same. I just hope I, too, am up to the task.