Does anyone have any doubt that true stories are often the hardest to believe? You hear something and you just cannot believe that the tale wasn’t created in the mind of a world-class writer? This is one of those stories.
For context, this is about my family history — and my dad specifically — who sadly passed away in 1990 at just 64 years of age. That age really hits home when, as the child, I have surpassed it as have my two sisters.
Our dad was a handsome athlete (UCLA basketball), avid golfer, story teller and partner for 40 years to our mom who passed away in 2014. He loved beautiful things — particularly alpaca cardigans in every color and a new car every couple of years.
Here’s what just happened. Sister Margie was contacted some months ago on Facebook messenger by a gentleman from St. Louis. He is in the car restoration business. He wrote that in the process of restoring a 1970 Cadillac, he found a wallet under the carpet. The driver’s license — you guessed it — our dad Hal Michaels. Not just the license, but credit cards and photos, all intact. Margie tried to respond via Messenger but did not get a response.
A quick internet search connected his name to a business in St. Louis, where he is the general manager. I called him and he called back just a short time later. The story gets more remarkable when he tells me he’s held onto the wallet since 2010 when the car came to his business. He tried to find a connection at that time, but was unable to so he simply put the wallet away for safekeeping. Several months ago, his assistant took up the search and found our dad’s obituary. Our names were listed which led to a Facebook search and he found Margie (we all include our maiden name in our profiles).
Why did he go to all this trouble? He said if someone had something of his dad’s, he would have had the same feelings — to the extent this Midwestern guy showed emotion at all. I emailed him a UPS label for convenience and we now have the wallet back. Viewing the contents was both fascinating and frankly a bit sad. Who among us wouldn’t give anything to have just one more conversation …
But back to this story. An earlier post of mine (including a great tale from sister Janie) is entitled NEVER Underestimate the Kindness of Strangers. Of all years for something so wonderful to happen, 2020 is it.
OTHER CONTENTS: Below is evidence of his devotion to UCLA as a founder of Pauley Pavilion. The card has two signatories — Chancellor Charles Murphy and Alumni General Chairman H.R. Haldeman. Yes, he’s that one. He was also a fraternity brother. By the way, the hubby and I have NEVER gotten courtesy parking as we still maintain the original season tickets. (The Haldeman offspring are near our seats).
Various credit cards and membership cards below — who knew you had to register as a golfer?
And finally his girls, left to right in birth order (Margie, Janie twice and me with poodle Beau). We’ll never know why Janie got two photos … is that a middle child thing?? C’mon Dad, send us a sign.
Hal Michaels 10.1.25 ~ 1.16.90