Stolen wallet recovered 40 years later is a miniature time-capsule

A 2011 piece from the NYT's David W. Dunlap tells the story of the recovery of a long-lost wallet that was stolen from a Times art director in 1970, and which was recovered from "a void between an old unused window on the second floor and the masonry seal behind it" in fall of 2010. The wallet is a miniature time-capsule of iconic and odd items from the era, collected in this Retronaut set.

Mr. Rodriguez happened to be on duty at the security desk and seized his opportunity. He showed the wallet to Mr. Thompson. Mr. Thompson called this reporter, who's something of a Times historian. This reporter called Mr. Resta, who retired in 1999 but still lives in New York. Mr. Resta, laying aside his understandable suspicions, agreed to meet all of us at 229 West 43rd Street, share some memories and get his wallet back.

When Mr. Cisneros handed the wallet to him, Mr. Resta opened it gingerly and turned away for a moment, overcome by the tide of memory. After composing himself, he gave Mr. Cisneros a grateful kiss. And he didn't lose a moment showing off the glamor-puss shot of Mrs. Resta from 1963. ''She still is glamorous,'' he said, with evident pride and pleasure.

Before coming into Manhattan on the morning of our meeting in November, Mr. Resta told his wife that he knew he'd find a clipping in the wallet from 1968 - Senator Edward M. Kennedy's eulogy for his brother, Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Mr. Resta can still recite the phrase that meant so much to him: ''Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not.''

CITY ROOM; Long-Lost Wallet Is Returned, Memories Intact (via Making Light)


  1. I have never heard the term glamor-puss. 

    “a glamour girl/puss  (British & Australian) also a glamor girl/puss (American & Australian)a sexually attractive woman who is very interested in her clothes and appearance His name was always linked to some glamor girl. I think she sees herself as a bit of a glamour puss with her high heels and her blonde hair.See also: girl”

    1. Except for Resta himself, whose pride over his wife’s ‘real jaguar’ stole – ‘not the stuff they have today’ – puts him square in that category AFAIC.

  2. There’s a wonderful installation at the Tate Modern Gallery in London, a large chest of drawers, chock full of the artifacts found when the building was being renovated.

    One drawer contains IDs, another old soda bottle tops, another wallets, belts, shoes, etc.  What most would call trash became, in the Tate Gallery, modern archeological artifacts.

    Here it is!  Tate Thames Dig.

  3. When our 1902 late Victorian Atlanta house was renovated back in the 1990’s, a lot of stuff turned up in the woodwork — photos of the original owner, his wife and family, various antique post cards, his spectacles, his original door key.

    Now I’m wondering how much of the crap I’ve lost over the years is inside a wall somewhere.

    And how does it get there without whacking great holes everywhere? I’m blaming El Nino.

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