Workers Stumble Across an Old Wallet, Find A One-In-A-Lifetime Surprise

Keep Panic Out Your Pocket

Realizing you could have lost your wallet results in a distinct type of panic. Everybody had that moment where they felt like their pocket was never-ending and reaching inside of it might as well have been looking for a needle in a haystack. And some people know what it’s like to lose their wallet as well. Cancelling all your cards and replacing your ID is such a chore. But what happens when your wallet is found long after it was lost?

Some workers stumbled on a missing wallet and nobody was prepared for the events that unfolded after. 

Meet The Wallet Man

When the owner of the Talent Factory Theatre in Nevada, Iowa, discovered a wallet that had been misplaced years before, he had to ask himself that question. The biggest shock, though, was learning who the owner was.

Start Of The Journey

When Larry Sloan, owner of Nevada, Iowa's Talent Factory comedy club, discovered a misplaced wallet, he decided to do all in his power to track down the owner as soon as possible. But there was a giant obstacle in his road.

When Larry Sloan, owner of Nevada, Iowa's Talent Factory comedy club, discovered a misplaced wallet, he decided to do all in his power to track down the owner as soon as possible. But there was a giant obstacle in his road.

Ancient Wallets In Modern Times

The wallet was so old that Larry figured it might as well have been Cleopatra’s. It was so old that everyone he showed it to thought it might as well have been a medieval wizard’s spellbook. Nobody ever believed him when he told them how he found it though.

Like A Black Cat In A Coal Cellar

When Larry stumbled on the wallet, it was so hard to spot that he thought it was a miracle he even saw it. “It was like seeing a black cat in a coal cellar, or a white one in a snowstorm”, Larry joked. Apparently, the wallet was discovered on the third floor of Larry’s club, where he was renovating the place. “It was literally stuck between two floorboards”, Larry added. When he yanked it free, his jaw hit the floor.

In Dire Need Of A Friend

Larry felt like he could not get to the bottom of this alone. He never expected this to happen, and he wished he could have solved it on his own, but there was no way he could. He didn’t recognize any of the items found inside the wallet. He called his friend over for help. When the man got there, Larry’s hopes didn’t go exactly up. In fact, they nosedived. 

We’ll Get To The Bottom Of This

The men pulled out the first item outside of the wallet. Larry couldn’t tell what it was at all - but all he knew is that it was a very, very old piece of paper. His friend was confused as well, but he took out his phone and started to search the entire internet. Soon, they discovered the biggest clue they could get.

On The Right Path

Larry’s friend found a picture on the internet that looked exactly like the item they just pulled out. When he shared to Larry that they were in fact food ration stamps from World War II, Larry broke in a cold sweat. Whose could this mysterious wallet be? They had to keep on rummaging through it.

Immortal Memories

Old pictures were the next few things they took out. Families and children were shown in some of them, but others were too faded to view properly. Larry was looking at them for some familiar faces, but none of them hit close to home. Larry’s friend, however, had something important to point out.

A Few Generations After

Larry’s friend thought about taking pictures of the photos found inside the wallet, and posting them on the internet. He was sure that someone, anybody, could recognize the people in the photos and they could return the wallet to its family. But Larry preferred to act more directly. He pulled out another item. Their curiosity just got confirmed.

Historical Trinket

An outdated Boy Scout card was the next thing they discovered. The front picture appeared to be from many decades ago, and the margins were frayed and ripped. This wallet belonged to someone who undoubtedly participated in the Scouts for a while. Memories were brought back to Larry. His friend could see his face brighten up.


Larry exclaimed that the wallet might be that of his dad’s, who was in the Boy Scouts when he was younger. His friend immediately shook his head in response, claiming that the dates didn’t match up. He said that the wallet looked much older. Larry didn’t immediately reject his idea, but he couldn’t find any other solution. There must be something to get them closer to the answer.

A Boy’s Scout Time

Larry flipped the card around, and saw three single digits that weren’t too ripped to be able to read. There was a ‘1’, a ‘9’, and a ‘4’ there, but it didn’t lead them anywhere. Larry tried to find another clue, but his friend proved to be quicker than him at this.

Eureka! We Found It

After rummaging through the wallet once again, Larry’s friend found the final answer. They discovered a worn-out pocket calendar. They were shocked to see 1944 written on the calendar! This indicated that the wallet was older than 70 years. Given that a Boy Scout card was inside, whoever lost it had to have been just a small child at the time! But how could they find him?

Cracking The Code

Larry and his friend needed to determine the owner of the wallet now that they knew how old it was. Fortunately, there was an ID card inside with "Clare McIntosh" inscribed on the top in blue ink. The owner could be found! The pair got to it right away.

Looking Everywhere

They organized Clare’s belongings, but the final item was a black-and-white photograph of him. He wore a suit and a white shirt and appeared young and handsome. That wasn’t of much help to them, though, because his appearance must have changed so much. Besides, Clare would need to be far into his 80s to be alive today. Larry knew they had to act quickly.

Counting Our Options

Larry and his friend knew that there were multiple ways to locate Clare, but the biggest issue for them was time itself. Clare wasn’t a kid anymore. Who knew where he was now? He might not even be in the country. He could be on a farm with little to no technology, living off the grid. A little bit of anxiety hit them. They wanted to meet Clare so badly that failure wasn’t an option.

Gathering Information

Larry’s friend brought up the important fact that Clare might have got drafted off to the military. And if he indeed joined the military, is there a chance that he could have returned home? Larry almost felt like giving up on the search, because it just seemed like there was no trace of Clare to be found. But all hope was not lost.

In Case of Emergency, Call This Number

Larry noticed that the ID was handwritten. On the back of it, he found a small note saying “Please call R.E. McIntosh, Iowa, at (810) in case of an emergency”. Without a better alternative, Larry picked up the phone. It rang. His heart was in his throat.

Larry’s Confession

“The chances of discovering him alive and healthy when you're doing something like that 71 years later were rather low”, Larry told KCCI News. “But I’m glad I pulled through”, he added. It seems like his persistence did indeed pay off. 

Clare McIntosh Is Finally Here

When Larry entered The Talent Factory, he immediately introduced himself to Clare. Larry remarked, "So you're the renowned Clare McIntosh”. Clare’s response had everyone in the room cackling.

Laughter In The Halls

Clare said “I guess so! How did you guys even find me? I was as easy to find as a chicken’s teeth!”, he exclaimed, having The Talent Factory crying with tears of joy. Clare was shocked to see his wallet after all this time, though. He looked curiously at the things he had once owned.

Memories Gathering Like Old Friends

He browsed through his old belongings, and 85-year-old Clare McIntosh thought he was seeing things. Clare was perplexed when Larry called to let him know he had located his wallet. Clare pulled his current wallet out of his pocket and said he already had it with him. But Larry had a bigger surprise for him.

One-In-A-Lifetime Discovery

He assumed he meant his current wallet, which was with him at the time. His heart skipped a beat as Larry revealed that it was his wallet from 1944. And when he showed it to him, Clare felt like he was going to faint on the spot.

The Only Treasure I’ll Ever Have

This was a particularly memorable experience for Clare because he had lost the wallet at the age of 15. He recognized every person in the pictures while having tears in his eyes. Clare pointed to each item and remarked, "This is my sister, and this is my boy scout card. That’s even my calendar. How could this be?”. Larry wanted to comfort the man, but he knew that Clare’s next smile meant something else.

Changing A Life

"I initially thought it must be some sort of prank, and I assumed it couldn't be!", Clare admitted after Larry’s first call to him. He was still close by, which was fortunate, because he felt his heart soften after having so much of his past returned to him. Larry and Clare shook hands and hugged each other as Clare expressed his gratitude. But he had one last thing to share with Larry. 

Pass It Down

Larry’s kindness inspired Clare a lot. Clare told him that when he got home, he would make sure that he’d never lose the wallet again, and that he’d always keep it with him. “I plan to treasure it forever”, Clare said. Larry felt like he made a friend for life in Clare, and the feeling was mutual. 

Full-Circle Moment

Through Larry’s act, Clare finally felt like he accepted and reconnected with his past, and no one would have figured that the loss of such a small item could be so important. Clare told us that he “truly believes in the butterfly effect: one small flap of a butterfly’s wings can change the course of a tornado!”. He also has an important message to share with the world.

Kindness Goes A Long Way

“Be sure to have kindness and empathy for everyone and everything you meet, because you don’t know how easily people can help others. Just like Larry did for me!”, he smiled brightly, “oh, and don’t forget to never lose your wallet!”. Clare’s enthusiasm lightened up our day. Word of it even reached Larry.

Friends For Life

“Me and Clare keep in touch all the time”, Larry says to us, “and I never even thought that just returning that wallet to him could be so helpful”. Larry’s act can be a lesson for all of us: even when you think it’s pointless to go at such great lengths, helping others is always worth it. He got to see history itself through Clare’s eyes, and in return, he helped Clare reunite with memories that he didn’t even know he had.