The Wallet (Part Two)

Many of you know that I am the excavator’s wife.  It seems simpler to tell the rest of the story from my point of view.

The first thing I noticed as I emptied the damp wallet was an identification card dated September 1, 1954.  I was really excited about this find.  It was a piece of local history somehow buried for over sixty years!  My mind was flooded with questions.  Where had it been hidden for so long?  Why had no one found it until the building was demolished?  What can I find out about the owner and is she still alive?  Will she remember this wallet and how it went missing?  My excitement grew with each new piece  discovered.

I discovered that the owner of the wallet was named Ruth. That’s my name!  This young Ruth from 1954  had been a student at the school.  She was seventeen years old, was 4′ 11″ tall, weighed 112 pounds and had brown hair and hazel eyes!  All that information, including the date, was found on Ruth’s FHA (Future Homemakers of America) membership card.  We called it Home Economics when I was in school and the majority of girls signed up for Home Ec  learning how to sew and cook and manage a household.  My mind drifted a bit thinking how silly that must seem to young women today.  But it was the 50’s and that’s the way it was.  Many girls’ hopes and dreams revolved around home and family.   Women’s Lib was still a few years away.

Next I checked the coin compartment of the wallet.  Maybe some coins?  Lunch money?  Nothing but a red button with a tiny piece of red thread attached and a promise from Perry.

red button


I carefully attempted to remove several classmates photos which were carefully tucked in the plastic sleeves for pictures.  Because they were damp, some of the edges tore apart as they stuck to the plastic.  I continued to remove everything I could.  I was afraid if they dried inside the plastic they would be even more damaged. Several of the pictures had messages on the back; bringing  back memories of trading senior pictures with my classmates and trying to come up with something witty to write on the back.

I found a basketball schedule for the schools varsity team, a poem titled “To a Young Nurse”  and a absolutely wonderful handwritten list titled “What I want in a husband”. The list was well worn, folded so as to fit in the wallet, and looked like it was composed over a period of time.  I pictured her in study hall with a friend or at a slumber party, giggling and trying to come up with what she and her friends desired in a husband.

Must love to dance

appreciates music

Should not tell shady stories

Enjoys talking but doesn’t overtalk

not too mushy

considerate of my feelings and family

frank, truthful, intelligent

dependable and has a good job

responsible with money

fairly good-looking with a fairly recent model of car

has a nice place in society

must love children

Loves nature and sports

And then I discovered an old sample perfume card.  It was the size of a business card and the perfume was called “Desert Flower”.  I was amazed that I could still smell the fragrance! It must have been some potent perfume to have lasted over sixty years!

desert flower                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Stay tuned for Part Three…


About Life in the 50's and beyond...

Welcome to Life in the 50's and 60's and beyond .... where I write about my childhood memories, music of the 60's and about life in the country. I am a mother, grandmother, farmer's wife, business owner, and retired teacher.
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3 Responses to The Wallet (Part Two)

  1. Val says:

    You woke me up on the ‘over sixty years’ I’m in my sixties and was a young girl while reading this… I shall now read part 3 (have read part 1, too.)


  2. still reading… on to part 3


  3. Luanne says:

    I love finding old things that belonged to someone!


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