Feature Contributors

Column: The story of a lost ten dollar bill

Dear readers,

While looking for something in my desk drawer this week, I found an unopened package of pencils. They weren’t my usual No. 2 Ticonderoga pencils. These pencils had been custom ordered by me 25 years ago.

Neat gold lettering on each pencil said, “Schwinning into the Millennium.”

It was a commonly held belief that all computers would crash at that Y2K moment in time. I had planned on giving out the pencils as a public service. People would need an alternative way to communicate as we entered a dystopian future. As it turned out, the computers didn’t crash.  Like our arsenal of atomic bombs at rest on the top of rockets, my pencils weren’t needed. Better safe than sorry, I always say.

It seems hard to believe that 25 years have passed since I was planning on entering the new millennium. The years I spent in grade school lasted a lot longer. Childhood years are similar to dog years. The six years spent in grade school pass at the same rate as approximately 42 years in adult time.

A phenomenon that explains why friendships made in childhood remain closer than those made as adults. I believe that I remain closer to my childhood friends even if we haven’t socialized in 50 years. 



Today’s story about the lost $10 bill is from 1965. It might not be exactly 1965. I’m guessing the year by gazing at today’s photo. Look closely at the photo. The tallest boy in the middle is Larry Robertson. Left to right in front of Larry is Mark Jessup, Mike Jessup, and me. The Jessups were our next-door neighbors. Everyone in the photo is still among the living except for Mike. He died this past Nov. 8. 

The Jessups were great next-door neighbors. Mike and Mark’s parents, Stewart and Mary, didn’t mind other kids being over at their house and I spent many hours there.

Stewart worked for the City of Shelbyville. In the summer, he oversaw Sunset Park. We lived closer to Morrison Park, but on most summer days we would all ride our bicycles over to Sunset Park. Mike and Mark would take lunch to their dad. We would stay and play at the park.

In those days there were little grocery stores in every neighborhood in town. Strickler’s was the store in our neighborhood. One evening Mike’s parents gave him a $10 bill and sent him to Strickler’s to pick up a few items. Somewhere between home and the store Mike lost the $10 bill.

Mike rounded up several of us kids to help him look, but we had no luck. After sunset, several adults, flashlights in hand, made a final search for the lost money. My dad, Philip, was one of the adults. Everyone didn’t have a flashlight and Mike was partnered with my dad for one last walk to Strickler’s.

Soon Mike and my dad returned with good news. My dad had found the lost $10 bill. I wasn’t surprised that my dad had found the money.  Philip was always good at spotting mushrooms and Indian arrowheads on the farm.

That is how the $10 bill story ended for the next 55 years. Then my dad died on Aug. 8, 2020. Mike Jessup and I did not stay in touch over the years. A few days after my dad died, I happened to be in the checkout line behind Mike at Kroger. If you shop at Kroger, then you know that we had plenty of time to catch up.

Mike told me that he had fond memories of my dad. He said that he never forgot how my dad gave him a $10 bill that night to replace the one that he had lost. My dad told Mike that he didn’t want him to get in any trouble for losing the money. 

Somewhere in my mind I heard Paul Harvey say, “Now you know the rest of the story.”

See you all next week, same Schwinn time, same Schwinn channel.

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