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A lost wallet led to snipe hunt in yard
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I used to find it amusing when my mom would misplace her wallet.

One time we spent about 30 minutes trying to figure out where she laid her wallet after going grocery shopping. For whatever reason, I happened to look in the cupboard where we kept the drinking glasses. I didn’t find the wallet but I did find a half gallon of milk. A quick trip to the refrigerator found her wallet – cold cash and all.

Monday evening I happened to lose my wallet for the second time in a year. What is troubling about this isn’t the fact that up until seven months ago I had gone my entire life without losing my wallet not even once, but the fact I lost it in the same manner as I did the first time.

Dress slacks and Docker-style pants over the past few years have adapted pockets for the cell phone revolution. First it was for flip phones. But as smartphone use exploded in popularity they required bigger pants pockets. Many clothing manufacturers tweaked their pockets ever so slightly. The change – the best I can tell from similar-style pair of slacks I had stuck in the back of my closet that are about five years old – is ever so slight. The pockets are about a half inch or so deeper today and perhaps a tad wider.

That’s good except phones tend to weigh more than your wallet. So if you’re seated and doesn’t push the wallet all the way into your pocket there is a good chance it won’t be there when you go to get up.

Twice now at Manteca City Council meetings I removed my wallet while seated. The first was to tuck away a business card. On Monday it was to take out cash for a Veterans of Foreign Wars buddy poppy donation.

After I got home, fed the dogs and grabbed dinner I couldn’t find my wallet when I was getting ready to go back to work. I checked everywhere in the house and in the Escape and then it dawned on me. I probably lost it in the council chambers when I took my wallet out.

I called City Clerk Joann Tilton at home and – after laughing – she offered to go back down to the chambers. I figured it could wait for the morning since after checking everywhere else I figured it had to be at the council chambers.

Then as I was getting ready to go to bed at about 1:30 a.m., I started thinking: What if the wallet had dropped out of my pocket when I fed the dogs?

If I did, my two Dalmatians could be having a field day with it.

So instead of waiting for the morning I decided I had to look in the backyard.

I do not have a normal backyard. It’s fairly large and it has no grass. Instead there are just over 120 trees and shrubs including 40 roses that have gotten to the point they are almost as tall as I am.

I spent close to 40 minutes with a hiking light strapped to my head hunting for the wallet.

It isn’t all that unusual for me to prowl around my yard about the same time the bars close. I usually water the front yard in the wee hours of the morning, which also has no grass but is a virtual jungle of maples, roses, ferns and enough plants, shrubs and other trees to make the inventory at Home Depot look pathetic by comparison.

The big difference early Tuesday morning I had two energetic Dalmatians that thought I wanted to play. It was almost as enjoyable as going on a snipe hunt.

I came up empty handed. But later that morning Joann called and they had retrieved the wallet from where it got stuck in the chair as it folded up.

And if you’re wondering, I did check the refrigerator.

This column is the opinion of executive editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA.  He can be contacted at or 209-249-3519.