Local News

West Texas Fisherman Reels in Wallet Missing 45 Years

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Tony Maples Photography


Instead of the one that got away, a Texas fisherman is telling a different type of fish tale after reeling in a 45-year-old wallet from Lake Nasworthy in West Texas on June 28. The story as reported by the San Angelo Standard-Times says that John Riley, who has caught everything from clothing to fish (of course) reeled the wallet in near Spring Creek Marina.

West Texas Fisherman Reels in a 45-Year-Old Wallet Belonging to Man From Abilene

Photo: Facebook/John M. Riley

While fishing with a friend that evening, Riley had just caught a fish when he decided to reel in a line to check his bait. On doing so, he found the wallet just barely attached to the hook. Plastic in make and design, the majority of the contents fell apart in the fisherman’s hands when he tried to see who the wallet may belong to. However, two key pieces of I.D. remained intact – a military dependent tag and a metal Social Security card identified Kenneth Budden as the wallet’s owner. As it turns out, the wallet belonged to him in the 1970s, when Budden was a teenager.

West Texas Fisherman Reels in a 45-Year-Old Wallet Belonging to Man From Abilene

Photo: Wikimedia

Budden passed away from pancreatic cancer in Abilene in 2008, but his family happily conversed with Riley about this welcomed surprise. Budden lost the wallet while living in San Angelo when his dad was stationed at Goodfellow Airforce Base. Riley had posted the details of his catch on the Tom Green County Trading Post and San Angelo Swap and Sale on Facebook at approximately 4 a.m. and hours later was contacted by Connie Evans, Budden’s sister. The pair arranged to meet so that Riley could return the wallet and its contents to Budden’s family, and they even made plans to fish together in the near future!



San Angelo Standard Times