Joe Phillips

Gone! I loaded my pockets including a small flashlight and took off to see what was near the hotel. After dinner near “Radio City” I scanned the check and patted a rear pocket to find my wallet missing.

The restaurant manager called the hotel and assigned my dinner bill to my room. This gave me overnight to figure out how to cover my bill. Mentally back tracking I recalled a bump by an attractive woman while crossing a street. I always thought I was too savvy to fall for a common pickpocket.

Back in the room I withdrew paper and listed everything in the wallet. Things I thought were irreplaceable would have to be replaced. At the top was to call and cancel the only credit card I carry. I have the account number memorized because I use it to order things from Amazon. I made the call.

My ATM card is of no use to a stranger – no use to me either now. I carry some FAA certificates; pilot’s license, mechanic certificate and two others. I carry them because, well you never know.

There are a few pictures I wish I had copied. I don’t go SCUBA diving often but carry the identity card anyway. I’m not required to carry my Amateur Radio license but I do. Replacing it should be easy.

Replacing my hunting/fishing license would be no big deal. It was free after a certain birthday. Satisfying the state of Georgia on my identity is a big deal these days. Replacing the driver’s license is something to dread. Nobody has asked for the “carry license.” Even on a traffic stop the cop was not interested.

Two buyer’s club cards are of no use to anyone but replacements will take time to obtain. Membership cards for the local Masonic Lodge and the Yaarab Shrine are replaceable but it is something else to do.

Then, there is a list of jumbled letters and characters that are frequently used computer passwords. The list is of no use to anyone but me. I should probably change them anyway.

It is hard to describe my down feelings, concern, chagrin, regret, some anger. Back in the room I took off my jacket and felt a lump in the zippered breast pocket. Guess what it was. I breathed. Finally.

Joe Phillips writes his “Dear me” columns for several small newspapers. He has many connections to Walker County, including his grandfather, former superintendent Waymond Morgan. He can be reached at