PORT ST. JOE — Gary Coon and Jason Hunter had been stripping out dry wall damaged by Hurricane Michael when they made a curious discovery.
Hidden inside the wall of an apartment above a Kaotic Ink on Reid Avenue was a black, two-fold wallet.
The two employees of Restoration 1, who had come down from Lexington, Kentucky, to help rebuild, then took a look inside.
Based on its contents, the wallet appears to have either been lost or left inside the wall at Pelican's Roost Apartments in the late 1960s or early '70s.
It contained no money and apparently belonged to William Elvin Watts, who may have been a commercial fisherman who was born in the early 1940s. If he were still alive, he would be in his 70s.
Watts also had a local P.O. Box, No. 8, and his emergency contact on a card lists Gene Abrams, who had Port St. Joe contact information.
There is also receipt for the delivery of 500 pounds of snapper, at a price of 50 cents per pound, from Dixie Seafood.
The wallet contained membership cards to a “Liar’s Club,” reserved for anglers, and a fishing organization.
There is a black-and-white photo of a young woman, which according to writing on the back was taken Sunday, July 13, 1969, when she was 17.
The wallet also contained a condom.
“He seems to have been some kind of character,” Hunter said.
There is also a business card for a bail bondsman and the remains of a check from Commercial Bank in Panama City which has the name Curtis Mitchell and a Bay County phone number on the back.
“It is really interesting to look through all this stuff,” Coon said.
Coon originally sought to contact a national TV news show about the find, but after getting nowhere came to the local newspaper for assistance.
“I would just really like to find out if he might still be alive or has family,” Coon said. “It would make a great follow-up if we could reunite the wallet with his family or Watts.”
Anyone with possible information about William Elvin Watts or his family is asked to contact the Port St. Joe Star office at (850) 227-1278 or call Coon at (606) 369-1715.