Eighty-one-year-old Raymonde Brison’s income is fixed, her terminally ill son lives in Texas and — in case you haven’t checked recently — plane fares from Chicago to the Lone Star State aren’t particularly cheap.
So you can imagine what some in Brison’s position might have done when, without anyone else watching, she happened upon a small bundle of cash lying in the parking lot of her South Side medical clinic last week.
“I counted the money — it was $2,837,” said Brison, a widow who lives in Sauk Village and was having her blood pressure checked at the time.
Brison said keeping the money never occurred to her. It belonged to someone else — a man whose name was on a casino “players card” in the center of the bundle.
As best as Lester Franklin can tell, the cash must have fallen out of his pocket during the trip to pick up his father from the same clinic Brison was visiting April 18.
Franklin discovered he had lost the money when he took his father to a fried-fish place on the way home from the clinic. Franklin had planned to deposit the cash at a nearby bank.
“I told my dad, ‘I think I lost $2,900,’ ” recalled Franklin, a retired city worker and CTA bus driver. “I’m telling myself, how could I do that.”
A return trip to the clinic yielded nothing. So that was that, money gone.
“I was sweating a little bit,” Franklin said.
Then the next morning, there was a message on Franklin’s home answering machine from the South Holland Police Department: They had something that belonged to him, and they would appreciate it if he would collect it.
When Franklin arrived later that morning, all of the bills were there.
At the police station, Franklin took a look at the police report Brison had filled out.
A few hours later, he was on his way to Brison’s home with a potted plant and a $500 reward.
“It was beautiful, with a nice big white ribbon tied around it,” Brison said of the 4-foot-tall plant. “And he gave me a real nice thank you note. I was so happy he got the money.”
And though she didn’t ask for it, Brison said she was grateful for the reward. She says she’ll use the money to fly down to see her dying son.
“See, I believe in the Book,” Franklin said. “If you do good, something good happens to you.”