updated 6/19/2007 10:15:06 PM ET 2007-06-20T02:15:06

A California man who lost his wallet more than 40 years ago finally got it back when construction workers renovating a movie theater discovered the billfold Friday jammed between the metal casings of a radiator.

"I remember losing it," 70-year-old Epigmenio Sanchez told the Imperial Valley Press newspaper. "I just don't remember where."

Between the folds of crumbling brown leather were fragments of his past: a few family photos, old pay stubs and a couple of department store charge cards he had not seen in more than 40 years. His birth certificate, which Sanchez carried when he went to Mexico to prove he was a U.S. citizen, also was there.

The only thing not in the wallet was money — but Sanchez said he cannot remember whether he had cash when the wallet went missing at the Crest Theater.

Sanchez said he used to go to the movies with his wife, Tillie, after dropping their three children at a relative's house for the day.

"We wanted to get away from the kids for a while," Tillie Sanchez said. "That was our little escape."

Epigmenio Sanchez said he never expected to see the wallet again. "It brings back good memories."

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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