Driver Rob Drouin has found many items on the Bath City Bus in between his trips around the city each day. One day it's one mitten — never two — and the next an umbrella or a scarf.
But last Thursday, he found a wallet — and brought Christmas early to a Bath woman who rides the bus three days a week to get to and from dialysis treatments.
Harriet Brawn, 57, apparently did not realize she had dropped her wallet between the seats before getting off the bus Thursday. As he checked the bus after his run, Drouin picked it up, checked the identification and recognized his frequent rider. Declining to be specific, he said the wallet contained "quite a bit of money."
"Harriet has had a pretty rough year so far," he said Wednesday. "I didn't want her to lose it, especially because it was so close to Christmas. When you don't have a lot to start out with, and when times are tough, you'd like to get that money back."
When Brawn stepped on the bus for the return trip, Drouin handed the wallet to her — Brawn hadn't even realized it was gone.
"It was a big deal," said Brawn, who lives on a fixed income. "It was a lifesaver that he found it. It would have hurt me [had he not]."
Drouin, 45, has driven the city bus for nine years. He knows most of his riders, and tries to take care of them.
"We're almost like a small family," he said. "I get to know these people every day and we talk about life — I'm almost like a guidance counselor."
Or, in this case, almost like Santa Claus.
Copyright 2013 - Bangor Daily News, Maine