Rudolph R. Resta, 77, walked out of a wintry rain recently, through the revolving door of a largely empty Times Square office building, and into his distant past.
He found his two sons, now in their 40s, when they were small enough to fit into the same lawn chair, side by side. He found his wife, Angela, posing before a knife-sharp Pontiac Grand Prix in Prospect Park, looking very sultry in a jaguar stole; "real jaguar," he said, "not the stuff they have today." He found a picture of his father, Nicola, that he once worried he would never see again. He found a Social Security card issued by the Federal Security Agency (the office hasn't existed since 1953) and an American Express card so old that it wasn't green, it was purple and white. (Member Since 64.)
In fact, Mr. Resta found just about everything with which a well-stocked wallet would have bulged in 1970. Except, of course, the cash he carried on the day he carelessly left the wallet in a jacket pocket in an unattended coat closet on the second floor of The New York Times headquarters at 229 West 43rd Street, where he worked as an art director in the promotion department.
When Mr. Resta went to fetch his jacket at lunchtime on that long-ago day, the wallet was gone. He wasn't to see it again for 40 years. The reunion was made possible by José Cisneros, 46, a security guard who works in the former Times building, now called the Times Square Building. He came across the wallet last fall when he was investigating a void between an old unused window on the second floor and the masonry seal behind it. The wallet had apparently been stashed there after a thief found it in the coat closet and pulled out the cash.