Rodney Gardner is angry at himself.
It’s understandable, given that he misplaced $2,000 this week in the parking lot of a convenience store.
On Monday, Gardner answered a Craigslist ad for a used car, a 2007 Ford Freestar with 147,000 miles on it, and the seller agreed to bring it to the Clark’s store at Canal Road and Interstate 10 in Gulfport.
When the seller got to the store, he called Gardner, who answered. But something else happened.
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“While pulling my phone out of my pocket I was unaware that I also pulled out my cash envelope, and it fell in the parking lot,” Gardner said in an email to the Sun Herald’s Sound Off column. “This timeline took mere minutes but my envelope was nowhere in sight. I have walked through my steps that night over and over, and believe that someone saw me drop it and quickly picked it up.”
The enveloped contained 20 $100 bills.
“I’m angry at myself,” he said. “I wasn’t going to bring my money. Then I brought it just in case.”
Gardner asked the store to review its surveillance recordings and it did, though a clerk told him they did not show what happened to the money. And he said he did not file a report with Gulfport police “because I knew it wasn’t here to be found and it would be wild goose chase to get the police involved.”
Gardner, a construction worker and former Seabee Base employee, was in the market for a car because his daughter had totaled his old one. The $2,000 was what was left from an insurance payment on the accident. Right now, he’s driving his wife’s car to and from work. He still needs a car, and will likely have to finance one, an option he was trying to avoid. He’s not looking for a handout this Christmas season.
In case you’re wondering, he would not have bought the car the seller brought to show him. He said it looked a lot worse in person. And for whoever has the $2,000, he has this message:
“There’s nothing I can say for someone to bring my money back,” he said. “It hurts us a lot, but that doesn’t change our faith that things happen for a reason. To that person (with the money) I would like to say, I hope you spend it on needful things or those less fortunate this holiday season.
“I guess someone needed it more than us.”