We’ve all felt the sinking feeling of misplacing hard-earned cash, but losing thousands overseas is a nauseating level of distress.
That’s what happened to Davide Faggioli, who was visiting from Bologna, Italy, on April 23. He tries to travel to Colorado twice per year, and in the past, he’s struggled using his credit cards in America, so he withdrew thousands of dollars which he kept in a plastic baggie.
“Since my departure, I checked my pocket every 30 minutes as a sort of mental relief,” he said in an email. “Despite that I was traveling with an insane amount of cash, I’m a simple employee.”
Faggioli works in management at a local airport and he said he spent years saving the $6,000. He went to the Pine River Library to book a motel in Durango because he doesn’t own a smartphone. It wasn’t until he was hiking at Vallecito Lake later in the day that he realized his stash was gone.
“I first checked the whole car through. Then I drove back to Pagosa Springs where I had spent the previous two days. I (retraced) every step I had taken to no avail,” Faggioli said. He filed a report with the police.
Meanwhile, at Pine River Library, patron Kathleen Reilly told library employees that she found some money.
“We were expecting $20,” said Brenda Marshall, the library’s assistant director. “We were shocked,” she said about finding thousands of dollars. “I felt sick to my stomach all day.”
After hours had gone by with no one claiming the riches, the staff counted the cash and called the cops.
Meanwhile, as a last resort, Faggioli stopped back in Bayfield on his way to Durango.
“As soon as I set foot into the library, I was welcomed by a sincere applause and I understood on the spot that my money had been recovered,” he said.
Video footage showed the bag falling out of Faggioli’s pocket at the computer.
“He looked half relieved, half like he was going to throw up,” Marshall said.
A grateful Faggioli left a donation with Friends of the Library and he sent an email expressing his gratitude to Library Director Shelley Walchak and Mayor Matt Salka.
“Thanks to the honesty, integrity and sense of responsibility of the whole staff, one of the worst days of my life turned into one of the best,” he wrote. “I’m often in Colorado. I consider it my second home, and now I have an additional reason to love it even more.”