TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Glenn Floering’s father died about 20 years ago and he has drawn on fond memories and an occasional story to keep that loving spirit alive.
But it wasn’t until recently, when Floering and his wife, Michelle, got a surprising phone call, that a new story about his father's life came to mind.
“I said, ‘Hello’ and (the caller) said, ‘I have information that will rock your world,’” said Michelle, director of bands at Grand Traverse Academy. “Honestly, I thought it was a scam. He
said, ‘My stepson was doing construction on Fremont Street in Las Vegas. He was digging into 10 inches of concrete and he found a wallet that belonged to Glenn’s father.’ Then he read his name: Kenny Stott Floering.”
The wallet had disintegrated, but its contents were still intact, protected by plastic, Michelle said. Inside were Kenny’s airman, meal and social security cards, and a picture of a Filipino woman in front of a house.
That caller was Terry Snyder, a North Las Vegas history buff and amateur artifact hunter.
After going back to the construction site to retrieve the wallet, Snyder did an Internet search and learned that Kenny Floering died in 1992, followed by his wife, Manuela, in 1999.
That left Floering and his sister, Lisa Haarbye, who lives in Norway. So Snyder tracked down Floering, technology director at Bay Pointe Community Church and a professional musician who shared his father’s love of jazz.
Snyder mailed the wallet to the Floerings and researched the site where it was found. Floering believes the wallet went missing in 1961, when his dad, who grew up in Laporte, Ind., returned to the U.S. via Las Vegas to obtain an honorable discharge and permission to bring his new wife to the States.
At the time, the construction site was a women’s clothing store owned by Mayer Jacob “Chic” Hecht, Snyder said. Hecht, who
later became a Republican senator from Nevada, served as an intelligence agent with the U.S. armed forces during the Korean
War, from 1951 to 1953, and was a member of the National
Military Intelligence Association.
“The wild thing that we can’t figure out is how did
the wallet get there?” said Michelle. “Was it pick-pocketed?
Was (Kenny) visiting Mayer? Did it have something
to do with the Central Intelligence Agency?”
Also puzzling: Why the wallet was in 10 inches of concrete when building codes of the time didn’t require foundations that thick, and why the bones of an animal were found nearby.
Floering believes all three scenarios are possibilities.
“Everything is conjecture at this point,” he said. “I
hope that someday when I’m in heaven I can ask
Both the couple and Snyder say they plan to continue
their new friendship and to delve further into
the intrigue. Whether or not they solve it, Floering
said the mystery has helped him revisit memories of his
“It’s been a more rich experience to actually
think about what their lives were like then, before I was
born,” he said.
Details for this story were provided by Marta Hepler Drahos, a reporter for The Record-Eagle in Traverse City, Mich.