Tales from the Morgue

One minute you are walking to see a movie and the next you wake up in another city in different clothes, with no money and no idea what happened or how you got there.

It would make an interesting made-for-television movie, but not so much for the young man living with the confusion.

From the Arizona Daily Star, Tuesday, Sept. 7, 1937:

AMNESIA CASE FOUND IN CITY

Fort Worth Boy Has Lost Week From Life, But Feels Well

Roy Wand, 18-year-old clerk in a Fort Worth, Tex., feed company woke up in the Southern Pacific park here yesterday afternoon after a week of which he remembered nothing.

Apparently the victim of amnesia, the youth disappeared from Fort Worth last Tuesday.

Starts to Movie

Yesterday he recalled having started for a Fort Worth movie Tuesday evening, but from then on it was all a blank. He does not even remember whether he actually reached the theatre and attended the show.

When he awoke here yesterday, he was in old clothes and without funds. He telephoned his father at Fort Worth and was at the Western Union office awaiting a telegram when a city police took him in custody. His father is W. J. Wand, employe of a furniture company.

No Previous Attack

Wand said he never had suffered a similar attack before. He recalled having complained of a headache during the day Tuesday. Last night he said he felt all right, "except that I feel tired." He appeared to be normal as could be expected of an 18-year-old boy just emerged from a trying experience.

He told of having had lunch last Tuesday with his younger sister, whom he had requested to bring his small camera to him that he might photograph some of his fellow workers. That noon he had received his $36 pay check. That evening, he said, he went to a cleaning establishment where he changed from his old clothes into a freshly cleaned suit and also obtained an overcoat he had left there some time before.

Clothes Gone

Attired in his "good suit" and carrying the overcoat, a bundle of old clothes including those he had doffed, and the camera he started for the movies.

And from there the story jumps to yesterday in the Southern Pacific park, where he awoke dressed in the sweater and trousers from which he had changed into the suit. The overcoat, the suit, the camera and his money had disappeared. How he came to Tucson he does not know, he said. He remembered nothing of what happened since last Tuesday.

Last night police received a telegraphic money order to defray expenses of Wand's return to Fort Worth and he left for home on the 1:05 a. m. train.

Since the young man had just been paid and was walking around with a "bundle" and a camera, he might have been perceived as someone worth robbing. Perhaps he was hit on the head and boarded a train in the resulting confused state.

Or maybe he went on a bender and made the whole thing up. We may never know. But some of us prefer to think the best of people until we know otherwise.

Johanna Eubank is an online content producer for the Arizona Daily Star and tucson.com. Contact her at jeubank@tucson.com

About Tales from the Morgue: The "morgue," is what those in the newspaper business call the archives. Before digital archives, the morgue was a room full of clippings and other files of old newspapers.