Northsider Deborah Pierce shares a Good Samaritan tale about losing her wallet inside Quik-It Chicken on Pennsylvania Avenue. It’s “better than the Wizard of Oz,” she says, because it’s true.

By Deborah Pierce

Photo: Lukas via Pexels

I live a short walk away from the Rite Aid and the Valero gas station on Pennsylvania Avenue. Sharing a space with the Valero is Quik-It Chicken, a little restaurant I frequent. Eugene Thomas, the owner, has everything you’d ever want to go along with the best fried chicken this side of the river: stuffing, sweet potatoes with apple, and macaroni and cheese, for example.

A little backstory: when I’m running over to the Rite Aid or the Valero I put my debit card in my pocket; I never carry my wallet. Well, almost never.

A few weeks ago, I did carry my wallet. It wasn’t until the next day that I realized it was missing; I panicked. I looked on every tabletop and under every piece of furniture: No wallet. I called Rite Aid and the Valero station; Again, no wallet. I called the bank and put a hold on my debit card. How could I have forgotten that I had fried chicken for dinner the night before?

Two days later, I called ACCESS to schedule a ride. ACCESS is a Port Authority of Allegheny County-sponsored paratransit service that primarily serves people with disabilities, human service agency clients, and seniors. A person named Meg answered the phone and asked for my name. Her reaction startled me: “Deborah Pierce? I have a message for you. You left your wallet at Quik-It. Eugene has it.” 

Meg said Eugene had looked through it and couldn’t find a phone number or address; all he found was an ACCESS card. He called ACCESS and asked if they would contact me. Meg said she was just about to call. 

I thought my ear was malfunctioning: What was that again? Eugene had called that morning and by happenstance, spoke to Meg and asked her to call me? Then, when I called ACCESS, Meg answered? Serendipity at work. 

Many people wouldn’t have gone to that much effort to return a wallet, but Eugene did. He’s a treasure here on the Northside and I can never thank him enough.

Citizen journalists are residents of the Northside who volunteer their time and effort to bring you stories directly from the community. If you have a citizen journalism story you’d like to contribute, email

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