By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
Terry Fristad almost got the long socks.
Then he changed his mind and got the short socks instead.
Good thing, as he ended up getting an unexpected bonus when he returned home from his shopping trip to the Keizer Safeway last Sunday.
“I’m telling everyone I got a $100 pair of socks,” Fristad said with a laugh.
Fristad and his wife Kay were on the way back from visiting Fristad’s 90-year-old mom on April 27 when they stopped off at the Safeway on River Road.
“While I’m looking around, I see a rack with some socks,” Fristad recalled the next day. “I don’t typically go to the grocery store for socks, but I had noticed last week I was short on socks. I was going to buy the tall socks, but I decided with summer coming, I would get a package of short socks.”
As the couple finished putting the groceries away at home, Fristad, 67, took the label off the socks.
“I saw some money fall off,” he said. “I thought it was a dollar bill. I thought my wife may have dropped it. Then I looked again. I said, ‘It’s a $100 bill.’ I thought maybe it was a fake. But I took a closer look and saw it wasn’t fake. It was a real $100 bill.”
Fristad vaguely recalled a story about a person randomly inserting $100 bills at grocery stores. He mentioned it to his wife, with the result being excitement shared by both.
“I called my mom up and she said, ‘That’s Benny!’” Fristad said. “I said, ‘Who’s Benny?’ She said he’s been putting bills around. I took the bill back out and sure enough it says ‘Benny’ on it. I don’t know how many bills he does. I was a fortunate recipient. I’m just as happy as can be.”
Michael Adair, assistant manager of the Keizer Safeway, recalled hearing such stories last year but said there hadn’t been one at his store before.
“We don’t sell socks very often, so it could have been sitting there for a while,” Adair said.
Fristad doesn’t plan to spend his unexpected fortune on himself.
“I don’t have to have the $100,” Fristad said. “I’m going to pay it forward.”
Fristad has someone in mind who recently had items stolen out of his vehicle.
“I’m going to help him out,” Fristad said, breaking into a chuckle. “Benny will pay it forward. This is a first for me. This is the kind of stuff you hear about happening to other people, not me.”
So what would Fristad tell Benny if he had the chance to?
“I’d have to thank him and tell him what a wonderful surprise it was,” Fristad said. “I would tell him I passed it along to someone who really needs it. It was real exciting. It was like finding a treasure.”