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Waldorf Astoria collects stolen hotel property
Amnesty program reaps rewards for hotel
The granddaughter accepted the salad fork, more than a half-century after it disappeared from a cart that brought a room-service meal to the newlyweds.
But then, Ms. Hayner said, “I thought, ‘What am I going to do with this?’”
Three days later, she got the answer at a business meeting where Waldorf executives announced their amnesty idea.
But other objects are still missing, including thousands of demitasse spoons that were the most popular stolen item — easy to tuck away in a pocket or purse.
One unique piece never made it back: the glass door to a shower in the Waldorf Towers apartment of Sinatra and his wife, Nancy, with their initials carved into it. An unnamed seller once offered the door to the Waldorf, “but it’s not a hotel practice to purchase items that may have been stolen,” Mr. Zolbe said.
Waldorf archivist Alex Duryee said surprise packages have come from across the country.
Two silver butter knives were returned to the front desk by a relative of a New Jersey woman who attended separate luncheons honoring her for selling the most dresses for charity.
“She took a knife each time,” Mr. Duryee said. “They were her secret trophies.”
Mrs. Brown, who lives in Somerset, N.J., and returned the three spoons earlier this month, said the story of how her husband’s grandfather swiped the silverware while working as a clerk at the Waldorf in the 1920s and ‘30s is now part of family lore. She has kept them in a drawer at home, tied together with a rubber band.
But sentimentality dies hard.
She sheepishly admitted there actually were four stolen spoons.
“I wanted one as a keepsake.”
By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
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