Lost-and-found pole story a testament to townspeople

Bill Modders saw the expensive-looking fishing rod leaning against a light pole near the Towers at S. Squire Street in Rockford and knew a fisherman had probably accidentally left it. When, after three nights, the pole was still there, he brought it home and made a call to the local newspaper to run a lost-and-found ad. “Found—nine-foot fishing rod by Rogue Towers, call to identify,” his ad read.

Fisherman Jeffrey Kelly happened to read the ad and gave Modders a call. It was his pole and he was beyond grateful to stop by and pick it up. How nice it can be to live in a small town where people are basically honest, for the most part, and a neighbor will go out of the way to make sure lost property finds its way home.

Kelly added another twist to the tale. “When I saw Bill, I told him he looked familiar,” said Kelly.

It turns out that Modders, before retiring, worked for years in his own business repairing TVs and VCRs. Kelly had been a regular customer of Modders’, whose business, Phillips and Rowe, was located on Fulton Street.

“It’s really a testament to the people of Rockford,” said Modders of the lost-and-found pole story. “That rod sat there for three days and three nights and no one took it. The people of Rockford didn’t touch it because it wasn’t theirs.”

Thanks to Modders and Kelly for sharing the story, and for a follow-up, Kelly provided the accompanying pictures of fish he caught since the return of his “lucky fishing pole.”

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.