CLOVIS, N.M. (KRQE) - It's an unexpected blast from the past for a man in eastern New Mexico.
It's just a dollar bill, but to him, it's priceless.
That's because the 1935 series greenback bears the signature of someone very special in his life, and it showed up halfway across the country.
Bill Chapman, 82, was eating breakfast with his wife earlier this month when he got a call from a reporter in Illinois.
"He said, "Well, we have something interesting,'" recalled Chapman. "'There is a dollar bill that one of the customers received that had the names of a crew.'"
A customer at an Illinois restaurant received the bill dated 1935, signed by men in the Air Force's 447th Bomber Group during World War II.
One of those signatures is Lt. Curtis G. Chapman, Bill's only brother. When he heard this news, Bill said he was shocked.
"I wonder where it had been all of these years to be in such good shape and finally get back into circulation," he said.
Chapman learned from other veterans that crews signing dollar bills was a tradition back then, called the " short snort ."
"When they got together, if someone didn't have the dollar bill that was signed by everyone, they had to buy drinks for the rest of the crew," said Chapman. He explained that a short snort referred to a small drink.
"I think it was a good representation of how close they were," said Chapman. He still has the telegram he and his family received when he was 15, informing them that Curtis was missing in action after his plane was shot down in Germany.
"My brother being in the nose of the aircraft was blown completely out of the aircraft," said Chapman. "He was unconscious, and as he was coming to, he pulled his rip cord and his chute opened up, and he came down."
Curtis and two other crew members survived the crash, and he was taken prisoner.
Bill said his family received postcards from people on the East Coast who had shortwave radios claiming they'd heard a broadcast from Curtis and several others. That's when Bill's family knew Curtis was alive and was a POW.
Bill kept the diary Curtis wrote during his time as a POW. The diary was written on the backs of cigarette packs delivered by the Red Cross.
Curtis Chapman was released when the war ended, and died years later from a brain tumor at age 43.
But after learning of the dollar bill Curtis signed, fresh memories surfaced for Bill.
"It just seems like it brings back times in the past; it makes us closer," Bill explained. And it's a good feeling, he said, to hear from his brother again.
Right now the bill is with Chapman's niece in Nebraska. She has it framed.
Chapman hasn't had a chance to speak with the customer who received it, but said if he does, he'd like to thank that person for their curiosity and research.
Santa can't do it all alone. He needs elves to help with the toys and he needs the post office to help with the deliveries.
After joining a program that helps disadvantage kids, a man entrusted with children is accused of using the program to prey on a young boy.
Thieves are leaving big, gaping holes around Roswell.
A pedestrian is in critical condition Thursday night after being struck by a car in downtown Albuquerque.
New Mexico honored a fallen hero Thursday as family, friends and law enforcement officers gathered for the funeral of Sandoval County Sheriff's Sergeant Robert Baron.
It seems with every game this season he looks like the best player on the court. Lobos senior forward Cameron Bairstow continues to shine.