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Man Returns Stolen Plants After 54 Years

NASHVILLE, May 14 (UPI) — A Kentucky man has returned two potted hydrangeas he stole from a Nashville park to give to his mom for Mother’s Day in 1958.

Bill Teitleff, 72, who now lives in western Kentucky, said he was 18 and unable to afford a Mother’s Day gift when he took the plants from Centennial Park and sent them to his mom in Kentucky, WSMV-TV, Nashville, reported Monday.

He said the the plans were the most beautiful, perfectly formed hydrangeas he had ever seen. “They were just perfect in rows and pots,” Teitleff said of the plants he scooped up from the park.

“I knew it was wrong. I thought all along that I was borrowing them. But this stayed with me all this time,” Teitleff said. “Now it’s been 54 years, and I’ve got the root and same flowers that they have accepted back now. This doesn’t clear what I did. That’s between me and him (points to the sky). But this is between me and the people here at the park, and they’ve accepted wholeheartedly.”

Teitleff said he was glad when park officials accepted the plants and his apology.

“Sometimes it hurts when we go back and ask somebody for forgiveness, but when we do, we feel better inside and that person thinks a lot more of us,” Teitleff said.

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