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Letter returned to woman 21 years after it was mailed

August 19, 2011 |  7:28 am

Along with her regular catalogs, donation requests and bills, Heidi Patricola received a special delivery this week. A piece of mail sent from her Corona del Mar restaurant, Rothschild's, was returned — 21 years after it was mailed.

Upon examination Thursday, pieces of the coffee brown W-2 tax form peeked out from the moth-nibbled edges. The crumbling envelope kept in a plastic slip also included an apology from the U.S. Postal Service for the late "return to sender."

Rothschild's has been in the Reiss family for 35 years. Heidi Patricola and her husband, Jim, bought the Italian restaurant from her father, Helmut Reiss, in 1993 — three years after the tax forms were sent to former employee Susan Poole in February 1990.

No one at Rothschild's, including veteran servers, remembered working with Poole.

Reached by phone in Georgia on Thursday, Poole told the Daily Pilot she worked at the restaurant for six months, but didn't provide additional details.


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--Lauren Williams, Times Community News

Photo: Heidi Patricola, the owner of Rothschild's restaurant, recently had a W-2 for a former employee returned to her by the U.S. Postal Service after it was mailed from her restaurant 21 years ago. The envelope was stamped "return to sender" and the stamp on it was from 1990. (Scott Smeltzer, Times Community News)