May 08, 2012, 10:55 PM
A few weeks ago I was metal detecting across the road from a well known local pizza restaurant called Big Eds. This restaurant opened in 1970 and hasn't changed in all those years. You step through those doors and its like stepping back in time. A street runs along one side of the building and on the other side of that street is a sidewalk and a row of well spaced trees. I was searching along that sidewalk and finding a few wheat pennies and quite a bit of modern change and I got a good signal in an area between the walk and a tree. Just a short distance from the tree I uncovered a large 14 K gold mans class ring. Class of 1984.
I could not believe my eyes! My first class ring! My parents, brother and sisters all detected in the 70's and early 80's with my brother (DangLangley) and I being the only ones really keeping up with it now days. I was too young to do much more than watch when my parents were really heavy into it but I remember the class rings they and my siblings found over the years. Ever since I took up the hobby around 8 years ago a class ring has been on my wish list of finds.
The owner of the ring had his full name engraved inside it and my husband, only one year below him in school, remembered him and looked him up and we found that he lived only a few houses down the street from us.
Across the street from his house is a park where I metal detect sometimes. I have been keeping an eye out when at the park hoping to see someone I could talk to in person and inquire if he still lived there. Tonight I came home after a long and stressful day at work and decided to grab some relaxing time detecting in the short span of daylight left and I headed off to the park.
I parked across the street from the park and saw a gentleman standing at this house talking to another man and I felt a flare of excitement. I strapped all my gear on and got my detector out and as I was heading toward his house I saw the other man leaving in his truck and then I couldn't see the owner of the house anymore.
With a sigh I turned to cross the road to the park and I heard a voice ask " Did you find anything good?" I turned and scanned the area several times and couldn't see anyone. Then I saw a hand raise above the picket fence and heard "Im up here". I walked up a few steps and introduced my self and he gave me his last name and it sounded mighty familiar. ) I asked him if his first name was Keith and he said yes. I smiled and said "Hang on a minute, I have something to show you" I hopped into my car and raced the short distance to my house and grabbed the ring.
When I got back to his house he was still sitting on his patio behind the fence and he rose to met me on the steps. I explained to him how I had been detecting across from the restaurant a few weeks ago and said I found "this" and I handed him the ring.
He took it and studied it for a couple of seconds and then his entire expression changed. His eyes opened wide and he looked at me in shock and as he turned the ring to look inside for the inscription I said, "Yes, its yours".
Guys, I don't mind telling you that my heart is in my throat as Im telling you this. I don't know who was happier at that moment, me or him. He asked me how much I wanted for it and I told him nothing, it was his ring. He insisted several times and I refused. I told him that was his ring, it belonged to him and I was just happy to get it back to him.
His eyes lit up even more and he told me he knew what he could do for me. He is craftsman and hand crafts picture frames, mirror frames and restores antique lamps and even crafts lamps from pieces he finds at a nearby salvage store. He invited me inside his home and showed me his work. He is a super nice guy and doesn't give himself enough credit for his talent.
He told me how he came to be separated from the ring. He was working at Big Eds restaurant and was in the upstairs employee bathroom and took the ring off and laid it on the sink to wash his hands. He forgot and when he came back it was gone. He said he was pretty sure who took it as there was only one other guy working that evening who had access to that bathroom. The guy who took it didn't get to enjoy his spoils for very long because it was found just across the street from the restaurant.
When I called him later after getting home tonight to ask permission to share our story with you all and to post his picture he told me that he had mowed many a lawn to be able to buy that ring. With six kids being raised on a postman's salary there wasn't much to go around on extras. I hope its ok that I posted this here. Although I found the ring a few weeks ago, I did find its owner today and I feel blessed to have had the experience of returning it to its rightful place. I met a great person and I believe I acquired a new friend to boot.
Thank you all for letting me share this with you. I don't think I will be able to top this one.
Last edited by TENNESSEEGAL; May 13, 2012 at 05:19 PM.
May 08, 2012, 11:18 PM
Metal Detecting isn't a Crime!!!
Great Story-Great positive post for our hobby...
Would be nice to have this as part of a detecting show!
May 08, 2012, 11:24 PM
Son of Eagles
Nice story Melissa. Honorable mention without a doubt.
Did you find out how long ago he lost the ring?
May 08, 2012, 11:27 PM
Awww gosh, Turf... Thank you!!
Originally Posted by turf_aholic
May 08, 2012, 11:30 PM
Thanks so much WIT! He said he lost it in 1985. Wow, I guess that means its been in the ground around 27 years!
Originally Posted by WIT
May 08, 2012, 11:33 PM
OOPS! I just saw where I managed to post one picture twice. Sorry about that!
May 08, 2012, 11:35 PM
Kudo's to you Melissa, Thats what makes this Great hobby of ours! to see the look on a persons face when they first see a piece of jelwery
that they had given up on ever seeing again. You are a good Ambassador for our Hobby, HH
If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin."
May 09, 2012, 12:12 AM
What a great story and find. GOD Bless you!!! Your reward was more of value than that ring I'm sure. Kudos to you!
May 09, 2012, 12:27 AM
Originally Posted by Gunrunner61
Thank you so much for your kind words, Gunrunner. Its a moment I will never forget.
May 09, 2012, 12:29 AM
Originally Posted by Dig Daddy
Thank you Dig Daddy! I really feel like God dropped that ring in my lap and chose the perfect moment for me to return it.
May 09, 2012, 07:34 AM
That my friend is what it's all about... makes yaa just feel good inside... great story!
New York Antler Outdoors
May 09, 2012, 07:38 AM
May 09, 2012, 07:45 AM
Nice ring and find that's a great story
May 09, 2012, 07:46 AM
Tennesseegal that was a really cool story and you are a testament to our hobby. TMAN...
May 09, 2012, 08:25 AM
Great post and a great deed on your part. You did the exact right thing and I'll bet that you will get rewarded for it many times over. Tennessee digger
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