I received an email from Al on Easter Sunday. I was up at my sister’s house in La Crosse, so I wasn’t able to call Al back right away. I did exchange some emails back and forth to ensure that this wasn’t a recent loss, as timing is so important when attempting to find a lost ring. The quicker you can get our on site, the higher likelihood you have of finding your lost ring.
The next day Al and I finally connected via phone. Al explained that the ring was a men’s gold ring, with a black onyx center stone with diamonds along the side. He had received the ring as recognition for 25 years of service from a local insurance company. Al explained that he was out mowing his lawn on his riding mower. Behind Al’s lot is a common greenway, which he frequently mows and maintains – almost like part of his own yard. He approached a set of trees which hadn’t been trimmed recently – so the branches hung down low. In order to mow around the tree, Al had to raise up the branches with his hand as he passed under the tree on his mower. While doing this, one of the small braches hooked around his ring and when he let go of the branch, the ring was ripped from his finger and flung off into the grass. He stopped his mower, got off and got a leaf rake. He raked the entire area, hoping to stir up the ring. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to find anything.
A year passed, and Al always wondered if his ring was still out there. One day, he was reading the Sunday paper and came across a story by Doug Moe, a local reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal. The story was about our Ring Finding activities (http://host.madison.com/news/local/columnists/doug-moe/doug-moe-the-man-who-finds-lost-rings/article_3ef64cca-adf5-5735-8399-4f6e440631e0.html). Al read the story and wondered if I would be able to find his ring he lost the previous year. Al had always thought about renting a metal detector, but was worried he wouldn’t know how to work it. Al did the right thing by calling us. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard of people renting a metal detector – only to become completely frustrated after only a couple of mins.
I told Al I would need to check with my wife to see what our plans were, and we tentatively planned to get together over the weekend. After hearing Al’s story, I knew that I would be able to find his ring. If you know the exact area and moment you lost your ring – someone with a metal detector will find it, almost 100% of the time (unless someone else finds it first J).
After hanging up the phone with Al, I talked with my wife and the weekend was free. Only problem was it looked like rain for the next 7 days. If you read my other stories, you’ll know that I metal detector with my two kids. I told them the story about Al’s ring, and they started to get excited. You see, we had been on 3 previous hunts where we did not find the ring we were looking for. We are scheduled to go back on all three, as they were all lost between 1 and 8 years ago, and we haven’t given up yet. Al’s ring sounded to me like a slam dunk. Unfortunately, it was Monday night and the UW Badgers were playing for the National Championship against Duke – first time since 1941. We have season tickets and love Badger Basketball. Tipoff was a little after 8:00 … it was 5:45. I looked at the kids and said, “Maybe we just go out and take a look at the site and see what we find?” They were totally on board, and we were all excited to break our dry streak. We jumped in the van.
Al only lived about 15 mins away, however, as we pulled into his driveway it started to rain. Argh. We decided to give it a shot anyways, and headed to the backyard. Al explained how he lost again, and we started to search the area. We got some hits right away, but all turned out to be junk. You’d be surprised how much junk is buried in your backyard. I always tell people not to get discouraged when we don’t find their ring right away, and we assured Al that we’d keep looking until we found it. I widened the search area around the tree, not knowing how far that branch might have flung the ring. After about 20 mins, my daughter says to me, “That tree over there looks a lot like this tree.” I’m not sure if Al heard her or not, but a min later he said, “Maybe it was closer to that tree.” Sure enough, after moving over … the very first hit we got was Al’s ring – about an inch below the grass.
Al was relieved to have the ring back on his finger, his wife also was surprised we were able to find it … and even in the rain! We quickly returned home to watch Bucky play a heck of a game, but came up short in the end.
Thanks for the reward Al and so glad we were able to get that ring back on your finger.