I got an phone call the Monday before Christmas from Richard. He and I go back nearly forty years. “Are you still doing that “Ring Finders Thing”? This was how the conversation started. Richard and his son Rick are owners and operators of a local plumbing company. Richard went on to explain that his son lost his wedding band the night before while fixing some broken and frozen water lines. He told me that Rick played it off as an “Oh Well!”, but Richard could tell that it hurt him to lose. We set a time to meet at the church that afternoon. His last words to me were “Bring your rubber boots.”
Boy, Richard was not kidding about the boots. There was a 60′ open trench exposing the water lines. On each side of this trench was a pile of the hand dug mud, clay and dirt. There was a pump in the trench removing the water to allow an easier search. Richard also explained about another area about 40 yards away where they were using an excavator. The ground between the trench and the area that they unloaded the machinery was chewed beyond recognition by the tracks. I had Richard and Pastor Danny rub there left earlobe and say a quick prayer for luck as I started the search. I searched the grounds between the trench and the excavator first, as I waited for the pumps to do their job. False signals were ever present. I was happy to have the discriminating power of the CTX 30-30. After 15 to 20 minutes of working that side of the trench and its’ diggings, I moved around to the other side. I worked the trench and the diggings without the all familiar “Gold Tone” from the Minelab. I started working a small patch of brush just outside of the dirt pile. I got a crisp signal that looked to be a pull tab in the response, but investigated it anyway. “Whoop, there it is”. There in a clump of mud was Ricky’s wedding band. Richard snatched the ring from my hand and crushed me with a big hug. He and Pastor Danny let out a great big “whoop” and then it happened. “The Ring Dance”. Richard’s smile turned into a quivering chin and a tear swelled under his eye. But big boys don’t cry… It must have been something in his eye.
Richard said he was going to give the ring to Rick for Christmas. I reminded him that Rick’s wife might decide to replace it for a gift and that he needed to let her in on the idea. Richard couldn’t stand it though, and wrapped it up and presented it to Rick that afternoon. It was a rewarding hunt for me to be able to help friends, as most of the time I am getting calls from complete strangers.