I was contacted Saturday evening by Sue who had lost her earring at the park earlier in the day. She told me how her young boy had been overly energetic, and while fussing, hit her ear and caused the earring to dislodge and fall into the wood chips that made up the base of the playground. She said that she had searched as long as she could, but with the yellow gold and the color of the wood chips being so similar, it seemed an impossible task. She also told me how much these fine pieces of jewelry meant to her. She had just gotten her first paycheck from her first job after graduating college 20 years prior, and these earrings were one of the first things she purchased as a reward for her hard work. When Sue contacted me, I was getting dinner for my wife and I, so I let her know that if she gave me the information about the loss and directions to the park, I would meet her there to do a search after dinner. She told me that she was unable to go, but gave me the information anyway. I ate dinner, and left for the search.
When I got to the park it was already dark, so I got my headlight. I went over the pictures she had sent, and began my search. I searched all of the area that I saw in the pictures with no luck. Now an earring can be a very difficult item to search for because of the limited amount of metal, but with my detector I should have heard this one (A rental detector would not have found it). I went over the area again, pulled out the wood chips from under the play equipment, and searched all of that with no luck. I then went around the whole piece of equipment thinking it may have been knocked loose but fallen off somewhere else; no luck. I also searched a grassy area she had mentioned as a possibility, no luck there also. So I called her again, and went over the photographs she had sent, when with her help, I realized, I had misinterpreted the picture, and was conducting my search in the wrong place. It did not take more than 10 to 15 minutes to find both the earring and the back for it. I sent her a picture of her earring, and she called me back very excited.
Sue and I arranged to meet the next day, so I could return her symbol of hard work and precious memories. When she came over to me, and I held out her earring I could see a wave of emotion sweep over her. She was so very happy to have her earring back, and I was so very happy to see her joy restored. What a great end to a day!
Sue sent the following to include in this post:
Hello, Steve – thank you again for being an instrument in finding my earring. Here is the short story which I shared on my Facebook:
An inspirational story to share on a Sunday…
On Saturday afternoon at my friend’s birthday party for her daughter, everyone including my son had a great time. We were at a park in Pasadena. It was perfect weather and my son was a powerhouse – non-stop on the slide, running around with no fear and 200% energy! He was having a wonderful time. But he kept coming back to the big slide which scared me because it was way too high, and he wanted to walk down, instead of sliding down! So when he tried to go the big slide again, I scooped him up and he struggled, hitting my face and neck. He hit my right ear so hard that the earring on my right ear flew out.
We looked for the earring for over an hour. But the play area had these chipped wood pieces as flooring. It was impossible to find. As my friend said, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack! Someone said, “Get a metal detector.” And I thought, where am I gonna find a metal detector? We left the party and I had a sinking feeling. I didn’t want to leave half of my earring in a place I may never come back to. That earring’s been with me for 20 years! But we had to go home. My son, was getting cranky and I didn’t want to drive on the freeway at night.
On the drive home, I asked my cousin to look up metal detectors for rent online. She found theringfinders.com. I called The Ring Finders (Steve Smith) immediately, he asked for pictures of the lost earring, the exact area where I lost it, and I texted him the photos. He said he would drop by the park after dinner. At 8:50pm, Steve the ringfinder called my cell asking for more specifics. He was at the park, already looking for the earring with his metal detectors, but couldn’t find it. I requested for him to look at one side of the play area near the benches. 15 minutes later, he texts me, “Found it!” And sent me a photo of my earring. He found the pearl earring and the back of the earring! I am so relieved! It felt like a scene out of a movie but this is real life. I bought these earrings with my first paycheck after college. It’s not about the $, but more of the sentiment. I wear them everyday, and these have been with me through my ups and downs.
Today – 3pm on a Sunday – my husband and I met Steve. He immediately gave me my earring and I hugged him so tight. Steve is a genuinely kind person, who was just happy to help. I had tears in my eyes upon seeing him and my earring. I remembered all the memories I have with this earring: coming to America wearing these pearls, building a family, and finding a career. Steve is a God-send, and I will never forget his kindness. It was a leap of faith to make that first call to The Ring Finders. I didn’t hesitate because I knew they can help me. Steve said their joy is in giving back what they found. And I’m glad their group exists to bring back smiles without expecting a whole lot in return. Thank you, Steve and TheRingFinders. Thank you so much. I call this #MyPersonalMiracle.
If you lose your ring or other metal item of value, call as soon as possible. I will work hard, using the most up to date metal detectors, to help you find what you thought might never be found again. I search, Beverly Hills, Hermosa Beach, Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Newport Beach, Northridge, Pasadena, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica, Seal Beach, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, Venice Beach, and all parks, yards, gardens, and ponds (to 5 foot depths) in all of Orange County, all of Los Angeles County, and Ventura County.