By Keith Ford
Once in a great while, the universe smiles on me and I get to participate in a fulfilling event. The most recent was on March 28. I was spinning a wrench, doing a tiller repair, when a friend named Clint came in. We gossiped for a few minutes and then he told me had a request. Curious, I asked what it was.
He had been given a mud encrusted ring that came from the site of a house fire. He had cleaned it some and taken it to Sharpshooters, where Gary Parish cleaned it further and found a name inscribed inside the ring. It turned out to be a military graduation ring from 1993. Clint was wanting to track down the owner and return the ring to him or his family. I suggested a couple of websites, and him not being computer literate, he asked if I would research and find the former soldier, since I am the commander of the local American Legion.
I said, “Sure, leave it with me and I’ll work at it later in the evening.”
Later that evening, I took a couple of photos of the ring and posted them with a brief summary on a Facebook group called Metal Detecting US. While answering a couple of specific questions, I was doing my own internet search. Within 10 minutes, a member sent me a list of phone numbers, the fourth one being the soldiers mom!
I introduced myself and explain why I was calling. She gave me the phone number to her son, Ed Geer. I called him and explained who I was and why I was tracking him down. He described the ring in detail, and then we agreed to meet the next day where he could pick up the ring.
The next afternoon we met for lunch at McDonald’s. He told me the fire had completely destroyed the house, total loss! Very little had survived, but this ring from a 1993 graduation had survived practically unscathed. I have heard that the Geers did not have insurance on the home, and are working at purchasing another home. At least this one good memory has been returned to him recover from mud and ashes.
There were at least a half-dozen people before me that selflessly spent some of their time to see that this treasure was returned to its rightful owner. In this age of insanity we live, it is a pleasant respite.