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With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

Greg Peck: Column about items lost and found had a ring to it

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Greg Peck
December 7, 2015

Remember the old saying “finders keepers, losers weepers”?

Maybe, in this era of looking out for your fellow man and “paying it forward” when someone does an act of kindness for you, that old saying no longer holds true.

Did you read Lenore Skenazy’s column in Friday’s Gazette? Though she lives in New York City, she wrote about people losing their cellphones and getting them returned, and about a woman who returned a lost class ring, even in such a big, often-impersonal city.

Skenazy grew up in the Midwest, and I sent her an email telling her that, for me, her column, shall we say, had a ring to it.

I think it was late October when my wife and I were golfing at the nine-hole Blackhawk Golf Course in Janesville. We were walking the course on a beautiful autumn day, and we were just teeing off on the last hole when two women riding in a golf cart came rolling up to us.

“Have you see a cellphone?” one said.

I almost chuckled. I wondered: With all the leaves all over the course, how could anyone expect us to find a cellphone?

“No,” I replied. “But we’ll keep an eye out.”

They hurried off.

A creek intersects hole No. 9, and as we crossed a footbridge, for some reason I glanced down to our left, and there lay the cellphone. It must have bounced out of their cart as they crossed the bridge.

By now, the two women were across the course, quizzing other golfers. I tried waving them down but couldn’t get their attention.

Cheryl and I finished up the hole, and we caught up with the women in the parking lot. The phone’s owner was appreciative, but she didn’t offer me any reward, not that I’d have accepted one anyway. “Pay it forward,” I was prepared to tell her.

I hope she thought to anyways.

Speaking of missing rings, about five years ago, stepping out of church into winter’s slop, I looked down and saw what looked like a crushed ring lying in a tire track. Being that our church has a grade school, I figured it was some girl’s trinket of little value. Never would I have imagined that someone had lost a wedding ring.

The next day, however, our church group was serving kids at the Roosevelt School Breakfast Club, and a parishioner told me how she was distraught because she had lost her ring while going to church. She thought maybe it slipped offer her finger as she removed her gloves.

Oh, my God, I thought. I told her what I’d seen and apologized for not thinking it a real and valuable ring.

After we finished serving the kids, I hurried over to the church. The snow had melted, and I tried to look where I thought I’d spotted the ring but couldn’t find it in my brief search before heading to work. But the woman went over to look later, as well, and amazingly, she found it! The ring was too damaged to salvage, but she got the diamond back and had a new setting made.

I was relieved to hear that.

In April 2013, I lost my own wedding ring, as well. I didn’t even know it was missing until my wife and I attended one of my classmates’ funerals in Columbus. When I took Cheryl’s hand, I realized my ring was gone. What a disturbing thing to realize in the middle of a somber ceremony.

I thought back over my day. I remembered about how chilly it was and how I’d walked our dog that morning with my gloves on. I thought, maybe the ring slipped off and is in my gloves. Then, for some reason, I remembered that soon after returning from our dog walk, I’d washed my hands, dried them on a towel hanging on the stove, and heard a weird clunk. At the time, I thought the towel had some sort of metal or plastic ring attached to it that made the noise against the stove door, but it didn’t. Now, I thought: What if my ring slipped off as I dried my wet and still-chilled hands, and that was the clunk I’d heard?

When we got back from the funeral, I grabbed a flashlight, pulled out the drawer under the stove, and shined the light down there. A bit of glimmer in a far corner flickered back. Sure enough, my ring!


Maybe having helped my fellow parishioner find her missing ring gave me karma to find my own wedding ring!


Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or [email protected]. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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