Lost in Hartselle
By Richard Richie
A couple of weeks ago, as I watched my son’s basketball practice at Hartselle Civic Center, for some reason, I removed my college class ring and laid it on the bleacher beside me.
One of the staff asked me and other parents to quickly move to another location since they had to pull down a basketball goal where we were sitting. Without paying attention, I jumped up, repositioned myself to another location and went about the rest of my evening.
It wasn’t until late the next day that I realized I had lost my ring.
By then, I could not recall where I might have lost it. Retracing my steps, I looked everywhere I had been the previous day, but I was unsuccessful in finding it.
Secretaries, staff members and faculty at Hartselle High School and Hartselle Junior High, where I work as a substitute teacher, went so far as to conduct their own searches and even sent emails asking people to be on the lookout.
I then went to the Civic Center to inquire whether someone might have found it and turned it in. After I asked the front desk attendant, she asked me to describe the ring. After I described it, she reached beneath the counter and handed me my ring.
Someone had found my ring and turned it in. Wow! It turns out the staff had posted the find on their Facebook page, but I had not seen the post.
I am so thankful for whoever found and handed in my ring.
Fast forward to this past week during the Hartselle Christmas Parade. My sons and I were throwing candy to spectators along the parade route as we passed by in our truck. Unbeknownst to me, my ring went flying off as I threw a handful of candy.
A stranger then ran up to the truck, handed me my ring and said, “This ring came flying from this truck.”
Again, I say, “Wow!” First, I could not believe I had thrown off my ring. Second, I couldn’t believe someone would be so kind and honest to return my ring.
By the way, a similar situation happened to me nearly 40 years ago: When I threw a snowball at a classmate, my newly-received high school class ring went flying off into a snowbank. It was lost but eventually found 10 years later – but that is a story for another day.
Anyway, I am so thankful to live in a community where we have so many good and caring people who were concerned enough to help me search for, find and recover my ring. Had I lived in any other place, I’m afraid I would have never seen my ring again.
Most people would have hocked the ring at the local pawn shop.
If my life’s history repeats, I will inevitably lose my ring again. I just hope I do so in Hartselle because I know Hartsellians will care enough to do the right thing and turn in whatever they find.