When Wanda Nations lost her sentimental decades-old engagement ring in the parking lot of a restaurant on Feb. 9, she said she had little hope of ever acquiring it once again.
“It was cool that night, incredibly cool, and my ring I suppose was slipping down on my finger,” Nations, of Dalton, Georgia, told ABC News. “I’ve also lost about 30 pounds, so I knew it was loose, but it didn’t feel that loose.”
Just after she and her husband, Pete, searched the entire Western Sizzlin’ restaurant and parking lot in the dark with a flashlight to no avail, Nations attempted a last-ditch work to find the heirloom ring by calling to location a plea in the comments section of her nearby paper, The Daily Citizen.
Normally a forum for residents to place rants and raves about all the things from politics to sports and even pothole complaints, it’s not each and every day a comment includes a heartfelt request to aid locate lost, 62-year-old diamonds.
“I lost my wedding ring, possibly inside or outdoors of the Western Sizzlin' steakhouse on Legion Drive next to Lowe’s," Nations mentioned in her voicemail to be published in the “Today’s Forum” section of the paper. "It has a wide band with a cluster of modest diamonds on the major. It has excellent sentimental worth. The band is 37-plus-years-old and the cluster is 62-plus-years-old. If identified, please, please turn it into Western Sizzlin' and leave exactly where you can be reached and you will be offered a reward.”
A man named Rodney McConkey had eaten at the restaurant the really same evening as the Nations, and as he and his son Chris, who takes place to be the IT director at The Daily Citizen, were walking to their automobile, Rodney “saw a sparkle” on the ground. It was Nations' beloved ring.
“You ladies say that us guys stand and run our mouths, but if I hadn’t been undertaking that I wouldn’t have seen it,” McConkey stated with a laugh. “My son and I have been just obtaining accomplished with supper and we walked out and we stopped there to speak to every other for just a few minutes and I happened to appear down and there it was and I believed, ‘Oh, my goodness.’ I saw it sparkling and I just reached down and place it in my pocket to look at it when I got property.”
At the time, McConkey had no idea how to go about locating the owner so he held onto the jewelry for protected keeping.
“I’ve been burned on other things that I’ve found and put in the paper for persons to claim,” he explained. “Other folks show up and get it and then the suitable people never ever do obtain their merchandise back. And this thing had so a lot sentimental worth to it.”
But the moment McConkey, an avid reader of his son’s publication, saw the anonymous comment in the paper the following week looking for a ring that sounded exactly like the one he’d discovered, he knew just what to do. He named his son Chris to show him the ring and ask for support locating the woman who left the sorrowful voicemail.
“The fella went back on their computer and looked by means of all their calls and he located me,” Nations, 82, stated of Chris’ efforts. “And then Chris called me and created the appointment to come down there to the newspaper workplace to meet his dad.”
From there, it was a seamless transition acquiring the diamond-clustered ring back on Nations' finger.
“She teared up as quickly as she saw it. It was gorgeous,” McConkey recalled. “And fortunate enough, on the day we identified her, that was mine and my wife’s anniversary also. It was wild. Every little thing just fell together.”
Nations is also in awe of the random string of incidents that helped lead it home.
“We wouldn’t have located it with out the enable of the newspaper. They were extremely, incredibly courteous about it and every thing just fell into location,” she stated. “We’re just seriously satisfied to have it back.”
She who now wears a ring guard to preserve it in location, and is over the moon she’ll nonetheless be in a position to pass the cherished ring down to future generations.
“I’ve had it so long it just is part of me,” she explained. “It wasn’t really an highly-priced ring but I’d constantly gotten a lot of compliments. Back 62 years ago, my husband had just gotten out of the Navy and he didn’t have a lot of funds to commit on a ring, but it was a extremely pretty ring back then and the clusters are still so pretty. I was just tickled to death to get it."
“I was afraid we had been going to devote our 63rd anniversary wanting to know what happened to my ring,” she added. “I seriously wanted one of our two boys or 4 grandsons to have it.”
And now, it is secure to say they will.
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