Wednesday, September 19, 2012

smart boys save dumb girls (the ring story)

Newsletter from, official website of the:
A Metal Detecting club located on the Tampa Bay, Florida coast 
"Dedicated to Preserving Florida's History"

"On September 16 SRARC was contacted by Tiffany Feger about a ring that had just been lost at Upham
Beach. It turned out that Tiffany had been asked by her sister-in-law Barbie, to safe keep her wedding
rings while she played volley ball. Tiffany took the rings and was sitting with a friend, Corrie Crew, in
about 6 inches of water. She became concerned that she might drop the rings because she was holding
her baby so she asked Corrie if she would hold the rings. As Tiffany handed the rings to Corrie, the
wedding band dropped into the water. They frantically dug into the sand but could find nothing. Tiffany
and Barbie were devastated and vowed not to leave until the ring was found. The search continued for
about 2 hours with the whole group involved and they were still searching when the SRARC team
arrived. Stan Flack, Joe Szemer, and Mike Miller had rushed to the beach to begin the hunt before it got
too dark and stormy. Within 5 minutes Stan recovered the ring and we all got off the beach just as the
rain hit.
The couple, Andre and Barbie Feger who live in Seminole, were just married in June and the wedding
ring had been custom made in Europe so that it would fit snuggly together with the engagement ring, a
2 month process. Needless to say all that were involved left the beach very happy. SRARC is happy we
could bring a smile to all of their faces and we wish Andre and Barbie the very best for their future

Now my version:
We went to the beach on Sunday afternoon so Andre, Barbie, Steven, and Darren could practice volleyball. Their playoff games were going to be the next Tuesday. We took our kids and got to the beach around 3pm. Tyler fell asleep on the way there but woke up on the beach after a short nap. He was mellow and we stayed to watch the volleyball players.
 Corrie was out with the rambunctious kids in the water. Malia is the leader - even of other bigger kids.
 It poured on us on our way to the beach, and we knew it was only a matter of time until it poured there at the beach too.

 Barbie asked me to hold her wedding rings for her b/c she couldn't believe she brought them with her. I have medium (in medical gloves) sized hands so I put them on my pinky so they wouldn't get stuck on my ring finger. I didn't want to chance that. Tyler started crawling around, so I took him out to the other kids. Corrie and I sat with our babies, almost knee to knee talking. I had my hand in a fist of course so as not to loose the rings. Corrie said they would probably fit her finger. I initially declined, knowing that passing rings is just dumb at the beach - and especially over the water. But she said it would be easier for her to wear them and I knew that Corrie trusts her too so I carefully handed them over. She carefully took them from me. At the time she went to swivel them to the tip of her ring finger, one ring slipped out of her hand! It fell onto her lap. I took Ivy while she carefully separated her knees to see the shining ring resting on the sand. We were only in about 6" of calm clear water. She said "Is this really happening?" I couldn't believe it either. We felt around, she stood up and moved her shadow out of the way so we could see it shinning. She saw Barbie and Andre and our husbands still playing. I didn't move except for my free hand. I started raking the sand between us. It couldn't have floated away. It must have a thin layer of sand over it or something. After not too long, we knew we had to tell the others to form a real rescue team. I knew it was my fault so I went to tell them. That was a horrible walk to the nets. I walked quickly, but hesitantly hoping with all my might that Corrie would call me back that she found it.
I told them that I had lost Barbie's ring. Andre said "WHO's ring?" Then ran to the water. When I went back, I knew we had to find a metal detector. Me and my crying baby were just adding to the stress. He was tired. So I went to babysitter mode and called my research team, my siblings. Martin is often home on Sundays when we want to Google plus. He asked how I was and I said, "kinda good, but not really. Can you get on the internet for me?" I explained real quickly and he already gave me a phone # of a national metal detector [scam].

Here's how that phone call went. The lady picked up quickly and I was amazed! It was after 4 on a Sunday afternoon - she was open! I told her that I had lost my ring at a beach and needed a metal detector right now. (She didn't need details.) She asked for my name. I gave her my 1st. She asked for my last name. I quickly gave it to her. She asked for my phone number and I thought that was responsible of her. She said "may I have your email address:" to which I barked, no! I need this right now!?? That was weird. She said she would have a representative call me the next business day during business hours. What?!!! I told her to cancel the order - goodbye.

I called Martin. He had already skimmed through other national 1800-ask-garry type of referal waste-of-my-time and gave me Bill Jackson's number. He already knew to go local. I called and asked if they had metal detectors for rent. They did! But they closed at 5 and it was 4:30. I asked if anyone there wanted to make some extra money and would drive one out to us. The girl put me on hold to ask around. She came back with a guy named Chris's number. He only charges when he finds lost items. Perfect! I called. And I left a voice mail. I called again. Then I texted him in case he was screening phone calls and doesn't listen to voice mails. I called Bill Jackson's. A man answered. I asked if anybody wanted to make money and bring me a metal detector. He said that everybody just wants to go home but to call this other number. It was a wrong number. I called again and was given Chris's number and a no for anybody wanting to come drop off a metal detector to me. I went ahead and called Chris again in vein.

I called Martin and Katy again. Katy had already texted me another number and Martin had called a guy who was selling a metal detector on Craig's List. Martin told me that he could meet me at the beach at 5:15. I called the nice Jeff. He was happy to come out. I asked if it worked in water and he said no but that he was selling it for his friend and would ask him. I told him not to come if it doesn't work. I called Bill Jackson's since that was my only lead so far and offered money again right before 5:00 just as a last resort. We weren't leaving the beach w/o the ring.

I called Martin. He told me that a metal detecting club was on their way. I called a guy named Mike. He said he was kind of far, but hopefully one of his other friends would be there pretty soon. Yay! He also said that it was hard to hear me because of the crying baby. Yea, I was a mess with two crying babies. We hadn't packed water or snacks. I looked in Corrie's bag and found a bottle for Ivy, so for part of the conversations, she was eating that and I was trying to nurse my really tired baby while worrying about sunburned kids. We hadn't put any sunscreen on and I started to feel sun on myself. I would be talking on the phone then my phone would still be sandwiched between my shoulder and my cheek after we said goodbye b/c I had a 1 yr old in each arm. What a mess.

Barbie got her phone and called some local stores right on the beach. They were no help even they were sooo close.

Jeff called back to say that it might work in the water, but wasn't as effective. I said that was okay since it was in the water. I walked back over to the crime scene and saw that the area where the ring fell was now out of the water b/c the tide had gone out. So I called Jeff back and he said he'd come check it out. He was going to the beach anyway, so he could go to Upham with us and see if his metal detector worked.

Mike called to say that 5 guys were on their way! Steven told me I should leave and take the kids. My work was done I guess. I didn't want to leave until the ring was found, but I also knew that it was a school night and I was stressing Steven out. I offered to take Corrie's younger two since they were going to be with me on Monday anyway. Darren thought it was a great idea, but Corrie was so worried about the ring that she didn't want to bother anybody else. I would have taken them but I needed help to the car and nobody wanted to leave that area. So I left after introducing Jeff to Steven.

After I left, Jeff's metal detector was worthless. So we didn't pay him the $130 to buy it. He was so nice and went to his car to get snorkel gear to continue the search. Also of note, Ivy almost drown. Malia was right with her but Ivy got onto her back in a puddle of water and couldn't sit up or roll over to get up. Corrie sprinted over and it hadn't been long, but it was still a scare. Then some metal detector guys from the club came an Jeff said something like "I'm staying to see this!" because they had REAL metal detectors. There were other by standers who watched too.

I called Martin to thank him for his research. He made me feel better b/c he said that guy he called in Wyoming who had referred this chapter of the treasure hunter team guaranteed they'd find it. (I bet you a million dollars he was praying too.) We jumped in the pool then took showers. While we were still in the pool, Steven called to tell me that they found Barbie's ring!!!! He said that it was emotional with tears and hugs and pictures. It had already started raining too. It was right where we had dropped it and was 8" down. The metal detecting team said that it falls 2" right away then slowly wriggles down. I said a thank you prayer of course.

Since I was little, I have had a testimony of answered prayers when things are lost. I say a prayer and know if I'll find the item or not. If I will, I often go right to it and remember where I put the item. In this case, I had the metal detecting idea when it was still just me and Corrie looking. Yes I instantly said prayer after prayer after prayer. And continued praying between phone calls.

I didn't take any pictures of the search party. Obviously. Steven took this picture and even told me it was for the blog.

 ... And they lived happily ever after.
P.S. I'm really sorry Andre and Barbie. I knew better and was even initially prompted NOT to pass the rings. But I made a bad decision. I'll finish your pictures tonight.


Katy said...

I am still amazed at how all of this turned out! A few phone calls from Florida to Minnesota to Wyoming back to Florida and the wedding band is found, yay!

Don B said...

Incerdible andstressful. I did not know there was a Gille sibling communcation roadway.

Grandpa said...

Tiffany prayers are notoriously effective. And not only for finding lost items. If I remember right, sometimes it would take a Tiffany prayer to get her mom's car started (when Tiffany was barely old enough to talk).