It’s not exactly the ring of power from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings’ trilogy, but like that ring, Steve Warburton’s wedding band did fall to the muddy bottom of a waterway only to be rediscovered in a very unlikely way.
The tale begins last summer, after Warburton took a quick dip in Paper Mill Lake. His wedding ring, recently resized by his wife Sherri Aikenhead, had slipped off. At a depth of about 15 feet, his attempts to retrieve the ring from the lake’s muddy bottom were unsuccessful.
Warburton eventually called in a scuba diver who spent 90 minutes searching, also to no avail.
“This is a key part of the story. He (the diver) found sunglasses, money, bikes that people had thrown in, but he didn’t find the ring,” Warburton explained. “But what that did do was draw a bit of a crowd, and as people came around I told them what was going on.”
Fast forward to June 6. Warburton and his wife celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary without the lost ring.
But last week, Warburton received a call he didn’t expect. It was his friend Chris Pacey, who’d just had a one in a million encounter at Paper Mill Lake with a woman walking along the shoreline.
On July 30, Pacey commented to the woman that perhaps the draining of the lake currently underway would make it easier for his friend to find his missing wedding ring.
The woman he spoke to was Patty Lebans, whose 10-year-old son Logan Camp happens to treasure hunt and dive in the lake.
When Lebans heard Pacey’s comment about the ring, she was astounded.
“I just whipped my head around and said ‘What did you say?’” Lebans said.
Logan and his father were in last summer’s crowd of onlookers when the scuba diver tried to locate the ring. So when Logan pulled a gold ring out of the lake last month, he immediately wondered aloud to his mother if it was the same one.
Logan put the ring in his green treasure box full of Barbie doll legs, CDs, golf balls and pennies and left it there. When Lebans had her chance encounter with Pacey, the family got in contact with Warburton. He showed up, tried it on and determined it was the missing ring. He hugged Logan and gave him a finder’s fee.
“I was so happy that I found it,” Logan said.
The ring coincidentally reappeared just in time for Warburton and his wife to enjoy a belated anniversary trip away last weekend.
“Things happen for a reason, so they say ... It was just by chance that I was at the lake on Monday ... There are a lot of coincidences,” Lebans said. “Logan’s a good boy and he has a good heart, and I think it’s neat he found it and held onto it.”