Not all Tales of Blawenburg are about the old days. This blog is a true story that I wrote and published in the Montgomery News in October 2016. Some of you have already read it, no doubt, but there is an update at the end of the story. I hope you enjoy this tale of my personal foibles.
This Story Has a Certain Ring to It
By David Cochran
This is a story more than forty years in the making. It’s a story with the elements of a best-selling novel–mystery, pathos, history, and police action. Well, maybe that’s overstating things. The story begins in the mid-1970s with a cherry tree gone bad. When we moved into our house, there was a vibrant cherry tree in our side yard. The first year we were thrilled with the volume of cherries, but before we could taste one of them, birds of unknown origin descended on the tree and ate them all in a day. The next year, the tree had leaves, but no fruit. It died the following year. So, like a famous forefather, I chopped it down with my ax. I cannot tell a lie; I did chop it down, but that’s where the problem began.
When I hauled the limbs and trunk to the woods, I came back to the site of the excision, exhausted and eager for a shower. I looked down at my hand. My ring was missing! My wedding ring was gone! I looked all over–on the lawn where the cherry tree was, along the path where the limbs were dragged, and in the woods where the remainder of the cherry tree resided. I didn’t find the ring.
I continued to look for it, but as weeks turned into months and months into years, I resolved that the missing ring would remain a mystery. I missed the ring, feeling incomplete without it. After two decades passed, I borrowed a metal detector from a friend, but alas, I still came up empty-handed. No ring.
40+ Years Later
Blawenburg Church was contacted by Nick Monello. He is a detectorist, a person whose hobby is using a metal detector, and he is also a police officer. As a member of the NYPD, Nick is trained to be on the lookout.
He gained permission and scanned the 1832 Blawenburg Church yard, finding an old spoon and a square nail. While he was there, I happened to mention that I live in an old house that is nearly as old as the church. He immediately said he wanted to come back another day and scan my property. “Oh, by the way,” I said, “I lost my wedding ring awhile back. Maybe you’ll find it.”