FOLSOM — It happens once a week, every week in just about every neighborhood but, Wednesday’s garbage run on Folsom’s Kidder Way was a little different – like heart-racing, stomach-sinking different.
“I went to put my rings on and realized they weren’t right where I normally leave them and then I ran upstairs… but they weren’t there,” said Andria Saint-Evens. “It was almost surreal. I just started crying.”
Her wedding ring and 15th-anniversary right-hand ring were gone.
Saint-Evens tried to trash her trepidation by sending son Bryce out to grab their bags out of the garbage.
But the crews had already collected.
“This diamond is my great-grandmother’s. It’s 100 years old,” said Saint-Evens.
Cleaning her rings before her 19th wedding anniversary next month, almost did away with what she used to say I do.
Almost… because a call to the city’s solid waste department stopped the truck hauling her neighborhood’s trash and started a fine sifting process through about 300 cans worth of what everyone near her had thrown away.
What did maintenance worker Dennis Conger think when he got that call?
“Well at first I was a little skeptical, but when we got out there and I saw Andria and how distraught she was… I thought ‘we’re gonna find this ring.'”
And as unlikely as it sounds, in about 30 minutes of Saint-Evens, her husband and two city workers rummaging through refuse, they found it.
“I dug through and it wasn’t there. And then in the third bag… I was on my last paper towel ‘cuz I knew I set it on a paper towel… and I heard this tink and both of my rings fell out of the paper towel.”
“When she said there they are…that was great… I mean it was fantastic,” said Conger.
He’s had to look through truckloads of trash before, but usually, for an illegal item that police were trying to find.
This is the first time he’s searched for anything so small.
Out of their grubbies – donned for going through the garbage, there were hugs over a remarkable find thanks to what Saint-Evens says is remarkable Folsom.
“It just made me feel so good that they were treating me like I was their daughter or their spouse who’d lost their rings,” said Saint-Evens.
“If they hadn’t been willing to dump it out and search with me…it would be gone and I would have lost a piece of my family history that was so important.”