Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Ringing in the News: the tale of missing treasure

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Faye Dodson was a single mom raising four kids. The family was very poor, so there were no luxuries, especially no diamond rings. Daughter Karla Martin shared that her father left when she was 5 years old and was not seen again for 23 years. Then Dodson met a man who lived in Granbury and remarried.

Dodson’s life circumstances changed, and she received her first big diamond ring — two carats. “She was so proud of that ring, and it’s always been my favorite. She passed away in 2001 and left the ring to me,” said Martin.

“I’ve been going in there for years,” Martin said, referring to Dave’s Jewelry. “My eldest granddaughter wants to wear her grandmother’s ring to her wedding in July. I thought, okay, well, I need to get it cleaned, and there was a diamond I wanted to replace in the ring, so I took it to Dave’s Jewelry.”

Martin brought her mother’s ring to the shop and four other pieces that needed cleaning and possible repair. “Dave didn’t think anything was wrong with the diamond but said he would let it soak,” explained Martin. Dave recommended she leave it all to be cleaned and return in an hour, so Martin agreed and left the shop.

“I came back in an hour,” said Martin, “and Dave put a cloth out and laid four pieces out on that cloth, and you know they looked amazing! Everything was so clean. I was asking him about which ones needed diamonds replaced in some of the pieces when suddenly Dave says, ‘Wait a minute, there was another ring.’”

Martin realized he was right. “Yes, my mother’s ring,” she said.

“Dave went to the back area of the shop and checked — and then his wife, Sandy, was checking — and then nothing. He returned and said, ‘Okay, I know who has your ring. It was an accident.’”

Another customer had come in with his wife’s jewelry to be cleaned that day as well.

Dave and his wife determined Sandy possibly scooped Martin’s ring out of the cleaner with the other customer’s rings. When Dave’s wife took his jewelry out of the cleaner, Martin’s ring was in with the man’s jewelry. “They just put it all in a pouch and handed it to him, and he had no idea that he had my ring, and then he goes out the door,” said Martin.

“So, I’m emotional — I mean all day long — and poor Dave. He’s the sweetest man.”

Martin called every few hours, asking, “’Dave, do you know anything yet?’ And then I just started crying and telling him that ring is the only thing I’ve got of my mom’s, you know,” explained Martin, adding, “Dave said, ‘I promise you I will find that ring.’”

When Martin left the store, she called her granddaughter, Maryn, with the news that her great-grandmother Dodson’s ring was gone. Martin said. “Maryn, I don’t have the ring, and she’s like, ‘What?’ I don’t have it. It’s lost, and someone else has it, so you need to make other plans just in case I don’t get it back, and Maryn said, ‘I’m so sad.’”

Martin admits she didn’t think she would get the ring back. “I did not have hope because we didn’t have a name. Dave is the sweetest man, and he consoled me every time I called and promised me, he was going to get my ring back.”

Using footage from the security camera in his store, Dave posted screenshots on Facebook of the man they thought for sure had Martin’s ring. “Dave knew he was going to get backlash, but he did whatever he had to do to get my ring back,” said Martin.

A man named Dan saw the photos on Facebook and recognized the man in the screenshot. Dan posted on FB, “He’s my neighbor!”

Dan promptly went to his neighbor, Mr. Henderson, to inform him that he had accidentally taken Martin’s ring.

Martin then messaged Dan, “I’m sending you a message because this is my ring.”

Mr. Henderson checked the pouch containing the jewels and left a message on Dave’s answering machine at the jewelry shop that he had Martin’s ring and would bring it to him the next day.

Mr. Henderson’s daughter brought the ring back to the store the next day, and Dave replaced two diamonds in it, going above and beyond what Martin had asked him to do. He also replaced a diamond in another ring. When Martin took out her card to pay, Dave wouldn’t let her. “Not after what you went through,” he said.

“I was devastated because I couldn’t replace that ring,” Martin said.  “At no point was I angry. Dave thanked me also because I was sweet during the whole thing.”

“People came together, and it’s just wonderful — the number of people who shared the post about the ring and the pictures of Mr. Henderson. There were probably 700 to 800 shares. It was unreal!” Martin exclaimed. She acknowledged that if Dave had not posted the photo from his store, no one could have guessed the man’s name.

“I told Dave I hated to read the backlash that he got. I hated that,” lamented Martin. “He doesn’t deserve that.”

Martin says she tried to answer everybody’s posts. “It’s over a thousand people. I tried to answer because Granbury came together, and they found the ring for me.”