Roy Corn had little hope of recovering his wedding ring when it slipped from his finger into a giant Dumpster of plastic bottles just before Christmas last year. But, like the old newspapers and aluminum cans, the gold band belonging to this 67-year-old Gladstone resident was successfully recycled. Here's timeline proof that Mother Nature looks out for lovebirds.
January 2006: Roy Corn buys a $1,500 gold wedding band at Johnson Jewelry in Puyallup, Washington.
Later that week: A Deffenbaugh employee named Eddie spends an extra hour running the conveyor at the company's Material Recovery Facility in Kansas City, Kansas, trying to find the lost jewelry. He finds the ring, and the company notifies Kevin Chafin, recycling manager for Bridging the Gap. With no contact information for Corn, Harper puts up signs at the recycling center.
February 18, 2006: Corn marries his second wife, Ruby. Their wedding date is inscribed on the band. The happy couple moves back to Gladstone in 2007 to be closer to family members. Corn notices his finger start to "slim down a little bit."
January 2008: Corn and his wife, thinking they'll never get the original back, look for a replacement. At JCPenney in the Metro North Mall, Corn mentions to the jewelry counter clerk that he's looking to replace the wedding band he lost at the recycling center. The clerk, who recycles at that same center, mentions that she saw a sign for a "found ring."
November 2007: Corn waves someone ahead of him at a grocery store and his wedding band flies off. Another woman helps him find the ring. Corn makes a mental note to get it resized.
Later that day: After calling Deffenbaugh and describing the inscription, the elated couple drives 27 miles to the processing facility. Corn is reunited with his ring. Corn thanks the Lord for saving his ring and, he says with a chuckle, for "keeping me married."
December 2007: Corn pushes aside bottles and cans to make room for his recyclables at the Metro North Community Recycling Center when his ring slides off and clanks to the bottom of the steel Dumpster. Corn tells manager Bunny Harper, an employee of Bridging the Gap. She says she'll alert Deffenbaugh Industries to keep an eye out. Corn leaves, forgetting to give Harper his name and phone number.
May 13, 2008: Before moving back to western Washington, Corn has his wedding ring resized.
Illustrations by Mitch Clem