Posted: Sep 7, 2011 6:24 PM by Andy Koen
Updated: Sep 8, 2011 11:57 AM
A very special part of Jim and Jean Huffman's marriage is back, his wedding band. They went to a set of recycling bins along Main Street in Florence on Monday to drop off their old newspapers.
The ring somehow slipped off into the bin, but Jim didn't realize it until they were already back at home.
"We scoured the house, the car, did some cleaning and thought perhaps it got into the recycling bin," Jim said.
With it being a holiday, Jim started making calls early Tuesday morning trying to figure out who owned the bins. He finally got in touch with Beth Lenz at the Upper Arkansas Area Council of Governments who operates the recycling program. She called the driver who had emptied the bins and the factory where it was headed.
"I expected her to say if we see it we'll let you know, but she didn't say that," he recalled. "She said, we will look for it."
And they did. When the truck arrived, floor manager Abel Herrera and his coworker Ryan Powell immediately stopped what they were doing to search for it.
"I told him and her, we need to find this gentleman's ring, it was just a quest, something we needed to do," Herrera said.
They searched for an hour and half through 11,000 pound mountain of paper when a magnetic sensor went off. Herrera says time was critical.
"He's got, maybe three or four - five seconds before the bin drops," he said. "So, he's looking in a hurry."
Powell found it.
"I ran up to him and was like, is this the ring you guys are looking for, and it was," he said.
The ring was irreplaceable, custom made by a jeweler in Old Colorado City with a depiction of Pikes Peak. The mountains are a symbol of their relationship. Jim and Jean both lost their spouses earlier in life and met here in Colorado at grief support group more than 26 years ago.
"We both came from the same area of Michigan but never knew each other until we both moved separately to Colorado."
And now, thanks to the selfless acts of kindness from strangers, the steadfast symbol of their marriage is back.
"That people are so conscientious and would care about somebody else so much, I'm just totally amazed and grateful."