Real lost and found story: Ring restored, 29 years on
Sam Roy saw a glimmer in the dust and thought it was probably a coin stuck in the ground on the soccer fields at Zilker Elementary School, where he’s in the fifth grade.
It took some digging, but he got it out of the ground, and when recess was over he took it inside to show his teacher. It was a man’s wedding ring.
“It was kind of a mystery for our class,” said Sam, who’s 10.
He came home with it perched on his thumb, recalled his mom, Kari Anne Roy, and initially he wanted to keep it. But the mom knew it was inscribed with the names Tom, Mollie and a date. The mom decided some sleuthing was in order and posted the news on Facebook, to no avail.
She combed wedding sites, high school reunion sites. With the inscribed date, she was able to track down Tom and Mollie Biddison’s record of marriage on the state’s vital statistics site. Then she went to the Travis Central Appraisal District’s site to see if the couple were still in the area. They were.
It took months, and all the while, the ring sat on a box of chocolate-covered salted almonds in the family’s kitchen. Friends were intrigued, but there were just too many unknowns: Were the couple still married? In the area? “Don’t be too storybook about it,” Kari Anne Roy recalled them saying. Finally, an email address, an email sent and answered, a phone call placed.
“I asked how long it had been lost, and (Tom Biddison) said 29 years, and I started to cry,” she said.
Here’s what happened: Decades ago, the newlywed couple lived near the school and were playing catch there. Some undetermined time later, Tom noticed the ring was missing. Their best guess was that it had come off when Tom removed his baseball glove.
“I was always fighting with it,” he recalled.
They searched the grounds with a metal detector, but no luck. They weren’t even sure that’s where it had been lost. Then, Mollie Biddison said, she bought her husband a new ring, and they moved on.
Tom Biddison and his lost ring were reunited in time for the couple’s 31st wedding anniversary Dec. 4.
“I gave him the ring,” Mollie Biddison said. “I didn’t let him put it on. We went on a hiking trip to Wild Basin, went to the waterfall, and I gave it to him then.”
“It’s a mystery, but it’s pretty cool. It’s a good thing,” she said. “I don’t think things happen by chance.”
Now Sam Roy is back to being a regular kid, one who has read the Harry Potter series multiple times and is hooked on “Minecraft.” But he’s got a neat little story to tell.
“It was fun while it lasted,” he said.
Sam Roy, 10, shows the ring he found Oct. 17 on the soccer fields at Zilker Elementary School. It had been lost by its owner, Tom Biddison, nearly 30 years ago.
Sam Roy (left) and his mother, Kari, pose with Tom and Mollie Biddison. Sam found Tom Biddison’s wedding ring, lost for 29 years. THAO NGUYEN / FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN