Thursday, April 6, 2017

Down in the dumps

My wedding ring has gone everywhere I have gone since it was installed on my left hand on December 8, 1973. And trust me, it's not about to come off.  It's maybe a size 8 ring on what is now a size 11 finger, so it's permanent.

I see people who are able to slide their hardware on and off their fingers, and I worry about them losing their rings (and shortly thereafter, their minds!)

So it was that Shannon Lombardo of New York City removed her carat carrier and band to clean them.  And wrapped them in a paper towel.  And threw away the paper towel.

"I had just cleaned them and I had them in a paper towel. I think I got distracted with the kids, it's hard to figure out, and I think I just crumpled it up, and I didn't feel the weight of them and I threw them out," is what she told WABC-TV.

She called 311. "I was thinking, it's New York City Sanitation, there's no way I'm ever going to be able to track down my ring. I was just very skeptical, but I had nothing left to lose."

So the Sanitation people said they would wait to pick up the trash from her apartment building while she and her husband Jim dumpster dove, to no avail. That meant a trip to Fairview, New Jersey, where New York trash is parked awaiting a trip to whatever landfill it will soon occupy.

Workers at the debris depot narrowed the search field down to 800 bags recently dumped by the truck that worked her neighborhood, and it only took an hour of pawing through stuff no one else wanted to find the two things Mr and Mrs Lombardo really did. 

Apparently, this sort of thing happens all the time in The City That Doesn't Sweep. "When it's a ring, you start to think, wow, that's a small item, but we've done it before, we're trained how to find it," Sanitation Supervisor Gabriel Moreno said.
Now, she can smile again.

Mrs Lombardo took an admirably philosophical stance. "These people went above and beyond -- amazing people," she said. "Now, that's what the ring symbolizes: that there's hope and goodness in the world, and against the odds it can happen -- even in a garbage dump."

I'm sure the Lombardos were glad that this took place in March, and not August. 

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