Former Ward 1 Councilman Jerry Goldstein returned to his old neighborhood in Governor Francis Farms Friday to retrieve something his wife Joan lost decades ago – her wedding ring.
“It feels like I’m coming home,” he said looking around the neatly kept yard of the burnt-red colored house on Spring Green Road. It’s no wonder. The Goldsteins lived in the house for 28 years before selling it to Richard and Svea Berggren in 1998 and moving to Cranston.
For all of those years, Jerry ran Town and Country Cleaners at Hoxsie Four Corners where Walgreen’s is now located. He was a popular councilman, easily found by his constituents at the cleaners and had a reputation for keeping track of virtually everything with scraps of paper that littered his desk or were taped to the walls of his office.
Somehow, the missing ring was one detail that slipped Jerry and Joan’s attention. Its absence was never missed until Richard called a couple of weeks ago.
“She got her mother’s [wedding] ring, that’s how she didn’t miss it,” Jerry explained.
Richard was just as surprised to find the ring as Jerry was.
Richard said he planned to clear an area of moss near the garage and plant grass, but a couple of inches under the surface he encountered a system of roots. He needed a pair of clippers to sever one particularly stubborn root. It sprang up and, along with it, came the ring.
“It just popped up,” he said.
At first Richard thought it was a common, old piece of metal, but he was in for a surprise. Upon examination, he could see something engraved on the inside of the band. The lettering was tiny and only with a jeweler’s loupe was he to make out a pair of initials and the date, “10/31/48.” Suspecting that it might belong to Joan, Richard checked a card Jerry had given him years ago. One set of initials checked out so he was pretty sure of the ring’s owner.
He called, but he didn’t get the shower of elation that would have come from someone being reunited with a long lost prized possession. But there was no mistaking the ring’s owner as the Halloween wedding date, now almost 64 years ago, left no doubt.
On Friday, Jerry looked around the house that was so much a part of his and Joan’s life.
“It makes my stomach jump,” he said of the custom-built cabinets lining a wall. He recalled how he had sold the house without the use of a realtor, evoking memories of the negotiations for Richard and Svea. They all laughed.
“We really wanted to sell to good people,” said Jerry.
Richard got out the loupe and Jerry studied the inscription.
“I know what it should say, ‘I love you,’” he said.
Jerry tried the ring on various fingers, but it was too small until he tried his pinky.
It slipped on like it was meant to be.
“I might wear this forever,” he said.