I received a call from Keith in May. He said he had lost his 1980 Eagles Championship ring while doing yard work. He was heartbroken and told me how much the ring meant to him. He has worn it since he received it 34 years ago.
Our schedules weren’t lining up. He was going away in a few days, and then I was going away. I told him I would come over later that day even if it was still raining out. We agreed on 1 o’clock in the afternoon. He gave me his information.
It was raining very hard at 1pm. I was prepared, raincoat with hood, rain pants and waterproof hiking boots. I brought my water proof detector Minelab CTX-3030. It was a nice size yard. The street in front of the house was flooded from all of the recent rain.
Keith showed me what he was doing the day he lost the ring. I thought if it is here it should be an easy fine. WRONG!!
Keith had trimmed all of the bushes & hedges, raked the entire property, put a lot of the debris in the street which is now flooded, started a mulch pile and planted new items in a flower garden. He remembers at one point looking at his hand saying this ring is giving me a blister.
I started in the easy sections, the open yard, nothing! I started moving to the different gardens. Uh-oh, they are all lined with iron to stop the roots from entering. Metal detectors love iron. It makes them sing. Even when trying to discriminate iron out of the range, there was so much it was hard to determine if there were any other signals. The machine I brought had an 11 inch coil on it.
I couldn’t search the street because there is metal rebar under the surface. There was way too much debris out there to shovel onto the grass. If it’s out here the leaf sucker is going to get it. I spent about 3 hours looking. No luck.
Keith was disappointed and so was I. I really wanted to return this ring. I have been an Eagles fan for too many years. What an awesome story this would have been. I offered to come back at a different time when the weather was better. We said we would keep in touch.
A few months passed and I called Keith. He was staying in his summer cabin and wouldn’t be back in this area for some time. I asked if there would be anyone around, because I didn’t want to be on his property without someone being there. He said his wife would be there this week and it would be ok to go over to look.
He had already started the inquiry of what he had to do to get the ring replaced. He needed approval from the Eagles & the NFL plus a police report.
I went over a few days later and met Michelle. She added a few other tid bits, like when he was done the yard work he traveled to North Jersey. My heart sunk. I thought to myself, that is why I didn’t find it last time. It’s not here.
I returned with and older but reliable machine, a White’s Spectrum XLT with a 3 inch coil. This is to help reduce the amount of signals from all of the iron in the gardens. I started searching the areas I couldn’t do in the rain, like the large slope of ivy in the back yard. The only thing I found back here were hundreds of mosquitoes.
I moved to the mulch pile, moving stuff around, nothing. I’m getting frustrated. 2 hours later the last things to check are the gardens.
I expected the ring to pretty much be on the surface. It wasn’t lost that long ago. I finally get a good signal at close to 3 hours from when I started. I climbed under the bushes and moved away the debris. Nothing. I dig about a half an inch down. Is that gold? I dig a little more. It’s the ring!!
I must have jumped about 10 feet in the air. The ring was very heavy, and very muddy. I went back to my truck and cleaned it up. Took many pictures, then I called Keith. When I told him that I found it, he started to get choked up. He couldn’t believe that I had found it. He told me that he thought that is was gone forever. He said someone told him to pray to St Anthony, so he did.
We made arrangements to meet a few weeks later when he would be back in town. He even let me keep the ring for 24 hours so I could show it off before I returned it to his wife. When we met we took pictures & he signed a few Topps Football cards that I had brought with me from his playing days.
Here is a letter from Keith Krepfle Philadelphia Eagles Tight End #84:
From the bottom of my heart I want to thank you for finding my lost 1980 NFL Conference Championship ring with your metal detector. I was reasonably sure I lost the ring while doing spring clean-up in the yard.
The day I called you in desperation for help, you came over immediately to try and find the ring. Although the weather was miserably cold and pouring rain, you nonetheless scanned the yard for hours trying to find it. I was obviously disappointed when you could not find it, however you said you would like to return in warmer weather to try again.
I was not absolutely sure I lost the ring in the yard, and for weeks looked everywhere but unfortunately it did not turn up. By summertime I had completely given up hope and contacted the NFL League office to inquire about replacing it (custom molds for all Super Bowl rings are kept on file).
Then out of the blue in August you called me again, offering (at no fee) to come back for another search. On your second search, to my unbelievable surprise, YOU FOUND THE RING! under a landscaping bush. I was so thrilled when you told me, I actually broke down and cried with emotion/thankfulness.
I cannot thank you enough for your dedication, honesty, integrity and persistence, and whole heartedly recommend anyone contact you for help locating lost items. You are truly and Angel of God!
Keith Krepfle Philadelphia Eagles- tight end