FLANDERS, NY — It would be like finding a needle in a haystack. That’s what Ron Fisher thought despairingly when he realized he’d accidentally brought a box of valuables, including his wedding ring, to the North Sea transfer station.
Fisher, who lives in Flanders and owns Fisher Signs & Shirts in Southampton and Westhampton, said after moving into a new house last month, there were lots of boxes.
“We more or less finished unpacking and I loaded my car to bring them to the dump for recycling,” he wrote on Facebook. “Next to all the flattened boxes in my trunk was a box containing the deed to our house, all of our mortgage closing paperwork, the warranties and receipts for all of our new furniture, and, most importantly, my oversized wedding ring that I’ve been meaning to resize.”
At first, it seemed all hope might be lost.
Then Fisher spoke to the heads of the North Sea Transfer Station, Christine Fetten and Ed Thompson, and they offered to pull the garbage trailer Thursday morning, empty it, and let his employee Sarah Huneault and him dig through it.
“The entire staff was incredibly helpful, and used the machines to break apart the compacted cardboard until we found the rough area where my boxes were,” he said. “When I asked Sarah if she was willing to help me scavenge, she didn’t blink and said ‘yes.’ When we showed up to the dump, they said, ‘We thought you were bringing manpower.’ I told them, ‘She’s all the manpower I need, and we got to work,'” he said.
Huneault said when Fisher called her and told her he was going to go through the bin, she was more than excited to lend a helping hand. They drove together, unsure of how the next few hours would unfold.
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“While waiting for the incredible crew to unload the compactor, Ron and I stood side by side, mentally preparing for ‘go time,'” she said. “We stood there looking at the mound of cardboard and reassured each other that anything is possible, and we looked at the situation almost like a game or a puzzle. We were determined to have fun with this devastating situation.”
Once they got the go ahead to begin, Huneault said they started making their way through areas that had signs of Fisher’s belongings, including business cards, receipts and coupons. “Anything that even resembled his stuff gave us hope,” she said. “I knew there were many important things in that box, like the deed to his home and his beautiful wedding ring, so while looking, I happened to glance at a worker that had a manila envelope. I shouted to him not to throw it, and sure enough, it was the deed! I was shocked, but we weren’t out of the woods yet.”