Thu, June 27

Lost ring returned after found in Jerome gallery

Jean Caliendo

Jean Caliendo

— In January, Jean Caliendo and her husband, Jim, were road tripping to the Verde Valley from Michigan when she lost her sole memento of her father – his gold wedding band. The ring was inscribed with “1/11/41,” her father, Sam Bruza’s, anniversary.

The couple spent a day in Jerome walking the shops and galleries. Later, Caliendo realized the ring was missing from her finger, despite having no memory of removing it.

Two days later, Caliendo and her husband retraced their steps, asking shop employees if they had found the ring to no avail.

“Several shopkeepers told me if someone finds it, you will get it back because this is a good town and we look out for each other. I said ‘that’s good to hear,’” Caliendo said.

Roberto Rabago, the owner and shopkeeper of Yesterday’s Fine Art Gallery, told her to leave a note on the town bulletin board outside the Post Office. Caliendo took his advice and posted a “lost ring” message.

Weeks after their vacation, Caliendo had written the ring off as lost.

Pura Vida Gallery employee Lisa Billingsley found Caliendo’s ring with the rings the gallery sells.

In March, gallery owners Jeffrey Teare happened to find Caliendo’s note. He had found a ring in his shop weeks before and hung onto it just in case. The ring was mixed in with rings the gallery sold.

“What was funny is we had the ring for a couple of months, and I noticed it matched the name that Lisa wrote down,” Teare said.

Teare mailed the ring to Michigan, reuniting it with its rightful owner.

“She was crying, I didn’t realize how much it would mean to her,” Teare said.

Caliendo said she’s grateful to the Rabago for the tip about the bulletin board and to Teare for mailing it back to her.

“I have it on my finger again. You’ve got a great town there with good people,” Caliendo said.