Have you ever spotted someone wandering a beach dragging one of those strange metallic devices along the sand to look for buried treasure?
Metal detectors were a bit of a hot trend in the ’90s (hence the vivid beach vacation recollection), as hopeful prospectors searched their neighborhoods for gold, but these expensive devices have mostly streamlined to become a bit of an idiosyncratic hobby.
All that said, I bet Billy Sheridan would have wished that Matt Kwiatkowski had gotten a bit of an earlier head start on his own metal detecting pastime.
As Good Morning America reports, the 41-year-old Georgia man found Billy’s long-lost bracelet on the grounds of Billy’s old middle school. It was a remarkable find, considering Billy had loved the silver accessory with his name engraved on top, and never figured out what happened to it.
“It turns out the spot where I found it was part of the old baseball field, and he used to play baseball throughout his life,” Kwiatkowski told the show.
Unfortunately, Billy will never get to see it again. The former councilman passed away in 2006 at age 69.
His family, on the other hand, was thrilled to have the heirloom restored to them. After Kwiatkowski tracked down Billy’s hometown and placed an ad in an online newspaper, Sheridan’s relatives jumped to claim their prize.
“I got a comment back from his grandson who said, ‘Oh my God, that’s my granddad,’” Kwiatowski said.
Last weekend, three cars full of Sheridan descendants drove up to meet the man who’d found their dad and granddad’s gem. Daughter Darenda Kinney was particularly moved.
“I feel like I have a piece of my dad back,” Kinney told ABCNews.com. “My dad was the most giving person you could meet. He didn’t meet a stranger and had so many friends you couldn’t begin to count them all.”
Kinney believes the bracelet traces all the way back to the 1940s, making it an important piece of family history. Add on a fantastic backstory like this one and you’ve got the actual definition of buried treasure.
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