FERGUSON, Iowa (WHO) – It was 1960 — the last year of operation for Ferguson High School in Ferguson, Iowa, before the district consolidated with others nearby. Chuck Finders took his girlfriend Darlys to the school grounds, where he and his friends planned a sandlot football game.
“We girlfriends would come and sit and watch the boys play on Sunday afternoons,” Darlys said.
She and Chuck had exchanged class rings. She wore his, but hers was too small for his finger, so he wore it on a chain, even while playing football.
“Obviously, the chain broke, and I’m out there on my hands and knees going through the grass looking for that ring,” Darlys remembered.
The ring, however, was not to be found. Chuck and Darlys married, had kids, grandkids, and now have 15 great-grandkids.
Still, Darlys didn’t give up. She prayed to God that one day she would find that ring. Each time she saw someone near the school with a metal detector, she would stop and share her story.
“I’d talk to them, tell them the general area where we thought it was lost,” said Darlys. “Over that time, 62 years, never found it.”
Then, on September 15, 2023, Darlys met Trent Banks, who was using a metal detector near the site of the old sandlot. She shared her story with Banks, left her phone number with him, and went home.
Then, about a half-hour later, the phone rang.
“I almost didn’t pick it up, it was a number I didn’t recognize,” said Darlys. But she answered anyway, and heard Banks’ voice on the other end of the line. He had found her ring.
What’s more, Banks dug up the ring in what would have been an out-of-bounds area by a tree, and closer to the town’s main road than Darlys may have imagined. Because of this, Darlys said her pastor calls it “The Miracle on Main Street,” but she’s content to keep the story grounded in reality.
“I don’t want to place too much importance on material things, because yes, that ring meant a lot to me, it had a lot of sentimental meaning, more than material meaning, because it was our last class at Ferguson,” said Darlys. “It was kind of my last tangible thing with Ferguson schools.”
Darlys also said she wanted to give Banks some reward money, but he refused. Getting to call Darlys and give her the good news, he said, was reward enough for him.