ED SPALDING thought he had lost a valuable keepsake ring forever when it slipped off a finger and fell into the pit of an outhouse at Kleanza Creek Provincial Park while on a camping trip Aug. 28.
Spalding bought the Harley Davidson gold ring, depicting an eagle clutching a ball in its talons, in 1991 for $2,500.
A close friend of his also bought a ring at the same time and the purchases were made in recognition of the two deciding to buy Harley Davidson motorcycles that year.
Spalding’s ring took on added importance in 1993 when his friend, Roger Bourgoin, was killed in a logging accident at Scotia Creek west of Terrace.
“It wasn’t what I paid. I really didn’t care about the price,” said Spalding in emphasizing the emotional impact of losing the ring.
Spalding had injured his ring finger a few days before at work and put the keepsake ring on his pinky instead.
“When I was in the outhouse, it just flew off. What are the chances of that happening?” Spalding said in recounting the chain of events.
The ring was nowhere to be found during a quick look around the outhouse and was still missing after Kleanza park operator Gord Muir undertook a more detailed search.
“We looked everywhere for about an hour,” recalls Spalding. “We even thought it may have been hung up in my pants, I had these bulky pants on, but it wasn’t.”
The inescapable conclusion was that the ring had fallen into the outhouse pit.
That led Spalding to call for help and it arrived in the form of the persistence and kindness of Denis Nadeau from Pro Wet and Dry Vacuum Services Ltd.
Even though it was a Sunday night, Spalding said Nadeau lost no time in offering to help.
Spalding drove to Nadeau’s residence and the pair returned to the park in the latter’s large work truck.
Nadeau sucked out the contents of the outhouse into a huge barrel on his truck and, with Spalding, went to the Thornhill dump.
There they poured out the liquids and raked and scraped through what was left.
“It was Denis who actually found the ring,” said Spalding of the successful search at the Thornhill dump.
“I was going through the material that was on the ground for about the third time and thought the ring was gone but I heard him say “hey, hey, hey” and I went over,” said Spalding.
Nadeau had been using a curved hoe to go through the barrel on top of his truck when he found the ring.
Nadeau’s fee for that evening was a load of crush, something Spalding was able to arrange through his work.
Spalding and Nadeau know each other slightly because each is a Harley Davidson owner.
That creates a bond of mutual help when needed.
“All of us with Harleys, even if we know each other just by nicknames, if someone needed help, we’d be there,” said Spalding.
“If Denis ever needed help, I’d be there right away.”
“There’s a friendship between those who own Harleys,” Nadeau agreed.