If you have any information about Sharon Lane's ring please call 209-768-7873.

A couple of weeks ago, Arnold resident Sharon Lane came to Sonora for a doctor's appointment.

Afterward, she and her husband Hal decided to do some shopping – they needed a few things from WalMart, Safeway and Save Mart, and Hal wanted Sharon to look for some new clothes. She hadn't bought anything new in a while, and she had lost a lot of weight – almost 90 pounds over the past year.

It was a good day.

But when they got home, Sharon realized her one-karat diamond ring had slipped off her finger, the ring her husband bought 58 years ago. The ring, he as a teenager who came from limited means, made payments on for at least a year. The ring she never took off.

“I told Hal, I have a huge problem,” she said.

Chance meeting

The Lanes met when they were cruising Highway 17 in Santa Cruz with friends, she driving her 1956 Chevy and he in his 1955 white Ford with red interior. They were teenagers on a summer weekend jaunt to the beach.

Hal had to be talked into going by his friends. He was doing brickwork around the patio when they came by the house he and his sister had just bought in San Jose. They took his car because his was the best.

Meanwhile, Sharon and her friends were visiting the beach from their homes in Stockton.

Hal saw the three girls and they started talking car-to-car like a scene out of the movie “American Graffiti.”

Hal asked them to pull over and they went for sodas. And talked. By the time the groups parted, Hal had her phone number.

“We liked each other's car,” Hal quipped.

“We liked each other,” Sharon added, “and then we loved each other. We just knew we were going to be together.”

Marriage

They didn't have a lot of money back then. But he wanted to get her a nice ring. Her grandmother took him to the jewelry store where she shopped. He can't remember what he paid but back then it seemed like a fortune.

They went to a justice of the peace in Lake Tahoe to get married. July 2, 1960. He was 19, she was 18. She wore a white dress, he wore a suit. A simple wedding followed by a meal at Oliver's Restaurant.

Then they went back to the house in San Jose and built a life. Hal did pretty much any job he could get. She did accounting work. Before long, they had two boys and Hal had started a plastering business that grew into a substantial company.

Thirty years ago, they bought a vacation cabin and two acres in Arnold and when they retired they built their dream home there.

Hal is now 78, Sharon 76. Sharon has had health problems in recent years, three strokes, a herniated disc that ended in back fractures. She needs a walker to get around.

“He does everything now,” she said, and looked over at her husband, who reached out and touched her arm.

The loss

It's impossible to put a price on the meaning behind the missing ring. The connection between these two people shines.

When Sharon told Hal she had a problem two weeks ago, he thought she was sick. He was relieved to hear otherwise and immediately began looking doing what he does. Taking care of things. He searched drawers, the closet, the sweater she had on, the car. They called the stores.

Hal went to TJ Maxx and got down on the floor to search under every rack she had looked at. The doctor's office moved the examination table. They called the pawn shop in Sonora.

Nothing.

And so on Thursday, they reached out to readers of The Union Democrat to help them. They say they'll pay a reward for the ring or for any information about where it might be. If it's been sold, all they want is the name of the business or person that bought it.

No questions asked.

It is a solitaire, set in a thin gold band that matches the wedding ring that now sits alone on her finger.

Contact Lyn Riddle at lriddle@uniondemocrat.com or 209-588-4541.

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