A wedding ring is a symbol of love and the union between two people. Will Fry is a drag racer, and he saw the old Oldsmobile parked at a home near his racetrack. After seeing it sit year after year, he wanted to buy it to salvage the engine. When he purchased the Oldsmobile 98 from 1972, he never dreamed of what he would find when he was taking apart the engine. A piston ring would have been likely, but a wedding ring was a complete surprise.
The Dubuque, Iowa, man contacted the previous owner. Ray Schmuecker had no clue that the call he received that day would solve a 45-year-old mystery. Schmuecker, now 93, said that in 1974 he lost his wedding ring while working on that car. He never knew what happened to it, and it upset his wife greatly. She was so aggravated at him that she went and bought another ring just like the one he lost. Time went on, and he forgot about the first wedding ring, until now.
Schmuecker bought the Oldsmobile 98 brand new off the lot. He needed a reliable car that could transport his wife to and from her doctor’s appointments. Virginia Schmuecker had breast cancer, and he wanted her to ride in style. Though she has since passed, she would have been happy to learn the whereabouts of that ring.
The car held a very special place in Ray Schmuecker’s heart. All three of his children learned to drive in that Oldsmobile, and he used it for family vacations for more than 20 years. He recalls all the good times they spent in that old car, but he remembers a few bad ones too.
The Oldsmobile was sitting in his driveway for almost two decades, and he was ready to send it to the scrapyard. Frye wanted to buy the car because he needed the engine. As a drag racer, he knew the Oldsmobile engine is perfect for racing. Ann Cabana, Schmuecker’s daughter, struck a deal with Frye and was glad to see a piece of the car still going. However, they never dreamed it would solve a 45-year-old mystery too.
Cabana became emotional when they got the call from Frye. She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, just like her mother. She believed it was a sign from above that things were going to be okay. Another odd twist of fate is that Frye races at the Petersburg track, which is close to the Schmuecker’s home. Cabana plans on taking her father to watch Frye race in that old car that has been a long-time member of their family.
Perhaps, finding the ring was a sign for Cabana, or maybe it was just time and chance. Consequently, the old wedding ring was in pristine condition. It lived inside that engine for four decades and cleaned up nicely. It just shows that true love, like most rings that represent it, never dies. Too bad Virginia will never know what happened to that ring, or did she have a hand in all this?