What are the odds? With help, Greenfield woman finds lost diamond in dumpster

  • A lost diamond found by Patrick Kennedy, owner of Alternative Recycling Systems, West Hatfield. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo—

  • Greenfield resident Theresa Boyle shows her engagement ring’s broken setting Thursday, July 13. The diamond fell into a dumpster four days earlier and was found by Patrick Kennedy, owner of Alternative Recycling Systems, West Hatfield. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo

  • Greenfield resident Theresa Boyle shows her engagement ring's broken setting Thursday, July 13, 2017. The diamond fell into a dumpster Sunday and was found by Patrick Kennedy, owner of Alternative Recycling Systems, West Hatfield. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo—

  • Greenfield resident Theresa Boyle shows her engagement ring's broken setting Thursday, July 13, 2017. The diamond fell into a dumpster Sunday and was found by Patrick Kennedy, owner of Alternative Recycling Systems, West Hatfield. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo—

  • Theresa Boyle Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo—

For the Gazette
Published: 7/19/2017 11:18:10 PM

GREENFIELD — A lost diamond in the rough is what one Greenfield woman got returned from the bottom of a two-cubic-foot dumpster — found after a lengthy search by the owner of West Hatfield’s Alternative Recycling Systems.

“There is no way I, my husband or family members, can ever adequately thank Patrick Kennedy, owner of Alternative Recycling Systems, West Hatfield, for his assistance, going well beyond the call of duty. For helping us look for that item — the lost diamond from my engagement and wedding ring,” wrote Theresa Boyle in a letter of thanks for Kennedy’s actions.

She held up a sparkling smaller-than-a-pea sized diamond last week during an interview. On her hand was the broken engagement band that’s been off only twice in 53 years of marriage. She described how it looked days ago. Then, the center piece diamond wasn’t sparkling. It was covered in grime beneath garbage at a condominium complex not far from Greenfield Community College.

“When I hear someone has lost something in the trash, I’m typically skeptical. But we do what we can to put their mind at rest,” Kennedy said Tuesday. “This is my first time being hands-on like this. I’m one for one.”

Last Sunday afternoon, Boyle said, “while sorting through materials for disposal following a utility room clean-up, and putting items into the dumpster, my hand apparently struck the edge or cover of the dumpster and, unknowingly, had broken a prong that secured the diamond to its setting.”

Later, Boyle felt a “sharp stab from the now-empty prongs” and realized the diamond was lost. Friends helped search the lawn and parking lot to no avail. The last place that hadn’t been searched was the dumpster, filled with trash a day before Monday morning’s two-week pickup. Boyle called Alternative Recycling, which owns the dumpster, and asked them to delay their rounds.

Sunday night, Boyle stayed up until 3 a.m., worried about the diamond’s future. The next morning, before pickup, Kennedy called to say “he personally would come to my aid and help with the dumpster clean-out.”

“When (Boyle) explained to me she didn’t have anyone to help her do as much, I decided I would give her a hand myself — but I wasn’t optimistic it would be (successful), other than to prove it wasn’t in the dumpster,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy arrived with gloved hands, large plastic bags and ladders. One bag at a time was removed from the dumpster, each quickly examined and transferred into several large bags, Boyle said.

The dumpster emptied of bags, Boyle described “wet sticky debris” on the bottom with maggots crawling through it. Kennedy explained, “Any dumpster in July is not a friendly dumpster.”

“Then, upon a cleared area of the dumpster floor, he pointed out a small circular dot he believed was the diamond,” Boyle said. It appeared “flat, had no sparkle, it didn’t look like a diamond at all.”

But it was.

“In a state of disbelief, the diamond, now in my hand, sparkled brightly in the sunlight, and immediately brought fourth smiles, tears, hugs, a feeling of great relief, and repeated offers of thanks to Mr. Kennedy both for his willingness to search for, and now for finding, the lost item,” she said. “Selfless acts of kindness deserve acknowledgement.”

“Thank you Mr. Kennedy for being there for me in a time of need. I am a very lucky person, not only for having the good fortune to find my diamond, but also for having crossed life paths with you,” Boyle said.




Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061
413-584-5000

 

Copyright © 2020 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy