Tuesday, October 31, 2000

Mystery of wedding ring solved

        John Pohlman hates to embarrass himself, but what the heck. Any guy could lose the rings three hours before his wedding, right? The best part is what happened afterwards. Now Mr. Pohlman is beside himself with gratitude.

        “It turned out in such a good way — these folks deserve some recognition,” the Fort Wright resident says of his previously anonymous heroes.

        The story begins on Oct. 7. Mr. Pohlman and his fiancee, Crystal Fuchs, were getting married at Old St. Mary's Church in Cincinnati.

        That morning, the groom ran around being helpful. He hung decorations. He went to the Fort Wright Walgreens for videotapes to record the ceremony. He bought lunchmeat so the bridesmaids wouldn't starve.

        “I even bought toothbrushes for them,” he says. “I thought they wouldn't want sandwiches between their teeth.”

        Nice guy, right? On the ball, considerate, thinking of everything ...

        Three hours before the ceremony, he discovered he no longer had the rings.

Frantic search
               “Of all the things to lose,” Mr. Pohlman says. “I thought, "Why didn't I lose some of these stupid decorations? Why did it have to be the rings?”

        He tore apart his parents' house, his apartment, his car. At 4:45 p.m. — less than two hours to go — he got up the nerve to call Ms. Fuchs at the church. Did she have the rings, by any chance?

        She didn't. He was crying when he called back at 5:30 p.m. Don't worry, Ms. Fuchs said. We'll survive.

        “This has never happened in 27 years that I've been doing this,” the couple's priest said cheerfully.

        Mr. Pohlman borrowed a ring from a groomsman. Despite everything, the ceremony went well. The next day, the couple left on a cruise, trying not the think about the rings.

        So where were they?

Honest employees
               At the Fort Wright Walgreens that night, clerk Keith Morgeson, 17, was reshelving items when he noticed a crumpled Biggs bag under a counter. He was about to throw it away when he saw the ring box.

        Turns out Mr. Pohlman had returned some videotapes to Walgreens as well as buying new ones. He had carried the tapes in the Biggs bag, and the rings somehow fell inside.

        Keith locked them in an office, identifying when and where they were found. On Monday, assistant manager Gary Brinkman called Herzog Jewelers in Fort Mitchell; the name was on the box.

        The jeweler who had sold the rings to the Pohlmans was in Europe. But saleswoman Terry Caster remembered the rings, which were studded with diamonds, and started calling every Pohlman in the phone book.

        She found a relative who put her in touch with John Pohlman's parents. The couple came home to terrific news.

        “I've never seen anybody so overjoyed by something that simple that I've done. It wasn't hard,” says Keith, a senior at Scott High School in Taylor Mill. “They just kept thanking me and thanking me.”

        Mr. Pohlman is still at it, in fact. He wrote letters to Herzog Jewelers and to the Walgreens corporate office.

        He may have gotten married without rings, but thanks to Keith's honesty, he has gained faith in people. That's not a bad trade.

        E-mail: ksamples@enquirer.com.


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