Buried Treasure in Capaha Park

My Mother and I were cruising around town knocking off a list of photos that folks had requested. I wanted to get some shots of the pool at Capaha Park and the filled-in pool that preceded it.

While I was shooting the pool, I noticed a guy with a metal detector walking around. When he dropped to one knee and started gouging in the dirt, I went down to talk with him.

“I lost a quarter here in 1957”

When I caught up with him, I said, “I lost a quarter around here in 1957. I think it fell heads-up, so if you find one, it’s probably mine.”

“Well, if you lost it in 1957, it’s a pretty sure bet that it’s made out of silver,” he said, trying to scoop dirt out from under a root.

The fellow was Ron Ethridge, who drove a KAS potato chip truck for some 30-odd years. After he retired from that job, he worked a few other places in Cape, including St. Vincent de Paul for 12 years.

When I mentioned that I was a refugee from The Southeast Missourian, he said, “Then you must know Ray Owen. He and I were buddies over in Cairo.” I told him that I not only knew Ray, but had gone to school with his wife, Sally Wright Owen, Class of 1965.

“That Sally’s a fine gal,” he observed.

Ron started prospecting in the 70s

He celebrated his 69th birthday yesterday. “Climbing up and down in those trucks kept me in pretty good shape.

He admitted, a little sheepishly, that he had recently racked up his knee by slipping on, of all things, a banana peel.

He’s found a few gold pieces and a lot of silver coin over the years – mostly around Cairo. The main value is that it gives him something to do, some exercise and a chance to meet crazy characters who want him to find quarters that went missing in 1957.

There’s more than one Ron around. We saw another fellow with a metal detector working in the Red Star area an hour or so earlier.

4 Replies to “Buried Treasure in Capaha Park”

  1. Ken,
    Your page layout looks great. I commend the work you
    are doing. I’m wondering if you, initially, had
    any idea this would grow and develop as it has???
    Thank you for providing a look back to special times.
    Is a nice photo and story about Ron Ethridge.
    Thanks for the work you are doing.

  2. Susan,

    What has been the biggest surprise is the number of folks who have signed up for the email notifications of new content and the number of quality comments readers leave.

    It’s unusual for most blogs to get meaningful comments that are sometimes almost as long as the original post. What I really like is that there’s a real dialog between posters, not ugly shouting matches and political posturing like on some sites.

    Folks like you are what make it worthwhile (of course, advertisers and sponsors would make it even MORE rewarding, especially since Ron didn’t find my 1957-era quarter).

  3. Ken wrote: I told him that I not only knew Ray, but had gone to school with his wife, Sally Wright Owen, Class of 1965.
    “That Sally’s a fine gal,” he observed.
    I agree with Mr Ehthridge! I also knew Sally from the class of ’65 — Sally was a very fine gal and I’ll bet she grew up to be a very fine lady.

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