Lost ring is kid stuff for a master finder
By Patrick Cassidy
August 04, 2006
SOUTH YARMOUTH — Eleanor Hube finds things for people.
''This year there's been a tremendous amount of people losing things,'' Hube, 64, said while standing behind the counter in her small shop on Forest Road.
Last week, it was 18-year-old Lindsay Coughlin's turn.
Coughlin's family is from Longmeadow. They were staying at a cottage they rented for two weeks in West Yarmouth.
While throwing a football with her father and brother at Seagull Beach on July 24, a silver claddagh ring Coughlin's boyfriend gave her on her last birthday slipped off her finger and into the water.
''It was more sentimental than valuable,'' Coughlin said.
After an initial search proved fruitless, the family decided to go high tech.
Hube's business, Jamp E Enterprises of South Yarmouth, is the first of two Cape Cod shops listed under metal detecting equipment in the yellow pages, where the Coughlins found the help they needed.
Hube rented the Coughlins a metal detector for a half day but told the family that if they didn't have any luck, she would help. After two hours of searching, the family still hadn't found the ring.
When the Coughlins reported the bad news, Hube closed her store and called in the troops.
Hube, who needs two knee braces
to get around when she leaves her shop, arrived at the beach with her sister,
a friend and another ''detector specialist.''
''Her friends were so helpful and selfless,'' Coughlin said. ''They could have been doing anything else.''
After another hour searching with four metal detectors, they found the ring.
''I thought it was amazing, especially since she had two knee injuries,'' Coughlin said of Hube. ''It was just as important to her as it was to me.''
Hube insists detecting is more than waving detectors over the ground, and when she talks about soil types and the effects of tides on a lost item's location, she becomes serious and focused.
''You have to be methodical and cross over,'' she said.
Hube's South Yarmouth shop contains the bounty of her methodical approach to finding what has been lost. Beneath a glass counter top, old coins, rings, arrow points and bullets from the Civil War testify to Hube's three decades in the business of recovering lost items. She advertises when she finds something and keeps a file on where and when each item is found.
Hube worked with her husband in Connecticut for 25 years. She has been in business on Cape Cod for the past eight years.
Police in Connecticut once used her talents while looking for a murder weapon. ''Metal detecting changed our lives totally,'' she said.
Hube's husband, Jack, died in 1995, but he is still remembered by detector specialists who participate in an annual February detection competition ''hunt'' in his honor.
But for Hube, the competition is not as important as helping people. A plaque beneath the glass counter in her shop reads: ''Goodwill is the one and only asset that competition cannot undersell or destroy.''
Patrick Cassidy can be reached
at pcassidy@capecodonline.com.
(Published: August 4, 2006)