When Tracy Truett-McBroom — her maiden name is important to this tale — woke up on the morning of July 5 it was an anniversary of sorts. But it wasn’t the type of anniversary folks like to celebrate.
Six years ago on that date, Truett had some valuables stolen from her home while her family was participating in the popular “Battle of the Kevin’s” fireworks show in Byng.
“When we were outside shooting fireworks, somebody was inside our house stealing some of my stuff,” Truett recalled.
The next day, Truett noticed some of her jewelry had been taken. Among the items that were missing were a wedding ring, an All-State ring and an Ada Cougar pendant from the 1996 AHS state football championship season.
Fast forward to last Sunday.
Truett received messages from her sister, Kelly Alexander-McBroom, and friend, Tanner Landrum, informing her that a picture of the rare pendant was seen on Facebook from a listing on eBay.
Truett quickly took a look at photos posted of the pendant and immediately recognized it as hers.
“It was six years to the day it was stolen,” she said. “It’s got TA engraved on the back of it. Back then, that’s what all the football players and everybody called me — TA.”
Truett and her sister were both athletic trainers for the high school football team back in the day. Their father, Gary McBroom, was the head coach on that state championship squad.
“When they won state, we didn’t want the big rings. We got pendant tops instead of rings. There were only three made because the only people that got one were the trainers,” Truett said.
Yours truly had also run across a photo of the pendant on social media and posted it in the Facebook group “Fans of the Ada Cougars.” I figured there was bound to be someone in that group who could identify it. Truett quickly proved me right.
“I saw that you had shared it and after I posted on yours that it was mine all those comments started coming in. It started like wildfire,” Truett said.
The post garnered a lot of local attention. It ended up with 70 comments from folks trying to help Truett out or simply wishing her good luck in retrieving it.
A member of the Fans of the Ada Cougars group, Chappy Amby Chaplin, did a little digging and found out that the seller of Truett’s pendant owned R&R Estate Jewelers, a jewelry shop in Oklahoma City.
Truett sent the owner, Steve Rowell, a message and explained the entire story to him. At first, he wasn’t very responsive.
The business was closed on Sunday. Truett had initially planned on going to visit the shop the following Tuesday. But she got anxious and decided to make the trip Monday morning instead.
Truett contacted Paul Bush — the Deputy Chief of the Maysville Police Department and a good friend of the family — and he agreed to meet her at R&R Estate Jewelers.
Captain Jason Potter of the Ada Police Department gave her a copy of the report she filed six years ago about her stolen items and off she went to Oklahoma City.
“(Rowell) wasn’t very forthcoming with information at first. I told him I’d be down there Tuesday and I’d have a law enforcement officer with me. I came Monday instead because I had a bad feeling about it,” she recalled.
Rowell’s outlook changed once Truett informed him she would have a partner (Bush) make the trip with her.
“He was like ‘Oh, we can help you out. That’s not going to be a problem.’ He kind of changed his tune,” she said.
Despite listing the pendant on eBay for $495, Rowell handed the pendant over to Truett at no cost.
“I thought I might have to pay for it. But he didn’t make me do that at all. He handed it over immediately,” she explained. “He let me go through all of his rings to see if any of my other stuff was there, but it wasn’t.”
Truett said — at least not yet — Rowell wasn’t able to provide any other information about the pendant. She has no idea how long he’s had it in his possession or how he got his hands on it in the first place. She’s hoping at some point Rowell can come up with the name of a person who supplied it to his jewelry shop.
Still, Truett — co-owner of Pigskins’s BBQ in Ada — is amazed that she got the pendant back after it had been stolen all this time.
“I never thought I’d see it again. I thought it would have been melted down. I thought it was gone forever,” she said.
Truett said she and her husband, Kevin, looked into getting a duplicate made after the pendant went missing, but they decided it would be too costly.
“It was going to cost double the amount to replace — to make a replica of it. To make just one single pendant was going to make a lot more expensive,” she said.
Truett is thankful for all the help she had in getting her special keepsake back and all the words of encouragement she has received before and after retrieving it.
“It makes my heart so happy that I have such a support system around me that helped me along the way to get this item back,” she said. “There were a lot of people that were pieces in this little puzzle that really helped me navigate my way through it.”
Now, Truett has another anniversary she can celebrate.