A case of mistaken identity

John Munford's picture

If you only read the first sentence of a news story, you can walk away with the wrong impression.

Take our recent story about a jewelry store owner who allegedly pulled a gun on two phone contractors who came into his Peachtree City business. The story began thusly:

“The owner of a Peachtree City jewelry shop was arrested last week for taking customer dissatisfaction to a new level.”

If you stop there, it’s an easy conclusion to jump to that “a Peachtree City jewelry shop” was “Peachtree City Jewelers,” the formal name of Bill McDonald’s business.

Sentence number two, however, identified the real culprit as a different jeweler and a suspect whose name was not Bill McDonald.

McDonald is a past president of the Peachtree City Rotary Club and has operated a successful business for 21 years. He’s even saved my hide from impending disaster ... more on that later.

It would indeed be shocking if McDonald were to be arrested for pulling a gun on these phone marketers. But it wasn’t so.

McDonald said he has received several calls and emails from friends and clients wondering if it was him. When he read the story, even he did a double-take and wondered if indeed he had been arrested.

McDonald is preparing to close up shop as he retires from the jewelry business and gets more into auctioneering. He’s been in the auction business in one way or another since he was 18.

Calling an auction, he says, is kind of like being a showman and of course that business is booming nowadays due to the troubled economy.

McDonald has another motive for retiring.

“Certainly my golf game needs to be improved,” McDonald said.

McDonald’s jewelry store has always had my business, from the time I took him my deceased father’s wedding ring to be remade into an engagement ring for my bride to be ... or at least I hoped.

She said yes and that led up to the night before our wedding in Picnic Park off Lake Peachtree in October 1996. I had shown off her wedding band to a friend or two during the evening and even wore it for safekeeping. It was one of the mildest “bachelor parties” you’d ever have heard of.

I was completely sober, as a matter of fact. But that didn’t stop me from losing the wedding band.

A frantic search of our Wyndham hotel room yielded nothing. So I hoped Bill would be able to save my keister in the morning.

In the end, my friends and I ate breakfast at the Chick-fil-A waiting for Bill’s store to open half an hour later. And who walks in? Why it’s Bill McDonald, perhaps the only man in Peachtree City who could save my wedding!

I frantically ran up to him. I don’t remember exactly how I approached him but I’m sure it went something like this:

“Bill, Bill, you’ve got to help me. I lost my bride’s wedding ring and I’m about to get married at 2 p.m. Could you make her a new ring?”

I might have mentioned that my father and mother in law would like to have wrung my neck ... or I might not have.

He calmly asked for her ring size and told me I could pick it up shortly thereafter. It was in my hot little hands before noon. And despite knowing that I flubbed the whole ring fiasco, Marilyn said “I do” and the rest is history.

So here’s a big thanks to you, Bill, because you managed to save my marriage before it even occurred.

There’s a larger parable here for all of us. Bill’s shop is locally owned. Let’s imagine I had gone instead to a chain jewelry store with my urgent plea instead.

Me: “I lost my bride’s wedding ring and I’m getting married in four hours. Can you help me?”

Gruff chain store employee #1: “I’m sorry sir. That will take a special order from our regional outlet in north Atlanta. In addition to the $50 custom order fee and $30 rush order fee, we’ll still charge you full price. You can expect your order next week, unless they’re really backed up and then it could be another two weeks or so.”

Fortunately that never happened but it’s not hard to imagine. In the chain store scenario I might possibly have been left at the altar seen ... and rightly so ... as a doofus who couldn’t fix what was quite possibly the greatest screw-up he’ll ever commit.

The moral of the story is that by saving my wedding Bill earned a customer for life. I always referred friends and family his way. I’m sad to see him retire from the business but I wish him the best, and here’s hoping his tee shots always land on the fairway.

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Submitted by tibuan on Wed, 01/07/2009 - 2:27am.

This is so sad to hear. Thank God he was arrested. Fair justice should be served to the victims.
Princess Jasmine Earrings

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