AUBURN, Ala.- Johnny and Kathryn Richardson have been married since April. They moved into their Auburn home soon after in May.
For Mr. Richardson, the house means a great deal to him. He and his father worked on it together and built it from the ground up in the late 1980s. Richardson said his father laid each brick on the house by hand. He said the house with a dream for him to complete.
“He had bone cancer and prostate cancer, and he said I want to finish this house before I die,” Richardson said. “He finished the outside, but he was coming from Washington to Auburn, but he had an accident and died in the accident.”
The house was finished in 1989, but Richardson rented it out for years. He said he could not see the house without thinking of his father. It was for that reason that it took him so long to move into the home. Richardson said he always knew that he wanted to come back, but he wanted to make sure his wife liked the house. Once his wife, Kathryn saw the house, she did not want to leave, and they have been there ever since.
They decided to have some work done in the backyard. They said there were a great deal of trees in the backyard, which made it tough to enjoy all the backyard had to offer. So, last week, they had majority of the trees removed.
On the day the work was taking place, the Richardson’s were at a doctor’s appointment for Johnny. They said when they were done, Johnny suggested they go grab a bite to eat, but Kathryn said something was urging her to go home, and home is where they went.
When they got back, Kathryn said she was taking a look at the job the workers had done. While looking at the backyard, she saw a vine sticking out of the ground that had something on it. The Richardson’s pulled the vine up, and saw that it was a ring.
This was not just any ring. It was a 1989 Auburn SEC Championship Ring.
They said the ring was the same color as the dirt, but they could not believe what they had found. They were perplexed as to how the ring got there in the first place. For them, the ring holds a piece of sentimental value as the year on the ring is the same year the house was completed. Richardson said his father would be so happy to see him living in the house now.
The ring can be traced back to Steve Brown, an inside linebacker for Auburn from 1987 to 1990. Those teams won three straight SEC titles from 1987 to 1989. Brown feels that those teams helped put Auburn back on the map.
Brown said years ago, his parents house in Millbrook, Alabama was broken into. When the house was broken into, three of Brown’s SEC Championship rings were stolen. Brown said one of the rings was returned to him after someone tried to pawn it.
Brown added that he was disappointed when the rings were stolen, and the rings represented the hard work of all the men on those teams. He said as time went on, the thought of the rings goes to the back of your mind, but when he learned one of the rings was found, it brought him great joy.
“I’ve got two little girls 11 and 8 years old, and I think that would be an awesome thing for their dad to at least leave each of them with an SEC Championship ring,” Brown said. “I think that would be an amazing thing.”
As for the Richardson’s and their new backyard, they hope to put up a fence and put down grass seed as soon as they are able to so their grandkids can play in the backyard.