Man reunited with missing family heirloom

Trumpet taken by mistake in donation to Salvation Army

DOWNRIVER, Mich. – A Gibraltar man who made an emotional plea on social media in the hopes his missing trumpet would be returned has been reunited with the family heirloom

Chris French was on a frenzied Facebook campaign, searching for his beloved trumpet.

“My trumpet is an extension of me,” French said.

The father of two made videos and made pleas, desperate to track down the trumpet his father gave him when he was young. 

"It is absolutely awful," French said before getting his beloved horn back. "I can't cry any more. My face hurts. Losing this horn is like losing a piece of my soul."

He and his family lost their mother last week to cancer.

A military family, they chose to donate many of her items to the Salvation Army in Trenton.

French said workers unloading the items Wednesday mistakenly took his horn, which he kept in his pickup truck.

The handcrafted 1980s-era sliver Bach Stradivarius, its case and new components are worth $3,000. It was sold the next day.

Allen Stone, who bought the horn for about $115,  was watching Sunday evening as French's story aired. 

After a few minutes of chatting, Allen and French said they quickly turned from strangers to brothers. 

French said his family covered what Allen paid for the horn. They also gave Allen tickets to a concert in Dearborn next weekend.

"The value of the trumpet itself isn't important," French said. "It's 32 years. I started playing this trumpet when I was 14 years old and I'm 45 now."

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