Archive for Friday, January 1, 1999


January 1, 1999


A family is looking for lumber that was going to build a Christmas present but fell off the truck on its way home.

Dianna Orona's Christmas present slipped off the back of the trailer on the way home.

Her husband, Chuck Orona, was going to build two new horse stalls for Christmas.

The Oronas ripped the old stalls, rotten with age, out of their barn and went to town Dec. 22 to buy the lumber. On the way home, on a bumpy gravel road at night, half the lumber slipped off the trailer and vanished.

"By the time we got home, we realized we were missing about half the load," Chuck said. "We unhitched (the trailer) and turned right back around."

But most of the wood was gone.

They found some of it on North 1550 Road in front of their house and some on East 800 Road, but the trail of boards stopped when they reached North 1500 Road.

"That's where we're pretty sure the majority of it was lost," he said.

The next day, Chuck went door to door along the road, asking if anyone had seen or found the lumber, worth about $250. No one had seen it.

"But we met a lot of our neighbors," Dianna said.

They called lumber yards and the sheriff's department. They even took out a lost-and-found advertisement in the Journal-World.

"LOST: On the evening of Dec. 22 on 1500 N. Rd. the following lumber was lost off my trailer: (16) 2 X 12 X 10, (one) 2 X 8 X 10, (eight) 2 X 6 X 10, (three) 2 X 4 X 10, and (four) 4 X 4 X 10," it read. "This wood was for my wife's Christmas present. I was going to build her 2 new horse stalls. This adds up to a $246.43 loss. Would whoever took the wood please find the Christmas spirit & return it. No questions asked! Call (785)331-3627/(785)842-7617/(785)550-3500."

They haven't heard from anyone.

"It would be really nice if someone would call," Dianna said. "I don't think someone took it to be malicious. Maybe they were just driving along and stopped to get it out of the road."

The stalls were for Dianna's horse, J.J., and Tigger, their 3-year-old son Cody's pony.

"It was just something I've always really wanted," Dianna said. "... This is the first time I've had my horse at home. I want to have stalls so I can groom them and baby them."

The couple moved to Lawrence from Manhattan in August so Dianna could attend law school at Kansas University. She plans on starting in May. Chuck had worked for nine years in Manhattan as a contractor.

"He had a pretty good business going there," Dianna said. "But here, he's starting from scratch."

The lumber that's left is sitting in the barn, waiting until the Oronas can afford to buy more lumber. That could be a while.

-- Felicia Haynes' phone message number is 832-7173. Her e-mail address is

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