Class Ring

I keep a list of topics that I want to (at one point or another) cover here on FOF. (The list currently includes eight "topics" for FOF, and two unfinished posts for Dad's Outdoor Journal)

This blog was originally intended as a means to document some of my thoughts, observations, and life's experiences for my children to enjoy in the future. Since I have hit a bit of a "dry spell" I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to get back to my blog's roots by breaking into the "topic bank" of stories that are not only memorable, and meaningful in my life, but may be enjoyable for others to read as well.

This story starts in the winter of 1985-1986. It was a couple of months into my junior year. My high school (The Acadamy of the Holy Angels) has a tradition of sending the Juniors (11th Graders) on a "Junior Retreat". The Junior Retreat is held at a rustic, woodsy retreat center (I do not recall the name of the place). The retreat was overall unmemorable, except for one detail. Towards the end of the weekend, we had a "entire class" snow ball fight. I think most people that were attending the retreat joined in. I too partook in the snowball fight.

When the snowball fight was over (because the next activity was starting) and we all headed in. It was sometime later that day that I realized my class ring was missing. I was desperate, and spent most of my free time for the remainder of that weekend searching through the snow in the woods where we had the snowball fight.

As you can imagine, I was looking for the proverbial "needle in the haystack", and never did find the ring. I went home with a broken and heavy spirit.

It was not until OVER a year later (having completely forgotten about the ring) when in the spring of 1987 (my senior year) the overhead intercom at my school beamed out (for all to hear) "David _____ please report to the School Office."

As I nervously made my way to the office, I wondered what it is they could want with me... Was something I was wearing out of the realm of the "uniform policy" (yet again)? Did they find out that it was me that climbed to the top of the cupola when I skipped out of gym class?

As I approached the office I started readying my excuses, like "That science 'experiment' was quite accidental... After all... How would I know it would start a small fire??", "I know I am not supposed to be in the abandoned / forbidden / auxiliary building, but I was there for a reason. It was for the... for the... um, for the YEARBOOK... Honest!", and finally "There is a perfectly good reason I took that (abandoned / off limits) freight elevator down to the (forbidden) tunnels under the school... I just cant remember at the moment... Perhaps if you gave me a minute or two, I can come up with something..."
* Side note... All the "reasons", and "excuses" given here are real and truthful
shenanigans that I "may" or "may not" have taken part in during my tenure at
Holy Angels. "Officially"... (and for the record), I evoke my Fifth Amendment
right so as to avoid any issues of self-incrimination for any such shenanigans.
When I arrived at the office, I was relieved to note that there were no police officers, principal, or my parents present... Heck, given the lack of authority present, how bad could this be?

The secretary asked me if I had lost a class ring...

I had almost forgotten about it. I answered yes, and low and behold the secretary produced a tiny (ring sized) manilla envelope that indeed contained my class ring.

Stunned, I asked the secretary about how the ring came to be here in the office. I was told the story of a young Boy Scout who was camping at the same retreat center just a few weeks prior, and while on a scavenger hunt in the woods, located my class ring among the leaves, sticks, branches, and debris. The young Scout had returned to his Scout Master with my ring, and they made it a "project" of trying to track down the owner of the ring.

They had the following bits of evidence to work with.

School: Academy of the Holy Angels
Class of: 1987
Initials: D_ _

Armed with that bit of information, the ring made it's way back to the school office, where the staff took a quick look at the roster of (now nearly graduated) Seniors (Class of 1987), and quickly located my name (based on the initials).

Nearly 16 months later, and a whole year of seasons, and guests of the retreat center, my class ring was back on my hand.

- - - - - - - -

Had it not been for that ring being found, it is possible that you would not be sitting here reading FOF. For that ring played a significant roll in me becoming the Father of Five. (Hmmm... That sound like a little "foreshadowing" of another one of the "topics"??)

Now, what in the world made me want to write this story? Well, last June there was a local news story that went all around about a 13 year old girl who became a "detective" and tracked down the owner of a High School Class Ring she found. It was a fun story, and reminded me to get my "class ring" memory down.

The article (which I saved) is listed below... The original link is no longer active, so I am reposting the text (with full credits).

- - - - - - - -
The mystery of the lost ring
1968. 'DC.'
With these clues, aspiring
detective Aubrey Moryn was on the case

BY LIALA HELAL
Pioneer Press TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press

Inver Grove Heights Middle School student Aubrey Moryn, 13, has always wanted to be a detective.

About a month ago, she cracked the case of a class ring that's been missing for almost 40 years and returned it to its rightful owner.

It started three years ago, when her dad's friend Lester Lippert found the 1968 Simley High School class ring in a melting snowbank in a West St. Paul parking lot. He kept the ring as a project for Aubrey when she was old enough. On her 13th birthday, in March, she was given the ring and the task of finding its owner. She eagerly accepted and dived into her investigation.

"I felt like a detective the whole time," Aubrey said. "I felt it was important for me to do that, or this person may never get his ring back."

With only the class year and initials "DC" as her clues, Aubrey sought help from her teacher, school staff and librarian to get access to the high school yearbooks. After about a month of searching old yearbooks and making phone calls, she found the ring's owner: Dave Christianson, of Inver Grove Heights.

He last saw his ring in 1967, at Country View Roller Rink, which was at Concord Boulevard and 75th Street. He loaned his ring to a girl who asked if she could wear it for the night. Hours later, she said she lost it.

He and his friends scoured the roller rink and parking lot with no luck. At school, they asked her where she lost the ring, but she said didn't know, Christianson recalled. He had had the ring for less than two weeks.

"As the years went by, I just assumed I'd never find it," he said. "I kind of thought the gal decided to keep it."

The mystery grew when Christianson got phone calls about every decade from an anonymous caller who would ask him if he lost a class ring, wait for him to answer, then hang up.

"It wasn't really haunting, but it was just kind of weird to get these calls every 10 years and know that someone had my ring but they've never returned it to me," he said. "They'd just say, 'OK,' and hang up."

So when Aubrey called on June 8 to say she had found his ring, he was skeptical.

"I thought, 'Oh, boy, here we go again,' " he said.

After having him describe the blue-stoned ring to her, she told him his ring was at her school office.

"I was pretty excited," Christianson said. "I'm going, 'Wow! When can I come get it?'"
He got it back June 11.

And the ring fit as if not a day had passed by without it.

"I haven't gained or lost a pound since high school," Christianson said, laughing.

His picture wasn't in the 1968 yearbook, the year on the ring, because he was drafted the year before to go to Vietnam. When he got back, he earned his GED and worked in construction. Aubrey found his name by looking through the 1967 yearbook.

"I thought it was really special that she went through that effort to find me," he said. "It's a pretty good deal that I got it back." Christianson gave Aubrey a card and $25.

When he got the ring back, Christianson told his 82-year-old mother the news. In high school, he had been worried about what his parents would think of him losing the ring.

"She didn't even remember buying it for me," Christianson said.

News of the ring's return traveled to Snyder's, where his wife, Gretchen, has worked for 37 years. Her co-workers wanted to see the mystery ring, so he went over and asked his wife if she'd like to go steady with him.

"She wore (the ring), and we went steady that day," Christianson said.

When Christianson's son was in high school, he thought about getting a class ring of his own. But his father talked him out of it.

"I know what happens to them," Christianson said. "They either get lost or end up in the jewelry box."

Aubrey said she knows Christianson will cherish his ring for the rest of his life.

"I never knew I could do something so great that would bring happiness to this man," said Aubrey, who dreams of a career recovering lost pets and investigating animal cruelty cases. "It even brought a tear to his eye, he said, because he was reunited with his long-lost ring."

Aubrey is on to her next detective project. Lippert found another item to be returned - a 1956 class ring from an unknown school.

Liala Helal can be reached at lhelal@pioneerpress.com or 651-228-2173

3 comments:

  1. I lost my class ring in a PE class in college. I was taking a gymnastics class and we were going to do head stands, so I took off my ring and set it down near me. After class I remembered that I forgot to put my ring back on and I ran back in to get it. There was a custodian in the gym sweeping up when I when back in and I asked him if he had seen my ring. He said no and I was heart broken. Skip ahead 30 years..... I get a phone call from a lady asking me if I had lost my senior ring? I said Yes! It seems that she had been married to the custodian years earlier and he had the ring in his jewelry box. I told her my story and she said that she knew that the real owner must be missing it. I was in shock and really excited that it had been found. I gave her my address and she mailed it to me...It now sits in my jewely box. It was a real miracle that I got that ring back. I thanked that woman profusley for taking the time to do a good deed. Thanks for your story.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I lost mine the day after I got it, at the start of my Junior year. I had worn it for about 12 hours.

    Of course, mine went willingly. To a girl. I don't remember her ever wearing it and we broke up within a month, Still, II did not get my ring back for almost 2 school years. I finally saw it again about a week before graduation.

    After she gave it back I wore it continuously until summer started and then never again.

    NOW THAT was a good purchase, no?

    ReplyDelete

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