Back in 1962, a high school senior named Donna was vacationing in central New Hampshire when she lost her brand new class ring in Lake Winnipesaukee. Fifty years later, the woman, now living in Florida, was miraculously reunited with her beloved keepsake, thanks to the relentless efforts of a diving enthusiast named Brad Swain, according to ABCNews.com.
Swain, then about 20 years old, had found the ring while snorkeling in the lake in the early 1960s. It was a yellow gold class ring with a vivid blue stone. The initials inside were “DRD” and the embossed name encircling the stone read, “Beverly High School.”
The Glastonbury, Conn., native had made an attempt in the mid-1970s to track down the rightful owner, but was stonewalled by Beverly High School (Mass.) officials who refused to release private information to an “unknown person.” So the petite ring remained safely in Swain’s possession for the next three-plus decades.
With the Beverly High Class of 1962 celebrating a milestone 50-year reunion in August, Swain, now 68, thought it would be a good idea to make one more attempt to find “DRD.”
“I said to myself, ‘Wouldn’t it be neat to get the ring back to the owner before the reunion,’” Swain told NewHampshire.com.
He used the Beverly High reunion website as a resource and, with the help of some Beverly High alumni, determined that “Donna” was the only graduating female from 1962 with those initials. They also revealed that Donna, whose last name was not revealed to maintain her privacy, was now living in Florida.
Swain now possessed Donna’s married name, an address and a phone number, but the mystery was still not solved. The phone number was not active and the package he sent to her address was returned as undeliverable.
The class reunion came and went, and Donna didn’t attend the function. Instead of giving up, though, Swain made one last-ditch effort to locate Donna.
Swain called the editor of the Beverly Citizen and successfully pitched a story about the 50-year-old class ring. “On October 9th, the editor called me back with news that a reader had contacted her with a number for the person in Florida,” Swain told ABCNews.com.
Swain called Donna and chatted with her for 20 minutes. The stunned woman said she had owned the class ring only two weeks before losing it in the lake.
The good-natured Swain made the extra effort of having the ring professionally cleaned and polished before sending it down to Florida.
Needless to say, Donna was thrilled to get her ring back. According to Swain, she told him, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
“She couldn’t believe I took the time, after 50 years, to hunt down the owner,” Swain said, adding that he loved the challenge. “For me, it was fun,” he said. “I enjoy the detective work of doing that kind of stuff.”
According to Swain, Donna’s daughter will wear the class ring with the blue stone at her wedding – in the tradition of wearing “something old, something borrowed and something blue.”
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