Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Mystery Continues

On a recent trip to Charlotte, I met with Jennifer, a former classmate from Huntington High School. We hadn’t seen each other for twenty years, since our twenty-fifth class reunion, but we had talked on the phone several times. As we were talking she noticed on my right hand I was wearing my class ring. I had been wearing it for the last ten years, mainly because I thought it was beautiful and quite unusual as class rings go, and to be honest, I could finally get it back on my finger!

As our forty-fifth reunion approaches, Jennifer, who by now had scoured her condo and eventually found her ring, thought it would be interesting if we (that means me) could find some research on our rings. Two of the most important questions were, “Who designed the ring,” and “Who was the first class to wear it?” I tried to find the answers. I contacted Herff-Jones who sold our rings and got no reply except to tell me who the sales rep is in my area. You probably wonder how I knew it was Herff-Jones. As I was looking for old high school pictures, I found the envelope that my ring came in. Unbelievable. Thank God mother kept my mementos. Who knew forty-five years ago, thanks to Jennifer, I would be searching for clues about the ring? I also contacted many of our classmates from the class of ’65 on Facebook. They knew nothing. Things were not looking good. I was coming to a dead end.

Dick Tracy I’m not, and furthermore, living in Atlanta has tied my hands. I don’t have access to the Cabell County Board of Education’s archives, nor can I scour the microfiche at the Huntington Public Library. After talking with my sister, Janie and my friend, Barbara, all I can ascertain is this. I have my mother’s ring that is slightly different from mine. Her design has an H in the center with the year at the bottom of the oval. She graduated in 1919.

Another friend, Betty, has her mother’s ring who graduated in 1929. Judging from her description, the design seemed to change and include the image of our school in the center. Barbara’s mother graduated in 1939 and has the same design as my sister’s who graduated in 1957. My sister “loaned” hers to one of her boyfriends who consequently smashed it in a baseball game. Although it’s not in her possession, she assured me that our rings were of the same design except the year of their graduation is both at the bottom of the oval and on the sides. My ring has the image of Huntington High in the center and the year of our graduation is on the side, 1965. So sometime between 1919 and 1929 the new design was adopted, but when and by whom?

My diligence has come to an end. I’m giving up and throwing in the towel. Sadly, I have come to the realization that there is a strong possibility that our questions will never be answered. So I suppose they will go down in the annals of history and added to the list of other equally important questions from 1965, such as: “Did Sloopy hang on?,” “Who wrote the book of love?,” “Did Rhonda ever help?,” “What was the same old song?,” “Who won the name game?,” “Was the lovin’ feeling ever found?,” and finally, “What really went on under the boardwalk down by the sea?” Ponder this people, ponder this.

Authors Note:
Even though the origin of our rings remains a mystery, Jennifer and I will be wearing our rings this weekend. My friends Penny and Barbara won’t. Penny lost hers in the ocean. Barbara lost hers at the beach, but she has her mother’s, so she’ll probably wear hers. Other classmates, Alice, Barbara L., Toni and Tia still have theirs. I wonder if they’ll wear them to the reunion.

1 comment:

FiddlerJim said...

At least you still have your ring. I seem to have lost mine almost immediately. I didn't even miss it for the first 30 years or so... but now....