daddy’s high school class ring: found!

May 27, 2011 at 9:00 am 2 comments

My first cousin, Paula, contacted me yesterday. First thing she said in her email was, “Call me. Everything’s okay. Nobody died. Just call me.” (I guess that pretty much tells you how often Paula and I talk!)  So, I contacted Paula and she asked me what year my Daddy graduated high school.

“I dunno,” I said, grabbing a calculator. “1960?”

“Could it have been 1959?” Paula asked.

“Sure,” I said. “I really have no idea. All I know is when he started school he ran away from school so many times that finally his teacher walked him home herself and told Granny Sims, ‘Why don’t we just try this again next year?’. The next year he arrived, already reading, and by the end of that year he had rejoined his rightful classmates.”

So did my cousin have the ring? No. This is where the story gets almost unbelievable.  A former Calhoun County Superintendent of Education, Beth Hardin, moved somewhere into DeSoto county. As I understand it, she recently moved again, to Southaven. Some of her new neighbors, Joe and Jean Taylor, came over to welcome them to the community and to introduce themselves.  When neighbors, Joe and Jean discovered that Beth was from Calhoun County, they told about a class ring that they had in their possession.  As I understand it, Joe and Jean’s son’s wife is the grandchild of  a Horn Lake dry cleaning business proprietor. And, amongst some things from her grandparents business, perhaps, there was a box of unclaimed jewelry and such. And, in said box was a high school class ring from Bruce High School, class of 1959. Inside the ring, the initials J R S are inscribed.  Joe and Jean asked Beth, since she had been in education for Calhoun county, where Bruce High School is located, if she would know how to find the person who’s class ring this might be.

So, Beth called someone she knew at Bruce High School, I believe it was.  And, inquired about what man in the graduating class of ’59 had the initials JRS.  Turns out there were two with those initials. Meanwhile, someone in the office at the high school recognized daddy’s name, and knew that he was my cousin Paula’s uncle. (Paula also works in education in Calhoun County.) So, that person called my cousin, Paula. Paula knew former superintendent, Beth,  gave her a call…and then Paula contacted me.

So, once I was up to speed on this “mystery”,  I called Beth myself. Told her I didn’t have any idea if Daddy ever had a high school class ring. But, that I did know that Daddy had taught at Horn Lake High School. So, it was possible that his ring could have been left in a coat pocket and ended up at the dry cleaners in Horn Lake, Mississippi.  Beth asked me after we’d talked a minute or two if my last name was Snelling or maybe she said Snellings? I said, “No ma’am, my maiden name is Sims.”  She explained that Snelling was the other last name that was possible. So, I said I’d call Mama and find out if she knew anything about a high school ring of Daddy’s. Mama and Daddy started dating in 1963. And I knew I had never seen a high school ring of his.

Called Mama. She had never seen a high school ring of Daddy’s.  But she had been introduced to John Snelling once because Daddy and he had seen each other in traffic one day. This was not uncommon because Daddy found people he knew everywhere he went. Mama said John used to run a UPS route. When he and Daddy recognized each other, they each pulled over and talked, as high school friends who hadn’t seen each other in years.  Daddy introduced Mama to his classmate. So, she remembered the name of the classmate. But could not confirm that Daddy had a ring. At that point she said, “You know who will KNOW for sure? Billy McCord.”  (Daddy’s best friend from school…)

Sooooooooo I called Billy! (Or Uncle Billy as I called him when I was little.)  And he verified that Daddy definitely did have a class ring. Said they got their rings the same day. I told him that there was another classmate with the initials JRS named John Snelling, and that Mama said he also used to live in DeSoto county. Billy said that was true, but that John had moved back to Bruce since then.  He said, “I’ll tell ya what…I’ll call John and find out. And then I’ll call ya back!”  A few hours later Billy called to tell me that he had spoken with Mr. Snelling, and that he had NOT lost his high school class ring. It was NOT John Snelling’s ring.  That left only one other possible JRS from Bruce High School class of 1959:  James Robert Sims.

So, I called Beth back. She was tickled for us to have solved this mystery. And she called her neighbor to tell that they’d found the daughter of the rightful owner (me), but that he had passed away in 2008. She then gave me the phone number for her neighbors. I called and spoke to Joe’s wife, Jean. And later I went by and met them, and they presented me with Daddy’s ring…a ring we didn’t know existed until yesterday. Joe said he had so hoped that the owner would still be around to get the ring back.

*gulp*…Yes, I wish that too.

And wouldn’ t you just know it? Both Beth Hardin and her neighbors Joe and Jean Taylor live IN MY SUBDIVISION, about two minutes from me. 


Entry filed under: daddy daily.

I don’t EVEN wanna hear that. Speak to the hand. feather boa garland!

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Aprille  |  May 27, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Absolutely fascinating! What a miracle for that to come back to you now. A family heirloom that is once again where it rightly belongs, back in your family!


  • 2. sarah fliehmann  |  May 27, 2011 at 9:27 am

    wow – God is good – Im so glad it has come back to yall!


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