For 31 years, Donnie Stansberry of Charleston has been the keeper of a mystery: a 1972 Bradley Central High School men’s class ring he found on a fishing trip. Stansberry recently visited the Cleveland Daily Banner to talk about the ring and his desire to reunite the ring with its original owner.
For 31 years, Donnie Stansberry of Charleston has been the keeper of a mystery: a 1972 Bradley Central High School men’s class ring he found on a fishing trip.
Stansberry recently visited the Cleveland Daily Banner to talk about the ring and his desire to reunite the ring with its original owner.
“That’s 12 years of education for whoever it belongs to,” Stansberry said as he held up the ring. Its only visible flaw is a small nick on the edge of the band.
Stansberry found the ring in 1987 on a fishing trip to Price Creek in Meigs County. He and his brother-in-law, Joe Burris, were getting ready to leave when Stansberry spotted a perfect circle outlined in the surface of the muddy parking area. He had been looking at the ground as part of his habit from hunting for arrowheads and other artifacts.
“I found it in the parking lot, mashed down into the mud,” he said. “It’s beautiful – it’s in perfect shape.
“He was probably fishing too” when he lost it, Stansberry said of the original owner.
The closed-back ring is made of yellow gold with a smooth, oval stone in a golden amber color. A gold-embossed capital “B” is on the stone, encircled by “Bradley Central High School.” A bear mascot is on one side and a symbol that could represent academics or leadership is on the other side. The number “1972” is on both sides of the ring.
There are a few other details about the ring that only its true owner should know, Stansberry said.
“I’ve just held onto it,” Stansberry said of the ring, adding he used to wear it occasionally because “it’s a perfect fit for me.”
Stansberry said he has enjoyed holding onto the ring for so many years, but recently decided to try to find the person who lost it. He said an old girlfriend of his threw his high school class ring away in 1969, so he understands the heartache of losing such a precious memento.
Stansberry asked that anyone who thinks the class ring might be theirs – or who thinks they know who lost it – to call the Cleveland Daily Banner at 472-5041, and leave their contact information so he can get in touch with them.
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