Following a surprise discovery in a homeowner’s backyard, a reunion more than 50 years in the making played out Monday in Lebanon, New Hampshire.
Ann Kerrigan of Hartford, Vermont, recently found a Lebanon class ring from 1965 in her lawn.
Kerrigan called the school, where a young alumna researched the ring by comparing inscribed initials against a 1965 yearbook.
The legwork revealed Ray Goodwin of Hartford was the ring’s rightful owner.
“It's just weird,” Goodwin said. “I never thought I'd see it again!”
The retired cook said he lost his ring shortly after graduation, 52 years ago.
“It was just a fun project to see if we could do it,” said Lauren Anikis, a Lebanon High School graduate from 2016 who helped connect the dots. “And we did!”
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No one knows how Ray’s ring finally turned up on quiet Apple Lane in Hartford five decades later, but one theory is this summer's heavy rains might have washed it out of the woods.
“It was just there,” said Ann Kerrigan, who discovered the ring. “It was so strange. It's not like I was digging.”
What makes the story all the more remarkable is that Kerrigan lost her own class ring in the 1980s, on the beach at the Jersey Shore.
She recalled that a few years later, someone found the ring not far from the beach. Her alma mater was able to track her down, also thanks to initials engraved in her ring.
“So now, I'm paying it forward for you,” said Kerrigan, smiling, as she handed Goodwin his long-lost ring.
This time, Goodwin is promising to hold on a lot tighter than he did in the 1960s — either on his pinkie finger or as a pendant on a necklace for his wife.
“This is unbelievable,” Goodwin beamed, while admiring the newly-returned ring.