After 55 years, class ring returned to its owner
When local resident Wayne Jackson lost his Lower Moreland High School class ring 55 years ago, he thought he’d never see it again. But on Jan. 7 he received it in the mail from a man in Florida who had acquired it.
“I’m totally lost on it,” Jackson said. “One minute I remember having it, then I went into the Air Force right after graduation.”
Jackson said while in the Air Force he was stationed in Japan and, he believes, left the ring at home in America on his dresser. However, when he returned, it wasn’t there. But Jackson said he is confused by the whole situation and, since 55 years is a long time, he might be thinking of another ring he left there when stationed in Japan. Jackson said, ultimately, he has no idea how it came to be in the possession of Rockledge native Bob Fair, who now lives near Venice, Fla.
Fair told the Venice Gon- dolier newspaper that he had received the Class of 1958 ring from his girlfriend as a ninth-grader in 1964 as a sign that they were going steady. When they broke up, he said, the ring was put into a drawer at his mother’s Rockledge home. Unknown to him, his mother took it with her when she moved to Venice in 1980. Fair’s mother died in 2007 and, he said, last month he came across the ring while looking through her jewelry. He decided to find who it belonged to.
The initials “TWJ” were engraved on the inside of the ring, so Fair contacted Lower Moreland High School, which in turn directed Fair to the school’s alumni association. Those three initials, along with the 1958 class date, helped alumni track down Jackson. They found that Jackson was the only member of the class with those initials. Fair then reached out to Jackson to see if that was his ring.
Both Jackson and Fair said they had never met or talked before that phone call.
“I’m very excited about [getting it back],” Jackson said. “After 55 years, I finally received my ring.”
Jackson said he plans to give the ring to his 15-yearold granddaughter, whom he helped raise since she was an infant. He said she recently was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and has been struggling to stay healthy. He hopes the ring will help her feel supported.
“I’m her support right now,” Jackson said. “Anytime she’s down and out, she can look down at the ring and say ‘Pop-pop’s looking out for me.’”
In addition, Jackson said he feels the ring has brought him a new start for 2013. He said shortly after receiving the ring in the mail, he was reunited with a daughter with whom he had lost contact years ago.
“They say things come in threes,” Jackson said. “It’s almost like this ring has started something.”