Through the years, occasionally I have taken up the task of searching for the owners of lost articles. I can’t remember if I have ever gotten anything returned, but the search is always interesting.
So, when a woman brought in to the newspaper a couple of lost high school class rings that she has possession of, the task of finding whom they belonged to fell to me.
Cheryl Bunch-Veile, of Belleville, found the rings in her father’s belongings. She is his caretaker now. He is a veteran of both the Korean War and Vietnam War and used to work at Scott Air Force Base. Apparently he brought these home after they had languished in the lost and found for quite a while.
“Nobody claimed them and I don’t think my father, (John Bunch) ever found out anything about them, but I guess he didn’t want them thrown away,” she said. “I came across them and they have weighed heavy on my mind. I know my high school ring means a lot to me and I think people would want these rings back.”
Never miss a local story.
Bunch-Veile said one of her friends had some stuff stolen from her house and her friend said one of the things that she lost that meant the most to her was her high school class ring.
“I just want to get it back to the right people,” Bunch-Veile said.
Not to be pessimistic, but that might be a tall order. So many thousands of people have passed through Scott over the years and there is no telling where they are now. But who knows. I’ll at least try.
The larger ring is from L.B. Landry High School. An internet search shows that it is in New Orleans. It merged with O.P. Walker College and Preparatory High School in 2013.
Landry was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina in 2005 but had been rebuilt. It has a great heritage. It was the first high school in New Orleans named after an African-American, Dr. Lord Beaconsfield Landry, a New Orleans physician and activist.
The ring has a round, light blue stone with a pirate’s flag inside it, I’m guessing for its nickname, the Buccaneers. The owner was a member of the class of 1970. The ring also is covered with a skull and crossbones, a pirate with a dagger in his mouth and a pair of crossed pistols in case you didn’t get the buccaneer message.
Inside the ring is engraved initials which appear to be MD but the D isn’t distinct and might be an O. Or the M might be a W if you turn it upside down.
The other ring is smaller with a pink stone and Lincoln High on it, the class of 1999. Immediately East St. Louis Lincoln High School came to mind but it closed in 1998. Still, maybe the juniors that year got their rings with 1999 on them, I thought.
Looking more closely, the ring has the name Robin on it and what appears to be a hawk, or maybe an eagle. That opens up lots of possibilities across the nation but it eliminates East St. Louis, where the mascot was a Tiger.
Not much to go on, but if either ring is yours, or you know anything else about them, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You never know. If I learn more, I’ll let you know.
Wally Spiers: email@example.com