February 26, 2014 Edition

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Lost senior ring
returned 15 years later

John Bland

Jacob Kersey, WRHS principal; Lesa Walter, WRHS secretary; and Donna Heston Grafton, a 1973 WRHS graduate; shared the following story about Donna's senior class ring that was lost 15 years ago and found and returned to her last week. On a side note, Donna was here in November, when her class held a 40-year reunion at WRHS.

Kersey and Walter: A 1973 WRHS senior ring was mailed to the high school from a woman in Bartlett, Tenn. It arrived in last Tuesday's mail. The woman said the ring had been unearthed in her yard when some work was being done. The ring looked like new and had the name, Donna Heston inscribed on the inside.

Kersey: Lesa found her on Facebook.

Walter: I found Donna Heston Grafton of Bartlett on Facebook. She had some Walnut Ridge (Facebook) friends, so I messaged her. It didn't take long to find her.

Grafton: My senior ring was lost by my son approximately 15 years ago in Bartlett. He was about 10 or 11-years-old at the time and had begged to take it down the street to show some friends. I finally relented and said "OK, just don't lose it."

Well, guess what? He was playing, and it flew off his finger and he couldn't find it. We went down the street and looked in a couple of yards but could never find the ring. I thought, well, I'll never see that again. I really hated that it was lost because growing up and going to school in Walnut Ridge is very special to me. Even though I didn't wear the ring, I wanted to keep it.

Well, fast-forward 15 years, and I get a message on my Facebook account from someone I don't know. It was from a Ms. Walter who works in the office of Walnut Ridge High School. She said that a class ring had been mailed to them from Bartlett, and they thought it was mine.

I still live in Bartlett, but hadn't lived on that street in several years. She (Mrs. Walter) left me her phone number, and I called her the next day. She read me a letter that was sent with the ring saying that the ring was found when some work had been done in their yard, and she wanted the school to try and find the owner. The lady who sent it was right next door to the yard my son was playing in at the time it was lost.

I was amazed and thrilled that after all these years my ring had been found. Ms. Walter got my address, and I received the ring in Saturday's mail. It looks as good as the day it was lost. I called the person who sent in the ring and told her how grateful I was. She was very excited that the owner had been found.

Walter: Donna sent me this message. "I can't believe this. I thought I'd never see it again." Donna now lives approximately two miles from where the ring was found.

Kersey: It's a good thing our school isn't named something like Central High School because there are only two Walnut Ridge High School's in the United States. The other is in (Columbus) Ohio.

The lady in Bartlett took the trouble to find WRHS, and there is a lesson in this for our students. The woman knew that the ring probably meant something to somebody.

Walter: Mr. Kersey wrote a nice thank you letter to the lady who sent us the ring.

Grafton: There are so many good people in the world. This lady took the trouble to look up the high school and send in the ring, and WRHS took the time to contact me and make sure I got my ring back.

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