After 50 years, missing ring comes full circle in N.C.
Jun 28, 2012 (The Virginian-Pilot - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Larry Brinn was working on a Coast Guard navigational aid in Coinjock, N.C., when his wife's class ring he was wearing caught on something, cutting his finger.
Brinn put the ring in his pocket and continued working. It wasn't until later that he realized it wasn't in the pocket. He assumed it had fallen into the murky waters of the Coinjock Canal and was gone.
And from that day in 1959 until early this month, it was.
But two weeks ago, Moyock resident Dan Visser called Brinn's wife, Lila Sue Owens Brinn, telling her he had found a gold ring -- Griggs High School, Class of 1956 with the initials "LSO" inscribed inside the band.
"I never expected to ever see that ring again," Brinn said from her Stumpy Point, N.C., home.
Talking by phone from the tugboat he captains, Visser told his part of the story.
On June 14, he was using a metal detector at Coinjock's Veterans Memorial Park when he found the ring buried 4 inches under the soil. Veterans Memorial Park used to be the Coast Guard station, the one where Brinn was assigned in the late 1950s.
The site is near a satellite office of the Currituck County Sheriff's Office, and when a he saw a deputy nearby,
Visser mentioned the initials. Someone with a last name that begins with O and who graduated from Griggs High School in the 1950s? The deputy told Visser the owner would have to be an Owens.
Visser contacted the administrative office of Currituck County Schools, where a secretary agreed. Somebody with a last name that begins with O that graduated from Griggs in the 1950s? Has to be an Owens.
But the administrative offices did not have a Griggs yearbook going back that far, said Visser, who refused to call off the pursuit. He called Griggs Elementary School next -- which was converted from a high school in 1960.
Sure enough, a Lila Sue Owens graduated from Griggs High in 1956. The Griggs High alumni held a large reunion a few years ago and contacts were handy, so Visser had the phone number he needed.
"I believe I have your class ring," Visser said he told the woman after introducing himself when he called.
"You have my what?"
"I believe I have your class ring."
"Oh, Lordy," she said.
Visser gave the ring to the Brinns' son, who lives in Moyock, not far from Visser's home. The Brinns haven't seen the ring yet, figuring they'll get it when the summer traffic slows a bit, Lila Brinn said. Or Visser said he may take it down to Stumpy Point when he returns from his tugboat duties on July 4. He wants to meet the couple anyway.
Two of the Brinns' grandchildren just graduated from Manteo High School and have their own class rings.
"Two grandchildren graduating and I got my ring back," she said. "You can't beat that."
Jeff Hampton, (252) 338-0159 firstname.lastname@example.org
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