A Simple Act of Kindness

Baldwin ring

It all started with one of those “other” messages on Facebook.  A man named, Benny, had found a High School Ring that belonged to someone who graduated from the high school that I had attended years ago.  The ring was from the Class of 1979 and I had graduated in the Class of 1976.  Benny had first tried to post pictures of the ring on an Alumni Facebook page.  At some point in time, someone made me an administrator of that page, so he was contacting me because he could not post on the page without being a member and someone else had denied his membership.

I no longer accept members unless I am absolutely sure they went to our high school, because it has come to my attention that there are other high schools in the United States with the same name and some people I had previously added went to the wrong high school.  So I’ve learned my lesson and I replied to his message asking him if he attended our high school.  He explained the situation then and I asked him to send the photos of the ring to me.   I also asked him in which town had he found the ring and if there were any initials engraved inside the ring. I then posted the pictures and the information on three different Alumni Facebook pages.  Benny had found the ring in a dresser drawer of a house that he had recently purchased from his wife’s grandmother’s estate.  The house was in the town next to the town in which I had grown up.  I remembered that the two towns were very close, but they were also true rivals when it came to their sports teams.  Benny had no idea how long that ring had been in that drawer.

The Alumni Facebook pages went viral with everyone trying to figure out the mystery. Someone found someone who had a 1979 yearbook and that person looked up the possible classmates who could have graduated that year with those initials.   It turned out that there was only one possibility.  We all went to work trying to locate him then.  Simultaneously, another person and I found him on Facebook living in a neighboring town, his Facebook page indicated that he had indeed attended our high school.  Someone else knew someone with the same last name and reached out to that person to see if they had a sibling who might possibly be the owner of the ring.  Within hours, we had located Bob, the owner of the ring!

Bob hadn’t seen his high school ring since he had given it to his old high school girlfriend, thirty-six years ago!  He told me that he had been Captain of the track team and the unusual winged foot on the side of the ring indicated that fact.  He said he never uses Facebook except to keep an eye on his kids . . . didn’t we all start that way . . . and so he was so surprised and thankful that Facebook had been instrumental in finding his old high school ring.

That same night, Bob went to Benny’s house and picked up the ring. They tried to piece together how the ring may have ended up in that dresser drawer. There was a small amusement park named Nunley’s that separated the two towns and he and his girlfriend, along with everyone else in those towns, spent a lot of time there.  It also turned out that Bob’s old girlfriend and Benny’s wife’s aunt (who may have lived in the house at that time) both worked at the same Friendly’s Ice Cream Parlor in the late 1970’s.

They may never know exactly how that ring made in into that drawer, but the story of how it was united with its owner, is one that is an example of a simple act of kindness.  If Benny hadn’t reached out to try to find its owner, it would have stayed a mystery and a loss for Bob for the rest of his life.  Although someone else may have sold the gold ring for its cash value, Benny was someone who recognized the sentimental value and the memories that a high school ring can represent.  He made the effort to find Bob and return it to him.  Personally, I am happy that there are people like Benny in this world.

It was just a simple action that ultimately brought together many people with a common hometown to work together.  Benny’s action brought a little happiness into someone else’s life  . . . and in doing so, he brought a little happiness into all of our lives. Thank you, Benny!
An update: Benny’s wife’s aunt didn’t know that the ring was there.  She suggested that since her mother, who owned the house, was a hairdresser who had clients come to her home, one of them may have left it behind.  Still a mystery.

http://www.theresadodaro.com   Author of The Tin Box Trilogy

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