ELLSWORTH — Shirley Springer remembers her 1969 Ellsworth High School class ring fit a little loosely. Fifty-one years ago, it slipped from her finger never to be seen again — until last week.
She was at work at Walmart when a former classmate, Malen Hsu, made a special delivery. Springer’s ring, featuring a purple stone and her initials — SAS — engraved on the inside, had been found.
“I thought it was lost, I really did,” Springer said Monday. “I thought it was long gone.”
Better yet, the ring is in near-perfect condition and still fits.
The ring’s return brought up fond memories of high school and of the family camp on Rocky Pond in Orland where the ring was found. The camp once belonged to Springer’s parents, Lewis and Ella. Springer and her brother used to sneak out there and have parties. Back then, the camp was only accessible by snowmobile in the winter. There’s a road now and the bunkhouse exterior has been reinforced, but the old logs are still visible on the interior. Springer got to peek inside this past weekend and meet the woman who helped reunite her with the ring.
Massachusetts resident Lauren Keaney owns the property with her brother. It was he who found the ring on a path they frequently walk on.
“It’s like things come out of the dirt,” she said.
After some internet sleuthing, Keaney tracked down the Ellsworth High School Alumni Association and emailed the group about the ring. The info made it to Hsu, who connected with Springer.
“I just think it’s a really cool thing and I’m so glad we found her,” Keaney said, remarking that she was in first grade the year Springer graduated high school.
The ring’s return was something of an early birthday present for Springer, who turns 72 next week. She teared up at the news.
“It’s just amazing that I got it back after 51 years,” she said, gazing at the ring now securely back on her finger.