2/27/2014 3:00:00 PM 25 years later: Mystery has a ring to it
She's not sure of the date, but she says it was "between 25 and 30 years ago".
Pat Perry of Parkers Lake, Kentucky, was swimming in the river in Cumberland Falls State Park - 186 miles away from Switzerland County - with her daughter, Angie.
"We were swimming and all of a sudden Angie said, 'mom, there's something on my toe'," Pat Perry said. "She pulled her foot up out of the water, and there it was."
On Angie's toe was a class ring from Switzerland County High School, Class of 1982.
"We put it up and forgot about it," Pat Perry said. "Recently I was cleaning out a jewelry box, and there was the ring."
The search for the owner of the ring was delayed by tragedy, however, as Angie Perry passed away 22 years ago. The ring has been put away ever since, until recently.
"I've asked everybody, and I finally found out that Switzerland County was in Indiana," Pat Perry said. "It's got 1982 on it on the side. It's got a basketball player on it, and on the other side of it says 'Pacers'."
The one thing that Pat Perry would like to know now, is: who does this ring belong to?
"It's got an initial on the top of it, but I can't tell what it is," she said. "After the time in the water, and then being put up for over 25 years, I just can't tell, but it looks like an "M" or a "W".
The initial sits on top of a round, blue stone; and it's a boy's ring.
"I would love for this person to get their class ring back. It's still in good shape," Pat Perry said.
"I'm sorry that I've never done anything with it," Pat Perry said. "We put it up, and then my daughter died, and we've just had this thing and that thing; and honestly I'd just forgotten about it."
After finding that Switzerland County was in Indiana, an Internet search led Pat Perry to the Vevay Media Group; and a call to the newspaper office began the process of solving a mystery more than a quarter of a century old.
Pat Perry figures that if the young man graduated in 1982 at age 18, he'd be around 50 years old now, and obviously has figured that his class ring was long, long gone.
The phone call also started the search at the newspaper office.
Keying on the basketball player on the side of the ring, Vevay Media Group staff pulled out the bound volume of newspapers for 1982, and looked up a roster for the boys basketball team. Assuming that the initial on the top of the ring was an "M" or a "W", the only senior basketball player with his name starting with one of those two letters was Brian McSwain.
A call to Ethel Althoff in Bear Branch secured the phone number of Russell and Vera McSwain in Indianapolis; and a call there got the cell phone number of son Brian.
"No, it's not mine," Brian McSwain said by phone. "My class ring has a track runner on the side, and mine's around here somewhere."
Back to the search.
Steven Konkle was a member of the Class of 1982, and played on the basketball team.
He noted that since students get their class rings during their freshman or sophomore year, it was possible that the owner of the ring could have played basketball early in his high school career; but wasn't still playing when he was a senior.
Any idea whose ring it might be, Steven?
"Can't think of anybody," was his response.
A search of the pictures of the graduating class for 1982 brought a limited number of boys with names starting with an "M" or "W"; and there's no guarantee that that's even the initial.
There are no initials inside the band of the class ring, which led the newspaper staff to Mary Ann Ricketts at Ricketts Jewelry. Mary Ann pointed out that class rings made by the Josten's company typically had initials inside the band; while rings produced by the Art Carved company didn't. She sells Art Carved rings at the jewelry store, and since there are no initials inside the found ring, the assumption has been made that it is an Art Carved ring, and was quite possibly purchased from Ricketts Jewelry.
So there's a mystery to solve, Switzerland County.
Did you or someone you know lose your class ring in the early 1980s while on a trip to or near Cumberland Falls State Park in Kentucky?
If you know anything about the ring, contact the Vevay Media Group office at 427-2311; or stop by 111 West Market Street in Vevay.