Lost ring returns

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Al Key/DRC
Janet Hall gives Charles Hopkins his long lost class ring that she found while using her metal detector, during their lunch at the Smokehouse on Friday in Denton.
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She found the 1951 Denton High School class ring he lost about 60 years ago.

He bought her a barbecue lunch.

Denton resident Charles Hopkins and Janet Hall of Flower Mound met for the first time early Friday afternoon at the Smokehouse.

Hall had been using her metal detector on a treasure hunt with friends along the western shore of Lewisville Lake last Saturday when she unearthed a class ring. She posted the find on Facebook.

A friend and former co-worker, Sheryl McNeely Shaw, saw it and once she realized it was a Denton ring, she knew she could help her friend find the owner. A 1972 Denton High School alum, she reached out to others on Facebook and within a few days, friends sleuthed out the likely owner and sent her phone numbers.

“That’s the hard part, everyone’s gone cell now,” Shaw said.

It helped, too, that the ring was engraved with the initials “C.E.H.”

Hopkins doesn’t remember when he lost the gold ring with the red gemstone. But he got several calls this week from people who said they saw the Facebook posts showing his old class ring had been found, so he was ready when Hall called to arrange a visit.

Hall belongs to the Lone Star Treasure Hunters Club, which meets to compare finds and share tips on using metal detectors.

Many hobbyists skilled with their metal detectors will help people find lost items for free through the website lostmystuff.net, she said.

“Most of us are looking to find historical things — and when we do, we wonder who lost it and who they were,” Hall said.

She has found two other class rings, but this was the first time she was able to return one to the owner.

The find triggered a few memories for Hopkins. He may have paid $18.75 for it. He had been a cabinetmaker with his father back then, and made about $28 per week.

As she pulled the ring from a plastic sandwich bag and handed it over, Hall fussed a little. She had cleaned the ring as best she could, but she told Hopkins she thought it might need to be polished.

Hopkins looked at it and said he thought it was size 9. He’d weighed 128 pounds when he was in high school, he said. He was able to slip the ring over his pinkie finger.

“This is one of the — no, it’s the most unusual thing that’s happened to me,” Hopkins said.

Hall beamed.

“Now don’t lose it,” she said. “But if you do, call me and I’ll go find it again.”

PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.

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