Ring Returned after Sitting in Lake for nearly 40 Years

ringreturnedphoto2007-07-20webresolution.jpgRoss from Warren, Mich., sends us this story. He writes: “OK, this story isn’t of one of the Great Lakes but close, it’s from Lake St. Clair.”

That works for us! Here’s his story:

Last night I became a member of the “Found and Returned” group.

I returned a 1968 class ring (that had a slight chip in the stone) that I found in the water at Strawberry Island. It was a class ring from East Detroit High School with the initials DZW.

I contacted Lynn Buss from the Athletic Dept and gave her the info about the ring. She said she was more then happy to help find its owner. She was amazed that someone could find a ring in a lake as big as Lake St. Clair and be able to return it. Especially since it has been submerged for almost 40 years.

Lynn happened to be taking a break outside at the school and bumped into a maintenance person who graduated in the same year as marked on the ring. He said he thought he knew who the owner was. The two of them decided to check out the yearbooks to verify his thoughts.

It turns out the owners name belonged to a guy who indeed graduated from the high school in 1968. His name was Dennis Z Wolinski. Shortly after graduation, Dennis became the assistant principle for a number of years.

Next Lynn contacted Dennis with the news and he immediately emailed me the following.

“Dear Mr. Soderberg:
My name is Dennis Wolinski. I lost my class ring in Lake St Clair in 1968. I appreciate your contacting the school and would like to make arrangements for its return.
My memory makes me think we were on the back side of Strawberry Island. We were water skiing at the time.
Dennis Wolinski”

Talking to Dennis last night, I found out how the chip got into the stone of the ring. It happened when he bumped it working at a previous job not by my digger or by hitting one of his skis as I thought. He said while skiing he saw the ring fly in an arch away from him. He tried retrieving it by feeling with his feet in the sand but had no luck.

He lost the ring in 1967 shortly after getting it. He just couldn’t believe it was being returned after all these years and was very grateful to me.

For my good deed, he gave me and my wife a gift card to a restaurant. I told him it wasn’t necessary and that I only wanted his picture holding the ring but he insisted. Thank you Dennis.”

Thank you, Ross, for sharing that story. Ross helps manage a web site dedicated to people interested in metal detecting. You can read about it at: http://greatlakesmetaldetecting.com
or http://ross-soderberg.com/forum16,good-deeds.html

Of course, you can also submit your story for a chance to win prizes!

You can also help in the effort to restore the Great Lakes and protect our drinking water, our economy, our public health and our way of life. Get involved today!

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2 Responses to Ring Returned after Sitting in Lake for nearly 40 Years

  1. Joe says:

    Great story. I love to see people taking time from their hobby to do a good deed and give something back to the community. Great to see there are still people like this out there!

  2. Larry Ciarrocchi says:

    Isn’t that great! I mean that whole big ole lake and here this guy comes along with a metal detector, and BAM! he finds a ring. Good Job Ross. Keep up the good work.