50 years after it was lost in lake, ring returned to owner

Union Leader Correspondent
October 26. 2012 2:39AM
The inscription "DRD" was one of only a couple clues that led to tracking the owner of this class ring found in Lake Winnipesaukee nearly 50 years ago. (Courtesy)
TUFTONBORO - Last December at his 50th high school reunion, Brad Swain thought of the class ring he found as a young man snorkeling in Lake Winnipesaukee.

'Knowing 2012 would be the 50th Beverly High School reunion, I said to myself, 'Wouldn't it be neat to get the ring back to the owner before the reunion,'' the 68-year-old said.

It wasn't the first time the Connecticut man had tried to reunite ring and owner.

In the 1970s, he said he called Beverly High School, but because he was a 'stranger,' officials at the Massachusetts school declined to give him any information about a student from the class of 1962 with the initials DRD.

'They didn't even want to look in the yearbook for me,' he said

This time he started his search at the Beverly High School class reunion web site and confirmed that two men and one woman in the class of 1962 had the initials DRD. Because of the smaller size of the ring, Swain was convinced it belonged to a woman. With the help of alumni, he tracked down the name. But then he hit a dead-end because he could not find the woman's married name.

After reading a newspaper article in his local paper about a man who found a Norwalk (Conn.,) High School ring with a metal detector and tracked down the owner, Swain contacted the Beverly Citizen. He asked the editor if she'd run a story about his search and she obliged.

'A reader called and said he knew who this person was, and had her phone number,' said Swain, who called the woman in Florida with the news of his find.

'She said, 'Thank you, thank you, thank you.' She was thrilled to get it back. She couldn't believe I took the time, after 50 years, to hunt down the owner,' said Swain, who for privacy reasons would identify the woman only as 'Donna.'

She told him she had lost the ring while swimming a couple of weeks after she got the prized piece of jewelry.

In a phone interview from his home in Glastonbury, Conn., Thursday, Swain said the ring's owner told him her daughter will wear the class ring with its gold band and blue stone at her wedding, in the tradition of wearing 'something borrowed, something blue and something old.'

Swain said his family has been visiting Lake Winnipesaukee for decades, renting a cottage at Lane's End Camp in Melvin Village from 1948 to 1965. Today, Swain owns a summer home of his own on the lake and visits from May to September..

'My love of the water turned into my becoming a SCUBA diver,' he said.

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Larissa Mulkern may be reached at LMulkern@newstote.com.

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