Ring Around the Country

HPHS alum reunited with graduation jewelry once lost on Galveston beach

A journey of about 3,000 miles and more than 50 years began with a Highland Park alumnus’ trip to the beach near Galveston shortly after graduation.

“I took (the ring) off for some reason,” said Tom Chamblee, recalling that 1964 beach trip. “And I remember somehow it got in the sand. That was the last I saw of my ring until recently.”

A family in Sun City, Arizona, found the ring among furniture they’d bought at an auction.

“I have no idea how it ended up in the house I live in,” Connie Howard said. “I have no idea how it got here, where it came from or anything like that. It’s kind of funny,”

I’m so happy this family decided they needed to take some action to find the owner of this ring and that Tom was able to know that his was back in his possession again.

Ann Clark

Connie’s daughter, Deborah Farr, eventually decided to help track down the ring’s owner.

“(At first) we thought maybe it belonged to someone in our family, so we looked at it,” Farr said. “We were like, “OK, well, we know it’s not our brother and not any of our husbands came from Texas, so not anything that we might have left at the house visiting or something like that.”

Eventually, the search took a technological turn.

“I decided, ‘Hey, let’s look on the Internet and look up the high school,’” Farr said.

They identified the correct Highland Park High School by matching the mascot and crest on its website to the ones on the ring and then contacted the Highland Park High School Alumni Association.

From there, a little amateur detective work identified the owner based on a clue – the engraved initials TGC.

Ann Clark, an alumni board member, got Farr’s email asking for help finding the ring’s owner. Clark pulled the 1964 Highlander yearbook and matched the initials to a senior that year – Chamblee.

“It was sort of a no-brainer for me. I was like, ‘If I can go up and pull that 1964 Highlander and find a graduate 1964, male, with the initials TGC, that’s our guy,’ so that’s exactly what happened,” Clark said. “I’m so happy this family decided they needed to take some action to find the owner of this ring and that Tom was able to know that his was back in his possession again.”

Ann then connected Chamblee, who’s lived in Florida for more than 40 years, and the family sent him the ring.

“It was amazing – quite a surprise,” Chamblee said.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at rachel.snyder@peoplenewspapers.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *