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Fwd: [Mit1976] MIT 1976 Class Notes Happy New Year Special Edition

This may not look like it has anything to do with ringing at first,
but bear with it a little while. Steve Spura was the first master of
the MIT Guild of Change Ringers, and odds are the event described had
something to do with some ringing at Smith.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Reynold Lewke <lewke alum mit edu>
Date: Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 1:46 PM
Subject: [Mit1976] MIT 1976 Class Notes Happy New Year Special Edition
To: mit1976 mailman-alum mit edu

Dear Classmates,

While I normally collect your inputs and then send them out all
together, this story really is perfect for this time of year when many
of us are digging out of snowdrifts and making the trek back to work
and wondering what the New Year holds for us. For me, this story is
once again an indication that amazing things can happen to each of us
and that life is an adventure with many subtle twists. In that sense I
give you:

"The Adventure of the Wandering Brass Rat" by Steven A. Spura

In the true holiday spirit, I'd like to share a rather remarkable
thing that happened recently.  It all really started back in 1976 (or
was it 1977?).  I suddenly realized that I no longer had my class ring
on my finger.  At the time, I was wearing it constantly, so this
discovery meant that it had gotten lost.  A very thorough search
confirmed that it was nowhere in the vicinity of my normal spaces.  It
was a mystery but the conclusion was clear, my class ring was lost to

Over the years, I considered acquiring a generic class ring from the
COOP, or attempting to track down the process to have a new
replacement created.

I never acted on these thoughts.  The ring's importance to me was easy
to dismiss.  Then I would notice one on a colleague's hand, or at some
meet-and-greet occasion and I'd remember my lost ring.

In mid December of 2008, I received a phone call from our class
secretary, Reynold Lewke, asking me about my lost ring.  I was
intrigued since now it was about 30 years later.  He said that he had
been contacted by a person in North Hampton, Massachusetts asking for
assitance to find the owner of a class of '76 brass rat that he had
found.  What made it so difficult was that the engraved name inside
the ring was done in such an italicized way that the letters in the
last name became very hard to distinguish.  With Reynold's help and
using the information that could be read, my name became the most
obvious suspect.  Since all the particulars fit well enough, I made
the connection to this fellow.

He is about 65 years old and for fourty years, he and two other
companions would regularly scour North Hampton, Ma. with metal
detectors.  Somewhere on the banks of Smith College's Paradise pond (a
central land mark on that campus), he found my ring.  He said that the
discovery was made about 15 years ago.  Well, Smith College was
certainly a logical place for the ring to have come to rest since I
had spent many visits there as part of the MIT Glee Club to sing in
concerts, and the MIT Guild of Change Ringers, as well as going there
for other reasons including courting the woman that I would eventually
marry.  I guess these things might explain how I had other things on
my mind when the ring decided to take an extended leave.

Now this treasure hunter has lost his friends to the fortunes of time
and illness, and he is looking at the items he has collected.  He told
me that he had a small table with several class rings, and other
identifiable items on it that he was attempting to reunite with their
owners.  He said that he is concerned that if he does not do it, his
kids would just box it all up and send to some scrap collector.  But,
since I'm  writing this little missive, for me and my wayward ring,
the story ends on a happy note.  Soon after our conversation my ring
was shipped to me; and almost as amazing, it still fit.

I'm now wearing it every day.  I'm very happy to have it back and
proud to wear it.  And, I'm hoping that my ring will not decide that
it needs another adventure.
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