I have no idea where mine is but I do remember the last time I saw it. It was the summer of 1967 and I was playing the part of Og the Leprechaun in a community theater production of Finian’s Rainbow (Francis Ford Coppola directed a film version starring Fred Astair and Petula Clark the following year). I had a little thing for Shannon Murphy –who played the part of Susan the Silent– and my long-time girl friend caught us rehearsing lines during a break.
The confrontation was short but intense and punctuated by my (now ex-) girl friend throwing my senior ring back to (at?) me. The light outside the theater was poor and the ring struck me in the forehead, just above the eyes. Through the pain, I recall the sound of the ring ricocheting off into the night. I didn’t bother to look for it. Ten or twelve years later, I received a call from someone at my old high school, informing me that someone in New Orleans had found the ring and called the school in an attempt to locate the owner. I never followed up to retrieve the ring (I still had the scar), but I always wondered what happened to it between the time it bounced off my head and showed up in The Big Easy. I’ve often thought it might make a decent plot device.
This was my best and only senior ring story for many years and I think I tell it with some humor. But I recently heard a better one. Like mine, it starts in Kennett, Missouri, which is the home of Ford’s Hot Tamales. Kennett alums of a certain age will remember street venders selling Ford’s Hot Tamales from a steaming pot on the corner across from the Palace Theater. The tamales –and related products– were prepared from scratch at the family business there in Kennett. Family member and chili chef, Kenneth Ford, lost his KHS senior ring while whipping up a batch of Ford’s Chili. Like mine, his showed up years later… in a block of frozen chili (in Texas?).
Okay, so it’s not a great story. But there must be hundreds of stories like these. Wouldn’t this make a decent website? If such site exists, I haven’t found it yet. If you have, please let me know.