Hidden Gem - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Hidden Gem

The drought is an ongoing frustration for nearly everyone in Texoma, but it has been rewarding for a Wichita Falls native who lost his class ring 50 years ago.

"I had joined the navy and I was going to boot camp.  They told me not to take any jewelry with me because I would have to send it back home," said Wichita Falls native, Pat McCright.

 McCright went to boot camp for the navy in 1963 and while he was away, he gave his jewelry to his brother who happened to lose a valuable piece while swimming in Lake Wichita.

In January, while using a metal detector in Lake Wichita, Dennis Brown came across a ring, a 1963 Coyote class ring from Wichita Falls High School.

"I got a hit for a large sinker.  I went across the top of it and low and behold, it was a ring.  I picked it up and it was incrusted in sand.  I rubbed on it a little bit and realized it was a class ring," said metal detecting enthusiast, Dennis Brown.

After finding the ring in Lake Wichita, the search for its owner began.  Dennis Brown took the 1963 class ring to a local jewelry store that cleaned it off showing the initials on the inside.

"I went to the internet and I found that last year the class of 1963 had their class reunion.  I did find somebody that I had worked with, and called him.  Within a day, he had an address and a phone number for me," said Brown.

Dennis Brown had found Pat McCright's class ring that his brother lost 50 years ago.  Within a week the class ring was returned. 

"I was astounded at first that he would even call out of the blue and then to see the ring so nice and shiny.  It was just unreal, it looks brand new.  I never assumed I would ever see it again, I just forgot about it," said McCright.

It can be said that the drought has helped in some ways.   A 50 year old class ring, hidden gem is now treasure.

"You just don't find anything of that age usually.  Since the water is not here anymore, it is a perfect target for looking for artifacts," said Brown. 

"I assumed it had been dissolved in the water.  I thank Dennis and his wife Stella for going through the trouble of matching my name with the initials. That in itself is just amazing," said McCright.

Even though McCright's class ring can only fit on his pinky finger, he is thinking about giving it to his wife to put it around her neck so that she can be his girl again.

Taylor Barnes, Newschannel 6

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