NORTH OGDEN — Edd Caulford has always had the habit of looking for things on the ground, so it wasn’t a huge surprise to him when he found a Weber High School class ring along Washington Boulevard.
That was 47 years ago.
Caulford still remembers finding the ring — he picked it up and noticed the initials engraved on the sides — “RS”. At the time he was determined to find the owner, but he never thought it would take 46 years.
Caulford took the ring home, put it in his jewelry box with the idea of finding the owner, and then, as so often happens, life got in the way.
He was active duty military and traveled the globe with his family, being stationed in one place and then another, and he never got around to finding the owner of that ring until last year when he was serving an LDS Church service mission at Temple Square in Salt Lake City and was talking with a friend, Gary Larsson.
Caulford now lives in Wilson Lane, and he and his wife have deep roots in the area. He and Larsson talked about how both of their 55th high school reunions were being held that year. Caulford found out Larsson had graduated from Weber High School and Caulford shared that he had found a high school ring all those years ago and would love to find the owner.
“I just thought it would be real neat to give it to the owner because of the reunion,” Caulford said.
Forty-seven years ago, Roger Shupe was working for the U.S. Postal Service and had recently moved from one apartment to another in Ogden.
In those days letters were left at drop boxes and would be picked up as postal workers delivered mail because they didn’t use postal trucks, so Shupe would often stick his hand in the box to pick up mail. One day he looked down and realized his ring was gone.
“I didn’t know where to look,” Shupe said. He said he’s always losing his sunglasses, setting them down in odd places and leaving them, and he thought he may have done that with the ring.
Once Caulford had talked to Larsson about the reunion, he decided to get serious about finding its owner and got his hands on an old 1946 Weber High School yearbook, where he narrowed his search down to those with the initials “RS”.
He shared the information with Larsson, who as it turns out, was a good friend of Shupe’s and was the Weber High School class president in 1946. They discovered it was Shupe’s ring.
“I had the wives call each other because I didn’t want to mess things up,” Caulford said with a laugh. He wanted to keep the ring a surprise and have it presented to Shupe at the reunion. So Shupe was notified that he was receiving a special award at the reunion.
Shupe neatly unfolded the letter that came with the ring in a special envelope that was presented to him at the reunion that night. Caulford also had graduated in 1946 from a high school in Schenectady, N.Y. Caulford used that letterhead and explained the origin of the lost ring and where it had been all those years in the letter.
“I was really surprised. I don’t usually cry, but I had a few tears in my eyes,” Shupe said, recalling the night. Now, as the two sit on Shupe’s couch in his North Ogden home, they swap stories of days gone by and realize just how much they have in common, including the bond they share of the lost — now found — special memento.
They both laugh at the idea that they have traveled in the same close social circles for nearly 50 years, but never knew each other until last year when the ring brought them together.
Shupe can still wear the ring on his pinkie finger, so he keeps special track of it. He loves the look of it.
“Rings don’t really look the same now,” he said as he proudly examined the ring with Caulford. He also knows he won’t be losing it again anytime soon.
As for Caulford, he stills keeps his eyes on the ground when he walks, because “you never what you’re going to find.”