The Lost Is Found: Class Ring Returned After 35 Years

Do you believe in miracles? Guymon resident Randy Ramirez does. Have you ever lost something only to find it three decades later? Randy Ramirez has.“I lost my class ring in 1978,” Ramirez said. “I had given it to a girlfriend. She went to wash her hands, took it off and forgot to put it back on. When she went back for the ring - it was gone.”Ramirez went on to marry the girl, become a father and live his life but in the back of his mind - he always wondered.“Last Monday (Feb. 25) I got a short letter in the mail,” Ramirez said. The letter simply said: “Randy, Kind of a weird question from a stranger, but do you have your class ring? If not, please contact me.” It was signed Amy and included a phone number.Ramirez called the number that morning.“It was funny, because I had thought about my ring a couple of months earlier,” Ramirez said. “I had said a little prayer and said, ‘God, I kind of wonder where my class ring is.’” The Amy was Amy Vest of Carlsbad, N.M.“It was the craziest thing,” Vest explained, “my dad had this trailer in Artesia, New Mexico. We were going to it tear down, but there is still a lot of his stuff in it. We were going through it and found this pill bottle with some buttons and this ring in it.”Vest said at first she thought the ring was her father’s.“I got to looking at it closer and it said ‘Guymon’ on it,”she said. “I thought, ‘how weird - that can’t be my dad’s - he’s never been to Oklahoma.’”Vest said she asked family members and all said the same thing - they didn’t know anything about Guymon, Oklahoma.“I started researching because my dad had passed away a year ago and I would like to have his ring,” Vest said. “I thought, ‘this guy or his family are missing this ring.’”Vest does not do Facebook or any or the other social profiles, but for this - she made an exception.“I got on Classmates and finally found a Randy A. Ramirez,” she said. “The ring had the initials RAR in it.”Vest even looked in to acquiring a yearbook for Guymon High School.“But I couldn’t get one without paying $100 for it,” she said. Calls to the high school were to no avail - due to privacy issues they could not help her.“I kept leaving messages different places and telling people, ‘If you know a Randy Ramirez this is my e-mail - please contact me,’” Vest said. Then one day, she got lucky.“I found an address for a Randy Ramirez in Guymon and sent him a letter and then he called,” she said. “It was kind of crazy. My husband was like, ‘who is calling from Guymon, Oklahoma?’ I told him, ‘Oh, that’s the guy I’ve been looking for.’”Vest said she asked Ramirez to describe his ring and he “described it perfectly.”When he learned his ring had made its way all the way to New Mexico, Ramirez was as confused as Vest.“As far as I know, I don’t know anyone from that area,” Ramirez said. “She worked really hard to get it back to me. I really appreciate all that she has done. She went to a lot of trouble.”Ramirez had purchased the 1979 class ring when he was a sophomore at Guymon High School. His then girlfriend lost it during his junior year. And, according to Ramirez, even she has thought about the elusive ring.“She was my wife for seven years,” Ramirez said. “My son called her to tell her that my ring had been found and she told him that she had worried about it and that it had bothered her for several years that it had been lost.”Ramirez said Vest has gone above and beyond.“She even texted me to let me know when it arrived at the post office,” Ramirez said. “I went to the post office right at 9 and they were nice enough to get it for me.”Although the ring no longer fits on Ramirez’s finger, he is very proud to have it back where it belongs - even if it is now on his pinky.“Everybody’s got a story,” Ramirez said. “I was told about one where someone’s parents’ house was broken into and years later his sister was at a party and saw someone wearing her brother’s ring. Another one said their daughter borrowed a ring and it was turned in to a church where her mom happened to be the secretary. There are some amazing stories about how things have found their way back.“One girl told me her aunt came to visit and she and wanted to wear her ring,” Ramirez continued, “she went to play at the park and lost it. Her aunt came the next year and went to the park to play with kids - and there was the ring.”Ramirez said the return just keeps on “giving”.“When I tell anyone the story they just smile,” he said. “One classmate of mine just couldn’t stop laughing when I told her.”And still there is the mystery behind the trek from Oklahoma to New Mexico.According to Vest, her father was a very “giving person” who “kept everything”. She has speculated that the ring came in to his possession because of someone leaving it at his home who he had let stay with him or perhaps was given to him as collateral on a loan.“He hardly left his home,” she said, noting that the possibility was there he could have found it on one of his treks in search of arrowheads. She said she has also wondered if the connection was through her step mother who passed away at a young age or a girlfriend from the past. Ramirez knows a higher power had a hand in returning his school memorabilia.“God does answer prayers - even the small ones,” he said. “He cares about the little things you lost a long time ago. In Hebrews there is no word for coincidence... It’s important place, important time... I believe that.”The ring looks like new down to the purple stone that Ramirez remembered so well.“It’s in really good shape,” Ramirez said. “Some I have talked to have said their rings are broken because they wore them so much.”As to what the future holds for the ring, Ramirez said he thinks he may give it to one of his sons.“It’s been 35 years,” he said. “My oldest son just turned 33. I never thought I would see it again. Two of my sons graduated from Guymon and they have their class rings. Now I finally have mine back.”Although some, including family, have asked Vest why she went to so much trouble, for her, the answer is simple.“I haven’t been back to my dad’s house since that day we found the ring,” Vest said. “Since he passed away - it’s still too hard. It is a miracle that it landed here,” she continued. “I’m pleased he was able to get it back and I know he is glad to have it - I can hear it in his voice. When you have someone pass away the little things count - that’s why I went to the extremes I did to find (Ramirez). I know I will find my dad’s ring some day too.”