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Video: Lebanon Man Reunited with Class Ring from 1965

  • Ray Goodwin, of White River Junction, Vt., tries on his Lebanon High School Class of 1965 ring recently found by Ann Kerrigan, of Wilder, Vt., in her yard. After sleuthing by the school's summer office staff, the two met on July 24, 2017, where Kerrigan returned the ring and showed Goodwin the college class ring she lost and got back. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • The Lebanon High School Class of 1965 ring belonging to Ray Goodwin, of White River Junction, Vt., lies near his senior yearbook photograph on July 24, 2017. Ann Kerrigan, of Wilder, Vt., found the ring in her yard and contacted the school, who found Goodwin through an Internet search. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • From left, Lebanon High School summer staff Lauren Anikis, her father Mike Anikis and Amanda Clarke talk with Ray Goodwin, of White River Junction, Vt., about his high school days after Goodwin was reunited with his Class of 1965 ring in Lebanon, N.H., on July 24, 2017. After the ring was found, Lauren Anikis and Clarke spent a few hours searching on the Internet before finding Goodwin a few miles away. A member of the media is grabbing the 1965 yearbook to photograph it. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Monday, July 24, 2017

Lebanon — Ray Goodwin, 70, received an unusual phone call at his White River Junction home last week.

“My wife said, ‘Somebody from Lebanon High School wants to talk to you,’ ” Goodwin recalled today. “I said, ‘What? I haven’t been there in 50 years.’ ”

Fifty-two, to be precise. Goodwin, who grew up on Seminary Hill in West Lebanon, graduated from Lebanon High in 1965.

But when he departed the school and was drafted into the Air Force, he did so without his class ring. Before graduation, he had lost the ring, resigning himself to the belief that he must have dropped it in a sink drain.

“My mother and father really gave me grief when I lost that, God rest their souls,” said Goodwin, who is retired from a career as a cook at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

That’s where last week’s phone call comes in.

About three miles from Seminary Hill, in Wilder, a woman named Ann Kerrigan had found a Lebanon High class ring last week in her yard. 

The gold-colored ring, emblazoned with “1965,” depicted the former Lebanon High School mascot, a fictitious character named Agamek, which the district dropped about 15 years ago because of its use of Native Americans as a mascot.

Kerrigan, who lives near Brookside Nursing Home in a house built in the early 1980s, couldn’t figure out how it had appeared there.

Was it surfacing now from past construction, or maybe a mulch delivery?

Had the month’s heavy rains washed it downhill from the woods?

Were playful birds to blame?

In any case, she wanted to return it to its owner. Long ago, Kerrigan, who works for a Lebanon law firm, was reunited with a Class of 1981 ring she had lost five years earlier from Chestnut Hill College, a small school in Philadelphia.

The stranger’s gesture has stuck with her for decades.

“It’s just the fact that there are good people out there,” said Kerrigan, who grew up in northern Vermont.

Kerrigan called Lebanon High School to describe the ring and the initials inscribed on it. Summer secretary Amanda Clarke, who works during the school year as a paraeducator at Mount Lebanon Elementary School, picked up the phone. 

Soon she and summer tutor Lauren Anikis were digging through yearbooks, scouring Facebook and purchasing temporary subscriptions to Whitepages.com.

“We just thought how nice would it be to get a piece of his past back,” Clarke said.

They spent more than three hours on the investigation, and were “awfully excited” to finally connect with Goodwin, Clarke said. “There were a lot of high-fives.” 

This morning, the group met in the front office at Lebanon High for a ring handoff.

“We spent a couple hours looking for you,” Anikis said as she greeted Goodwin, with Kerrigan arriving soon after.

With the ring snugly on Goodwin’s pinky finger, they exchanged stories about how the city has changed in the past five decades and looked over Goodwin’s yearbook. Goodwin graduated in a class of 155 students, about the same as Anikis’ graduating Class of 2016. Sports teams were called the Raiders then and now. He recalled the houses that once stood in the area of Glen Road Plaza, the farms that made up Route 12A and how things changed once the interstates rolled through. Clarke and Goodwin made connections of shared friends and relatives.

As Goodwin and Kerrigan talked in the doorway, Anikis and Clarke stole another slap of the hands at the front desk.

Goodwin, who still hasn’t figured out how the ring ended up in Wilder, was “really thrilled” by the call, he said, and to have the ring in hand.

“It’s unbelievable,” Goodwin said. “I never thought I’d see it again.”

Maggie Cassidy can be reached at mcassidy@vnews.com or 603-727-3220.

Correction

There were 155 students who graduated with the Lebanon High School Class of 1965. An earlier version of this story included an incorrect number of students in the class.