Alabama man hopes to find ring lost in ’50s

Published 7:19 pm Friday, March 16, 2007

George Dana is looking for a ring. One he gave to a girlfriend 50 years ago.

“Maybe the odds are 10 million to 1,” Dana said while placing an advertisement for the ring in The Commercial Dispatch in Columbus. “But I’m going to try to find it.”

Dana, of Fairhope, Ala., was stationed at the Columbus Air Force Base in the late 1950s and, after meeting a girl who attended Mississippi State College for Women — now Mississippi University for Women — the saga of the ring began.

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“I dated a young lady who was living here and she asked one time if she could wear my high school ring on her necklace,” said Dana. “She had it on a little gold chain but the chain was too light and it broke one day.

“We went around and tried to find the ring but we never could.”

While most high school rings are ordered out of catalogues, the students at The Marietta Johnson School of Organic Education, where Dana graduated in 1955, designed their own rings and forged them at a local silver workshop in Fairhope.

“We had an option to either buy a ring like all other schools have or we could make our own because of the facilities in the town where two ladies had a silver shop,” said Dana whose sterling silver ring simply bore the school’s initials, “SOE,” and the year of his graduation.

Dana and the girl broke up.

Dana said he was never upset at her for losing the ring.

“She felt bad about losing it,” said Dana. “But it was just one of those things that happens.”

Dana is hopeful that someone in or around Columbus may have found the ring and will realize the memories it holds for him.

“A while back I got to thinking about my service time and being in Columbus, which was an enjoyable period of my life,” said Dana. “It got me to thinking about the ring.”

The ring’s sentimental value is immeasurable for Dana.

“It’s really hard to say what this means to me,” said Dana. “It’s something I’d like to pass on to my children and my grandchildren.”