Saturday, May 24, 2014


Last week I wrote about a 1975 high school ring that PermaRec reader Frank Bitzer recently discovered while going through his late mother's belongings. There's been a new development on that front.

First, a quick recap: As you may recall, Frank's mother found the ring on the side of a highway in 1984 but apparently never attempted to locate its owner. Frank had trouble reading the school's name on the ring, so he sent it to me, hoping I could find the owner. I determined that the ring had belonged to Jeff Weeks, who had graduated in 1975 from Indian Lake High School in Ohio. I had two short conversations with Jeff's brother, Todd Weeks, and traded a few awkward voicemails with Jeff, but Jeff never actually gave me his shipping address for returning the ring. For that matter, he didn't seem particularly interested in the ring at all. Then he stopped responding to my calls.

For the next few days, every time the phone rang, I thought to myself, "That's gotta be Jeff Weeks." But it never was. And whenever I received a voicemail, I thought to myself, "That's gotta be Jeff Weeks." But it never was.

Then I came home one day to find a voicemail from Todd Weeks — Jeff's brother. The message, which was spoken in a very slow, almost disinterested-sounding voice, went like so:

Hello, this is Todd Weeks. My brother said you keep missing each other. You wanted the story on the ring, but he doesn't even remember — it was 30 years ago. [Long pause.] He doesn’t even know. I was thinkin' you might wanna mail him the ring. It's Jeff Weeks, [address redacted]. That's Jeff Weeks, [address redacted]. [Long pause.] He doesn't remember anything about the ring. [Long pause.] Thank you. Bye.

There was an additional long pause — about seven seconds — between "Bye" and the official end of the voicemail. Very odd. Even odder, if Todd and Jeff discussed my attempts to return the ring, as appears to be the case, why did Todd call me back instead of Jeff? Those Weeks brothers — such inscrutable characters!

And just to be clear, I never asked Jeff or Todd for "the story on the ring." Rather, I thought Jeff might be interested in hearing the story of the rather circuitous route the ring had taken on its way back to him. But I guess he doesn't care, which of course is his prerogative.

Anyway: Since Todd gave me Jeff's address, I dropped the ring in the mail. I included a note with my phone number, just in case he wants to get in touch and provide a bit of closure, but I don't expect to hear from him. If I do, though, I'll provide an update here.

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