Lost and found objects have fascinating stories about the journey they make through space and time. Such is the story of New York resident Mary Jo Orzech, who tracked down the owner of a high school graduation ring from 1955. Orzech found the ring in her father’s dresser at her parent’s house in Pennsylvania after they had passed away. When she came across the ring that belonged to someone from the class of 1955 of Lackawanna High School, she decided to find the owner and return it to them. When Orzech, a librarian at The Brockport College, began her investigation, she had only two facts - first, the ring did not belong to anyone in her family, and second, it had faded initials of E.L.D inside it.
Orzech contacted the Lackawanna Public Library to see if they had a yearbook from 1955 that could give some clues, but they did not. Orzech did not give up and tried to contact the high school library, but it was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the roadblock, Orzech kept trying and eventually, she was able to contact Susan Palumbo, the librarian of Lackawanna High School. Luckily enough, Palumbo was able to find a yearbook that belonged to the class of 1955. Orzech was happy to find that the only person in that class with the initials of E.L.D. was Eugene Darmstedter, a man who is now 83 years old.
Orzech reached out to Darmstedter’s grandson Tony who connected her to his grandfather Eugene. Happy with the reunion, Eugene told Channel 2 of WGRZ-TV that he felt like he graduated again. He believes that the ring had slipped from his hand during a softball game in 1958. He had tried to look for it but being unable to find it, he gave up, Eugene added.
However, it remains a mystery how Orzech’s father found the ring. The mystery may never be solved, according to Orzech, because her father is gone.