Saturday, August 26, 2006

Lord Of The Ring

Way, way back in the dark ages, the mid 1980's, Lovely Wife and I were living in Bossier City, Louisiana.

That's where Number One Daughter was born, by the way.

I was working as a manager of a pizza restaurant in a little town nearby called Haughton. The pizza company I worked for is regional to the northern Louisiana area.

Also in Bossier City, was my Dad's brother and his family. Uncle A and Aunt T had two kids, S, the oldest, a boy, and A, a girl. I'm a couple of years older than S, and we were good friends as kids. We would spend time at one another's house in the summers. My parents and Uncle A and Aunt T were good friends as well.

Anyway, in 1985 and 1986 while we lived in Bossier City, we got to see a lot of these relatives.

My cousin S, had a girlfriend at the time, named Maggie. Maggie was one of those people who had never met a stranger. She was full of life and just a really outgoing person. My cousin S was, and is a sweet, gentle guy, and they matched up well. During this period, S and Maggie would have been about 20. S was in college at LSU-Shreveport at the time.

And since they dated a really long time, S had given his high school ring to her, and I thought they would end up getting married.

But it didn't turn out that way. Maggie's Dad was in the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City. And eventually, as service personnel do, they had to move.

So S and Maggie parted ways.

Now flash forward about 10 years, to a family get-together at Uncle A and Aunt T's house. This was at the end of the summer of 1995.

Aunt T told me a story that blew my mind.

My cousin S, was a graduate of Airline High School there in Bossier City and one day the high school called their house, looking for S.

Aunt T informed them that he was living in Dallas. The school told them that someone had found his high school ring and was trying to return it to him.

Now things get fuzzy for me here, I actually can't remember if it was the High School that called them or if the person who had found the ring had called himself, after getting their number from the school.

Anyway, here's what happened.

Maggie, and her family had moved to an Air Force Base, I believe in either North or South Carolina, on the east coast. Now, Maggie's family had moved on somewhere else, and this person was out working in his back yard on the A.F. Base, and saw something shiny in the dirt. He was someone who lived in the house after Maggie's family had lived there and moved on.

He dug the shiny object out of the earth, and it was a ring. He cleaned it up. Saw that it had Airline High School engraved on it, as well as cousin S's whole name engraved on the inside. This person, bless his heart, took it upon himself to find out where Airline High School was. He contacted the school and told them that he had a graduate's ring, and to make a long story short, cousin S ended up receiving his old high school graduation ring back, years later.

And although, the details of the story are fuzzy to me now, I think about this from time to time when I encounter a situation that makes this big world of 6 billion people or so seem to be smaller.

I haven't worn my high school ring in many years but I like that I still have it in there and take it out to look at from time to time.

I think it's pretty cool that cousin S has his ring back, and an interesting story to go along with it.

I've been sick the last half of this week, that's why my posts have been weak. (Har, har)

I'm hoping I feel well enough tomorrow, to at least get out to the beach to (hopefully) see the next Space Shuttle launch. It being on a Sunday afternoon and all, the beaches will be packed anyway, and lots of folks come over here from Orlando and Disney and all to try to see a launch. So, if we go, it will probably be like last time, just show up on the beach closest to us here early enough to park, and not have to wait too long. And watch the tiny fireball streak up into the sky. In other words, we aren't going to drive north toward Kennedy Space Center, because it's a lot of trouble. I know. I'm pathetic, but I sure don't feel like fighting crowds right now.

Hope to have some more launch pictures here on Monday. If they delay it, it will probably launch while I'm at work, so Sunday's my only real shot to get more pics.

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