When one of your hobbies is walking the beaches of Cape Cod with a metal detector, sometimes you find something pretty special.
But for Lucas Berube, of Orleans, Massachusetts, his hobby doesn’t stop there.
He prides himself on tracking down the history of each ring he’s found – and getting them back on the hands of their rightful owners.
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“Class rings you have a shot, usually you at least have initials, and if you have a year of a school you can kind of narrow it down,” Berube said.
Berube found an old class ring in shallow water, with an inscription that reads, “Sutton High School…1976.”
Cheryl Smith, of Sutton, who was Cheryl Chase back in 1976, says she remembers how proud of herself she was for buying the ring.
“I babysat on Saturday nights to save up for the ring and I was so proud of myself, I bought it myself,” Smith said.
Smith remembers vividly the day she lost her treasured class ring, swimming with friends at the beach.
“I took my ring off, I put it on the blanket, went into the water for a while, came out, the tide was going in, the blanket was saturated and no ring anywhere,” Smith said.
The ring would be lost at sea for 44 years, tarnished and sunk in the rocky sand.
But thanks to Berube’s hobby, a few initials, a graduation date, and the power of Facebook, Berube tracked Smith down.
And Berube drove more than 100 miles to reunite Smith with her past.
“Look at this! My ring!” Smith exclaimed on Friday. "It’s been gone for so long, I never thought I’d see it again.”
Berube said, “When you can actually reunite somebody with something they lost 10, 20, 30, 50 who knows how many years ago, it gives a new sense of meaning to it.”
Especially in a year when small gestures of kindness and connection have taken on a new meaning.
“It means a lot," Smith said. "This year has been incredible for everyone and this was a ray of hope that things are going to get better.”