Lost, Then Found
His class had just recently gotten their class rings, so Larry was unaccustomed to wearing his, so he took it off when he, his brother Terry, and a friend, Darrell Herndon, were making camp. They spent a couple of days in the area, swimming in the Mills River, exploring, and tenting overnight in the forest.
When preparing to go home, Larry looked for his new class ring but couldn’t find it. He assumed it was somewhere in his gear or clothing and would be found when he got home. It never was.
Larry was sorry that he lost the ring, but marked it off to bad luck. Lesson learned. Pay closer attention to your stuff.
He pretty much forgot about the ring as he went about his life, attending Gardner-Webb College for two years, then ASTC in Boone, from which he graduated as a science teacher. Over the following decades, he taught and coached at Cherryville and Shelby, N.C. and Blacksburg, S.C.
Although he has retired (twice), he still serves as a substitute teacher at Crest High and Middle Schools, and at Blacksburg High. He lives in Shelby with his wife, Alice.
What Larry didn’t know, and would not find out for almost 50 years, was that someone—a man named Roy Wiser, of Asheville—found the ring, soon after it was lost, and, having no way to search for the owner, had tucked it away in his effects with a note describing when and where it had been found.
Roy died in 2002, and his son, Dick, discovered the ring and the note. The ring, of course, revealed only the name of the school and the year, and Dick, who lived in Florida, had no idea where “Cliffside” was. He tried searching the Internet and could only find a town named Cliffside in New Jersey, and was unable to contact anyone there.
A few years passed, during which Dick Wiser and his daughter occasionally tried, unsuccessfully, to find the ring’s owner. Not long ago Dick once again tried an Internet search for “Cliffside.” This time he found the Remember Cliffside Web site. Bingo. Soon we at Remember Cliffside received an email from Dick telling about the ring, and wondering if we knew anyone in the Cliffside High’s class of 58.
We forwarded the email to Buzz Biggerstaff (class of ‘57) thinking he might be able to help. Buzz called Sam Davis (class of ‘58) and asked for the names of some fellow class members he might call. The first name Sam gave him was…Larry Byrd.
Buzz called Larry, and when he mentioned something about a class ring, Larry volunteered that he had lost his ring in the Asheville area, right after graduation.
Larry called Dick Wiser, who now lives in Jacksonville, N.C., and confirmed that the ring was indeed his by identifying the engraved initials “LSB” on the inside.
Soon the ring arrived at Larry’s door, in a nice jeweler’s box, looking as new as ever. “It means more to me now than it did then,” Larry says, “considering all it’s been through.”
Score another one for Remember Cliffside.