Ring lost years ago turns up in sewer

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Kevin Oaks knows from personal experience that all that glitters isn&8217;t gold.

The Calera sanitation worker routinely finds shiny coins and costume jewelry when scooping gravel out of city sewer lines. But last month, while working on the corner of 5th Avenue and 14th Street, another sparkle caught his eye, and he knew right away he had unearthed something special &045;&045; a 1977 Calera High class ring.

Oaks had no way to know how long the ring had been in the sewer, but it was undamaged. After a thorough cleaning, he was able to decipher the initials &8220;V.L.&8221;

That&8217;s when Oaks and fellow employees Richard Russell and Matt Rowland started some detective work. &8220;The day we found it, we went to Calera High after a &8217;77 yearbook,&8221; said Rowland. &8220;A couple of people matched the initials.&8221;

From there, the three men traced the ring back to Montevallo resident Veronica L. Brown, who lost the ring some 20 years ago.

&8220;At first, I didn&8217;t know if she would want it back because of where it was,&8221; said Oaks.

Brown declined a request for an interview, but Roland, who delivered the keepsake to her Monday morning, said she was glad to have the ring back.

&8220;She told me &8216;thank you,&8217;&8221; he said. &8220;She said she wasn&8217;t sure how she lost it.&8221;

Calera High School Principal Ken Mobley applauded the city workers for their effort to return Brown&8217;s ring. &8220;It was a pleasure to help with the yearbooks,&8221; he said. &8220;Those rings are one of the few tangible things people have from high school. They mean so much.&8221;