OKMULGEE, Okla. — "If a ring could talk, what a story it could tell."
David Dunlap is talking about a class ring that's been sitting in the desk of a church secretary in Tulsa for who knows how long.
"She was retiring and said that somewhere along the line come across a class ring from Okmulgee High School from 1963."
The secretary needed his help to find its owner. As assistant principal at the school, Dunlap has access to yearbooks going to back to the beginning of the school.
"It just so happens that there were only two people in the yearbook that had the matching initials," Dunlap said. "And one of them was a female."
The initials T.R.P. meant the ring had to belong to Thomas Raymond Pickard who was very excited to get the phone call.
"We knew it was gone, but we didn't know where or how," Pickard said.
He remembers having it at his five-year class reunion in 1968.
"We don't remember it after that," he said.
Missing for more than half a century, the ring is now bringing back memories of Pickard's days playing football and basketball, and the beautiful girl he gave his ring.
"She had my ring when I was a senior and she was a sophomore," Pickard said.
She later became his wife.
"The coaches had all told the senior guys that they were not to give their letter jackets to their girlfriends," Krista Pickard said. "So the ring was better."
"I remember her having to put tape around the bottom of it to make it stay on her hand because it was too big," Thomas Pickard said. "I'm sure now it's too little for me. I was really thin back then."
During all those decades the ring was missing, these high school love birds built a life together. Married for 54 years, they've raised five children, 29 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. But now the ring symbolizes their love and will be kept in a safe place ready for the next generation.
"It was really a unique and pretty ring, so I'm glad that he has it and will be able to pass it down to his kids and grandkids," Krista Pickard said. "It's a memory!"
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