Ring finds way to Perry

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 21, 2008

AHOSKIE – What was once lost now is found.

Twenty- five years ago, Jimmy Creasy of Sedley, Virginia, was using his metal detector when he found an Ahoskie High School class ring in a churchyard about eight miles from his home.

Creasy has been friends with Bobby Eure, the manager of the Senior Citizen Apartments in Ahoskie, since 1966.

“Bobby Eure was working with me at Union Camp when I told him about it, and he called the school and talked to the principal,” said Creasy. “The principal looked in the 1956 yearbook and found a student who graduated that year with the same initials as in the ring, so we knew who it belonged to; now: where to find her?”

Fast forward to the present when Linda Edwards, neighbor and friend of Creasy, was looking for the whereabouts of classmates for a class reunion.

“I casually mentioned the ring to her while she was trying to find out where Barbara Elizabeth Harrell was living, which she did and here we are,” said Creasy.

Barbara Elizabeth Harrell, now Barbara Perry, a 1956 graduate from Ahoskie High School, said she first realized her ring was missing in the late 1960s.

Perry lived in Suffolk for 15 years and said she put an ad for her ring in the Suffolk paper, but never had any response.

“I thought my ring was stolen,” said Perry.

When she got the call about her ring, Perry said she didn’t know what to feel.

“I couldn’t imagine that it was my ring,” said Perry.

“It meant a lot to get this ring back,” she added. “My parents had 10 kids and they scrimped to buy the ring; I know what it took for them to buy it.”

Metal detecting is Creasy’s main hobby; he has been using his metal detector for over 40 years and specializes in finding Civil War relics.

Creasy said he practices his metal detecting skills by going over old home sites and playgrounds.

Creasy said the look on Perry’s face when she saw her ring was worth it.

“Metal detecting is exciting because you never know what you will find,” said Creasy.

“When you get a reading and hear a response, you never know what you have found until you dig it up; it could be a sardine can, but it could be a treasure.”

Eure agrees that metal detecting is exciting.

“It is a different world,” he said.

Creasy said one of his most exciting finds was a Civil War bayonet that was sticking straight down in the ground. The metal detector gave him a small reading, but once he started digging, he could see there was actually a bayonet hidden underground.

He added that his best find was a Texas button from a Confederate uniform he found in Suffolk.