After 45 years, class ring found in Sunderland field, returned to owner
By MELINA BOURDEAU The Recorder, July 23, 2019
GREENFIELD — Forty-five years after graduating from Greenfield High School, Caroline Abercrombie not only reunited with classmates on Friday, but with her class ring.
The ring was unearthed in a field at Thomas Farm and Dairy in Sunderland just two weeks earlier on July 8 by owner Jim Thomas while he was picking cucumbers.
The field used to be a tobacco field, but now it’s home to miscellaneous vegetables, according to Thomas, who has been farming on the land for about 10 years.
Thomas said he was impressed he was able to find the ring because of the odds of the situation.
“I’ve never found anything in the field, it’s big. The soil has been plowed over and over again,” Thomas said. “It was a potato farm for a while, so they didn’t get to see the ring while they were working because they probably used a tractor. I was bending over looking for cucumbers.”
While he was looking, he said he saw something small and green, but it was no cucumber.
“I saw something in the ground, a shiny speck,” Thomas said. “When I picked it up, it was a ball of dirt. When I cleaned it off, I found the ring in perfect condition.”
After washing off the dirt, Thomas noticed a set of initials engraved in the ring. He was able to identify that it was Abercrombie’s easily.
“I know it was a woman’s ring, so I Googled the alumni from Greenfield High School Class of 1974,” Thomas said. “Her initials matched the ones on the ring.”
Thomas then discovered the approaching reunion online and planned to surprise Abercrombie with the ring during the ceremony.
“It was a little awkward at first. We asked for her and she wasn’t there yet,” Thomas said. “We ended up telling everyone about why we were there and they got excited to get her there.”
Abercrombie said she thinks the ring may have been lost since her sophomore year of high school, shortly after she got it.
“I worked on the tobacco farm for a couple summers, but I didn’t even work in the field,” Abercrombie said. “I worked in the barn. The only time I was in the field was when I was walking to the bus stop.”
While Thomas was waiting for Abercrombie at the reunion, she was being indecisive about whether or not she should go. But then she started getting text messages from her classmates.
“People kept texting me saying, ‘You have to come!’” Abercrombie said. “So I came in at about 10 p.m. I had no clue what was going on.”
She said her classmates urged her to come over to them, which was when she was given the ring by Thomas, and took photos.
“It made my day, it made my year,” Abercrombie said. “I couldn’t believe they took the time to clean it, it looked new. It was so heartfelt.”
Reach Melina Bourdeau at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-772-0261, ext. 263.