MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Miami Beach Senior High School graduate had long given up hope of seeing his class ring ever again after it was lost in Italy more than two decades ago. But John C. Sims high school graduation ring is finally heading home thanks to social media.

Sims, a 1981 Miami Beach Senior High School graduate who now lives near Nashville Tenn., last saw his class ring in 1989 while serving in the Navy in Naples Italy.

He didn’t think he’d ever see it again. That was until this week, after a retired Navy family in Virginia used the internet to make a connection for the ring it found twenty years ago.

Miami Beach Senior High School Alumni activist Margie Schulman Alter of Boca Raton heard from the family in Virginia and subsequently posted a question and photos on the “Beach High” Facebook page as well as her own Facebook page:

“Does anyone know John Sims, Class of ’81 MBSHS, Beach High football player #56? MBSHS class ring found 20 years ago however, placed in a drawer (NOT my drawer) and forgotten until recently. See photos. Click to enlarge.”

Sims was conducting personal business in Nashville on Monday when he noticed several communications about him on Facebook. A friend called. Once Sims saw the photos, he knew it was his ring. He had paid extra to have the football player image and his number etched into it. His name is also engraved in it.

Sims thinks his class ring got stuck inside a softball glove he used in Italy 25 years ago. He was ashore from his assignment aboard the USS Forrestal. Somehow the glove, part of the recreation equipment provided for Navy personnel, was packed up and brought back to a naval base in Virginia, he believes. A handful of years later, The Pickens, a Navy family in Norfolk, recovered Sims ring on a baseball field and stored it in a drawer after failing to find its owner. Very recently, Kitty Pickens, originally from Hollywood, FL, decided to search again from her Virginia home – this time using the internet. She was able to contact Alter, who has maintained the Miami Beach Senior High School Alumni Association web site and is a contributor to its Facebook page.

Sims said he spoke to Pickens about the ring’s odyssey and provided a mailing address for an overnight and registered delivery. He hopes to have the ring no later than Thursday.


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