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Chuck Hinman: IJMA. High School Class Ring

Chuck Hinman: High School Class Ring. Chuck supposes his Nebraska 'egg paid for' class ring is probably still lying on Guam, that remote South Pacific island where he was playing volleyball during a break in the action of World War Two.
Next earlier Chuck Hinman column - I Left My Heart At The Stage Door Canteen

By Chuck Hinman

High School Class Ring

In the fall of 1938, we thirteen Liberty, Nebraska, high school Juniors were told to be prepared to meet with the class ring salesman to select and order our class rings.

We were in the depths of the depression and 'everything else bad' days. About the only dependable cash flow the Hinman family had was Mom's pact with her egg-laying hens.<


Mom was an expert in her relationship with her hens. If anyone could come up with a few unexpected bucks, it was Mom and her buddies in the chicken house.

Silence is deafening when Chuck announces he ordered ring

When I announced at the supper table that the highlight of my day was that I had placed an order for my class ring and that I would need $14.00 to pay for it when it arrived in the spring of 1939, the silence was deafening until what I had just said soaked in.

"SAY THAT AGAIN CHUCK" my Dad said in an ear-shattering monotone. He then proceeded to deliver to me personally at close range (I ducked the spit from his loose-fitting false teeth) the state of the Hinman family finances.

Where would fourteen dollars come from?

He didn't pause long enough for me to explain my idea where the 14 bucks was coning from. The truth is, I hadn't thought about it; the other twelve classmates were placing orders and it seemed the thing to do. Wrong!

The last I remember of the table-talk that evening was that I would cancel the order the next day. I don't suppose I slept that night.

As happened so many times in depression days with money problems, Mom bought some time by putting her hands on her hips and saying, "Well, let's see!" Those three words seemed to always work magic for the need involved.

Class ring lost on Guam during World War Two

I proudly wore my red Class of 1939 Liberty, Nebraska, High School class ring until I lost it playing volleyball during a break in the action on the sandy soil of Guam, Mariana Islands during World War Two.

That Nebraska 'egg paid for' class ring is probably still lying where I lost it 62 years ago on that remote South Pacific island.

Thankful ring is lost rather than on dead body

I recently revisited that volleyball court in my memories, thankful that $14.00 class ring is still lying in the sand where it flew off my finger in 1945 and not attached to my body remains as some class rings are.

I won't ever return to Guam except in my memories. I can almost hear the rowdy cheering of my 871st buddies -- most of whom are now gone but their memory lives on in their buddies.

Written by Chuck Hinman, 7 August 2007.



This story was posted on 2013-08-11 19:35:58
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