Seeking A Special Gift: Hopes are pinned to finding a 1940 Loyd Star ring
A Brookhaven mother with three small children got on a bus headed to the jeweler. It was 1944 and Her husband was at war.
Since having the children, Hazel Calcote’s class ring no longer fit, so she was hoping to have it resized. She stuck it on her pinky for the bus ride. That was the last time Calcote saw her Loyd Star High School Class of 1940 ring – on a Brookhaven bus.
It was in the wake of the Great Depression, and her family had scraped together just enough money to pay for the simple yellow gold ring with Loyd Star High School and her graduating year inscribed on it. Calcote was devastated when she realized the ring had slipped off her finger.
She has told the ring story many times to her children and grandchildren.
“She still cries over that ring,” said Katrina Tamsen, Calcote’s daughter. “Out of all the jewelry she has every owned, it’s the most important and that’s including her wedding ring,”
Calcote was one of few to graduate that year and is now the only remaining member of the class. She was class president, played basketball and was active in drama.
In more recent years, Calcute was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She will be celebrating her 93rd and possibly her last birthday on June 25, her daughter said. In one last effort, Tamseon is hoping to reunite her mother with a class ring.
“It would mean the world to her,” said Tamsen. “If anyone has such a ring, I would love to purchase it for her. I believe it would make her very happy, even if it was not her actual ring. I know it is a very, very long shot, but it would mean the world to her on this, her last birthday.”
When Calcote’s husband, Lee Russell Calcote, returned from the war, he became a minister and Calcote joined his side as a very involved minister’s wife. Then, at 50-years-old, she followed her dream and returned to school to become a nurse. She was living in Kansas before her diagnosis, but is now with her daughter in Colorado Springs receiving treatment.
Tamsen said the treatment is not working and there is discussion of stopping everything.
“She still has her spunk, but it’s fading,” said Tamsen, which is why the search for a ring has become so important. “I think this would give her validation that things can work out.”
When family and friends gather for the 93-year-old’s birthday, Tamsen hopes that by some miracle she will be able to give her dying mother the one thing she has missed the most, a gold Loyd Star High School 1940 class ring.