Just as with the atom, the World Wide Web is capable of both great harm and great good. Mike Brown’sWeb site falls into the good category.
After my column last week on the serendipitous discovery of a lost Virginia Tech class ring, Fredericksburg reader Jeannette A. Metzler told me about Mike’s Web site.
In 2001, he started alumniarchive.net, a site where high school classmates can check in with each other and get news on upcoming reunions. He soon noticed that people were using it for something else.
“After a couple of years, I was getting so many lost and found ring requests that it didn’t make sense to keep it internal to their sites anymore,” Mike said. “People would just post on [a high school] discussion board for example. Guys like me and you, we’d have no idea that that person had lost their ring.”
So in 2004 Mike spun off classringfinder.com, an online database where losers are linked up with finders. If you’ve lost your class ring, simply enter the details. If you’ve found one, you can look to see if there’s a match.
A couple of hundred people visit the site each day, Mike said. “It’s not a real high-traffic site yet, but one thing that’s nice about it is, it does have a lot of rings posted on it now.”
As of Monday, there were 15,524 lost rings on the site and 3,342 found rings. They come from all around the country.
Four were posted Tuesday, including a Concordia Class of 1995 ring lost in Vancouver, B.C.; a Welland (Ontario) Centennial High Class of 1994 ring lost in the “Niagara region”; and a Lakeland Union High School ring lost in Ashwaubenon, Wis. “My parents will kill me if they find out,” wrote that ring loser, who hasn’t even graduated yet. (The ring is from the Class of 2013.)
I love the pathos in this one, from my alma mater, Rockville High, whose ring “has been lost, stolen, pawned or anything could have happened to it. My ex-boyfriend wore it on his necklace when I was his girlfriend back in time. He claimed it has been lost.”
Mike monitors the site to weed out opportunists looking to scam some gold. He also works with “treasure hunters,” those metal-detector guys who are always eager for a lead on some adventure and enjoy doing a good deed.
And he looks for his own ring, Upper Marlboro’s Douglass High, Class of 1974, lost in 1977 as he washed his hands. “I lost it along the interstate in a rest stop,” Mike said. “That was the last time I saw it.”
Speaking of high school, these area high school classes are reuniting in the coming months. For reunions I listed earlier, visit wapo.st/kellyreunions, wapo.st/kellyreunions2 and wapo.st/kellyreunions3.
Anacostia Class of 1961 — Sept. 17. E-mail Diane at email@example.com or 301-782-7407.
Eastern Class of 1986 — Sept. 25. Quanic@hotmail.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thomas A. Edison classes of 1968-70 — Pre-reunion: Sept. 14, 2012. www.classreport.org.
Thomas A. Edison classes of 1980 and 1981 — Oct. 8. Class of 1980 contact Scott Lewis: email@example.com. Class of 1981 contact Jean Watts Mallory: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Francis C. Hammond Class of 1962 — June 8 and 9, 2012. Contact Tommy Morris, Tomymorris@msn.com, or Kassy Benson, KassyBenson@yahoo.com.
Herndon Class of 1971 — Oct. 21-22. Contact Linda (Boyd) Wells: Linda121953@aol.com, 540-547-1788; or Terry (Johnson) DelCasino, Terdelcas@aol.com, 301-943-4639.
High Point Class of 1966 — Oct. 29. www.greatreunions.com.
Lackey Class of 1971 — Aug. 27. www.lackeyalumni.com.
LaPlata Class of 1966 — Oct. 8. email@example.com.
Richard Montgomery Class of 1956 — Sept. 23. Contact Gloria Poole at 301-641-0117.
Richard Montgomery classes from the 1950s — Picnic Reunion. Sept. 24. Contact Gloria Poole at 301-641-0117.
Oakton Classes of 1969-72 — Aug. 27. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Oxon Hill Class of 1976 — Sept. 24. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pomonkey Class of 1961 — Oct. 22. Call 301-875-2304.
Rockville Class of 1976 — Oct 1. Contact Steve Poole at 301-370-5778 or email@example.com.
Rockville classes of 1980-82 — Oct. 22. E-mail Ruth Ann Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Suitland Class of 1961 — Oct. 22. Contact: Suitland High School, Class of 1961 Reunion, P.O. Box 98, Severna Park, MD 21146.
Washington-Lee Class of 1986 — Oct. 22. www.capitalreunions.
West Springfield Class of 1971 — Oct. 7. www.classreport.org.
T.C. Williams Class of 1986 — Oct. 15. www.classreport.org.
H.D. Woodson Class of 1976 — Sept. 9. Contact DeAndre Lee at 240-475-7502.
W.T. Woodson Class of 1991 — Oct. 1. www.capitalreunions.