After 49 years, Waxahachie native Edward Sims is finally reunited with his beloved senior ring as a member of the Waxahachie High School class of 1960. The effort took about two years and involved several people, however.

Carolyn Jenkins, a local beauty salon operator and board member of the Waxahachie High School Ex-students Association, said she began assisting with the effort after receiving a phone call from Southlake resident Wanda Joyce.

“Wanda was attending a family reunion in Mineral Wells (Texas) and while she was watching some of her grandchildren playing on a baseball diamond, she spotted a shiny object barely sticking out of the ground,” said Jenkins, noting that Joyce had tried making calls to various places in Waxahachie for a couple of years earlier but had no response.

“She finally called the (WHS) administration building and talked to Mila Salazar, who transferred her call to Nicole Mansell, who contacted Bill Baty, president of the ex-students association,” Jenkins said.

During the search for the ring’s owner, Jenkins contacted several classmates, including fellow class member and Waxahachie resident Robbie Muirhead, who said he found a student named Edward L. Sims listed with the junior class in the annual – but that name wasn’t on the list of members for the class of 1960.

Another 1960 WHS graduate, Truett Huddle, told Jenkins he had remained in contact with Sims until about 10 years ago but thought Sims had passed away.

Jenkins remembered that Sims was raised on Water Street, down the street from where she lived, and thought perhaps she could contact some residents there and pick up some clues. But each contact ended up being a dead end.

“I got on the Internet looking for Edward Sims but nothing turned up,” Jenkins said. “So I went to the Dallas County tax records and found an Edward Lee Sims of Balch Springs.”

After spending some money locating a phone number, she called his Balch Springs residence on Saturday, Aug. 20, and by talking with Sims’ daughter, found out he lived in Cumby.

Sims received a phone call from his daughter, who gave him the news about a letter he’d received from Waxahachie High School. She opened and read the letter to him, which stated his senior class ring had been found in Mineral Wells.

After receiving information as to Sims’ whereabouts, Joyce shipped the ring to him Monday, Aug. 29; he received it Wednesday, Aug. 31. 

In a phone interview with the Daily Light, Sims expressed his gratitude to the people who worked to get his ring back to him.

“I was shocked – I had given up on it, thinking that it was long gone,” Sims said, recalling that while working for the city of Mesquite in the utilities department, beginning in 1962, his crew had toured a plant near a lake in Mineral Wells.

“The day before, we had a barbecue meal out there near the lake and I got stung on the hand by a yellowjacket,” he said. “My finger swelled so I took it off and put it on my little finger.”

At some point, however, the ring slipped off his finger.

“I checked the bus and everywhere else I could think of to look, but after it didn’t show up, I just completely gave up – I just figured it was gone,” he said.

When he received the ring from Joyce, he wasted no time cleaning it.

“I took a toothbrush and cleaned the impacted dirt out and it cleaned up just like new,” he said. “I tried to offer a reward for it or at least pay the shipping cost of it, but they all just said, no, no, no, they wouldn’t hear of it.”

He noted there was only one thing about the ring that disappointed him.

“I guess with it being buried in all that dirt since about 1962, it shrunk quite a bit through the years,” he said with a chuckle.

Contact Paul at paul.gauntt@wninews.com or 469-517-1450.