Lost Rings, Found


Kathy West, wife of James West, recovers her husband’s lost senior ring.


Pat Rozycki feels responsible for losing not only her own class ring but James “Jim” West’s class ring as well. Before graduating from South Houston High School in 1970, the two seniors decided to get look-alike class rings to symbolize their steady relationship that continued after high school and into their college lives. “Back in the day, you wore your senior ring and your boyfriend’s senior ring,” Rozycki said.

After they graduated, West went on to study at Texas A&M and Rozycki went to Sam Houston State University. The first Thanksgiving after high school, Rozycki and West attended a bonfire together at Texas A&M. West had joined the Corps of Cadets and was helping to build the fire, which was part of a long tradition that prepared Aggies for their annual game against rivals University of Texas Longhorns. Rozycki had come to College Station to join him for the festivities.

That autumn night at the bonfire was the last time Rozycki would wear those rings.

“It was really, really cold, and I just didn’t notice that the rings had just slipped off my hand,” Rozycki said. Later that night the couple discovered that the rings were gone and nowhere to be found. Forty-five years later and the rings have finally been returned to Rozycki and to West’s wife, Kathy. It was a long process to get the rings back to the owners. A student attending Texas A&M found the rings that night, and handed them over to his mother who, coincidentally, worked near South Houston at Sam Rayburn High School. The mother meant to return the rings back to South Houston but never did. After she passed away, her children found the missing rings in a drawer and returned them to SHHS. James West passed away five years ago, so his wife and son came to South Houston to retrieve his ring. Rozycki’s ring was mailed off to her, as she is now a librarian at a middle school in Springs.

Rozycki was relieved that the rings were found. “It’s one thing to lose your own, but when you lose somebody else’s you know you kind of feel sort of bad,” She said. “I was just kind of astonished that they have come to light after all those years.”