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COLUMNIST: Lost-and-found Class of 1966, 1983 Perham high school rings are 'good news' stories we love to share

Everybody loves a story with a happy ending.

We published one of those "feel good" stories a couple months ago, about Perham resident Marge Licence--who recovered her lost high school ring after 43 years.

The happy ending was a result of the power of mass communications the internet.

Well, the Marge Licence story has a sequel, of sorts. It involves another Perham graduate, Dan Sweere, and his Class of 1983 Yellowjacket ring.

After reading the January 2009 article about Marge's ring, Michelle Betzel-Lammers posted a note on the website.

Michelle, from Montana, had a class ring, which she had found when she lived in Perham for 20 years. She did not attend school here, but her children did: Joshua Walczesky and Andrea Demich-Young.

"l always wondered if I would find the owner," wrote Michelle. "I figured that the article was sort of a last hope."

She received two replies regarding the ring, which she kept in a container on her desk ever since she found it. One of the replies was from Dan Sweere's brother, Paul, and another from Jill Link.

From Paul, Dan was notified and Michelle mailed the ring back to Perham.

Michelle doesn't recall how or where she found the ring initially, but believes it might have been at a lake or along the Otter Tail River, near where she lived.

"A very cool ending to an interesting side story," wrote Dan Sweere, after getting his 1983 ring back. He is considering having the ring re-worked, so he can eventually give it to his son, who is now 12-years-old.

The ring had been lost for at least 25 years. Dan attributed the story to the "power of the media and the internet. But also the power that Perham has to those who are from here, but move away."

"Many leave and then struggle, often for a large portion of their lives, to get back here somehow--or at least maintain a (strong desire) to keep up with what's happening in Perham," wrote Dan.

Despite the media's (mostly exaggerated) reputation of digging for bad and sensational news, we'll take a "good news" story like those of Marge Licence and Dan Sweere any day.

If I dare insert a shameless promotional plug here: If Perham has that remarkable allure and sentimental draw for you, keep in touch through your hometown newspaper and your local newspaper website,

You never know what long-lost, or newly-found, treasures may be awaiting you.