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'91 Jefferson HS grad reunited with lost ring

Strangers work together to return long-lost graduation ring

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SAN ANTONIO – David Fernandez said he is awed by the generosity of total strangers who, through the years, have kept his ring safe until it could return to his finger after more than 20 years.

He will get it back this month when his brother takes it to Houston after a long journey of mistakes, crime and goodwill.

Fernandez graduated in 1991, but said he hit troubling times and gave the ring to his brother, Victor Fernandez, for safekeeping.

The ring was misplaced at Victor Fernandez's home in Augusta, Georgia, for 15 years. Once found, it was stolen out of Victor's truck by a teenager who was apprehended later, but without the ring.

Somehow, someone managed to find it and drop it in a mailbox on the street, where it was then found by a letter carrier in Augusta. She noticed the markings on it and contacted a Thomas Jefferson High School website set up for reunions and alumni news that is run by Don Moore.

Moore created the TJHS.com site, but had never been asked to try to find a class ring.

"The postal worker in Augusta, Georgia, found it, looked on the website for anything having to do with Thomas Jefferson," Moore said. "She called me, wrote to me and asked if I thought I could find the person and I said probably as good as anybody else."

He posted a story about the ring and pictures and waited. That was five long years ago.

The story changed dramatically when Victor Fernandez happened upon the site last week, looking for reunion news and saw the story about the ring.

He recognized it immediately and called his brother with the good news. He even drove down to San Antonio last weekend to pick it up from Moore, and is once again holding it for his brother.

The two Fernandez brothers are planning to get together later in May for David's son's graduation from high school, and David Fernandez said he plans to be wearing his ring proudly.

As for Moore, he said he's proud that his little website produced such happiness.

"We just love our school. And to be able to bring something to one of the members of our community that they thought was lost is really exciting," he said.

The Thomas Jefferson website is TJHS.com. If you visit there, you'll find the old posting of the lost ring and learn the rest of the story.