By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
When Landis Trekell graduated from Enid High School in 1953, he bought an Enid High School class ring, along with his classmates. He paid $19 for the ring in 1953, and three years later, he lost it.
The ring was found 57 years later, and Landis now is wearing it.
“He was ecstatic when he saw it,” his son, Kirk Trekell, said.
Landis and his wife bought a house in Alva, where he worked. He was building a storm cellar on the property and was standing on the wood formations of the structure brushing sand off his pants, when the ring fell off his finger and down into the forms.
Landis no longer lives in the house, but his daughter recently drove past it and noticed people tearing the house down. Kirk, who was not born when the ring was lost, asked permission to search for the ring, and found it. Kirk said his father talked about the ring once in a while, regretting that he’d lost it.
Landis did return about 20 years ago to search for the ring. He used a metal detector, knocked holes in the walls, then patched them. He did not find the ring.
“I can relate to that. There were a lot of nails. He cleaned the lumber he used to make the forms with and it was probably used lumber,” Kirk said.
Landis used a concrete block mold, hand-mixed all the cement to pour the floor, and made the concrete blocks himself. He also dug the hole for the cellar by hand. The ring fell inside the wall when it came off his hand and he did not want to tear up the wall trying to find it, Kirk said.
Through the years, Kirk did not say much, but kept it in the back of his mind that the place would be sold and he could buy it. He hoped to buy the property, find the ring for his father, then sell it again.
“The way it worked out, my sister called and said the house had been torn down and they had taken the top off the cellar,” he said. “That was the most disheartening thing about it. They had started to fill in the hole and I had to move debris.”
Kirk said his father told him the ring had fallen in the west wall toward the center. When he finally found the ring, it was on the west side about a foot north of center and had fallen completely to the bottom of the wall.
“When I picked it up, it was intact and it was pretty bright, but smudged. The insignia on top came loose when I rubbed it, the solder had deteriorated,” Kirk said.
The farther Kirk had proceeded down the wall, he saw most of the openings in the blocks had enough concrete in them acquired from the process of laying them, and were completely blocked off. He was beginning to become discouraged, but there was one block that remained open, and he kept going as long as that hole was open, and that is where the ring was.
“I was astonished to see it there. Of all the holes it could have fallen in, it fell in that one,” he said. “It was a real highlight to actually see it and having made the find, then to give it back to Dad and see his face light up,” Kirk said.
His father took the ring to Edigers Diamonds in Enid, and they repaired it. “It looks amazing now,” Kirk said.
“I put it on my finger July 29 and it fit perfectly. I’m wearing it now,” Landis said. “I thought it was pretty amazing to come up with the ring after 57 years.”