July 2 (UPI) -- A North Dakota woman who lost her high school class ring 45 years ago had it returned to her, thanks to a chance conversation between two firefighters.
Betty Thompson said she graduated from Flasher High School in 1973 and lost her class ring two years later after moving to Mandan.
"My mom saved her money from selling eggs and cream to buy my class ring for me. I never told my mother because I felt so bad she wasted all her money on me," Thompson told KFYR-TV.
Mike Hanson of Mandan said he was remodeling the basement of his home when he found a Flasher High School ring.
"Then we kind of forgot about it. That was 25 years ago," he said.
Hanson, a part-time firefighter with the Mandan Fire Department, said the ring resurfaced in his home recently. He and his wife were researching the ring's potential origins when he got called to a fire.
Hanson said he put the ring on his finger for safe-keeping, and while on the way back to the station, it caught the eye of fellow firefighter Dan Miller.
"He said it had the initials 'BF' on it. I said, 'You know, wife's aunt's name is Betty.' And her last name was Fleck before she got married. It could be her ring," Miller said.
Miller sent photos of the ring to Thompson, who was shocked to see her long-lost ring.
"I just said, 'It can't be!, And I screamed," Thompson said.
Thompson and Hanson said they have no idea how the ring ended up in the basement 15 years after it was lost.
A New Mexico woman has a similar story to tell after the class ring she lost 35 years ago turned up at the side of an Oklahoma road.
Blake Williams said a coworker found the 1981 Mayfield Trojans ring at the side of a road in Marietta and he decided to try to track down its owner.
Williams messaged the administrators of a Facebook group dedicated to the Mayfield High School Class of 1981, and they were able to connect him with Peggy Brown, who had lost the ring more than 35 years earlier.
"I am so grateful! I never thought I'd see it again, and I just can't believe I have it back on my hand," Brown said. "I haven't been able to stop smiling and sharing the story."