While tearing apart the Comstock High School locker room, Doug Ludwick made an odd discovery -- one that would lead to a special reunion for one Kalamazoo woman, who got back something from her past she lost nearly five decades ago.
"I tipped a locker over and a ring fell out,” Ludwick said. “I saw it bouncing on the floor, so I picked it up."
The immediate questions posed: how did a 1971 Loy Norrix High School class ring make its way into a Comstock High School locker room?
“Doug brought the ring to me and I couldn't believe it,” administrative assistant to the athletic director Shirley Doorlag said. “I've lost my ring and I really wanted it back, so I'm like ‘I'm not going to leave this, I'm going to find the owner.’”
With limited information other than the letter ‘N,’ with initials ‘A-O’ found engraved on the ring, Doorlag went to work.
“We went through the archives and went through all the yearbooks from '68-'71,” Doorlag said. “You felt like a detective.”
Shirley came to the conclusion that the ‘A-O’ she was looking for was none other than Angelita Olivares.
“I received a text from someone who said ‘we think we found your ring,’ and I thought, 'How can that be?' They said, ‘yeah we really think we found your ring,’” Angelita Kolodzieyczyk, whose maiden name is Olivares, said.
Kolodzieyczyk recalls the day she lost her beloved class ring after gym class.
“Put it in my locker and never thought anything about it,” Kolodzieyczyk said. “[When] gym class was over, I went to my locker, went to retrieve my ring and it was gone. The only thing I could think of is someone stole my ring.”
Kolodzieyczyk purchased the ring in 1970 while she was a junior at Loy Norrix before transferring to Comstock for her senior year.
“It took me a while to get used to that it was gone. That I had worked so hard and got this special ring for me. It meant a lot. That I had went to high school, graduated, and had nothing to show for it in a way,” Kolodzieyczyk said.
Doorlag said Kolodzieyczyk couldn’t believe the chances of finding her ring; a treasure that had been buried for almost five decades.
“She kept looking at it as I was talking to her,” Doorlag said.
Kolodzieyczyk light-heartedly joked about the condition of the ring, which withstood 47 years of life unscathed, resembling what it did in 1970.
“I was like, ‘this can't be real.’ I mean it's been 47 years. We finally did the math; it took us a while to figure out the math on this. 47 years this ring had been gone, and it's in perfect condition. I wish I was in as perfect condition as the ring,” Kolodzieyczyk said.