LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - "I didn't even know I had a class ring." That was the initial response from 95 year old Franklin Weeks of Lufkin when he received a telephone call from two boys telling him they had found his college class ring. "They called and said, "We found your class ring. You lose it?" I said I didn't know I had a class ring," Weeks said as he recalled the conversation.
Two East Texas boys, 8-year old Sam Lytle and his brother, 12-year old Luke, told Weeks they were trying out their new metal detector when they found a long-lost class ring. He said the boys had enough information that they were able to find him and return the lost treasure. He said the boys and "a houseful of people" visited him on Tuesday to return the ring. He said he never knew a ring could cause so much discussion. He said they spent all that afternoon "talking about that ring and how I lost it and how they found it."
Weeks said the boys told him they found it with their metal detector, buried on the playground at Ryan Chapel Church in Diboll.
Weeks said the reunion with his old college class ring brought back memories of his days at Stephen F. Austin University, then a State Teachers College, from 1932 to 1937. He said when he went to SFA, times were hard. He weighed about 125 pounds, rode the bus and then walked several miles to the college campus. He spoke fondly of staying at the Thomas House, now the Catholic Student Union and spending time at the Wesley Student Center, as well as, the Young Men and Women Christian Association. He said some of the other guys on campus thought he was most unusual because they couldn't get him to "go drink whiskey at all."
Weeks hasn't taken the ring off since it was returned to him. He says he plans to keep it on and is going to make sure he's wearing it when he goes to church Sunday. "I just really congratulated the two boys on doing something. And, I had already put a 20 dollar bill out to give them. But, they didn't want it at all, but I insisted and they did take it. I told them maybe they could get something and maybe they could take it and do more good, as they did in finding my ring."
Weeks said it was nice to see such good character in the young people. "It's just amazing to see how nice they were. I guess one of them must have been eight, the other 10 and they were just as nice as they could be."
Weeks of Lufkin believes he lost his 1937 college class ring sometime in the 1980s while helping his church, Ryan Chapel, in Diboll install new playground equipment.
A staunch SFA alumni, he reminded East Texas News of his scholarship that benefits the student center. "I'm not able to go, but I still support them." Weeks said after graduation he worked for Redland School in Angelina County. He said it was an all grade level school and he had a number of responsibilities, including coaching, scout master, teaching all subjects, and typing teacher. "I used to teach typing, but now a days I just two finger hunt and peck." He said he made 91 dollars a month and said that was a lot of money then. He said a lot of students from Redland went on to college at SFA.