Remington Park security guard reunites man with high school state ring 15 years later
Fifteen years ago Lonnell Alexander sat down to take a final exam at the University of Central Oklahoma.
Alexander, who would habitually clink his Wewoka High School basketball state semifinals ring and his class ring together, took them off to focus and walked out of his final without them.
Alexander said he has relentlessly called the university almost every year since, with no luck, and was beginning to lose hope that he would ever find the ring — that's when he received a Facebook notification, alerting him that he had been tagged in a post searching for the owner of the ring.
Lacey Caddell, a security guard at Remington Park, said she first noticed the ring in the lost in found when she began working at the racetrack in October. Several months passed and she continuously came across the ring, until one day, she decided to try to find the owner.
“I came across it for a third time and I was like ‘OK, this time I'm serious, I have to find the owner,' ” Caddell said.
Caddell said she turned to social media and created a detailed Facebook post containing several images of the ring. About 16 people shared the post, Caddell said, and not too long after, someone who knew Alexander tagged him.
'It was straight hugs'
“I was at my office and we were wrapping up doing a clothing drive and I was separating the clothes out, bagging them up, and my phone buzzes ‘ding, you've got a Facebook notification,' ” Alexander said. “As soon as I saw it, I was like ‘I need a number and an address, I'm on the way right now.' ”
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Caddell said she felt it was very important for her to reunite Alexander with his ring in person and waited a couple hours past when she was supposed to be off work to give the ring to him.
“‘I'm like no, he's gotta get here and I have to personally give him this ring,' ” Caddell said.
When the two met up, Caddell and Alexander said it was like they had known each other for years.
“It wasn't handshakes, it was straight hugs,” Alexander said.
Caddell said she felt connected to Alexander because she too lost both of her high school state track rings and understands the heartbreak one can feel after losing something with such sentimental value.
“I know what it's like to lose something that's valuable — something that holds a lot of memories — because, yes, you can replace it but it's not the same as the original, so I knew I had to find him,” Caddell said.
Alexander said the ring brings him back to the year he and his teammates, who he is still close with, gave it their all to get to state.
“Our senior year, we vowed — we had six seniors on the team — and it was like ‘all right, we're going to state, we're winning it,' ” Alexander said. “We worked our tails off that year and we made it to state — we ended up losing by five, but just the memories that I put in with my teammates, those memories are invaluable.”
Inspiring more good deeds
Alexander said he has no idea how the ring eventually ended up at Remington Park, but is beyond grateful that Caddell took the time to find him and reunite him with his irreplaceable possession.
“As little as it might be, it's big to us because it's so positive,” Caddell said.
The experience affected Caddell so deeply that she said she wants to continue helping people and giving back in any way that she can.
“This little thing brightened up my entire month — I had good days for the rest of that month after he got his ring back because I'm like ‘OK, well if I did this for him, what else can I do for somebody else?'” Caddell said. “He taught me how to be selfless in those hours of us uniting.”
Caddell and Alexander also found a new friendship out of the ordeal and still share many smiles and much laughter as they make an effort to keep in touch.
“I tried to give and be grateful and I'm a firm believer that if you do it ungrudgingly — if you do those things without expecting something in return, you will always get something in return,” Alexander said.