Saturday, February 13, 2010
The "Love" Ring
The Story of The "Love" Ring as told by my grandmother Verna Long who wrote it down per my request over seven years ago....
On September 7th 1935 Sidney Long put a wedding ring on the finger of Verna Kendall. At Sidney's request Verna had picked it out at a jewelers in Santa Monica and had it shipped C.O.D. to Sidney in Tucson for Sidney to figure out how to pay for it!! As I recall the ring cost $60.00. It had a double row of diamonds on a gold band.
After about 30 years of wear two of the diamonds were lost. Verna was working at the Piano and Organ Center in Santa Monica with the owner Fred Mengarelli. Fred had a brother who worked in the San Francisco area for a Jewelry company. He had agreed to design a ring for me. I used the diamond solitaire that my mother (Verna Muriel Kendall Chestnut) was given as her engagement ring to my stepfather, Charles Chestnut. (This was a story book marriage). Other small diamonds and chips were gathered by my sister Katherine and me from other old jewelry we happened to have on hand including my original wedding ring. I sent everything we had gathered to Fred's brother, who designed this ring. There could never be another exactly like it. I had forgotten exactly how much I had paid for the finished ring, but am sure it was less than $100.00.
Because my ring finger had developed an arthritis bump, I could no longer get the ring off my finger. I had decided to give the ring to my granddaughter Kristie. When Kristie was about 6 years old, I had lost the large diamond. Kristie was the one who found it on the floor of my Corvair. I promised her then, she would inherit the ring when I could no longer wear it.
My grandmother Verna and I went to a local jewelry store in my hometown of Escondido where the ring had to be cut off her finger. I was hoping to wear it on the ring finger of my right hand, but it was too large. It fit my middle finger perfectly without any adjustments. My grandmother passed away the following year at the age of 92 preceded by my grandfather in 1992. After she had given me the ring I would wear it occasionally. Because it was so special to me I was afraid to wear it daily for fear that something would happen to it. Now I wear it always as a reminder of my wonderful grandmother and as a tribute to both my grandparents love for one another as well their love for my great grandmother and great aunt. Happy Valentines Day ~ may your day be surrounded in "Love".