Martin E. Comas –
Louise Hearst Entzminger probably figured her college class ring was gone for good after it fell to the bottom of a popular swimming hole near Longwood in the 1930s.
But now, almost 37 years after her death, Entzminger’s gold ring — with a Mississippi Woman’s College emblem on the outside and her maiden name inscribed on the inside — is in the hands of her 75-year-old grandson, thanks to the efforts of a determined scuba diver.
“It’s a pretty amazing set of circumstances,” said grandson John Entzminger of Oakton, Va. “I had absolutely no idea that my grandmother lost it.”
Just as amazed is Reed Banjanin, who discovered the ring last summer while diving in the spring where she apparently lost it. He later tracked down her grandson.
“I’ve been diving for almost 20 years,” Banjanin, 38, said, “and this is definitely the coolest thing I’ve ever found.” Banjanin lives in The Springs, which in the ’30s was known as Sanlando Springs, a popular spot for bathers in what was then a rural area. Today,
The Springs is a gated subdivision off busy State Road 434, and the swimming area is used only by residents and guests.
Last July, Banjanin was swimming about 25 feet below the surface in The Springs when his metal detector began chirping near an underwater cave.
The AT&T electronics technician with an easygoing manner frequently scouts local springs and caves in search of hidden treasures.