MV Obsession

My obsession with Martha's Vineyard.. phototography..genealogy and life in general and this and that…


80 Years Ago…

80 years ago today on June 27, 1936 my parents Maude Louise Littlefield and Joseph Albert (Al) Freeman were married in Baltimore, MD.  They sort of eloped although apparently everyone knew.  Sadly there are no wedding pictures although in my minds eye I have created one.

These are my parents on their 25th anniversary in 1961 and their 30th in 1966


And here, for your enjoyment (I hope) the story of my mother’s engagement ring.

This is the beach in Oak Bluffs, this is where we always went when I was growing up. I remember one time in particular when I was there with my parents when I was about three or four years old.


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After playing in the water with my dad and digging in the sand with my mom we started gathering up our blanket and things to leave. All of a sudden my mother gasped and yelled for my father… “my diamond ring is gone” she said in alarm. My dad immediately took charge of the situation by telling me NOT to move, just stay put.  I quickly rushed over to the people nearby and told them my mother had just lost her ring in the sand and my father was going to find it. So much for listening. They, along with other beach goers who had heard me, started to get up to help my father look for the ring. “No” he said.. “don’t walk on the sand, if the sand is disturbed any further the ring will sink lower, I think I might have only one chance to find it.” We all held our breaths as he surveyed the situation and then after what seemed like an eternity (especially to me who was staying still) he scooped up a handful of sand. Miraculously there, shining out from the sand was my mothers diamond engagement ring.


I’m still amazed that he found it, how did he know where to look, how had my running through the sand not made it sink lower. I’m sure that ring was being watched over somehow.








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Another Ring Story …

Last July I wrote a post about my mother losing her diamond engagement ring in the sand at Oak Bluffs.  You can click here and read ‘Diamond In The Rough’.

In flipping through my memory bank I discovered that my mother had yet another ring experience years later in the 1960′s concerning MV, Oak Bluffs in particular.

This is my mother on her graduation day from Oak Bluffs High School in 1926.

(Oak Bluffs High School is NOT the regional high school. Before the MV Regional High School was built in the early 1960′s, each town had its own high school).

Each school had its own ring.  I remember the ring clearly, it was gold with a flat black front with the emblem for OB high school on it… along the sides was the year, 1926.  My mother loved that ring and was devastated when one day she couldn’t find it.

If you’ve read the post about the first ring my dad found you’ll know that my dad was determined to find this ring also.. he was the only hope.  He turned our apartment upside down… inside out… searched behind every cushion and pillow… moved furniture… moved it again.  He took apart the drains in the kitchen and bathroom sinks.  Went through every drawer, every closet, every pocket, every nook and cranny.  But alas, his powers of ring finding failed him, and the beloved ring was decreed officially…. gone.

My mother was beyond upset. Her mother had gotten the ring for her though times were tough, and now, a tangible connection to Martha’s Vineyard and to her mother was gone.

But wait…. there is a happy ending…

… behold… an Oak Bluffs High School ring with 1926 on it !  How could that be? My mother contacted MV Regional High School and found out the name of the company who provided the school rings.  She wrote the company a letter and got back a response saying that yes, they had rings but NOT the style of the lost one.  However, they could make up a  ring  in the current style and put the OB emblem and 1926 on it.  She ordered it.  It’s a beautiful ring and she wore it occasionally… but of course it never replaced the original one.

I wonder what becomes of lost jewelry? Especially the sentimental ones that become enhanced to epic proportions in our memories.