One ring found within the rubble, two strangers’ lives changed forever

When Dylan Rogers stopped by at his friend’s new place, he didn’t expect it to be the first step in a quest of discovery.

Rogers owns the Robin Theatre with his wife, Jeana-Dee. Next-door, Dan Nunez is setting up shop for his new project, the Wheel House Studio, a ceramics workshop that Nunez will renovate to include a livable area for himself and his family, much like the Rogers’ at the Robin Theatre.

On Friday, June 30, Rogers visited just as Nunez and some friends were smashing what was once a bathroom in the building.

“I just stopped by to say hi and see how things were going,” Rogers said. “When you have a project going on like, that you want to make sure you have the right kind of steeltoe boots and construction gear on. And I was scanning the ground to make sure I didn’t step on nails.”

Rogers said that when he looked down “something stood out within the dust.”

“I leaned over and picked it up and it was this ring,” Rogers said.

A 1995 class ring. “It was insane that he found it. This wasn’t a delicate situation,” Nunez said. “It was a real-life diamond-in-the-rough situation.”

On closer inspection, Rogers saw a name inscribed within the ring’s band. The name was Melissa Parling, and Rogers felt compelled to return this memory to her.

“Dylan pulled out his cellphone and started to ‘CSI’ it,” Nunez said. Rogers searched Facebook and could only find one Melissa Parling that lived in Lansing. Rogers took the plunge, and reached out. As luck would have it for a second time, he found the owner.

When Rogers and Parling met up, Parling told the story of the ring’s initial disappearance.

Not long after graduating, Parling received the class ring as a gift from her mother. She thought it was lost forever when she gave her son a bath.

“Twenty years ago, myself and my son’s father rented the apartment at 1103 ½ Washington Ave.,” Parling said. “I was giving my son a bath in the bathroom so I took my ring off and put it on the bathroom counter. And well, sometimes kids get rambunctious.”

When Parling searched for the ring again, she couldn’t find it.

The loss of the ring was hard on her.

Parling had it for less than a year before she lost it.

“Then out of the blue, Dylan messages me on Facebook, ‘I think I have something that belongs to you,’ with a picture of my class ring,” Parling said. “After it was lost for 20 years!” Parling now wears the ring that commemorates her 1995 graduation, enjoying its still good-as-new look.

“When my mom got my name engraved in the ring I was like, ‘Really mom?’ But it is like she knew or something,” Parling said.