Pappaw started high school when he was 14. That's when he met Patricia Ann who became his wife. She was four years younger than him. Later on into high school, he gave his school ring to his Patricia, it was too big for her finger so she threaded a ribbon through it and wore it around her neck. It was one of her closest possessions and she treasured it dearly. One day her older brother took the ring out of her bedroom and hide it from her and made her believe that she had lost it. Pappaw never could figure out why Grandma's brother would do such a mean thing. I mentioned to him that it was probably typical brother-sister behavior but he wasn't understanding why another person could hurt his girl.
Pappaw then told me the story of how he got his high school ring:
The ring cost $40 and Pappaw had to have $19 to put down as the deposit. He had $16 saved and did not know how he was going to get the other $3. He was running out of time as the deadline was approaching quickly. He thought about asking his parents but did not want to be selfish since he knew they had little money themselves. That same day his friends talked him into going ice skating at a pond near his farm. They did not have ice skates, so they would run up to the pond and then slide across it on their shoes. Pappaw's dog, Poochie was with him that day and she had run over to a pile of brush and was barking and digging at it. Pappaw went over to check out what Poochie was so excited about and he found a mink, a young brown mink. He knew that a guy in town was paying $20.00 for mink hides and he saw this as the perfect opportunity to get the money he was needing for his high school ring deposit. Possums only brought 50 cents per hide, so finding a mink was like finding a gold mine. He and his friends took that mink into town and he got $9.00 for it since the mink was not full grown. Pappaw had to share the winnings with his two friends and they each got $3. He now had the $19 that was needed to put down as the deposit for high school ring.
That was the first and only mink he saw while growing up on his family's farm. He's very thankful he got coerced into pond skating that day and that Poochie tagged along with him or he would not have gotten that ring to later give to his girl to wear around her neck with a ribbon.