The Class Ring

In the spirit of free-write Fridays (aka baby, you don’t need to wash your hair today because you already smell real nice), I’m sharing a post I wrote for Chris at KLĒN + SŌBR.

Chris is in his 18th year of abstinent recovery from alcohol and other drugs and is the founder of the KLĒN + SŌBR Project, including the Since Right Now Pod, which is breathing new life into my daily commute.

At first I was going to write about reconnecting with spirituality in recovery, but that story’s barely started. Besides, it was fun to go back to the time before I discovered high school parties and my new god, beer.


To read the story, say abracadabra and click the above image to find yourself magically transported to a much spiffier site.

Or here’s the link if you too are distrustful of magics:

The fine print:

All the names in my story were changed, mainly to protect the innocent, but also because who would believe the ladykiller I called Glenn was really named Dirk?

Truth > Fiction.

Here’s the poem Class Ring, which I heard in the mid 80s. In the early 90s, it was co-opted and changed to deliver an anti-drunk driving message, which the original author seems cool with. As with middle school poems and many things I read on the internet, this warms the cockles of my heart.

16 thoughts on “The Class Ring

Add yours

  1. Hi Kristen – loved this. My favorite line and passage was from this part: Or I felt something shift when we walked under sweet pines or canoed through a clip of marsh grass with the busy chatter of life inside. It was spirit, I guess, but I was too busy looking for god in group prayer, when we clasped hands, shut our eyes tight and tried not to giggle.
    I’m eager to read more and hear about your journey. I grew up in Allentown PA and lived around the area in many places. Nice to connect with you here — have a great day and weekend! – Bill


    1. Thanks, Bill. Oh yes, Allentown. We were there recently to visit an antique mall that felt appropriately trapped in time. Then we saw a goya exhibit at the art museum and had lunch downtown. It was a Saturday and felt deserted. We were all struck by the tall monument in the middle of town. I recall it as someone holding a giant fish, though that can’t be right. Allentown has soul. Small world.


  2. Oh how I love the way you write. You had me at the hole…wait…there’s got to be a better way to say that.

    And the electric blue mascara! Man I loved that stuff!

    Thanks you for this gift today.



  3. Awesome piece. I tried to leave a comment over on that website, then couldn’t find the comment after I published it. Hopefully you got a chance to read it! In case you did not, here’s the gist: you are a gifted writer, and it is a privilege to read your work!


  4. Hi K – enjoyed your article – and the ending was perfect and had that somber yet awake feel. left one pondering…

    and the class ring I have never read – I ned to share this with a few teens – so thanks so much for it…

    chilling poem:

    The Class Ring
    Close by the doorway he pauses to stand
    as he slipped the class ring from her hand.
    All who were watching did not speak
    as a silent tear ran down his cheek.

    And in his mind memories ran
    of moments together they had spent
    But now his eyes had grown suddenly cold
    for her hand he’ll no longer hold

    They watched in awe as he bent to whisper “I Love You”.
    Then, with his ring on his finger he kissed her good bye.
    Knowing she had worn his ring for the last time
    he started to cry.

    Then the door flew open and the wind began to blow
    as they carried her casket out into the snow.

    have a nice rest of your weekend….


  5. I wrote this poem in 1983 for an Alcoholics Anonymous newsletter. They printed it on the back and then I also submitted it to World of Poetry contest. I got an honorable mention little certificate for it. A friend told me that others’ are claiming to have written this poem and I’ve now become a little aggravated with that idea. I was a 16 yr old troubled kid who drank away his problems, got sober and then went on a speaking tour with a woman from the AA organization. Can’t recall her name but I think my mother may have her information. Anyhow, I’m going to get to the bottom of this. Somehow.


    1. Your poem was and still is a legend. I guess that’s the double edged sword of the internet. People can still read and appreciate your work after all these years, but fortunately some try to claim it as their own. That must have been a cool experience for a 16 year old. If you’d be up for an interview some time, email me at And thanks for sharing. Kristen


      1. Hello,

        An interview would be fine. I’m in the process of having my work copyrighted so I don’t have to
        suffer the fools on the internet.
        I like your blog, oh by the way.
        Let me know your schedule and we can go from there. I’m an analyst and can make time whenever
        is convenient for you. I’m assuming we’d do it via FaceTime…phone? Whichever.

        Kind regards,



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