Monday, June 6, 2011



Leo Foskey's dark eyes grew bigger and brighter as he opened a special thank you envelope at Thursday's Dublin City Council meeting. He meekly smiled because he knew he had done the right thing. He never intended to do anything else. And, that's what his mamma and daddy have been telling him for all of his thirteen years. And, that's where the heart warming story of Leo Foskey begins.

Back a few months ago, Leo and his father, Kelvin Foskey, were out playing basketball near their new building on the site of the old J.P. Stevens swimming pool on Nathaniel Drive in East Dublin. Leo looked down and saw something shiny in the dirt. He reached down and picked it up, wiped it off and showed it to his father. Instantly the Foskeys knew what they had to do. "Automatically, we thought we have got to find the owner," Kelvin Foskey exclaimed! Leo found the ring in a driveway. The senior Foskey operates a construction company and has many trucks traveling down the path to the old pool site which he has restored. And, there was the ring, not buried under inches of sand, but in plain sight right there in his driveway.

That's where Beth Shoemaker comes into the story. Beth, the librarian at Dublin High School, received a call from Kelvin. Kelvin described the ring as a 1960 Dublin High School class ring with the initials R.T.A. inside. Beth (right in photo)  went to the shelves and pulled out the 1960 annual and looked inside. She didn't have to look far. Right next to Buddy Adams, was Robert Taylor Anderson, the senior class's runner up for most intelligent and most likely to succeed. Anderson's father, Bob, was a local physician.

Mrs. Shoemaker, who was thrilled to help get the ring back to the family to whom it belongs, called several friends, one of whom referred her to Nan Barfoot, (left in above photo)  one of the Dublin High 1960s Mega Reunion leaders. Barfoot was friends with Robert Anderson's sister. That's when the wheels of fate began to spin even faster. Nan sought out and found Joan Anderson, Robert's widow. Sadly Robert died all too young back in 1987. Nan contacted both Joan and Kelvin. She sent a picture of the ring to Anderson's widow, who was then in Kansas at the time visiting one of her sisters when she learned of the ring's recovery.

"I was totally shocked and surprised. I knew the story of him losing the ring, but he would always say, 'Well the day wasn't all bad,'" Mrs. Anderson, a resident of Canton, Georgia, fondly remembered.

Robert had gotten a summer job as the lifeguard at the J.P. Stevens swimming pool which was built for the company's employees and their families. It was on a warm summer day in June 1961, five decades ago, when Joan Holland, a junior at East Laurens High School came to the pool's opening day. Joan had been there before. Her daddy, Quillian Holland, worked at the plant for many years. It was on that fateful day that Robert met Joan for the first time. They began to date and four years later, the young couple married. After meeting Joan, Robert had nearly forgotten that he had misplaced his ring.

"He looked for that ring for the rest of that summer and all of the next summer," Joan remembered. "He put out rope grids and when the pool wasn't being used, he got in the water and sifted the sand. He always thought he lost it in the water, but he must have lost it in the parking lot," Joan concluded.

From the very beginning, Leo Foskey, an upcoming 8th grader at Trinity Christian School, wanted to be the one who personally returned the ring to its rightful owner And, on Thursday, Leo got his wish.

Proclamation honoring Leo Foskey

L-R: Bill Brown, Julie Drigger, Gerald Smith,
Phil Thacker, Ed Touchberry, Jerry Davis (back row)
Leo Foskey, Phil Best (front row)

Nan Barfoot contacted Dublin mayor Phil Best and told him the story of the lost ring. Mayor Best issued a proclamation honoring Leo for his wonderful act of kindness by insuring that the ring was returned to its rightful owner." Best added, "Leo, the council and I are proud of you for doing the right thing." Then, the council and those present stood and loudly applauded the hero of the day.

The finding of the ring happened during the weeks leading up to the Mega Reunion, which was attended by some of Anderson's former classmates and friends. Anderson's old friends, appreciating Leo's act of kindness to one of their own, chipped in and presented Leo with a very substantial cash gift. That's when it began to sink in to Leo what his reward for doing the right thing was. "From the very beginning, I knew that I needed to give the ring back," Leo said.

Some of the Foskey's friends told them that they should keep the ring and sell it for its gold content. When Leo's mother, Jennifer, heard that the family of the ring's owner had been located, she wanted to test her son's sincerity about returning the ring. She already knew what his response would be. It was an answer that she and her husband had learned about doing the right thing, lessons she and her family learned at Blackville Church of God, where they have been long time members.

Mrs. Foskey said to her son, "Your daddy has found the owner of the ring." She added, "And, he's giving it back. Some people say we need to keep the ring." Leo responded, "What do they want us to do - keep something that is not ours?" "I wanted to make sure just as parents, that it was his choice to give it back and not ours," Mrs. Foskey concluded.

L-R - Joan Anderson, Leo Foskey, Kelvin Foskey, Jennifer Foskey, Beth Shoemaker
Nan Barfoot

After many hand shakes and pats on his back, the Foskeys and their allies in returning the ring posed with Joan for a group picture. That's when the Foskeys learned of their kinship to Joan Anderson's family.

Then it was off to the site of the old swimming pool where the ring had been lying for nearly half a century waiting for the day when Joan would come back and claim the ring she never got a chance to wear. For just a few moments Joan remembered that day, fifty years ago, when she met and began to fall in love with the man she would later marry. And who says that our society no longer has good young people who do the right thing? We now know there is at least one of them and his name is Leo Foskey.


  1. Now, at the twilight of my life, it's great to see the goodness of the past is alive and well. Press on young man, and spread your "Dublin Goodness" throught the world............jcg

  2. The one in the blue is fat and nasty