There is, perhaps, the tiniest upside to drought: An 84-year-old Washington state woman will soon hold her 1953 university class ring, lost six decades ago, after it was found in a dried-up West Texas lake. Elizabeth Clark lost her Howard Payne University class ring in 1954 in Lake Nasworthy near San Angelo when she and her future husband went for a picnic and waded into the water. Clark said she wasn't certain where she had lost the ring—after discovering it was missing, she looked around her home before going back to search at the lake.
After years of drought, the ring revealed itself in the lake bed and it was found in March. Someone from the school's alumni association drove to San Angelo to retrieve the ring and was able to identify it from the initials—AEL for Addie Elizabeth Little—inside the band; she'll get it back on Friday. "I worked hard for that ring," says Clark. Indeed, Clark, one of 16 children, was the only one who finished college, getting her degree in elementary education. Says Clark's daughter, "She cried, she was just couldn't believe it. This was like the highlight of her life." (Read more drought stories.)