By Guest Blogger Hermine McLarty Granberry, Mississippi
Here I was, out of town, sitting in an auditorium on a Saturday between events at my daughter’s dance competition, checking emails. An email from my Kappa sister, Fraternity Vice President Elizabeth Bailey, Mississippi, simply asked, “Does this badge on eBay look familiar?” I gasped out loud when I opened the photo attachment. There was my chapter’s ruby scholarship award badge that had been stolen with my luggage in 1980 when I was a junior in college. I had attended Kappa’s General Convention in West Palm Beach, Fla. when my bag was stolen between the hotel and the airport.
The next 24 hours was a quick lesson in pin collectors, eBay auctions, and how to protect your badge. While I was willing to bid to get the badge back, I knew that the price would quickly escalate out of my price range. The next day, I watched on my iPhone as the final minute of the auction ticked down and the price jumped to $1,034. The badge I had lost 32 years ago was gone again.
While I was saddened to see the badge slip away, I was also encouraged to know it still existed. When that ruby badge was stolen, I also lost my mother’s charter badge. Ironically, nine years later in 1989, burglars broke into my house, and my own Kappa badge was among the jewelry stolen. Might these badges still exist, too?
The lesson learned from this experience was to get my records in order. I’m working now to gather insurance papers, police reports, etc., from those thefts long ago because if and when those badges appear in an auction or in a pawn shop, I’ll have ready the proof of ownership to retrieve them. I’m also providing that information to the Golden Key Alumnae Association/Keepers of the Key in case they spot my badges in an auction. So, no matter how long ago you lost your badge, get your records together and register with Golden Key. You never know when they may email you a photo of your golden key. It can happen.
To register your badge with the Golden Key Alumnae Association or join their efforts of badge rescue, return, disposition and appreciation, visit: http://associations.kappakappagamma.org/goldenkey/pages/keepers-of-the-key.php