ISTD – Closing the Ring 2010

ISTD – Closing the Ring 2010

ISTD – Closing the Ring 2010

This animation won an ISTD Award.

After considering a range of possibilities for this brief, I decided to interpret the story behind the film ‘Closing the Ring’. I thought this story would have interesting typographic possibilities and I felt it related to the brief. It takes a journey and follows the connections between Ruth and Lawrence’s relationship, between America and Ireland and between the Second World War and modern day. It is a true story that connects half a century and two continents.

Ruth and Larry began dating in the summer of 1933. They met in church, the Baptist Tabernacle, and immediately discovered a common interest, he worked for a printing firm and she worked for a church newspaper. After a long courtship they got married in October 1939. They had their own house built to a design by Ruth, in the their home town of Louisville, Kentucky, and moved in during November, 1941.

Just a month later, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the United States was in the war. Larry was drafted into the US Army and left for basic training in January 1943. They last saw each other in May, 1944, when he was home on leave before being posted overseas. Two weeks later, staff sergeant Lawrence E Dundon died along with nine others when his B-17 flying fortress bomber crashed into Cavehill mountainside above Belfast on Thursday 1st June 1944.

50 years after the crash, on a cold December day, Alfred Montgomery found a ring on Cavehill. It wasn’t until he got home and cleaned it, that he discovered the inscription ‘Ruth-Larry-39’. For half a century, the wedding ring lay undisturbed in the soil of Belfast’s Cavehill before being found by Mr Montgomery. Intrigued, Alfred was determined to find the next of kin so he could pass it on. He began corresponding with a range of American agencies across the world. Alfred wrote to the last address given for Mrs Dundon in 1944 but got no reply. In desperation, he contacted a Louisville newspaper, the Courier-Journal, who ran the story. His three year quest ended with a long distance phone call from Lawrence Dundon’s widow.

The ring turned full circle when Alfred returned the love token to the frail but plucky widow in Kentucky. Ruth fought back the tears as the wedding ring of the man she loved and lost finally came home.

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