Robert Browning, English poet, wrote:
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which
The first was made.
Gertie and Dayton Myers of Austin, who recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary, relish the years that were as well as the years they are experiencing now with sons and daughters-in-law, grandchildren and great- grandchildren, all of whom delight in being with them.
They moved to Cedaredge in 1973 and to Austin a couple of years ago.
Gertie was born in Brandsville, Mo., and lived there until her family moved to Brighton when she was 15.
Dayton has lived in several Colorado cities: born in Akron and lived in Greeley, Denver, Aurora, Commerce City, Brighton, Cedaredge and Austin.
Gertie graduated from Brighton High School in 1954 and Dayton from Adams City High School in 1955.
They met in 1956 at Assembly of God in Brighton, went together for a year and a half, and over that time came to know they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together.
They were married Jan. 25, 1958, at the Brighton church where they met.
Both of their mothers and fathers lived close by, Dayton had two sisters and two brothers, and Gertie had four sisters and one brother. Both families had extended family in the area, and both families considered spending time together a high priority.
Dayton said, "When we lived in Brighton we would have 15 to 20 people together at special holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. That's what our kids said they missed the most when we moved to Cedaredge.
"We get together here with our kids and grandkids, but the kids on the eastern side don't get to come as much."
Gertie, whose maiden name is Wilson, said, "On Memorial Day last year we had a family reunion in Brighton and between 70 and 100 people came. It was fun seeing nieces and nephews. We're hoping more will come to the reunion this year."
Gertie and Dayton have four sons -- Dayton, Jr., born in November 1958; Don, born in December 1959; Ken, born in February 1962; and Bill, born in May 1968.
Billy was born without a hip socket. When he was about three months old, he was in the hospital for a month. The doctor put a surgical ball in where the socket should have been and put Billy in a body cast from under his arm all the way down his right leg. The doctor told Gertie and Dayton Billy would not be able to move, and he might be cranky.
They put a play pen out on their big porch so he could watch his brothers playing. A neighbor called to tell Gertie Billy was standing up in the play pen. She went out immediately, laid Bill down and told his brothers not to stand him up again. In unison they told Gertie that Billy got up by himself. And indeed he proceeded to pull himself up again. He weighed 25 pounds without the cast and 50 pounds with the cast.
Billy was crawling a week later, walked at the usual time children walk, and maneuvered around the house, cast included. He couldn't sit up at the table, but a neighbor brought over a small table for him to sit astride, solving that problem.
Dayton, Jr., Don, and Ken treated Billy just as they all treated each other and Billy held his own, although pulling himself around in a cast in all their activities was an accomplishment to behold.
"Billy was in four or five different casts over time," Gertie said.
Billy was in junior high when the Myers moved to Cedaredge. He played all sports except wrestling.
Currently Dayton, Jr., and his wife Carla live in Cedaredge. They have one son, Zack, who lives in Elizabeth.
Don and his wife Debbie live in Cope (Colorado) and have three children: Sarah, Elijah and Rebecca.
Ken and his wife Marilyn live in Cedaredge and have two children, one of whom has children. Krystal and her husband Brad live in Moore, Okla. Pattie and husband Brian live in Eckert with their children Christoferr, Jacob and Dixie.
Bill and his wife Joni live in Loveland and their children are Raelynn (husband Wayne), Ian and Jared.
When Dayton and Gertie moved to Cedaredge in 1973, Dayton already had a job, as produce manager for the Cedaredge Grocery Store. The store's name later changed to Anderson's Grocery Store and then Cedaredge Mercantile. He worked for the grocery store for 26 years, retiring in 2000.
Gertie first worked at the AppleShed.
In 1974 Gertie began working with the combined school lunchroom in Cedaredge, which served lunch to all the schools, including kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades in the Eckert School and transporting food to Hunsicker Elementary School.
In 1981 Gertie became manager of the Cedaredge High School lunchroom, providing training for all cooks and managing all lunchrooms in the Delta County School District.
She retired in May 2002.
"I thoroughly enjoyed my job," Gertie said, "and I missed the kids."
Dayton added, "The kids loved her."
Gertie added, "Kitchen people love the kids. They start work at 5:00 a.m. and feed kids, 'their' kids'."
In thinking back about their years together, Dayton said, "We have had a tradition of taking our kids on trips, on camping trips.
"Now we take our grandkids on trips. We have been to Mesa Verde National Park, Alligator Farms, Sand Dunes National Park. And we love to go rock hounding, and see where the ground is cracked." Gertie said she sits and crochets while the others hound for rocks.
Dayton continued, "Our best times are when we get together at holidays, go to graduations, take the kids hunting, go to the kids' weddings.
"Some of the best times of our lives are when we are with our grandkids. We take time to be with our grandkids, the other things we need to do can wait until tomorrow."
Gertie is involved with Eckert Presbyterian Women's group, Red Hats, Orchard City Women's Club. She belongs to a sewing club, makes quilts, crochets, does scrapbooking and makes greeting cards.
Dayton lunches with the men residents at Horizons, gardens and cultivates houseplants, goes rock hounding whenever he can, likes to hunt, makes earrings and jewelry, goes to the rec center in Delta ... and whenever he can, he's with his grandkids. "That's special," he said.
Gertie and Dayton take their Christianity seriously. "We've gone to church together since we first met. There is always something that needs to be done in a church, and we have gladly worked in the churches where we have been members," Gertie said.
Dayton added, "The week goes better if I go to church."
Both say they cherish their companionship with each other.
Gertie said, "We like to do things together, to go shopping together. Dayton is always there when I need him, he's helpful to me."
Dayton said, "We love each other. We have the most fun together."
Gertie asked, "Where did the time go?"