This year's Fairview School reunion was bittersweet. The June 24 reunion marked the 26th consecutive year that Fairview School attendees met at Gunnison River Pleasure Park to reminisce and share a meal through the generosity of former student Ray Drysdale, now of Yuma, Ariz. The first reunion was held in 1992. This year, 90-plus former students came from far and wide, some for the first time, searching faces to see if they could recognize friends from 51 or more years ago.
Fairview School was located on Fairview Road between the towns of Cory and Austin, within the Orchard City boundaries. The school, beloved by the community, was closed in 1966, much to the chagrin of local residents. It was closed due to reorganization of the school district. In spite of the school existing only in memories, former students came from far and wide -- California, Indiana, New Mexico, Utah, Texas and Arizona, as well as all over the state of Colorado.
It was a bittersweet event, because it will be the last reunion. Friends, learning that fact early in the program, were later treated to ice cream and a cake, beautifully decorated with a picture of Ray Drysdale and the message, "Thanks for the Memories."
Drysdale and the reunion committee felt this year was an appropriate time to conclude the annual event. In addition to 26 years of sharing memories, musical entertainment and a program -- sometimes informative, other times entertaining -- the committee was able to complete its goal -- leaving a legacy for future residents. In addition to the bench installed at the Orchard City Town Park, which has an etching of the Fairview School on its back, detailed replicas of the five local schools are now installed in the Fairview display case in the Orchard City Town Hall. Those schools include Tongue Creek, Central, Eckert, Mound and Fairview School. Steve Poirier of Delta was the woodworker who built the schools; Sheila Versey of Austin painted them. The public is invited to view the replicas which were built with donations from members of the Fairview community. They think you will agree the display is outstanding.
The model of the Fairview School, which was built by Hugh Kirkpatrick and painted by Polly Carlson Cooper, is being repainted. After being displayed at the Orchard City Town Hall for the past several years, the Fairview model will be donated to the Delta Museum for display.