I received the Oct. 17 edition of the Delta County Independent and scanned through the pages to see if I might find a name that I'd recognized. I got to section D and on that last page found "Visiting with June." What a surprise! June and I were classmates, graduating from DHS in 1944. We had our 64th class reunion in 2008 and since that time I had lost contact. It was very good to know that June is still living and enjoying life.
I, along with other members of our family, moved to Delta County in the fall of 1943, just in time to start the school year. As I entered the front door of the high school building, little did I know that the next nine months would leave me with unforgettable memories that were to last for the next 74 years. My family remained in Colorado for three years. However, I wasn't so fortunate. I entered the service in December 1944 from Delta County, thus limiting my time to a little over a year. During my tenure in the service my family returned to Ohio, and following my discharge from the service I too returned to Ohio.
The years passed very quickly. I became a husband, a father, a grandfather and during that time I lost contact with the state of Colorado but my memories lingered. When my grandson was 5, he and I made a trip to Colorado to see the mountains and the bright blue sky.
This trip brought back memories and renewed my interest in what was happening in Delta County, so what better way to keep up with what was happening but to subscribe to the weekly paper. I came across a name that was familiar -- Jim Coan, county commissioner. I wasn't certain this was my high school friend, but I took a chance and sent a brief message to the county commissioners' office.
A few days later I got a call from June (Fergus) Mills. As it happened, Jim Coan passed my card to June and God bless her, she made the effort to contact me. The ironic part was that the Class of 1944 was going to have their 45th reunion. It was overwhelming, it being the first time I had any contact with a member of my class in 45 years, and the opportunity to re-connect with other members of the class.
Needless to say, I did attend the reunion. June introduced me, saying it took 45 years to find me and once a stray has been found, an all-out effort should be made to see that they don't stray again. I didn't stray and I didn't miss our 50th reunion, our 55th reunion, or our 64th reunion, our last.
I would like to close by expressing my sincere appreciation to the Delta County Independent. Through the paper I once again became a member of the class and not just a name on the list of seniors graduating with the Class of 1944. Thanks for the memories!