I am writing this letter to say thank you to all the hardworking folks who created two beautiful parks in Orchard City and a fine town hall. Oh, how I wish that my husband, Walt Johnson, could have lived to see the finished product because he dreamed of doing things like that when we moved to Orchard City in 1989. He discovered there were no places for the kids he coached and umpired to practice their games. He loved sports and kids, and tried to help out in any way he could, so he went to city councils to beg. He had retired from his job as a mailman in Boulder that he held after spending nine years in the Air Force. Being a mailman was a perfect fit for him. People seeing him on his mail route said it was like seeing the Pied Piper because kids followed him everywhere. A 3-year-old boy who lived next door to our Longmont house would ring our doorbell every morning. I'd go to the door and he'd say, "Can Mr. Johnson come out and play?" and Walt would go out and play with him. When he retired from his job, two big going away parties were held for him and he was given lots of gifts.
Then 20 years ago, three days after his birthday, he went canoeing on the Gunnison River with the pitcher on his softball team and her three kids. He had taken his life vest off and he drowned. Someone carved a big wooden cross with his name on it and put it on an island near where he died. I've seen picture of it, but not the cross itself.
But I'm sure in God's heaven he's having a good time teaching angels to play some fun sports.
Two fatal accidents occurred in Delta County within a two-day span last week.
Casey Gillenwater, 25, of Delta was killed the afternoon of Wednesday, Sept. 13, in a single-vehicle rollover on Highway 133 outside of Hotchkiss.