Do You Remember When Nancy Reagan Visited Grand Junction? [PHOTOS]
Were you in Grand Junction when Ronald and Nancy Reagan visited in the early 1980s? The First Lady made a lasting impression, and strongly impacted the lives of several Western Colorado youths. Take a look back at one of Nancy Reagan's visits to the Grand Valley.
During their visit, both the President and First Lady met with the public at a venue on Horizon Drive. At this time, Mrs. Reagan was deeply involved with her anti-drug campaign.
The photo above features the former First Lady with several Grand Junction students, some of which attended Grand Junction's West Junior High School (now West Middle School.) Breakdancing was at its peak, and students joined the First Lady in a demonstration.
The photo at top, taken by Daily Sentinel photographer Robert Grant, is one of my all time favorites. I keep it on display in my house for all to see. I was a student at West Junior High at that very same time and knew most of the students pictured.
A few years ago, I organized a photo exhibit of Robert Grant's work, and the photo at top was among those on display. Fortunately, word got out to the parents of one of the students pictured, and they were able to come to the exhibit. Until that time, all they had from the event was a cutout from the newspaper. This was an opportunity to provide them with an original print of their son, Frank, dancing with the First Lady.
Sadly, their son, Frank, pictured immediately to Mrs. Reagan's right, passed away shortly before the photo exhibit. It is my understanding Frank went on to become a counselor. If my memory is correct, he worked with the Delta Correctional Center.
Thank you for your visit, Mrs. Reagan. Your passion for the fight against drugs impacted many a young person in Grand Junction. Your photo will remain on display permanently in my home.