Parents good friends of Osbornes
Editor’s note: The following letter was dated June 2 to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). The Westside Pioneer was sent a copy.
My name is John Davidson. My parents were Helen and Walter Davidson, who were good friends of Bill and Betty Osborne in the later years of their lives.
My sister, Jean Fero, still lives in Colorado Springs and sent me the article from the newspaper (“Osborne Fund: A Rotarian's lasting gift to the Westside,” Westside Pioneer, June 22).
In the 1960s and 1970s, my parents were members of the “Ports-o-call” travel club, which flew out of Denver's Stapleton Airport. They met Bill and Betty on one of their trips.
My family and I live in California, but we met Bill and Betty on several occasions while we were in Colorado on visits, meeting them in San Diego for a Broncos game and in Phoenix for spring baseball. Bill would go to a baseball game everyday they were in Phoenix/Scottsdale, even if he couldn't see anything. He enjoyed the atmosphere and crowd.
Bill had to be on the go. He just couldn't sit still. They took many trips that my parents did not go on. My parents were on a fixed retirement income and did make trips, but not to the extent of the Osbornes.
Bill had a jeep and, since he was blind, he had my Dad drive him on “jaunts.” The two of them explored every pass in Colorado (that included long abandoned rail lines as well as today's highways), with my Dad driving. My dad was already in his late 70s and early 80s when they set off on these adventures - in the days before there were cell phones or any way to notify anyone where they were.
In remote areas, they might run across a field of wildflowers. Bill couldn't see them but always “sensed” them and would say, “Aren't those wildflowers beautiful?”
Despite their money, the Osbornes traveled frugally, and maybe that is why my folks were comfortable around them or the Osbornes very comfortable around my parents.
Whenever my family saw Bill and Betty, Bill always had a dollar bill for my children. They sometimes brought back simple gifts from trips, like Mexican marionettes.
I am sorry about there being no pictures of the Osborne's. I know there were pictures with my parents on trips. Most of those were slides and they are all now gone.
My parents knew the Osborne's were leaving their estate to the Rotary Club. Your article was a wonderful tribute to them and hopefully Rotary can always remind recipients who these wonderful people were.