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February 6, 2020

Fifty years on...

It’s a bit surreal to reflect on the passage of time from growing up in Denver to living here today.  I had an interval of ~25 years when I lived elsewhere - both the US & abroad - but always assumed I would end up back in Colorado.  That happened about 20 years ago and I don’t envision relocating despite what my neighbors might prefer. A fellow Denver native & longtime friend from CU days, who has lived in the SF Bay area since we graduated, commented several decades ago: “I approach visits to Denver as I do any other city I’m coming to for the first time.  It has changed so much.”

That has been both true and not true for me.  There has been remarkable change from our youth, a predictable combination of positive (food offerings, entertainment, cultural amenities, architectural design, etc.) and negative (housing prices, congestion, traffic, also architectural design, etc.).  I enjoy “memory anchors” that are familiar like the Observatory at namesake park, the Mayan theater, & the “Clamshell Bank” on South Broadway.  Revitalized locations that transformed the Denver University campus, the shops and restaurants on Old South Gaylord, and Union Station’s Crawford hotel are welcome improvements.  Newer additions such as the Clyfford Still Museum, a plethora of craft brewing establishments and the miles of interconnecting, dedicated bicycle paths throughout the metro area have afforded me new options to explore & enjoy.

With other former classmates engaged in organizing the TJ Class of ’70 reunion, we hope that you will be inclined both to attend the events AND offer your recollections or recommendations for those coming to town who may not have spent time here recently.  Similarly, those who reside outside the area, please consider sharing your reminiscences and/or questions/interests about local developments.  Ideally, we will foster an active exchange of memories, advice and personalized commentaries.

Looking forward to reading your contributions, Tim Thomas (2/6/20)


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Ken Ward on September 1, 2021 11:28 AM
Though I have been a Pacific Northwesterner since 1981, my roots are still in Denver where my sister and mother (97 years old) still live. 

One thought that has stayed with me is the high quality of the high school education that I received at TJ. When I went off to Whittier College in California to major in pre-med, I found that that courses at TJ had familiarized me with the college level biology, chemistry, and math bodies of knowledge. Only then did I fully appreciate the quality and depth TJ's rigorous education. 

Then I remembered how I ended up at TJ in the first place. When my family moved to Denver in the 60's, while looking for a house to buy, my parents asked around to find the highest quality high school -- they kept hearing "Thomas Jefferson" -- and we ended up on South Fairfax St.

I feel that the PEOPLE I met at TJ were of an equally high quality: smart, sociable, and loyal! 

My career carried me into medicine and more specifically, medical research (diabetes) -- I am now semi-retired.  Now, as an old codger, I have 3 grown kids and 5 grandkids. It seems as though more people call me "Gumpy" than Ken these days. 

I look forward to seeing many of you in October and renewing acquaintances at the 50th reunion. 

Ken Ward  '70
Tim Thomas on September 17, 2021 9:55 PM

Bill Weimar has been insisting that you would attend the reunion, so very pleased to see your & your wife's names recently listed in the "Who's Coming" list.  It is fun to glean a cqpsule synopsis from the intervning years and to read that we share a mutual esteem for our time, peers and teachers at TJ.  I hope there will be an opportunity to talk a bit that weekend, though I know there are a number of people similarly eager to re-connect with you and that you will be in high demand.

Nonetheless, regards and best wishes, tim 

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