Grand Junction Helps 50-Year-Old Photo Finds Its Way Home
Thanks to you, Grand Junction, a 50-year-old photo of a Western Colorado woman has found its way home.
The photo above was taken by late Daily Sentinel photographer Robert Grant. This was among a few dozen prints Bog Grant displayed at a photography convention several decades ago. Whereas I originally thought the photo had been taken in the 1960s, it turns out it was taken in the early 1970s.
Roughly ten years ago I had this print framed, along with a few dozen more by my grandpa, Bob Grant, and displayed it as part of an art show focusing on his career. At the time, I didn't have a clue as to the woman's identity. During the exhibit, someone in attendance informed me her name is Amelia Ochoa.
For the last ten years or so, this framed photo has been wrapped up in a blanket and tucked away in storage. Late last year I moved to a new house, and during the moving process (a colossal pain in the butt, by the way) I rediscovered these photos.
Fast forward to February 2020. Ash Wednesday was rapidly approaching. Right about this time I remembered the "Ash Wednesday" photo. Since there are no future plans for any more Robert Grant photo exhibits, why not give the photo to someone related to the woman pictured? The photo was taken in the Grand Junction area, so I couldn't help but think she had family or friends still in the valley.
An effort was made via social media to find any family members who might be interested in the photo. Nothing happened. Catholic churches in the valley were contacted, but no one recognized the woman. Ash Wednesday was only two days away by this point, so I thought I would try running a post on the webpage.
In a matter of hours, the phone started ringing. The assumption Ms. Ochoa still had family members in the valley proved correct. Various phone calls pointed me in the direction of Ms. Ochoa's daughter.
Last Wednesday, which was Ash Wednesday, I was able to deliver the photo to Ms. Ochoa's daughter, a lifelong resident of Western Colorado. As it turns out, the photo was taken at the old St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Grand Junction. Unbeknownst to me, the exact same photo had run in the Daily Sentinel in 1972 and had been featured in one of my grandpa's calendars. Ms. Ochoa had the original clip from the newspaper and a copy of the calendar.
Thanks to your information, the photo, roughly 24" X 18", is now hanging on the wall at the home of the subject's daughter. Sadly, Ms. Ochoa passed away eight years after the photo was taken. I'm happy and somehow suspect my grandpa is happy, to see this photo in the hands of those who will treasure it.