They found Dave.
An Ontario man who contacted the Vancouver Island Free Daily last week, hoping to find ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’, a person he met 50 years ago travelling in Europe, has been successful in his search.
“I owe you guys a debt of thanks,” said Douglas Bradley with a laugh on Friday. “It’s a most extraordinary story.”
Bradley, who lives in Ottawa, went on his needle-in-a-haystack quest, searching for the fellow he knew only by his first name, to let him know of an upcoming reunion for a group of travellers that watched the moon landing together on the floor of the U.S. embassy just outside Bonn, Germany in 1969.
“I was backpacking in Europe in 1969 with my sister… we bumped into a bunch of people in Koln, one Canadian and five Americans and we proceeded to the Bonn Youth Hostel,” Bradley said. “There we noticed that the moon landing was the next day and we were only a couple of kilometres away from the old U.S. embassy.”
Bradley said he, his sister, Dave and the five Americans travelled together for another four or five days after that.
“Then we sort of split up,” Bradley said. “Dave was the one who owned a car so he drove the Americans through Italy and France and Spain.”
Unfortunately Bradley didn’t record Dave’s last name in the diary he kept during his trip and only knew he came from somewhere on Vancouver Island.
That’s where readers of the VI Free Daily and other Black Press Media outlets took over.
Bradley’s story was shared countless times, and Dave was located this week.
He’s Dave Tryon, 72 and living in North Delta, having retired seven years ago after a 40-year career with Pepsi.
Tryon’s sister-in-law lives in Victoria (he also has a sister in Coombs), who shared the story with her son in Edmonton, who passed the information along to Bradley and the two travelling pals were able to talk for the first time in five decades.
“I couldn’t reach him right away, because he was in Montreal,” said Tryon. “But I sent him a text and we were able to talk.”
“We talked like it happened yesterday,” said Bradley. “It was fantastic.”
Tryon will now indeed join his former travel mates from June 11-15 for their reunion in Monterey, Calif.
“Truthfully, I don’t remember too much about the trip,” said Tryon with a chuckle. “All the photos I had, I sent to one of the guys in California, but they weren’t duplicates, so I never got them back.”
He said he is looking forward to the reunion.
“Why not? Quite a blast from the past,” offered Tryon, no longer just the mysterious ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’.