At 92 years old, Frank Lee has led a life full of adventures. His latest involves searching for a picture his late wife gifted to him, a painting of Grist Mill at Falls of Rough — and he’s hoping the community can help him find the lost sentimental artwork.
The painting has a story behind it dating back to 1965 when Lee attended his Owensboro High School reunion and saw his future wife Thelma for the first time since they were in school together.
Lee considers the fact that he was even at the reunion to be a miracle in itself.
“I was riding my bicycle across the country on a 1,000-mile trip on Highway One,” Lee said. “Someone ran me off the road and I got hurt. At the time I hated the man because he just left me, but now I see him as a friend.”
Due to his injury, Lee decided to return home and attend his high school reunion, a decision he is glad he made.
“Thelma and I ended up talking until 4 in the morning after that night. I knew right away that she was the one,” Lee said.
When Lee’s wife passed away in 2019, the portrait of Grist Mill — where they had their first date — became even more special to him.
“That was the most special gift she gave me,” Lee said. “I had been looking for something to hang in my living room and that was the first present she got me that Christmas.”
When Lee broke his hip and was hospitalized in 2020, he was unable to have visitors due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“I had family in from California to help me with the house and they had to guess what I wanted to keep and didn’t want to keep,” Lee said. “Out of 60 pictures, that’s the one they chose to get rid of.”
The picture was donated to St. Vincent DePaul in April, and Lee has been unable to locate it since.
“I went there and looked for it and of course it was already gone,” he said. “I went to all the flea markets on the east side and looked through the pictures one at a time and could not find it.”
That’s when he decided to ask the community for help.
“I was married for 33 years. It was the best 33 years of my life. She gave me so much happiness. That picture means a lot to me,” Lee said.
Lee hopes that people will share his story in hopes that he can be reunited with this special picture.
Anyone with information about this picture can call 270-683-4761.