Family Secrets

My sister Kathy decided to put together photo albums for her three daughters – just like our mother had done for us.  In the midst of hundreds of pictures and unidentified photos from the distant past, she found a picture of a house.  On the back was written, “Dad’s house in Los Angeles”.  Kathy phoned me immediately.

My dad Bill (in the picture above) had always told us he’d grown up in Santa Paula.  Granted, that’s in Southern California, but it’s not Los Angeles.  At this point the story gets very Nancy Drew-ish.  Kathy noticed there were numbers on the curb in front of the house.  She took out a magnifying glass and was able to identify the numbers.  I Googled the address and took a screen shot of the house and, lo and behold, it was the same house in the picture she’d found.

My dad died in 1996.  My mother passed away in 2008.  So I wasn’t going to get any information out of THEM. So I queried the daughters of my father’s brother Deck.  The information we received back from them verified that Deck, my father’s brother, grew up in L.A., not Santa Paula.

My father used to joke with us that he had it rough when he was growing up.  He said he had to “walk through the snow to school”.  We always laughed because it doesn’t snow in Santa Paula, so we knew he was teasing us. It doesn’t snow in Los Angeles either.

I’m reading a book by Barbara Freethy right now, Don’t Say A Word.  In the novel, Julia sees a photo of a girl standing in front of a building in Russia wearing a necklace just like hers.  She realizes she knows nothing about her life before she was three years old.  And since her mother is dead and her stepfather met her mom when Julia was a toddler, how does she find out about her background and her real father?

Have you ever discovered your past held secrets you’d never find answers to, because too much time had passed?

Any hints to help me out in my search?

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