California Dreamin’ to Small Town


On August 24, my husband, Brad, and I headed to Noblesville, Indiana where I was finally going to meet our Uncle Dan (Butch) who lives in California!!  My sister, Patty, and her husband, Larry, were also making the trip up from Franklin, Kentucky. The plan was to meet up with Uncle Dan, who was already in Noblesville, along with our cousins, David Kalman and his wife, Tina, and Sheryl Venola and her daughter, Tuli, who live in the area, for a nice dinner.   I had already met the David, Tina, Sheryl and Tuli, but Patty had not!   So she was excited to meet several new family members at once!   Our other sister from Virginia flew into Indiana the day before and was supposed to bring our brother, Tommy, up to Noblesville so that he could meet Uncle Dan, and the other cousins too.

Brad and I made a stop in Indianapolis to see my cousin, Julie, who had a stroke a few days before.   She was one of my very first friends, as she was only two years older than me.   Unfortunately, she was not responsive while we were there, so I didn’t really get to talk with her, but I did get to see her, and her brother, my cousin, Dennis, as well as Julie’s husband, Rodney, and her twins, Jeremy and Justin and Justin’s family.  Julie’s Mom, my Aunt Dorothy, and her sister Charlene and her brother were also there.  While the occasion was not really a happy one and it was obvious that everyone was extremely stressed and worried, it was great to see my cousins and aunt that I hadn’t seen for quite a while.  More tests were scheduled and Dennis promised me he would keep me updated on Julie’s condition.  These cousins and aunt are family members on my Momma’s side, so they have been my family as long as I can remember and always will be.  It was really tough seeing them going through this.   I hated to leave, but after a couple hours of visiting with them, we left to head to Noblesville.

Brad, Patty, Larry and I had booked a hotel room and met up there to get ready for dinner.  We headed out to the restaurant and found that Uncle Dan and the rest of the group had already arrived and had been seated.   We saw them across the restaurant and headed over to make introductions!  We talked about all of the traveling Uncle Dan had been doing…He had driven, by himself, from California to Florida to visit Aunt Nan for several days.  While he was there, he also got to see his brother, our Uncle Greg and his wife, Marie, as they live close to Aunt Nan.

He made his way up to Georgia and visited with Aunt Carol and Uncle Vernon for 3 days and then headed further north to Noblesville, which is the area where he grew up.  He got there the day before us and had visited some of the places they lived when he was younger and looked up other places he had frequented as a child and teen and found a few still there, but found the city had changed quite a lot since then.   He talked about his earlier years and spoke of his siblings.  He did two tours in Vietnam, so I am sure he has a lot of stories, but doesn’t talk about that much…which is certainly understandable.  We also looked at some old photos Aunt Nan had shared with me on a recent visit.  And even though Uncle Dan is in this seventies, he has a great memory and recollection of where the photos were taken and who all of the people were in them, so we got another fun history lesson.


I shared with him and my cousins about my most recent findings from my DFC file and the information about our biological mother leaving me to go with a traveling carnival.  None of them seemed to be aware of that until they had read my most recent post in my blog.

We had a really nice visit and Brad and I promised Uncle Dan we were going to come to California to visit soon, hopefully this winter!  Uncle Dan seemed disappointed that he didn’t get to meet our recently found brother, Tommy, as he thought he would get to.  When we learned the night before that Tommy didn’t think he would have a way to Indy, Brad offered to go get him that next morning and we invited him to ride up with us, but it was going to conflict with a visit from his nephew, Wesley, who lives over in southeastern Indiana.  So, unfortunately, Uncle Dan and Tommy didn’t get to meet while he was in Indiana.  Uncle Dan left Indiana within the next couple of days and drove to Arizona to meet his daughter and granddaughter…other family members we hope to meet soon!   We all once again talked about how wonderful it would be to have a reunion, but it will be a feat because everyone is so scattered about!  We took advantage of some photo ops since we weren’t sure when we would all see each other again.


My sister and our husbands returned to our hotel, and sat up quite late talking about the family dynamics and trying to put together the pieces of exactly what had happened to cause them to be disconnected and living in so many different areas.  It’s still mind-blowing to think that we have more siblings out there that we still can’t locate.  It was good to talk about all of it again as it gave us some renewed motivation to start searching harder again.  Brad and I left early Sunday morning to head back home, but Patty and her husband drove around Indy for a while on Sunday and looked at some of the places she lived and locations where she used to frequent when she was a young girl living there.

Uncle Dan now messages me pretty regularly just to check in or say hello…And I feel we are now connected.  He messaged me when he got back to California to let me know he was home safe and sound.   We have had a couple of interesting conversations and he vows that Patty and I are now part of his life and we are stuck with him!  LOL!   It’s still amazing to meet NEW family members when you are 56 years old…What a rush?!   We still have unanswered questions and people to find, but it is so interesting and intriguing….We definitely can’t stop now!!!



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