Uncle Bill Installment #13

Photo by Bill Scales.

A small thing happened while I was on San Salvador Island [it was a big thing].  “Marie” posted a comment to one of my blog installments.

“My mother talks about this incident at the base. She was a young girl and worked in the mess hall, she remembers Bill very well, she can tell you the story as if it just happened today on the island of San Salvador. My father was also an employee of the RCA company a technician at the control room.”

After 12 installments, this is where the story begins.

 


 

“Marie” responded to my private email. “Good Night Marcy, Yes Juanita (Vernecia Benson) is my mother. I saw you this afternoon at my mother’s home in North Victoria Hill. You interviewed my mother and sister Garnell.  I am Shaggy Denise Marie. My father I am told by my mother worked for the same company as Bill Scales, RCA.  I was born in 1960.”

“My mother said his name was Xxxxx XxXxx.  I’m not sure if she got the spelling right.  He wore glasses, was only 21 yrs, technician at the control room.  He was here for 3 months after I was born, so he at least held me. He gave me a heart locket chain with his photo in one heart and before he left he got a picture taken of me and put it in the other side of the heart. Unfortunately it eventually got lost.  I trust he’s still alive and well as my mother at 87 yrs.”

Denise and I began communicating via Whatsapp. I sent her some of Bill’s pictures. Her mother said Mr. X wasn’t in any of them.

Her father’s name … it sounded vaguely familiar.  (It wasn’t actually”Xxxxx XxXxx”, by the way. That would be weird.) Perusing the government report yet again, there it was! Mr. X had been Uncle Bill’s roommate at the time of his disappearance – in nineteen-f’n-fifty eight. San Salvador had three separate U.S. bases on the island plus civilian employees of Pan Am, RCA and GE. What were the chances Denise’s father would turn out to be my long lost uncle’s roommate? The printout of the report was blurry. His name wasn’t completely clear. What WAS clear was that Juanita had misplaced one letter of the surname. A visit to Ancestry.com brought up some travel paperwork that gave the clear spelling and even had information regarding his many flights throughout the island chain, including the very flight he took when he finally left. His flight home when Denise was three months old.

I also found a photo.

“I can’t believe this!  After almost 64 years I may be able to find out if, Xxxxx XxXxx is alive or deceased.  Wow!  And he was your Uncle’s room-mate.  This is crazy.”  Denise was excited. “I would be at peace with myself.  I do not need anything from him or his family.  I am living a good life here on the island.  Retired and enjoying every bit of it. Looking after my mother and doing charity work with other elderly people on the island, also helping young men to find their purpose in life.  I have one daughter. It’s just like you and your Uncle a piece of my life story is missing, ‘never having a chance to meet my father.’  Its only what my mother said, he said or did with the locket chain, and that he held me when I was born.”

Denise and I were both born in 1960. Me, in the rusty temperate climes of southeast Michigan’s car chaos capital. Denise (her family calls her Shaggy), on that outermost, 5 mile by 12 mile, tropical paradise. While I was taking field trips to now defunct auto assembly plants, she was field tripping to warm, glamorous locales. This is how I envision it went down anyway.

Over the next couple of months the stuff I would find while seeking information on Denise’s dad was, to me, HUGE. I’d share it with her and, although Denise was excited, she was also matter of fact. She has lived her story her entire life. I am new to it. She’s had a lot longer to get used to it.

Let’s stop here and talk about the elephant. Now that I’ve figured out who Denise’s father is and where he is, what do I do with this information? It’s not my place to actually orchestrate any type of contact. However, he WAS my uncle’s room mate and I’m looking for information on my uncle. Looking for anyone who knew him. I sent a letter to his last known address.  The letter included my search efforts and photos by and of my uncle.

 

Photos included in the letter.

 

Eventually that letter came back. I sat on it for a while.

 

Mr. X had two children after Denise. One day I was feeling gutsy and I simply called a phone number I’d found online. I left a message not knowing if I had the correct person. I received an immediate text in reply stating I had the correct person and they would pass my message on to their father.

Another text soon arrived, “Can he call you?”

Back to installment #12.

Forward to Installment #14.

 

You can keep track of updates and photos, beyond what I post on my site, on my Whatsapp channel “Outermost Uncle“.

4 Responses

  1. You sure know how to tell a story and amp up the suspense to crazy levels. Especially in #13.

  2. Great lead!!!! On the edge of my seat waiting for the info gleaned from that phone call I’m hoping Mr. XXX xxx made to you. YOU GO, GIRL!

  3. Readers must know this is a real life story Marcy. I am truly looking forward to being able to hear his voice, give him a hug and say, I love daddy even after 64yrs and it would be more exciting because May is my birth month. Mr. Xxx is a true human being a living person just make contact with Marcy she knows how to reach me. I am open to receiving an email or a call at any time. Marcy you’re simply the best in your real life suspense, Installment #13 keep going my dear friend, because you’ve become my adopted sister. God bless you.

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