The Poisoned Ink Well

Monday, October 07, 2002

This is about genes, DNA, and the powerful pull of heredity. I had never met any member of Ric’s family and knew them only through brief phone conversations after Ed’s birth and what I remembered that Ric had said about them.

It was a surreal experience for us all when Ed and I came to Port Clinton. It was very comfortable with no awkward moments or lulls in the conversation. I had already come to know them through raising Ed and they were instantly taken with us after meeting him.

His Mother wrote me after our visit that it was the most amazing event in her life. We were never strangers. So many quirks, habits, and personality traits that I had become used to over the years were the embodiment of their family.

My son is 15 and I hadn’t spoken to them in at least 13 years. I haven’t spoken to Ric since about a year and half before his death 1994.

I want to say more. It is hard to explain, but we knew each other. It was incredible.

I learned so much about my son in this visit. I’ll come back to this later when the words come to me. It was awe-inspiring.

[The tale of the family is a whole other story, complete with a gangster grandfather (John Zetzer, a pilot who helped Karpis escape Hoover back in the 1930's) we got a tour of the old hideouts.]