Monday, October 19

NEVER Wait Too Long

Protip: NEVER wait too long to contact someone, no matter how distantly related you are. Blood doesn't matter. If there's a connection, no matter how slight, contact them.

Tonight I found out I'd lost a friend of the DeLong family. In 2013.

I didn't know him; maybe when I was much younger, but I don't recall exactly. Considering his parent's ages, he was likely a few years older than I. His name was Bill Dahn.

Years ago, while I was doing some Google research about my uncle, Edward Grover DeLong who was one of the original PT boat captains just after the attack on Pearl Harbor. I'd happened on Bill's blog during one of my searches. He'd referred to my uncle as a cousin, but I'd never heard of him. But that last name...

(Forgive me if the following seems a bit foggy, but it's been a good thirty years or more since I heard these stories.) My dad and most of my uncles were born in Springfield, South Dakota. The family farm was, if I recall family stories correctly, rather large, so when conditions permitted, my grandparents took in boarders. As it is, I cannot remember if Miriam and John Dahn were boarders as a couple or it was only one of them and they got together as a couple later. Can't remember. Anyway, they grew "into" the DeLong family, and were basically "cousins."

Years after the family moved "out West," to California, so did Miriam and John. If they'd had kids at that time, I have no recollection. But what I do know is that on several occasions after I was born, we went to visit them. Was Bill there? Again, it's a bit foggy.

So there I was, back in about 2007, finding Bill Dahn's blog. Reading what I already knew about my uncle. Reading about Bill, and his family. And thinking to myself that I really should contact Bill if only to say Hi.

Never did. And now he's gone.

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