Being that tomorrow is Fathers Day I've been thinking a lot about my father lately. I was a senior in High school -1977, when I approached my mom asking to get in contact with my father because I wanted to meet him. She called him and he was hesitant in meeting me, for some reason he thought I needed money or was in some kind of trouble. I honestly just wanted to meet him, this deep desire to know who he was and what he was like was nagging me.
My freshman year of college I rented a room from a school teacher in Vacaville, CA and I got the courage to call my father at his work in Fresno, CA. Now what does one say when speaking on the phone for the first time to your birth father? awkward. What do you call him? Can't say "Hi mothers old boyfriend or Hey Doug, how ya doin? It's me your long lost daughter" Can't say Dad probably because I already had 2 step Dads and I wanted to treat my birth father different from them. Don't even try "Father" that's too formal and might just scare him. So I went with "Uhhhhhhhh, Mr. Welton this is Tami and I want to let you know that I really want to meet you, it's not my mom instigating this meeting, it's all my doing." So yeah those were my first words to my father "Mr. Welton" Most kids say Dada, but not me, I went straight formality.
He made arrangements to pick me up that Thursday night and drive with him to Reno for a business trip. We talked all three hours of the journey(well I did most of the talking, he's a quiet guy) I do remember him slamming my religion, luckily he doesn't feel that way anymore. He was concerned that I was out on my own at age 18, going to school and working. He told me about his family of which his 3 other kids knew nothing of me, but I knew of them from my Mom back when I was 8.
We got to Reno around 1 or 2 in the morning and stayed in separate rooms at a hotel. The next morning he called at 6:30 and I was awake just thinking about everything, we had almost 19 yrs. of catching up to do. He couldn't sleep either, he showed me a photo album of his family. I could tell he was very proud and loved his kids and wanted the best for them.
When arriving back in Vacaville he asked where a jewelry store was. He noticed I didn't wear a watch and wanted to buy me one. He picked out a Seiko watch and I still remember the price $120.00. I felt like Cinderella. I had never owned such an expensive piece of jewelry. I still have the watch even though it doesn't work. It sits in my old jewelry box and every once in a while I pull it out and think "I really should get this fixed"
He also gave me a check which was totally unexpected and kind of him. Unfortunately others found out I had a little cash, they asked to borrow some and needless to say never saw that moola ever again.
My father paid for my mom to come to my college graduation in 1982 at BYU and this is the only picture I have of us.
So that's how I met my father Douglas B. Welton. All around generous good guy, quiet, homebody, golfer (he plays every tues. with his brothers), and loyal to his family.
4 days ago