I have family in Chicago and my folks and I would visit them as often as we could when we were traveling.  I remember being with my grandparents at a very young age and fortunately I have photos to remind me of those times.  As some families loose contact with each other, we did as well.  We moved far away and the years kept stacking up.  Finally, I realized I’d not seen them in something like 40 years.  Fortunately, George (my father’s brothers son) found me on the net through my web site.  It was such a joy to know that someone belonging to my father’s family was thinking of me.  George will always be in my heart forever.

Here is my Grandfather, Father, Grandmother (I’m in her arms) and Mom.  The house still stands and Uncle Bill still lives in the house along with his son and daughter.  It’s all changed from back then of course but not the house or the sense of place it once was back in the day.


My desire to see my fathers half of the family grew when George, my younger cousin, found me on the net through my website.  I knew it was there for a good purpose.  I’ve been re-united with my Dads half of the family for several years and was able to tell Mom all about how the cousins were getting along.  She was delighted that I had made permanent contact with most of them.

Unfortunately, I missed George’s wedding to Becky.  I met Becky and had a wonderful meal with George as well.  It was so very exciting to finally meet my cousins after not seeing them for 40 years.  Far too long and hope to see them more often in the future

Here we are at George and Becky’s place after enjoying a wonderful meal cooked by George.  Both of them are so nice and I am glad George found Becky to start a good life together.


We also managed to see George’s sister north of Washington DC. Melissa was wonderful and I was so impressed with her ability to be such a dynamo in regards to being an independent woman.  She has a good business that helps her support her three boys all still in school and one getting ready to attend college.  We had a great conversation with the boys and I was instantly in love with all three of them.  Melissa looks like a million bucks and would be a great catch if she lets anyone brave enough to snare her.  She a very strong, kind woman.

Here is her youngest proud to follow his brothers roll in elementary school as monitor.  What a sweetie.


We also went to dinner with Diane and George (the older) at Psistantes Greek Restaurant.  What a great evening.  It was a long ride on the subway and another long ride in a taxi to get there but once we arrived we were so impressed with the whole place.  The restaurant was packed yet our waiter was efficient, pleasant and able to squeeze through the hundreds of chairs to deliver our drinks and our meal.  Oh what a meal.  I wish I could go there again and order more food.  Wow!!!

Here we are getting ready to leave:


Here is Diane’s son Christopher Lis..he is the best.  Trying to be the best dad in whole wide world.  Such a sweetie.

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We also went to Georgia’s house to paint a Halloween scene on her living room window.  We’ve been planning this for a while and we were determined to do it together.  We had a lot of fun and while we were painting Chris made dinner for us.  It was fantastic.

Here is the window:


Here is Maria, Me and Georgia at her house after we finished the window and had supper.


To add to it all, Georgia rides bikes…the big ones.  She’s got a ride that is soooooo sweet.  I was envious.


The very best time I had was at Buddy Guy’s.  What a place.  The greatest blues bar in Chicago and we were there to watch the presentations of all the people who were inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame.  Connie Carrol is a good friend of Georgia’s and that is why we were there.  Connie was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame for her photography of various performers at Buddy Guy’s over the decades.  Her photos were frequently used for both promotional and historical presentations.


Here is Me, Georgia and George (the younger) at Buddy Guys:


Here is a composite of pictures as Connie received her award:


We also were able to spend some time with Diane at her house.  We met her partner and her great dog Max.  We took them out to dinner at a fantastic Italian place and had a very nice time.  We took Caitlin with us.  She was so charming.

Here is Diane with Caitlin:


We didn’t have much time but before we saw Diane we drove to Ottumwa, Iowa to see my old college room mate.  It was such a pleasure to see her finally after all these years.  She found me through my website and we have been in contact for something like seven years or so.  We only had a few hours to talk and we caught up a little.  It was such a pleasure to see her.  I want to go back and stay there for a few weeks and do some painting.  Chris can golf to his hearts content.

Here we are at breakfast:


All in all the trip was worth all the time and effort to finally see people in my life I’d not seen in 40 years. I had been dreaming of this trip for years and it was such an amazing thing to do after all this time.  I do hope I will see them all again.

The only one I didn’t see was my forever friend, Wanda.  We grew up together in Belton Missouri but we just couldn’t get the timing right.  Who knows, we might see each other again some day.


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