In 1958, my mother’s brother Nealon Clay Kirk left Madera in search of employment and was never heard from again. Late last year we discovered he is living in Reno, Nev.
This week his lone surviving brother Pete Kirk and his wife Nada flew to Reno from Nashville for a reunion. We joined them at the Harrah’s Hotel for a four-day visit. After all, they came 2,000 miles west, it was the least I could do to travel the other 600. The math isn’t perfect but Nashville is about 2,600 miles from Madera so you get my point.
I was too young to have any memories of my missing uncle. I only wish my mother, her sister Clara Banks and grandma Lillie Mae Kirk could have lived to see this day. The “not knowing” what happened to Nealon was torture for them.
Pete and Nada have always been so dear to me. Their daughters Kary and Lori were the closest things I had to little sisters. I always knew if my life went down the drain they would be my port in the storm. Knowing they were in my life helped me through losing my parents and not feel like an orphan...