Part #8--I finally found my dad-Claude Thorp-in Punta Gorda, FL
February 20, 2005
I was in my early twenties and working as a newspaper reporter at the State Capitol in Lansing. While I was at the city library, I engaged in a habit that I developed as a youngster. I thumbed through phone books of various cities looking for my father's name--Claude H. Thorp.
It was habit. I never expected to find anything, so you can imagine my surprise when I found the name Claude H. Thorp in the St. Paul, MN phonebook. My heart stopped. I couldn't believe there would be two guys with the same name. But, how do you check it out. I remember the excitement I felt. My hands were almost shaking. It was potentially the end of a lifelong search for my dad.
My mom always claimed that he ran away from us voluntarily. Some had suggested the possibility of amnesia. I chose to believe that he left because his memory shut off.
As long as I can remember, from being really small, I prayed to God to "Please bring me a message from my Daddy." I got to a certain point where I just stopped asking. And, here I was with the possibility that I might have an answer.
I faced the dilemma of what I should tell my mother. I did not want to be disloyal to her. No way. She was the one that was always there for me. I never had any doubt about her love for me. I could always count on her. Of course, she was totally supportive of any effort I made to find him.
Then I called a couple of friends to help me to verify that it was my father in St. Paul.