An Uncle and Nephew Meet at Last 2/12/17

Ted’s trip to Albuquerque this past week to meet his 94-year-old Uncle Ken Lachmann (his birth mother’s brother) turned into two full days of story-telling, family history sharing, and a relationship – already established through hours of phone conversations – that was cemented by their face-to-face meeting.  

Cousin Heidi (Ken’s daughter) picked Ted up at the airport Tuesday evening, and the next morning Ted and Uncle Ken met for the first time over breakfast at the assisted living complex where he has an apartment.  The next two days were filled with stories from both men’s pasts and with a guided tour of the New Mexico city and surrounding area.  Ted has found it very interesting to discover that so many of his birth family (grandmother, uncles, aunts and cousins) followed the road to education careers.  “It must be in our blood”, he keeps saying. 

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Uncle Ken and daughter Heidi, who also lives in Albuquerque.

Uncle Ken returned from World War II as an Army combat veteran and recipient of the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster.  When years battling the frigid winters of Michigan began to aggravate health conditions caused by combat injuries, his physician suggested a change of climate, and Uncle Ken moved his family to Albuquerque in 1966. He had an established career in education in Michigan, and was soon named principal to a school in Albuquerque. 

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During the Reagan administration he was named the National Distinguished Principal of the Year from New Mexico.

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What a surprise!  While going through a family album, Ted came across this photo of our condo on Mackinac Island, taken from a Carriage Tour wagon during a Lachmann family trip to the island in 1997 – 11 years before we bought there.

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Sightseeing!  San Felipe de Neri Catholic Church.  Built in 1793, it is one of the oldest buildings in the city.

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The Sandia Mountains divide New Mexico.  On the Albuquerque side, there is desert . . .

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. . . and via a tram system you can ride to and over the top of the Sandia Mountains and arrive at a ski resort!

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Sunset from the restaurant at the top of the Sandia Resort and Casino.  Ted joined Uncle Ken, Heidi, and Uncle Ken’s son Peter and his wife Lisa for dinner on his last night there.

Ted arrived home Friday afternoon, brimming with stories of his trip.  We’re both so happy this journey has continued to be one of happy “at-long-last” meetings.  Even though Ted’s birth mom is gone, her family has been welcoming in every way possible.  We look forward to meeting more of this wonderful group in the near future!

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Ted and his Uncle Ken.

MACKINAC NEWS

Another Bree’s Blog reader and friend, Yvonne Pitsch, spent part of last week on Mackinac.  I love that folks are going up during the winter!

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Yvonne in full snowmobile gear.  I think she has a “secret source” she grabs a snowmobile from when she’s there.  I’ll have to talk to her about that!

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And she chose a week where there was plenty of the white stuff!  (Photo: Yvonne Pitsch)

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From Jason St. Onge and the Mackinac Island Fire Department.  This was a practice session coordinated with the Detroit Fire Department.  Horn’s Bar and Grand Hotel provided the buildings for their drills, and the wonderful Windermere Hotel and Mayor Margaret Doud treated everyone in both departments to a prime rib dinner at Cawthorne’s Village Inn.  Love the dedication of these fire fighters – and the generosity of Mackinac Island residents and businesses! 

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A beautiful and ethereal panorama by Greg Main.

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Bobby Lee says he got soaking wet to get this shot, but it was sure worth it, Bobby!

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Peace, calm, quiet.  An almost Heavenly scene of the full moon over Little Stone Church.  Thank you, Gregg Neville, for sharing.

It seems everyone is loving the Throw Back Tuesday and Thursday features, so they’ll be continuing.  Wishing everyone a very happy Valentine’s Day on Tuesday!  Love you all!

God bless.

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17 thoughts on “An Uncle and Nephew Meet at Last 2/12/17

  1. Loved hearing about Ted’s adventure meeting his birth mother’s family. What a surprise to see the condo you had owned on Mackinac in a picture from a family Ted is just getting know.

  2. I am so happy for Ted that he’s discovered this lovely part of his history that he wasn’t aware of (poor sentence structure!). The area looks lovely, – so very different from Michigan and Florida both! I’d have trouble keeping all the names and connections straight. Did he make a chart?
    The island pictures are gorgeous. Something in the water up there must contribute to good photographers. I know how convenient the snowmobiles are, but their noise must make a difference on long, solitary walks. We used to be able to hear the snow fall. As blue as the sky is in summer, it can be bluer in the winter. It’s just beautiful up north! So glad you share!!

  3. As always an enjoyable read on a snowy Ontario day. It is a privilege to follow Ted’s journey s he meets his new family; how incredible to have such a discovery – and how fantastic that all the new family members are so welcoming. Congratulations Ted…………and Bree on the acquisition of new in-laws!! It has been a snowy winter up here in the north; we generally get similar weather to Mackinac Island; this year is no exception. Happy weekend to one and all.

  4. Ted looks a lot like his uncle for sure. How nice that he was able to meet him. The island photos were gorgeous! I’m loving throw back Tuesday and Thursday. I the story about Ted and his kayaking. I laughed just as much this time.

  5. The resemblance between Ted and Uncle Ken are so much alike…it’s almost like looking at a father and son AND to find a picture off your condo….wow…what a surprise for sure!
    I have to say, the sunsets in New Mexico are pretty amazing with the mountains in the back ground. Makes me want to go back, except now my baby is in Wyoming lol.

  6. Love following Ted on his adventures to find family. It is so wonderful that people can access information and find relatives. Kudos to Ted for searching for his family. I would love to be on Mackinac Island in the winter too. I don’t think I could do the snowmobile thing!

  7. I’m struck about how these men came back from WW2 injured but it didn’t stop them at all from living a full life. It must have delighted Ted to see “his” house when flipping through the photos. I have to ask what was his uncle’s reaction to finding out you all lived there?

    • Total amazement – the first time Ted spoke to him on the phone he told Uncle Ken we had a condo there in the past, and Uncle Ken mentioned that he and his wife had friends on Mackinac. It turned out we were friends with the same couple. Small small world.

  8. I’m always amazed and so pleased when anyone finds family members they never knew about and with Ted it’s no different. Well, maybe I’m more pleased because I know Ted. It must bee so wonderful for him.

    We haven’t had much snow like beautiful Mackinac Island has had, but I’m thankful for that since I’ve sworn off shoveling the stuff, but today and tonight the wind has been blowing like crazy making 31 degrees feel really cold.

  9. Tears filled my eyes as I read your Albuquerque/Uncle Ken post. I know how thrilled my godfather was to meet Ted face-to-face; I am so happy for them both that Ted was able to make the journey to New Mexico “the Land of Enchantment”!!! The first time I saw a photo of Ted during his search, I knew he was family. God bless you….. we love you both!!!

  10. Ken and Ted really do look very much alike! So glad Ted flew to New Mexico and meet more family members!

    Heading home tomorrow and ready to see Tony and Bear! I already have my reservations for June and September so knowing I am will be back soon helps going home! LOL!

    Hugs from Iowa!

  11. Dear Bree, I congratulation you on your wonderful blog and appreciated it in its entirety including the responses. I feel greatly blessed that the Lord let me live long enough to know his history. I thought of Steven Craig Lachmann many times thru the years and always hoped he would contact us one day. He was my sister Myrna’s oldest child and the family was devastated that we had to give him up for adoption. Our hope has always been that he could grew up in a Christian home. I am so pleased and proud of the fine gentleman and scholar he has become. I certainly appreciated Ted’s visit and hope we can continue our positive relationship. We not only resemble each other but we share a common professional career. I love all my wonderful nephews and nieces and maintain relationships with them. May God continue to bless the Horton family and I wish you the very best.

    Uncle Ken

  12. Dear Uncle Ken,
    Ted hasn’t stopped talking about his visit to meet you and your family yet! It was a trip he was determined to make practically since your first telephone conversation with him. He definitely feels a strong bond with you.
    I so wish I could have made the trip also, but through Ted’s words I feel like I was “almost” there.
    Love and hugs,
    Brenda

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