This is the season of miracles and lights. Thanks to my blog on the Tribune's ChicagoNow network I have two miracles in this year of our Lord 2012. Words have different meanings to different people. And words can bring back memories of times gone by and help other readers to relive their memories. This is about two articles written this year that directly affected two different families and brought them happiness.
My article about the dark days of Polio in the 1950's was well received by the readers and provided the first miracle. The article related to my experience of contracting polio in 1952. I was taken to the cook County Municipal Contagious Hospital. My stay was lengthy but was made comfortable the nurses and staff. But the one person I remember the most was Dr. Victor Trutenko, the Doctor that was instrumental in helping me recover from the dreaded polio virus. In that particular blog I went into detail about his kindness.
Now, remember I knew very little about him when I was in the hospital. I only knew he was a kind person and helped me to regain my health. And the miracle of words and of this site happened. Within two weeks of writing the article I received two comments at different times from his daughter and his son. To me it was like reaching through time and touching the hearts of two people unknown to myself. Through them I learned he was a Dr. in Czechoslovakia during WW2 - then in several refugee DP camps in Germany after the war. He came to practice in Chicago in 1950. At that time I wished my late wife could have read their letters of surprise and gratitude. She would have been proud.
Now miracle number two. After I received a notice of my high school's 62nd reunion (not a typo-yes 62 years) I wrote about the “Many phases of a high school reunion”. The key to the story was Harrison Technical High School class of January 1950, exactly 62 years after graduation.
After the article was published I received a comment and request from a reader and he had a request from me. This was the start of the miracle. His name is Ron Guinazzo and said “I found a class ring on the beach in Chicago from one of your classmates of 1950 and would like to return it if he was still with us He must have lost the ring shortly after graduation since it is like new. Harrison High School Class of 1950, initials ACP. Contact me if think you can help”.
I frankly thought it was either some kind of scam or practical joke. But a former classmate of mine looked through our yearbook and found who she thought might be the owner of the ring. My daughter, who writes the Chicagonow blog "When you put it that way" was shocked. When she was in high school she had dated the woman's son and knew her maiden name was Petruzzi.
She was able to contact her old boyfriend through Linked In and was sad to discover he had not spoken to his mother for twenty years. This made for a perfect road to reconciliation. He contacted her and indeed, the ring belonged to her. She had lost it the day she got it on a Chicago beach. There, 62 years later Mr. Guinazzo, a metal detector found it in it's like new condition.
Arrangements were made for her and Guinazzo to meet and return the long lost ring of 62 years earlier. He met with Antoinette in an area restaurant and presented the lost ring to her. It was an emotional moment for all. She stared at the ring and couldn’t digest for a moment what had occurred. So after six decades through a miracle she recaptured that magic moment in 1950 when she received the ring.
The best miracle of all is that this ring reunited a mother and son after twenty years and they have continued to rebuild their relationship ever since.
Memories light the corners of my mind. I know this one lit up Antoinette’s!