domingo, 10 de agosto de 2008

Looking for Residents of St. Joseph's Home, Helena, Montana

From: Frank Resillez <>
Date: 2008/8/7
Subject: Looking for Residents of St. Joseph's Home, Helena, Montana
To: Undisclosed-Recipient

From: CubanKid60Exodus
To: CubanKid60Exodus
8/6/2008 10:35:32 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time
Subj: Looking for Residents of St. Joseph's Home, Helena, Montana
Dear Pedro Pan Brothers and Sisters,

Please see email below from our Pedro Pan sister Alina Press trying to reconnect with the Pedro Pan from Helena, Montana.

Until we meet again!

The Cuban Kids Working Group

Dear Pedro Pan Brothers and Sisters:

I would be very grateful if you could extend my inquiry to your members. After an initial stay at Camp Kendall from October 27 to November 7, 1961, my brother, Tomás, and I were relocated to St. Joseph's Home in Helena, Montana, where we remained until December, 1962. I would love to reunite with my fellow residents from the orphanage, or at least have some communication through phone or e-mail.

In a fortuitous twist of fate, one of my Montana siblings, Tony Morales, is a neighbor. We had been living in the same condominium complex In Washington Township, NJ for 13 years before we found each other. My husband and I were playing tennis when I spied a man tacking up a notice on the bulletin board of the clubhouse. I read on his sign that he was looking to hook up with other tennis players, and ran after him to see if he and his wife, and my husband and I, could play mixed doubles. As we started talking, I noticed he had a slight Spanish accent. I asked where he was from, and he said, "Cuba." I excitedly said, "Oh, so am I; I was sent here through Operation Pedro Pan." He said, "So was I -- I was in an orphanage in Helena, Montana." Before he finished the sentence, I was already giving him a hug and a kiss. His face hasn't changed except for the addition of a mustache. We have taken up where we left off in 1962, and have had many memory-jogging conversations about our stay at the orphanage. The mere act of writing about our chance encounter after 40 years of separation still fills my heart with the joy I felt that day on the tennis court.

Thank you for any assistance you may provide.

Alina Press (née Gattorno)

2 comentarios:

Figaro dijo...

Bueno, I was not in St. Helen, but I was in Kendall Camp from Oct 21, 1961 to sometime in Nov. (I believe) before I was sent to Florida City with the girls camp. I was 12 years old at the time. and became 13 when I was returned back to Camp Kendall to be with my brother who had been at Matecumbe. I do not know if you have been back in Miami and gone by the Old Camp. The XGirls Dormintory still there. As well as another building they build for Classroom much later in 1962, but it is now where they keep the maintenance equipment for the grounds. If you remember Heven School, just down the street before the curve. Which was a school for the more funtional Developmentaly Disable (Mentally Retarded". They taken over all of the grounds of the old Kendall Camp and I believe the Girls Dormitory is part of an Horticulture program as they included a small green house next to the building.
I am sure that your orphanage experience at St. Helen was very deep. But if you remember correctly during all of those times we were all Orphans.
I remember that there were a number of Orphanages that we were sent though out the United States.
Some of you guys wrote back and let us know what was your experience when you were transfered.

Unknown dijo...

Hi. My name is Julio Gonzalez. My two sister ans i were residents at the Orphanage in Helena, Montana from October 23, 1961 to late August 1962, at which time we went to N.J. to be rejoined with the rest of my family. I do remember both you and your brother.My two sisters live in Miami and Penbrook Pines in Florida, I moved to Spain two years ago and now reside in Granada Spain.You can contact me at