Subject: Looking for Residents of St. Joseph's Home, Helena, Montana
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!
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)