BORON – Imagine; one day waking up and finding out your natural father is alive and well living in the same state as you are. That’s exactly what happened to Patricia Stanberry a few months ago; Mrs. Stanberry’s natural father has lived in Crescent City, California since 1973 (after a 13-year absence) with his wife and neither father nor daughter knew each until a DNA test clarified their relationship.
During an in-person interview, we talked with Patty (as she is well known by in Boron) to get her story; she pulled out a photo album of items which were sent to her then she began. The following is an account of her story (parts of the story contributed by the Del Norte Triplicate out of Crescent City):
“My husband Dennis talked me into it (the DNA testing); it was totally confusing to me at first then my sister Stephanie Haygood said she would take me up there (Crescent City) to meet him for the first time about a month or so ago. When we got there; I felt a sense of excitement because I’ve been wondering about my real father for most of my life. Dad (George Hartman) told me I was a ‘surprise, a total surprise’. I always knew my real father was out there somewhere; my mom told us kids that we came from different fathers”.
George Hartman, who is 83 years old lives in Crescent City, California with his wife Joanne and is retired from the U.S. Air Force. At a time when he was younger, he was stationed with the 777th Radar Squadron at Requa Air Force Base and assigned to the remote radar station at Cape Mendocino when he joined in on a boys night out. “We went partying at a bar in the old town area of Eureka one night when I had a one-night stand; now, I have a daughter”. Hartman told the Del Norte Triplicate newspaper in Crescent City. Around the time of Stanberry’s birth, Hartman found himself traveling cross-country to Massachusetts where he was transferred with the Air Force so he never knew his daughter existed.
Hartman received a DNA kit from the company “23 and Me” for a Christmas present from his niece and he figured he would find out how much German was in his ancestry; come to find out, he’s part Irish, English and Scottish but not German. When Stanberry took the test, she found out that she had a relationship to one of the Hartman nieces; that’s when she made a connection with the niece first. “After talking with one of the nieces, about 3 months ago, I found out about George”. Stanberry said. Then, after getting her nerves in order, she made a phone call which changed her life forever. “Kinda hard to call someone whom you’ve never met and say, ‘Hey, I’m your daughter’”.
“My sister Stephanie Haygood agreed to take me to Crescent City to meet him for the first time” Stanberry said; so earlier this summer, Stephanie and Patty made the 12-hour trip of a lifetime-to meet George Hartman for the first time. “Before the trip, my dad and I talked to each other on the phone, building a relationship and bond along with his daughter Victoria (Vicky); come to find out, she and I share many of the same interests”.
After arriving in Crescent City, Stephanie allowed Patty time with her new found family; “I always pictured in my head what my dad would look like and George fits the bill. My mother never talked about George after their one-night stand so I never knew who my father was”. Stanberry said.
While visiting in Crescent City, Hartman showed Stanberry the city and surrounding area. “She’s never seen Redwood trees or this part of California; we got in my Bronco and drove around old highway 101 then toured the lily fields before the transmission blew on our way back to town”. Hartman told the Triplicate. The new-found family spent an incredible 5 days together getting acquainted and meeting relatives Stanberry never knew she had. “I found out I have 3 half-brothers and a half-sister. I have a family I never knew I had. On the way home, Stephanie and I talked about what happened and how excited I was; I can’t wait to go up there again” Stanberry said.
Stanberry told the Triplicate that she’s planning on another trip up north so she can spend more time with her new family but hasn’t decided when. “It’s really a blessing me now knowing who my father is; I feel that a hole has been sealed in my heart; thank you for showing interest in this and in me, I really appreciate it” Stanberry told us after the interview ended.