Saturday, January 21, 2012

Finding Paul Tingley 31 Years Later

In 1981 I found myself alone in Jhannesburg. I did not have much money left. A nice lady named Barbara Broadhurst rented me a room in her home.. I needed a job badly. I answered an advertisement for Paul Tingley Selections. I went to an upscale home in Randburg. I met a charming Englishman named Paul Tingley. We "hit it off" instantly. He helped me to find a nice job with what was then Price Forbes Federale Volskas. I had a decent salary and an Audi company car. Paul and his family also became my good friends. I spent my weekends with them. They were so nice even to my estranged first wife. They indicated to her, that if she came to South Africa, they would help her open a restaurant.

In September of 1981 my personal circumstances changed. My estranged first wife refused to come to South Africa to live. She claimed that South Africa would go the same way as Angola and Mocambique will all of the European population expelled. She insisted that I leave South Africa and I start my life again with her in Australia.

I left Johannesburg without saying goodbye to Paul and his wonderful family. I never had a chance to say "thank you" or "I'm sorry."  I looked for him for years on the internet. He seemd to drop out of sight around 2003. I assumed that he was dead.

Yesterday afternoon I "took one more shot" on the internet. I entered "Paul Tingley in South Africa" on Google. Usually the internet search results all dealt with a famous disable Canadian yachtsman from Vancouver named Paul Tingley. For a change I found Paul Tingley Selections with an office in Cape Town and one in Bryanston. I called the Cape Town number and it had been disconnected. I called the Bryanston number. A man answered and I knew that it was Paul. I did not have the courage to talk to him. I apologized and claimed that I had a worng number.

I then drafted a letter apologizing for leaving without saying goodbye. I thanked him for all of his help and friendship. I asked him to forgive me for my thoughtlessness 31 years ago.

Barron's Gadget of the Week -

Barron's Gadget of the Week -

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