I visited England as both a college grad and wedding guest but this would be my first time as a family member. My British wife and I met at KFJC FM, the amazing Foothill College radio station. Anita was a gorgeous Afro-British woman who had been in the states long enough that a fan letter to KFJC read aloud at our Wednesday night meeting read in part:
"We love everything about KFJC except the woman with the fake British accent."
Eventually after several months of what I thought was subtle flirting a green card issue popped up and Anita called for a favor. I agreed and was about to engage when another of our friends demanded her hand in marriage. Shortly after the happy occasion we fell in love and had to wait an approximate time to change the scenerio. Love led to both of our second marriages and soon little Marlo Detroit joined us. (My radio name was Danny Detroit and Anita's was Greer Channing.)
Little Marlo attended the KFJC Record Swap at 5 days old and was with us almost from day one when we were on air. Marlo was ten months old when the family planned a holiday visit to relatives in Coventry. Anita left early while I minded our City Feet shoe store for an extra ten days.
I didn't know if Marlo would recognize me after being away so long. Our meeting was surreal. Her two front teeth had popped so she looked totally different. It was a strange feeling for me but not for my little darling. She took one look and broke out in a huge not so toothless grin. Writing this I can feel the joy felt that day. Everything was O.K.
But Coventry was not O.K. For those who haven't been there, think of Detroit without the charm. Ouch, what a depressed place. Anita's many sisters and brothers were wonderful and loving but limited to few options for jobs, entertainment and culture in a town destroyed by German bombers in World War II and never fully recovered. The council house they owned was one of the last in Wood End still standing. (See Detroit 2011) Most of our time was spent around the tube watching East Enders.
Finally Anita and I took off to London for a couple of days of holiday fun with Marlo. I visited Coventry once more before the divorce. Anita took Marlo back occasionally after we split but made sure our pride and joy had dual citizenship. When Marlo was fifteen Anita and I agreed that we would ship her off to Aunt Sally in Wolverhampton for the summer to pull her from a bad boyfriends grip . Marlo's last words to me were:
"You're getting rid of me aren't you?"
My answer was:
"Yes honey but it's for your own good."
Marlo fell in love with England and out of love with the boy that summer. After graduating high school she announced a move to England. Marlo is finishing her master's degree this fall at the University of London.
Causes Don Surath Supports
Alzheimers Association, Jewish Home of San Francisco, Foundation for Osteoporosis Research and Education, American Bone Health, American Diabetes...