George Robinson's parents never married, and he didn't know his biological father. Growing up, Robinson always wondered what his dad was like. It took Robinson more than 40 years to find him, eventually tracking him down on the Internet, and it turns out his father never knew he had a son.
Robinson recently told his 19-year-old daughter, Katie, about finally meeting his father.
"As I was growing up, various relatives would share little bits about my biological father. I heard that he was a sergeant in the Army," he says. "I also heard that he worked in food service in the Army; and the service wouldn't use leftovers, and he would take that food and give it to poor people, which made me really want to get to know him, a person that would do that."
Robinson was 57 when he met his father, Jesse Fulmore. He remembers that he pulled up to his father's house, and they met at the doorstep.
"He put his hands on my face and then touched my knees, each of my knees, and then he took his hands and put his hands next to mine, like he was trying to feel was I really his son," Robinson says. "He said, 'You know, I dated a beautiful lady for a short time, and I did not know anything about you.' And I said, 'Listen, I want to, in the time that we have, know everything about you.' "
Robinson also remembers that his father came to his mother's funeral.
"He came and sat right in back of me and had his hand on my shoulder the entire service, and he gave everybody in the family a red rose to set on my mom's casket as we lowered it underground," Robinson says.
"I felt that I lost one part of me," he says, "but I found another part of me."
Audio produced for Morning Edition by Brian Reed.
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STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
It is Friday morning, time once again for StoryCorps, the project that's recording your stories. And today we hear from George Robinson. George's parents never married and he did not know his biological dad, but growing up, George always wondered what his dad was like.
GEORGE ROBINSON: Every year I would get a physical with a doctor, and on the form they would always ask you information about the illnesses that your parents had. But I could never tell anything about my father and I used to make stuff up.
INSKEEP: It took more than 40 years for George to find his father, eventually tracking him down on the Internet. It turns out his father never knew he had a son. At StoryCorps George told his daughter Katie about finally meeting his dad.
ROBINSON: As I was growing up, various relatives would share little bits about my biological father. I heard that he was a sergeant in the Army. I also heard that he worked in food service in the Army. The service wouldn't use leftovers, and he would take that food and give it to poor people, which made me really want to get to know him, a person that would do that.
KATIE ROBINSON: So what was it like when you finally got to meet your father in person?
ROBINSON: I felt that I lost one part of me, but I found another part of me.
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INSKEEP: George Robinson with his daughter Katie at StoryCorps in Edina, Minnesota. Their conversation will be archived with all StoryCorps interviews at the American Folk Life Center at the Library of Congress and the Podcast is at npr.org.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.