Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Relative Neighbor

In February 2007, I received a very random phone call from a man from South Carolina. Unfortunately, I was feeling pretty sick that day, so I didn't get the exact details. The man told me he had tried to email me, but never got an answer. I searched my old emails and had never received an email from him. Perhaps, the email address had been misspelled.

In any event, the man's last name was Korch. He was related to me on my grandmother's side of the family. Our common ancestors were Andrew Korch and Elizabeth Tomko Korch who came to the U.S. from Austria-Hungary (current Slovakia) around 1889. I am a descendant of their daughter, Anna. The man on the phone was a descendant of their son, Edward.

We talked about family photos (and the lack thereof). He mentioned that his grandmother was still alive and living only a few miles from me. She had married into the family and had heard bits and pieces of a hush-hush story as to why the Korch family came to the U.S. Having been an in-law, she never got all the details.

We talked a while longer. The man told me that his father was 83-years-old. In a strange twist, it turned out that his father is my neighbor and lives only a few houses down the road from me. I was told not to introduce myself because he “doesn’t like people”. 

The caller said he'd email me again. Again, I never got the email. After the conversation ended, I looked up the man in the phone book and sure enough, he was my neighbor… Very strange…