The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Reunited

 

1957_0606_reunited

June 6, 1957
Los Angeles

Just in time for Father's Day, 16-year-old Barbara Davis Chilton was reunited with her dad, whom she had never seen, thanks to a Paul Coates column.

Lester Eugene Davis came to the door of 11812 Phillips Ave., Lywood, "Right away I was crying on his shoulder," Barbara said.

"I remember her saying, 'This is my daddy. I just know it is.' And then she fell into my arms," Lester said. "I guess we were both crying."

Lester said that he and Barbara's mother separated shortly before his daughter was born. "I did get to see her at the hospital in Inglewood when she was a few days old, but on later attempts I was told that I wasn't wanted. And, eventually, I lost complete track of her."

Barbara was bounced from one relative to another and finally placed with foster parents. Whenever she asked about her father, she was told that he had moved out of state. Barbara finally ran away from a foster home in Lancaster to marry a mechanic named Jack Chilton, 21. 

The break came when Lester's mother read Coates' column and contacted her son, who lived in Yucaipa.  At the same time, Barbara's sister-in-law Cloa Chilton also contacted Lester's mother.

Upon being introduced to his new son-in-law, Lester said: "A wonderful boy and a  real fine addition to our family."

According to California death records, Lester E. Davis died Feb. 5, 1977, at the age of 65.  As for the newlyweds? There's no further information. We can only hope for the best. Barbara would be 66 now and her husband would be 71.

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