LAX

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One last Champagne Brunch at the Proud Bird

Last week my Facebook feed lit up with the news that the Proud Bird Restaurant, an aviation-themed restaurant by Los Angeles International Airport for 48 years, will be closing effective November 21, 2013. Apparently they are closing because the landlords, Los Angeles World Airports, want to increase the rent to such an extent that the restaurant cannot afford to stay open. As the Proud Bird and I go back about 35 years and Tanya and I had been talking about going to a champagne brunch anyway, we decided that we would go for one last brunch at the Proud Bird yesterday since we already have plans for next week.

I could not count the number of brunches I have gone to at the Proud Bird as we used to get a group of friends to ride over there almost every Sunday for a few years. There was a pretty decent crowd yesterday, which I guess was the reason for the slower than usual service; or it could be that the employees know their time there is dwindling so there is not a lot of enthusiasm. After a couple glasses of champagne, the wait did not seem too bad and as least I could say we were there at the end.

The last champagne brunch at the Proud Bird will be Sunday November 17; if you want to be there for the last one, I recommend getting there early (they open at 9:00 AM) and stick around the hostess’ desk. They may tell you there is a 20 minute wait, but it will likely be shorter and if they call your name and you are not there, they will move on to the next party. The brunch is $38.00 for adults and $17.50 for children. They have a wide variety of foods available and the champagne is poured freely, so have a good time but drink responsibly. The Proud Bird Restaurant is located at 11022 Aviation Blvd in Los Angeles just north of Imperial Highway. Continue reading

A DNA Reunion Follow-up – Tim meets his sister

My regular readers will likely recall that a couple weeks ago I did an article about my friend, Tim, who was adopted at birth and learned this at the age of 7. About 15 years ago he started working in earnest to discover who his birth mother was. He was not having much luck until last December when he learned about 23andme.com, a center that does genetic testing for health, disease and ancestry through a DNA test done with your saliva. On December 19, he sent in saliva samples from him and his daughter. A few weeks later he received his results. Although the test results did not provide any information about his natural birth mother, it did provide him with enough leads that he eventually found a Yahoo DNA group which was designed for people that were adopted or had put children up for adoption to discuss their DNA results. It was there that Tim met his search angel, Diana.

In what must have seemed like a whirlwind of events, Tim’s search angel, Diana, soon notified him that she had discovered Tim’s birth mother and a sister, Debby. After reaching out via Facebook, Tim and Debbie started talking and it was not long before Tim and his mother arranged a meeting for the end of January when she flew out to meet her son and granddaughter. Two weeks later, on Friday night, Debby flew to Los Angeles with her husband to meet Tim and his daughter. I was again invited to come out and photograph the meeting which you will find below. As you can see in the photos, everyone was happy to finally meet. Continue reading

Angel, DNA & Yahoo reunite mother & son after 44 years

A few weeks ago I saw a status update on Facebook, from my friend Tim, suggesting that he had recently discovered that he was related to the outlaw, Jesse James. I figured he was using Ancestry.com or something like that and like many that responded to his update, took it with a grain of salt. A little over a week ago, Tim posted another status update informing us that he was adopted and had learned of the whereabouts of his birth mother and a sister. This was followed with another update that he had spoken with his newly found sister, and then that his mother was coming to Los Angeles so the two could meet. Two days ago, Tim asked me if I would meet them at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and photograph the reunion. Naturally, I was extremely flattered to be asked and readily agreed to be there this afternoon for the reunion.

As I was walking the dogs this morning, I thought about the upcoming reunion and decided I would ask Tim if he would mind if I told his story as I am sure there are many others out there in his situation and I felt his experience might be of help to them. Tim immediately agreed, saying, “I want to give props to the people who helped me.” This is his story. Continue reading

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