Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilitySurprise fatherhood at 73 | KTUL
Close Alert

Surprise fatherhood at 73

The meeting of Len and Stanley was filled with emotion. (Clemmer/KTUL)
The meeting of Len and Stanley was filled with emotion. (Clemmer/KTUL)
Facebook Share IconTwitter Share IconEmail Share Icon
Comment bubble

His eyes were on the road, but Len Wade's head was in the clouds.

"Is this really real, is this really happening?" he said.

At the age of 51, he's about to meet his biological father.

"I'm gonna meet my father on Father's Day weekend for the first time," he said.

When he found his biological mother, it was too late. Nancy Barnes passed away years ago, but a man named Stanley is still alive.

"All kinds of emotions going on right now," said Len.

The six-hour drive to Moberly, Missouri would burn up the rest of the daylight by the time of his arrival, but those emotions

"Hello, father." We're still waiting to combust. "Oh man, this is great," said Stanley.

In 1964, 20-year-old Stanley Small had just gotten out of the army when 17-year-old Nancy Barnes walked into his Dad's auto shop.

"She went in there one day to get her car fixed," said Stanley.

Sparks flew on more than just the repairs, and the two became inseparable.

"It wasn't just a summer fling, we really fell in love with each other," he said.

But she was only going to be in town for a few weeks and one day she asked him

"What would I do if she got pregnant? And I said well my Dad's got a pistol down there and I'd just (gestures towards his head), but didn't really mean it, I thought she took it that way but undoubtedly she didn't," he said.

When it came time to go, she took part of his heart and left with a secret.

"She never said any more about it, never mentioned anything about her being pregnant, nothing," he said.

It wasn't until two weeks ago, at the age of 73, that Stanley found out he had another child.

"I'm glad that he's 51 instead of 1, I'd be in trouble," laughed Stanley.

The discovery has come with a flurry of like-father-like-son. From facial features

"Everybody kept telling me, 'Man you look just like him!' we got the same nose," said Stanley.

To footwear

"What width are your shoes? Oh, they're extra wide," said Len.

Even down to the day they were both born.

"Yeah, same birthday," said Stanley.

They talked for most of the night, and by morning, it was sinking in.

"This is all real," said Len.

The decades of dreaming are over.

"It's really happening," he said.

All those years of wondering met...

"I love him," said Stanley.

With open arms. A father's day gift of hope. That even though there's been a world of difference between their lives, there's still plenty of time to discover all the things they've got in common.

Comment bubble

"We're both criers," laughed Stanley.

Loading ...