Speed Reads

brotherly love

Long-lost brothers find each other, thanks to a snowstorm and local news report

If Edward Waites hadn't traveled to Lake Tahoe in December just in time for a massive snowstorm, he would never have been interviewed by the local news — a 4-second appearance that was just enough time for his long-lost brother, Randy Waites, to spot him.

Randy, 55, lives in Lodi, California, and while watching KCRA Channel 3 in December, he paused the program when he saw Edward's last name. He wondered if there was a family connection, and his daughter, Cambria, said she thought they looked alike. She started searching for information on Edward Waites online, and in 20 minutes, she dropped a bombshell on her dad: they shared a father, Donald E. Waites.

"I had to pick my jaw up off the floor," Randy told The Washington Post. Just a few months after Randy's 1966 birth, his father left him and his mother, and Randy never saw him again or learned anything else about his family.

In early January, Randy's younger half-sister called Edward, 54, at his home in Anaheim, California. Like Randy, he was stunned to learn he had a brother, and after getting to know each other on the phone, they met in person earlier this month at Randy's home. Edward told the Post he "always wanted an older brother," and Randy said that during their first meeting, it "seemed so natural, I felt like I'd known him my whole life. We clicked immediately." They discovered they both drive Harley-Davidson motorcycles and enjoy fishing, and work in similar fields.

Randy said he knew he was loved as a child, but it was still "hard to grow up as a boy without a dad." As an adult, he added, he "quit worrying about not having a dad and decided to live my own happy life." Donald Waites died in 2009, and Edward said he was "my hero and was always there for me, so it was hard to learn what Randy had missed." He told Randy he'd like to apologize on behalf of their father, but as Randy explained to the Post, he doesn't "blame anyone — I'm beyond that now. I've waited my whole life to know someone like Ed. I just want to be the best brother I can be. And I know he wants to do the same for me."