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Mother-Child Reunion Makes Christmas Merry Again

December 19, 1985|JENNINGS PARROTT

--Shirley Eskola, who surrendered for adoption her baby girl born on Christmas Day 25 years ago, says this Christmas will be her happiest--because she and her daughter have just been reunited in Duluth, Minn. Eskola was 19, "unmarried, scared and alone" when she gave birth to her daughter that bleak Christmas of 1960. "I've thought about her every day since," she said. "Christmas Day has always been a sad day for me." But last week she got a phone call from Tammy Wright--her daughter. "I told her to get right over here," Eskola said. "We've been talking and crying non-stop." Wright also found a half-brother, Rick Eskola, 20, and half-sister, Jodi Eskola, 17. "I felt at home right away," Wright said. Eskola said she had had no choice but to put Tammy up for adoption at her birth. The baby's father didn't want the child and keeping her would not have worked, she said. Throughout the years, Eskola lost touch with the adoptive parents, but her daughter managed to trace her mother through old letters, divorces and deaths. And now, Eskola not only is reunited with her first-born daughter, she also learned she is a grandmother. Wright and her husband are the parents of Shannon, 8, and Tiara, 3--and Wright is expecting another child around Christmas. Said Shirley Eskola, "We're sticking together like glue from now on."

--Capt. Mark Phillips, husband of Queen Elizabeth's daughter Princess Anne, needed eight stitches to close the wound in his face after his horse kicked him before the start of a hunt in Derby, England. Buckingham palace said Phillips was stitched up and rode in the hunt as planned.

--Circuit Judge Paul Moore wants to make sure that folks in his courtroom in Beaufort, S.C., are sweet-smelling and sober. Moore told a man who showed up for jury duty that intoxication had no place before justice. The judge cited the man for contempt and slapped him with a six-month sentence. He was taken to jail. That behind him, Moore opened court. But the judge's sensibilities were offended again, this time by a defendant. Moore sent him back to jail for a bath. "I don't know what I smell, but I don't like it," Moore said. He told jailers to give the defendant a thorough scrub down. "But don't hurt him," Moore added kindly.

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