Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Newsmakers

Two Leave Ethiopian Native Life to Seek White Parents

August 02, 1989|ANN CONNORS

It is the stuff of legends; two white children being reared by natives, their parents unable to find them, the children haunted by memories of another life. Only now, perhaps, fiction becomes fact, as a man and woman in their 20s have come forward in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, looking for the American parents who either lost or abandoned them 20 years ago. Haile Mariam Gadessa, now 24 or 25, and Tegest Gadessa, about 20, told a U.S. consular official of being left by their American parents in the care of a housekeeper, a man of the Oromo tribe who took them to live with his relatives. The two have white skin turned bronze from the sun, light brown hair and eyes, and features distorted or scarred from sunburn. Haile Mariam was put to work as a herder, Tegest as a maid, and they tell of being taunted by villagers who saw them as freaks. "I have a memory, it is almost like a dream," Haile Mariam says. "It is of my mother. She is very tall and white. And we lived in a house made of bricks." Although the presence of two such children has been rumored for years--that an ailing parent left the country and then returned to search frantically for the children--there is no record of such an event, embassy officials say.

--Susan Ford Vance, daughter of former President Gerald R. Ford, and Vaden Bales, an attorney from Tulsa, Okla., were wed last week after a monthlong engagement, the Washington Post reports. The two were married July 25 while on vacation in Duck, N.C. It was the second marriage for Vance, who was divorced in December from Chuck Vance, a former Secret Service agent.

--The pen proved mighty in the hands of a group of Soviet editors who fought an order not to publish the memoirs of Nikita S. Khrushchev. The weekly publication Ogonyok and several other Soviet journals had been planning to publish lengthy excerpts from the memoirs when they were told by Kremlin ideology officials "that it was not convenient at this stage to publish the memoirs," reported Sergei Khrushchev, the son of the Soviet leader who was in power from 1954 to 1964. But after Vitaly Korotich, editor-in-chief of Ogonyok, and the other editors fought back, the objections were dropped, a source close to Ogonyok reported.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|