Now, For Something Positive



Denigrating slurs have been slung about in Payson for the last couple of months. Then again, admiring accolades have nearly filled the Letter to the Editor column of the newspaper. This seems to be a case of dirty politics that has many of us in our great town of Payson slightly nauseated.

Personally, I would rather read of the exploits of a person who has made many people happy. Since the past history of both sides of the candidates for town office has been aired, I would like to go back in history about an event that happened about 12 years ago and has absolutely nothing to do with politics.

The Northern Gila County Genealogical Library was one of the first places I visited when I moved to Payson. While researching "dead relatives," I mentioned to a library volunteer, Margaret Furtcamp, that it should be as easy to find "lost, living relatives."

My children's half-sister, Ellen Faye, had been out of contact with us since 1958 when she was living in California with her mother. Margaret Furtcamp instructed me on how to make contact through Social Security, and within three months I received a phone call from Ellen Faye, who was so delirious with happiness that she could hardly talk. A reunion in Texas was soon arranged.

A couple of years later, I met and married a Christian gentleman from Payson. His son, Joel, had run away from his home in Oregon when he was 16 years of age and joined the hippy culture in California. Later, it was rumored that he was on drugs and living on the streets.

When my husband learned of my success in finding my stepdaughter, he pursued the same route through Social Security to find his son. In six weeks, a letter came from Joel who had become a Christian and was ministering to the homeless in California. Again, a joyful reunion was soon arranged and several years of happiness ensued.

Joel died two years ago, and Ellen Faye died last month. If the history of a Payson person needs to be written about, then Margaret Furtcamp deserves recognition for her participation in the many years of love that our family has enjoyed.

Wanda Sanford Radtke, Payson

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