V: Welcome, Mr. Kernan. It’s a pleasure to have this opportunity to talk to you.
G: Thank you.
V: Could you tell us what Liz was like when she was younger and working at your print shop?
G: She worked for us part time when she was in high school and college. She was always on time, worked hard, and suggested a few things to make the office run more smoothly. She was great with the customers, too. We had a lot of respect for her. We knew about her family situation. The step-father had no appreciation for her, never adopted her, and her mother just seemed like a lost soul. We gave her raises every six months. She didn’t realize it, but she was making more than we would normally pay for the work she was doing. She was worth every penny. We were glad to help because we knew she was saving up to go to college, and somebody that smart deserved the chance.
V: And when her mother died, you and Mrs. Kernan took her in.
G: Yes, when she was nineteen, her step-father left them without any warning. Her mother kept expecting him to come home. About a month after he left, her mother either fell or jumped out of the window of their third-story apartment. The day before she died, she told Liz who her biological father was. We helped her with the funeral and tried to talk her into allowing us to help her with contacting him, but she can be very stubborn. That meeting did not go well.
V: Is that why you decided to have her become part of your family?
G: Miriam and I are no strangers to disaster. We were afraid that without the support of people who cared for her, Liz would fall by the wayside. We felt that she was pretty much in the same situation Miriam was in when I met her. I know Miriam felt a kinship with Liz.
V: Could you tell us more about that?
G: Well, Miriam and I met at the end of WWII. I was part of a group of Army officers who worked to find family and friends of the many concentration camp refugees, and Miriam was a young woman whom I was trying to help. Anyone who might have known her was dead, and her home was gone. We fell in love, and, despite our different backgrounds, we married. Miriam is a brilliant, compassionate woman. We came to feel that Liz was in the same boat, and because of our good fortune, we wanted to help her, make her a part of our family. We weren’t looking for anything in return, but Liz proved invaluable when we started our publishing company. Her work and business savvy earned her the right to part ownership of the company. It’s ironic that neither of our children had any interest in the business. We still think of Liz as a daughter. Her father had no idea what he missed. It’s a shame he couldn’t work things out to share his life and family with her.
V: Thank you, Mr. Kernan.
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