Watercooler Stories – UPI.com

Adopted brothers discover each other

HOMESTEAD, Fla., June 19 (UPI) — Two men say they met for the first time over a Florida backyard fence to discover they were actually half-brothers.

In August 2009, Roger Sablone was cutting the grass at his Homestead, Fla., home when the gas cap to his mower vibrated off. He didn’t see it until he ran over it with the mower, sending it flying into the yard of his neighbor, Peter Bonzagni, The Miami Herald reported.

The two got to chatting and discovered they both had been adopted.

Bonzagni, 55, grew up in Wakefield, Mass., raised by adoptive parents, a homemaker mother and sheet metal mechanic father. In 2002, he was in the Air Force stationed in South Carolina when he got a letter from Catholic Charities in Boston asking if he’d like to meet his birth mother.

“I was anxious to find out information, so I didn’t have a problem with her getting in touch with me,” Bonzagni said.

Bonzagni found out his birth was the result of a brief romance with a man whose name she wrote down on a piece of paper: Roger Sablone Sr.

“I just held on to it. Kept it for future reference,” Bonzagni said.

He later moved to Homestead, Fla., to be with his fiancee, retrieve a lawn mower gas cap and find the brother he never knew he had.

Roger Sablone Sr., 81, a resident of St. Augustine, Fla., said he never knew of Bonzagni’s existence, but everything added up, the newspaper said Saturday.

“It really came together really nicely. I didn’t have a DNA test because I didn’t really need it,” Sablone Sr. said. “He had correct information that I was familiar with.”

Both brothers have gotten close with each other and have reconnected with their father.


Artist gives 24-hour hug to father

ORLANDO, Fla., June 19 (UPI) — A conceptual artist said an embrace became “transformative” on Father’s Day when he stepped into an Orlando, Fla., gym to give his dad a 24-hour “healing” hug.

Edward Alan Feldman was the recipient of his son Brian’s hug which began 12 a.m. Sunday in the boxing ring at Orlando’s Orange Avenue Gym. People who paid their $10 entrance fee turned from spectators to participants after noon and were allowed in the ring to hug their own loved ones, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

“It is meant to be both a healing and transformative experience,” said artist Brian Feldman. “How often does one have the opportunity to embrace their own father for this period of time? It will likely be the hardest project I have done to date.”

The “24 Hour Embrace (after Young Sun Han)” wasn’t actually Feldman’s idea. He was inspired by another artist, Young Sun Han who embraced a stranger found though a Chicago Craigslist ad. His hug began on Dec. 31, 2008, and lasted 21 hours, the Sentinel said.


Entrants glam up N.Y. Mermaid Parade

BROOKLYN, N.Y., June 19 (UPI) — About 3,000 glittered and glammed up revelers took over New York’s Coney Island Boardwalk for the annual Mermaid Parade, organizers said.

Participants in the annual event decked out in a wild display of costumes danced along the route Saturday accompanied by drum corps and crowds whooping it up, the New York Daily News reported Sunday.

“I’m loving it,” said Kathleen Brady, 29, who was dressed in a foam shark suit accented with purple stars on her face, pink eye shadow and glitter-laced long eyelashes.

Celebrants dressed as mermaids and mermen frolicked down the boardwalk while others just took in the sight of models dressed as scantily dressed starfish, the New York Post said.

One stilt-walking participant wobbled his way through the crowd wearing a stars-and-stripes suit and top hat shouting “God Bless America,” the Daily News said.

“It’s become a better and better show every year,” said Scott McBride, 40, from Crown Heights, who was marching in his fifth parade.

“It brings people to Coney Island. We love [Coney Island] the way that it is.”


Prey causes power outage

MISSOULA, Mont., June 19 (UPI) — An eagle, prepared to feast on its catch of venison, dropped its prey on an East Missoula, Mont., power line causing a power outage, a witness said.

Lee Bridges told KPAX-TV, Missoula, she previously had seen eagles nesting in a dead tree across a river near her house and had seen them fly overhead but had never seen one as close as it was the day the power went out this week.

Bridges said it was perched atop a nearby spruce tree with a partially gutted fawn in its talons. It took off, the prey dropping from its grasp, onto a power line which triggered the power outage.

A crew came out, removed the burned carcass and had power restored with about 30 minutes, KPAX-TV said Friday.

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