Every now and then, Dan Polinsky pulled out the old photo wondering where his long lost daughter had gone. He would fondly reminisce of the one photo left of him cradling her aged 12 years old.
He was too drunk then to remember the moment and too old now to harbor any real hope of seeing her again. But his life would change this past July. When he was trolling for skanks on the Craigslist personals like he did most every Saturday night, a certain ad piqued his interest more than others.
"I don't know why this one stuck out 'cause I'd seen these types of ads before where they say somethin' like, Seeking big daddy teddy bear to cuddle with, but this felt different. Maybe it was fate" So Polinsky sent a message and attached a picture.
When Chloe Wilson, a 37-year-old single mother of six received Polinsky's message it also felt different. "I don't usually do older guys, but in this case it just felt right. Besides I needed money for beer and lottery tickets and he looked like a good mark." Wilson also had one photo left of her father that she clung to. It was given to her by her mother who had drawn a Hitler mustache on it and curses on the face so it made sense that she didn't recognize Polinsky's attachment.
It had been 25 years since she had seen or spoken to her father, ever since the cancellation of his favorite TV show, "Three's Company" when he admittedly walked away from his family suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. He spent the next 13 years stalking John Ritter and doped up on Valium and alcohol. "I remember my father was real shook-up when they cancelled "Three's Company" but when they tried to spin it off to "Three's a Crowd" that was the last straw. I never saw him again"
After two stints in rehab and five years in Attica for stalking, Polinsky felt like a new man, but he always thought about finding his daughter someday. Then he received a message back from Wilson with a picture attached. It was right then his heart stopped. "I couldn't believe it. Was this skanky welfare mother my long-lost daughter?" In his heart he knew it was.
He spent hours working on his initial note - more than 20 drafts in all. He wanted badly to reconnect, but he also knew she might feel anger and resentment, especially since he just tried to hook-up with her.
Wilson proceeded cautiously, too: She took a few days to think about how to respond, and then she started by asking personal questions. When she was satisfied with the answers and the $500 dollars he sent they decided to meet.
What followed was a whirlwind of e-mails, a few phone calls and a face-to-face meeting in August that led to a three day booze and coke bender and matching tattoos.
Wilson has developed a new understanding of her dad: who volunteers at "Jump the Shark" an outreach center for depressed TV fans. "I chose to forgive him," Wilson said. "He's not the meal ticket I was looking for and when he dies I get nothing, but he is my dad"