Thursday, December 01, 2005

12/01/05 He was my Dad--Part I

Alexander Bruchnak was somebody to Todd Bruchnak. He was his father. He was also missing, and had been since October of 1994.

Todd always hoped that there would be a phone call, a knock at the door, or even a letter that would bring news of his father. He also knew that the odds were not good for him to survive, as he had Korokoff's Syndrome, (related to heavy drinking) and had been in a coma and was not exprected to live. He disappeared from an Adult care center in Waterford, MI. Todd also knew that he was a fighter, and that he might just make it.

As Todd grew up, Alex was a wonderful father to him. Todd has many good memories of the man Alex was before the drinking took him away. Perhaps if some of the people who became a part of the story many years in the future had known Alex, he may not have been treated like someone less than a human being. He was judged on his choice of lifestyle, not on who he was inside.

If only Todd could have been there when Alex was found. He could have told them that Alex was his dad.....he was somebody, and he was loved. That isn't how it happened, though.

Back when Alex might have been a somebody to certain people, he was a highly talented craftsman.

Todd takes us back in time: "From the time I can remember, until I was about 16,we lived in Farmington Hills Michigan. The ranch-style house we had was on about 2 aches of property. The house sat in the middle of the property, and there was a barn in the back My dad worked as a carpenter while I was growing up. He had such talent with being able to work with his hands. He also had imagination that was unbelievable. When I was growing up, my dad wanted my childhood to be special. (I am going to try to explain this but it will not give justice to his creative abilities what he did)

He built me a fort in the basement of the house, which had two levels. The fort consisted of a small bank in the bottom part of the fort, and there were stairs that led to the top. There was something like a gun turret in the top. You would then walk out, and there would be a bridge that connected to a fire pole that you could slide down and would lead to a tunnel underneath the fort.

When I grew out of this, he had a work area in the barn that was set behind the house. The fort he built for me outside was extended off the back part of the barn and connected a tree. The fort was suspended in the tree by ropes, then he built a spiral staircase going up and around the tree which led to another fort built into the tree about 14’ off the ground.

Another memory I had was helping my dad build a work area in the other part of the basement. He built a false wall. There were four of these he built in the house. Although he built these areas, for storage, I thought it was great because I would be able to win at hide and seek with my friends. The work area, when completed, was a wall that opened up by a pulley system. The whole wall would then pull out towards you, and when you released the hidden lock, there was an old iron cast popcorn popper hanging on the wall. Once you opened you would be able to release a collapsible table, and dad would be able to work on any project he wanted. I do not believe the owners of that house have any idea that it is there.

My father was 54 at the time he went missing from Waterford, Michigan.

I remember seeing him the day prior to his disappearance October 29, 1994. My mother had brought him to the house, for a break from where he was staying.

Now looking back, it was to say goodbye."

"He was my Dad" will continue on Friday.


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