Here's your classified ad of the day.
A freewheeling 1960s fling between a nurse and a pharmaceutical salesman led to the birth of a baby girl in 1970 who never met her father. The father likely has no idea the girl even exists. And now, the girl's half-sister has placed an ad in the Calgary Sun looking to find the long-lost dad from 47 years ago.
Oh, and his name is Gary.
No, this isn't the plot of a mid-grade romantic comedy. Well, it probably is. But it's also a real thing that Toni Rempel of Kelowna, British Columbia, is doing on behalf of her half-sister, Bonnie Eklund. Above is a photo of Bonnie and her mother, Vernette Eklund, from the '70s that was posted with the classified ad.
The full ad reads:
IS YOUR NAME GARY? WHERE YOU IN REGINA, SK ON BUSINESS IN 1969?
I am looking for a man named Gary. His last name ends with "ski". He met my mom, Vernette Ann Eklund at the Westward Inn which was a nightclub in Regina, Saskatchewan in the summer of 1969. He lived in Calgary, Alberta at the time and would fly to Regina, Saskatchewan on business. He may have worked as a Pharmacy Representative. He had blonde hair, was Caucasian and had a slender build and was at least 6 feet tall. He would have been in his 20s in 1969. My mom, Vernette Ann Eklund worked as a nurse at the Regina General Hospital in 1969. She had blonde hair, hazel eyes, a slender build and is Caucasian. Vernette dated Gary for several months and as a result my half-sister was born on April 24, 1970 in Tisdale, Saskatchewan. It is likely that Gary did not know that he was going to be a father. If you have any information about Gary or suspect that you know who he is or how we can locate him, please contact Toni Rempel at email@example.com or 250-808-3609. (250) 808-3609
"It was the summer of '69 and there was all of that free love," Toni told the Canadian Press. She recalled the tale of her parents' brief courtship. "My mom ended up becoming pregnant with my sister, and she never told Gary about her."
Gary, a traveling salesman, disappeared, and Vernette—as a working single mother who couldn't provide for a child—gave Bonnie to her parents to raise her. Toni was born a few years later—she is the baby at the center of this photo—and for a long time was told that Bonnie was her aunt, not her half-sister.
Bonnie, now 45, is a doctor in San Diego. Toni recently took up the search for Gary, with Bonnie's blessing, hoping to nail down a meeting between them. Anyone with information can email Rempel here.
I've seen a lot of weird, gross, funny and borderline insane classified ads in my life, but this is one of the rare ones that's genuinely touching. Stories like this redeem the entire concept of classifieds, and we hope these sisters find Gary, wherever he is.