Family tees up reunion through Star

MEMORIES of a former Suffolk-based American serviceman and his family have taken flight – thanks to The Evening Star's Finding Friends service.Joan Gruttadoria and her husband, Mike, who was a military policeman at RAF Bentwaters, used to live in an off-base flat at Cowslip Farm, Witnesham, in 1963 – and after getting in touch with the Star have found out it's been turned into a golf course.

By James Fraser

MEMORIES of a former Suffolk-based American serviceman and his family have taken flight – thanks to The Evening Star's Finding Friends service.

Joan Gruttadoria and her husband, Mike, who was a military policeman at RAF Bentwaters, used to live in an

off-base flat at Cowslip Farm, Witnesham, in 1963 – and after getting in touch with the Star have found out it's been turned into a golf course.

Luckily Tony Tyrell, who runs Fynn Valley Golf Club with daughter Jenny, vividly remembers the pair.

Then just a boy, he is the only surviving member of the family who rented out the flat to the newly-weds.

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In an e-mail to the Star, Joan, who now lives in Florida, spoke of fond, typically English memories of the "quaint farm house"– recalling the "warmth of the wood stove in the kitchen… the roses exuded fragrance… but mostly the love."

Her younger son Mike is now a 6ft 4in multi-million dollar professional American football player – and even won a Super Bowl ring.

Mr Tyrell told the Star: "I turned all the old farm buildings into Fynn Valley Golf Club around 1990.

"I can remember them clearly – two of the tallest people I had ever met. I am not surprised that their son made it as a football player.

"Mike kindly used to clean my army cadet boots – as an MP he was an expert and I hated doing it!"

The two families have now got back into touch – and have vowed to visit each other next time soon.

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