A video interview with Rhonda Noonan, Author of The Fifth and Final Name A Memoir of an American Churchill on KJRH 2 the Point Interview with Russ McCaskey on July 21, 2013
Transcript of Interview between Rhonda Noonan and Russ McCaskey:
Introduction: While many people around the world are on the royal baby watch, a Tulsa area woman who was adopted spent decades trying to find her birth parents. It took her more than 30 years, but she says she found out she was the illegitimate granddaughter of Sir Winston Churchill.
So 2 the point anchor, Russ McCaskey talks to Rhonda NON about her story :
And we welcome in RN who is from Sand Springs and you have a very interesting family background. Tell me a little bit about your family tree and how you found out you were related to WC.
RHONDA: Well, the journey was a long one. It started in 1980 when I came to understand that I had a grandfather who maybe had had an interest in me, had cared about me. And like many adoptees particularly as a young child, I had pretty significant grief and loss issues ,you know, I felt like I had been tossed away. So the idea that I had someone in my biological might be interested in me was very compelling and I decided that I had to find this grandfather. Of course, I didn’t think in my wildest dreams imaged that I could find WC, but that’s how the story goes. It was covered up. It was covered quite effectively by the FBI and some folks in our state department. So it took almost 30 years to figure for me to it all out.
Certainly a lot of digging. You have written a book about it, The Fifth and Final Name and let me ask you a little bit about the FBI’s role in this. So they were trying to be complacent with the Churchill family and with England to keep this keep this a secret.
RHONDA: Well yes, I would assume so. I don’t know who in the Churchill family knew about this other than of Randolph Churchill who was my biological father.
They did some interesting things. They tapped my adoptive parents home phone. So the only time my parents could communicate with the people in the city, was if they called form their home number. The FBI showed up in Tonkawa a few months prior my adoption and interviewed my adoptive mother’s employers. She had worked at the bank and worked at the drug store and they talked to her employers. Talked to my grandparents. And talked to a couple of business men who were close to the family. There as a little bit of hubbub about why the FBI had shown up in Tonkawa.
It really is a fascinating story .Tell me a little bit about the reaction. This book came out, I guess , in Europe last year. What’s the reaction over there?
RHONDA: You know, it’s been surprisingly fabulous. They have been very supportive of me. It would certainly be understandable to me that people would be, you know, a little bit skeptical. Certainly and want to know the facts. I have tried to do a very good job of laying the facts out very methodically in the book as they happened. That was very important to me.
When you kind of think about all the people that might be living here in Oklahoma wouldn’t be a grandchild of Winston Churchill, it kinds of almost sounds fantastic. . but when you break it down, you have dotted all the I’s and crossed all the T’s.
RHONDA: It does sound fantastic. It sounds fantastic to me. I often tell my friends, had I didn’t live this I would never believe it but I did located the assistant to Lord Rader who met Randolph Churchill about this matter, so I am quite confident that I have crossed all my t’s and dotted all my I’s.’
And what was your reaction when you first found out.
RHONDA: Disbelief. Disbelief. The facts were staring me right in the face, but it was very hard to wrap around the whole idea.
Again, the book is The Fifth and Final Name by Rhonda Noonan. Thanks for coming in and telling us your story.
RHONDA: Thank you, Russ.
About The Fifth and Final Name – A Memoir of an American Churchill
Born and adopted in Oklahoma, a state with closed adoption records. And, although she was cherished by her adoptive family, she-like so many adoptees-felt a burning desire to find and make contact with her birth parents. Her three-decade-long search involved institutional stonewalling; the intervention of numerous judges, attorneys, and detectives; mountains of paperwork and court filings, and thousands of dollars in expenses. Tirelessly tracking down lead after lead-and with the otherworldly help of a friend named Lillie-Rhonda finally unearthed her true history. Her father was none other than Randolph Churchill, son of Sir Winston Churchill.
The Fifth and Final Name can be found now in hardcover, paperback, Kindle and audio versions on Amazon. Order your copy today!