August 1, 1996
CONTACT: Betsy Bottino Arenella of Nynex, 617-743-3677
NYNEX Directory Assistance Connects Long-Lost Siblings
Brother And Sister Reunited After 31 Years
MALDEN, Mass., Aug. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Barbara McCoy and Shobie Davis are in
the business of making connections. As a service assistant in NYNEX's Malden,
Mass., Directory Assistance Office, McCoy handles complex requests transferred
to her by the operator. Davis manages the Malden office. But on July 5, the
two women made a connection that changed a whole family's life.
At 7 p.m. McCoy received a call from a woman in Haverhill who identified
herself as Kathy Shackley. She said that she had been separated from her
mother and siblings 31 years ago at age six and was trying to track down her
brother, who she believed lived in the Boston area.
Shackley remembered the family name but was not sure about the pronunciation
and had no clue as to the spelling. McCoy searched the Directory Assistance
data base, exploring different spellings without success.
Manager Davis came to help McCoy in her search and found a listing for a
Walter Caricchio in Everett. McCoy informed Shackley that she had found the
listing but that she could not give her the number because it was
However, McCoy said, she would be happy to call Caricchio and relay a message.
McCoy called the non-published number and was disappointed to reach an
answering machine. Davis suggested that maybe Caricchio was screening calls
and suggested that McCoy leave a brief message and a request that if someone
was there, that be pick up the phone.
On the second call Caricchio's roommate picked up. McCoy explained that she
worked for NYNEX and the reason for the call. The roommate ran outside to get
Walter, shouting that someone named Kathy was looking for him.
Caricchio knew that his missing sister's name was Kathy and rushed to the
phone. McCoy questioned him about details regarding family members and
confirmed that he was, indeed, the brother that Kathy Shackley had been
Walter Caricchio wept as he learned that his sister had located him and
thanked McCoy over and over for calling him. He, too, had been searching for
his lost sibling. McCoy was overcome with emotion and cried along with Kathy's
newly found brother.
Twenty minutes after Shackley first spoke to McCoy, her phone rang. She said
hello and heard, "Kathy, it's your brother, honey."
When McCoy called to follow up, she found out that Shackley had met not only
her brother -- who was amazed at her resemblance to their mother, who died two
years ago -- but also seven other siblings. An eighth sibling, Michael, lives
The family is planning a big family reunion for Labor Day weekend and, along
with McCoy, may appear on the Sally Jessy Raphael Show, where Shackley had
originally learned some ideas on how to track down missing family members.
Shackley, who grew up in 32 foster homes, is overcome with emotion when she
talks about her newly found family. "For all those years, I was lost," she
said. Echoed her brother, "If it wasn't for Barbara, I don't know..."
As for Barbara McCoy and Shobie Davis, "We're still on Cloud Nine," McCoy
said. "Sometimes you get the opportunity to really help someone by just doing
your job. This definitely is one of the nicest parts of being in Directory
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