Spoof: DCHS social studies teacher reunited with lost twin


Katie Tresler

Social studies teacher Tom VanWinkle stands with his lost twin and famous Spanish singer Carlos Vives in front of the Kentucky Derby entrance. VanWinkle originally found out about his twin when he was 13, but they have just now made contact.

Katie Tresler

David City High School’s social studies teacher Tom VanWinkle found his long lost twin after years of separation.

VanWinkle grew up with memories of an imaginary friend from when he was six. However, in his teenage years, he finally learned the truth about who his friend really was, and now, they’ve made contact. After many years of being separated, VanWinkle has found his twin, a famous Spanish music singer, Carlos Vives.

“I was thrilled to pieces that there might be another one of me out there,“ VanWinkle stated.

At the age of six, VanWinkle and Vives were with their family on a fishing boat when it sank. Their parents found VanWinkle, but after years of searching, they realized that their son’s twin was lost at sea.

“I remembered he loved the Cat in the Hat books,“ VanWinkle claimed. “I had assumed those memories were of an imaginary friend since he was no longer around.”

At the advice of Dr. Phil, the boys’ parents decided not to tell their remaining son about the missing family member. It wasn’t until VanWinkle turned 13 that he learned the truth.

“My parents were quite distraught, but after two stents on the Dr. Phil Show, they’re doing much better,” VanWinkle explained. “It was Dr. Phil’s advice not to tell to me about the shipwreck before.”

While VanWinkle got to live a life with his parents, Vives was found on a Columbian beach by his adoptive parents.

“Carlos thinks that our family has abandoned him, but I’m trying fight off that stigma,“ VanWinkle explained.

Vives grew up to be a very successful Spanish singer-songwriter, as well as an actor.

“I am extremely proud of him. Knowing of my performance on the karaoke stage, I knew that if I could sing this well, I know that he definitely had the ability,“ VanWinkle stated.

With the new knowledge of their other halves, VanWinkle and Vives vow to meet every year at the Kentucky Derby to celebrate their new-found kinship.

“I just want to thank whatever higher being is out there that allowed us be able to reconnect, that allowed us to be able to reunite once a year,” VanWinkle noted.