gene & terri upshaw

Gene & Terri Upshaw (photo: Terri Upshaw)

*Unfortunately love can’t always conquer hate.

Yes, love is a powerful feeling, able to invite eternal happiness, but at the same time it opens you up for much drama from those closest to you.

While the Buich family has carved an established reputation and respectable customer base with its famed San Franscisco seafood restaurant, Tadich Grill, things were anything but smooth and peaceful, with internal strife arising for Terri Upshaw over her relationship with legendary Pro Football Hall of Famer and NFL Players Association head, Gene Upshaw.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Upshaw came forward about how her family disowned her after finding out about her dating Gene Upshaw, a black man she met and later became friends with while working as a hotel catering manager. Adding further fuel to the plot was her decision to move in with Upshaw after dating him for eight months with her family knowing.

“I was scared,” Upshaw recalled to the Post while revealing that she broke the news to her brother and sister first. “They said, ‘I can’t believe you’re doing this.’ They said our parents would be livid, upset, disappointed, embarrassed, ashamed.”

From there, a family meeting was held that included an emotional Upshaw telling her father about her decision to follow the black man she loved to Washington. The couple married in 1986.

“He told me that’s it — you’re out of the family. Change your last name, and don’t ever call us again,” said Upshaw as she labeled her upbringing “strict, loving and marked by expressed disdain for people who weren’t white or Christian.”

Since that day in 1983, Terri Upshaw admits that she hasn’t heard from her family. In addition, the family didn’t reach out to her when Gene Upshaw died in 2008, days after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Nor have they met her two sons.

Despite trying to contact her family over the years, they’ve turned a blind eye to her, as evidenced when they ignored her at her grandmother’s funeral and ordered her to leave when she took her oldest son, who was 3-months old at the time to her parents house.

In an effort to get the family’s side of the story, the Post reached out to them via “numerous calls, voice mails, texts and messages sent to them directly and “through Tadich Grill executives explaining Upshaw’s contention and requesting comment.” Nevertheless, the effort proved unsuccessful. Even though Upshaw’s sister was reached by phone she didn’t comment for the publication’s story.

As for why Upshaw is opening up about what’s going on with her and her family after not speaking publicly on the situation, she mentioned the family’s plans to open a new Tadich Grill in D.C., telling the Post that “with the new restaurant, she is talking more to friends and ‘it sounds archaic,’ she says.”

“Parents want the best for their children, and ‘I went with my soul mate and person who truly loved me unconditionally, and we had this wonderful marriage and life, Upshaw says,” according to the Post, which observed that Upshaw was wondering “whether her parents think about her “on Mother’s Days, holidays, birthdays. I wonder, as a parent, how do you not?” she says.”

For more about Terri Upshaw and the issues involving her and her family, click here.