A man called to tell him he was the brother he'd never known he had.
Wales was adopted as an infant. So was his brother, Paul Brock of Durham, N.C.
Since they've discovered each other, they've become close; they've even gone into business, making their own artisan food product. They make Two Brothers Jerky at Motor Supply and sell it for $9 a bag at the restaurant or at Soda City Market and at Crafty Feast.
It comes in three flavors: Bull City Original, Famously Hot or the newest, Ninja Teriyaki. It's made from Angus sirloin tip meat and has no MSG or preservatives, Wales said.
Wales said the first weekend he went to visit Brock, his brother was making his own beef jerky. Wales loved it, and Brock showed him how to make it. Soon Wales bought his own dehydrator, and the two started talking about going into business.
"It's not a giant venture," Wales said. "It's just kind of a fun thing to do."
That both of them would enjoy making beef jerky isn't surprising, considering all the things they have in common.
Both grew up in North Carolina, Brock in Asheville and Wales in Salisbury. Wales' family moved to Spartanburg when he was 10. Still, he grew up a University of North Carolina Tar Heel fan, but it can be difficult for out-of-state residents to get into Chapel Hill.
So Wales went to the University of South Carolina. Brock went to UNC. Both majored in criminal justice. "If I had gone to Chapel Hill, we could have been in the same class," Wales said.
Brock went on to law school and now has a practice in Durham. Wales, of course, went into the restaurant business.
Both are big sports fans, and already have a fun wager on next year's UNC-USC match-up. They both also grow large vegetable gardens.
Brock learned of Wales after he hired a private detective agency to find his birth mother. She told Brock that she and her young boyfriend also had a son born a year earlier who had been put up for adoption. Brock used the same detective agency to find Wales.
The two also have three half-brothers in their 20s and early 30s who, like their birth mother, live in Roswell, Ga. Wales, 47, and Brock, 46, are getting to know the family they didn't know they had. They get together every few months.
Wales said he had never planned on looking for his birth parents or siblings. "I'm glad that Paul did because it's been very fulfilling," Wales said.