I was born ■■/■■/19■■.  Highland Park Hospital.  Illinois. Top notch facility.

After a long and non-distinguished academic career, my first real job after college was at Kemper Insurance.  Their corporate headquarters was near Lake Zurich, IL, about 10 miles east of Highland Park.  I was hired into their Data Processing Department, what we now call Information Technology.  I worked my way up the corporate ladder, from Trainee, to Programmer, to Programmer/Analyst, to Senior Analyst to Project Manager.

I was on the Claims Team.  We had a bunch of crazy things happen, much like the Farmers Insurance guy in the ads today (“We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two.”)  I used to read the claim descriptions.  A riot!  The things people tried to get away with.  And, the silly rules (“From a claims perspective, a bird is not an animal.”)  One claimant that I particularly remember is a woman named Tusanelda Noosepickle.  I kid you not.

Kemper sponsored a blood drive while I was working there.  People that were interested had to fill out an application card (like they were giving us something?)  The guy in our department who collected the cards noticed that I had the same birthday as another person on staff.  In fact, she was a fellow teammate on the Claims System.  Her name was/is Shari.  Not only did she have the same birthday, but she was born in the same year.  Crazy.

And get this: she was born in (drum roll, please) Highland Park Hospital.  And our mothers were roommates (we checked with them at the time…they remembered each other!)

So 25 years after my roomie and I split up and went our various ways, we ended up on the same team in the same company.

I moved to California and Shari stayed in the Midwest, living in Wisconsin.  We lost touch.  Big time.

On our 50th birthday, Shari tracked me down and called me from Wisconsin.  On our 60th, I called her.

Coincidences are cool!

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