So. Cindy and I moved to Florida back in the fall of 1979. The winter before set many records for snowfall and cold weather. I described it as a struggle to survive. I had decided I didn’t ever want to do that again and was looking to move some place where it didn’t snow. It was during that summer that I met Cindy at the hospital we worked at in Highland Park, Illinois. I was kind of stupid and didn’t pick up on the fact that she had been trying to get me to go out on a date. On the night she mentioned she would be at Fitz’s Pub in Highwood with her friend and I should meet them, I had plans to go take photos at the bicycle track in Northbrook. I went to the track and shot a few rolls of film. and luckily decided to head over to meet them after the races. It was a fun night, I remember pitchers of Kamakazi’s and heading to Scornivaco’s for Pizza afterwards.
I think she later told me that if I hadn’t shown up that night she was giving up on me. That was the beginning of our romance. People in the kitchen where we worked started joking that we were connected at the hips. We used to lock ourselves in the ingredient room to make out 🙂
A few months later when the lease was up on my apartment we decided to head for Florida. Cindy was hoping to get a job at the Health Department in St. Pete. She had flown down a couple times to interview but hadn’t gotten the job when we moved to Clearwater and got an apartment. It took us a few months before we found jobs. I found a job cooking at Morton Plant Hospital and Cindy worked in the lingerie department at a department store at the mall. She eventually got a job at Largo Medical Center in the ingredient room. She did work at the Health Department in St. Pete and Clearwater while working towards becoming a Registered Dietitian. That led her to work at Morton Plant, Mease Dunedin and Countryside Hospitals.
Fast forward to a year or so ago when I met some wonderful new friends. One of those friends, Lana, invited me to attend a wine class. It was the beginning of more friendships with the people at the restaurant where the classes were held. One of those was the Chef at the time, Keith. He gave wonderful cooking demonstrations and created great food. I love food, and keep trying to cook ever since my days at Highland Park and Morton Plant. I learned a lot from watching Keith’s cooking demonstrations. Keith moved on and is cooking at another restaurant so I hadn’t seen him in a while.
Move to this morning and my regular weekend bike ride. I was riding down through Tarpon Springs and noticed Chef Keith sitting outside a restaurant along the trail. I stopped to say hi and while we were talking about cooking the conversation somehow got to how Cindy worked at Mease Dunedin and Keith mentioned that he started his cooking career at Mease Dunedin. And that one of the Dietitians that helped him along those many years ago was named Cindy. We figured out the time frame and it seemed like it may have been when my Cindy was there. I showed him a photo and yes it was my Cindy that helped him.
Sometimes the world is a weird and small place. I still wonder if somehow she is somehow directing us.