Dear Mom, Crestlothian Midwood Passed May 2, 2016, Love Valerie

I regret to inform you that Crestlothian Midwood passed along into the pages of only the past this past May 2nd when the United Postal Service told Crestwood it earned its own zip code.

The first postal outpost in Bremen Township was both established and ran by members of the Rexford family somewhere in the 1840’s/1850’s.  At that time, much of Crestwood, Robbins, Midlothian and Oak Forest was entirely undeveloped and one outpost was more than sufficient to serve the area.  Once the Chicago-Rock Island was established in 1952, this made the concept of a postal service a whole new set of strategic development maps.

Eventually, George Thorne of Montgomery Ward fame built out the widest and largest catalog sales service to become known as Montgomery Wards.  Thorne’s policies and procedures propelled his methods to the forefront of capitalism and the postal service went through its own forced growing pains.  Thorne even had installed the Midlothian-Blue Island Railroad, considered the shortest railroad system at the time when the rails themselves were nothing more than a slightly longer spur from the main line and its own private locomotive owners.

Midlothian incorporated before Crestwood by a sliver of a margin (Midlothian tried in 1924, couldn’t, succeeded in 1927 and Crestwood was 1928) and Robbins was already incorporated quite a few years prior to this (Oak Forest wouldn’t incorporate until 1947, first as a village and then as a city).  Without getting into the picking process of a post office, we know that eventually there was some type of an agreement that Crestwood and Midlothian would share the same zip code.  Of course we don’t have memos or reports to look at to draw such a conclusion, but it was likely an internal decision by the United States Postal Service as there were very specific benchmarks a community had to achieve to even be considered for its own zip code.

Then came computers.

Then came the Internet.

Then came capability for singular typo chaos of the micro and mass scale…

Former Crestwood Mayor Chester Stranczyk was known to be vehemently opposed to the Internet concept, believing it was the rope puller to cause bells to toll in only the most dire of ways. While it would be easy for a comedian to tap into the travesty and injustice put upon the people of that community in an effort to ease the ache for but a moment, let alone the discovery turmoil Midlothian is traveling through, look at our ability to flip a switch and poof!  We’re connected to our own imaginations in ways generations before most likely never visualized or even sensed in any real capacity.  George Thorne would not have been a superstar IF he was trying to establish a new sales and delivery method in this day and age and who knows, he might not even have made it to Chicago from Michigan in the first place, let alone being born in Vermont.

This is a restart button of the barely visible, heart-beating, life-changing kind.

Whether or not the actuaries have been presenting their results using the data they acquired in a fair and reasonable presentation matters enormously courtesy of data aggregation capabilities, let alone the mathematical calculations swirling around the data.  While insurance companies might use one set of formulas established to view raw data in a variety of forms, medical databases carry their own data with their own data source, analysis software, etc. and so on.

That’s only covering the people who play with data for a living as professionals, complete typically with those college acronyms.

Then we have those data sets to contend with in terms of anyone being able to start up a website presenting data attached to a zip code.

Reputation calculations are considered proprietary in nature and good luck on nailing down what Google uses when it decides what it will send spiders to and from, when and for what.  But those algorithms and lists and other stuff all adds up to our two communities competing for the time and attention of a POTENTIAL audience member.

For example, as a developer of my own Internet footprints, I don’t feel wrong for calling upon people to Shop Midlothian with my words.  And while I don’t mind any business getting business, I know that my own hopes run wild and free in the direction of the Village of Midlothian seeing a rise in sales tax revenues and its just that I have no need to see Crestwood negatively impacted from my own efforts.

However, now it will be easier for me as a programmer to present to my own audience that specific of a communications strategy just as Crestwood will now have the same equal opportunity.

We ARE two entirely different communities with a variety of shared obstructions and objectives.

Because of US Postal Service policy, Crestwood now has a chance to start a new set of calculator tapes, so-to-speak and Midlothian gets to hold onto the legacy of what we’ve had for so long.

Phew.

What a restart button for both communities, right?

Congratulations to the people of the Village of Crestwood!  May this bring positive changes to your community in countless ways!  Great excuse for a celebration this summer with live music <nudge, nudge>.

Rest In the Pages of history our friend, Crestlothian Midwood.  You served your purpose and thank you.  Let’s stay friends, shall we?

P.S.  To those here in Midlothian, while its not a drastic event that we are keeping our same zip code, the people of Crestwood voted for action to take place that was outlined in a policy book.  They didn’t go to the polling place.  They chose to state their position on the matter one way or another to the standing authorities and the result is now dramatic change to our record-keeping habits.

*****Happy Mother’s Day Mom!  I’m sorry I gave you such a hard time whenever you wanted to stop for a moment and check your receipt against what you were about to leave with whenever we went shopping.

It was hard to recognize you were helping them in the process…and that it was management that typically had the problem dealing with the problem they created, not you.

But you had it right there in black and white every time…

P.P.S.  If you have ever been in a store and heard the call for a “price check on,” that might have been my mom asking for it.  Take my word for it, be happy anyone does it.  If she didn’t, you might have paid the wrong amount of money for something in the future…and she’s wasn’t asking to get paid for keeping an eye on it.

She just wanted what was promised her if she patronized the business with her hard-earned money.

Shouldn’t be difficult for a manager of a business to understand the concept, but it was.

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