'Lollipop Man' Finds Long Lost Birth Father Applying For Same Job
Darren Wardle, 47, from Staffordshire, U.K., had a similar shock when he located his own birth father. Turns out, they were both as school crossing guards, or as they call them in the U.K., lollipop men, for the same county council. They lived just 15 miles apart, and according to the Daily Mail, were applying for the same job.
Ferris had Wardle when he was just 15-years-old, reports the Daily Mail, and put him up for adoption as a newborn. Twenty-five years ago, Wardle, who is now a grandfather himself, tracked down his birth mother. But it was only in 2010, four years after his adopted father died of cancer, that Wardle began looking for his birth father.
told the Tamworth Herald. "I couldn't believe this when he told me and at first I thought he must be joking. Of all the different jobs and careers we could have chosen, we ended up doing the same role at Staffordshire County Council."
Wardle had been working as a lollipop man for three years, his father, a retired engineer, for two.
But there's an inordinate amount of lollipopping in Wardle's family. His wife is a lollipop lady, as is his mother-in-law, and was his adopted mother for years. "It makes you wonder whether being a lollipop man might be in the blood," says Simon Tagg, who oversees the county's 323 school crossing guards.
As uncanny as the story is, it doesn't quite beat the ultimate reunion story of identical twin brothers Jim Lewis and Jim Springer, who were separated at birth. When they were reunited 39 years later, they discovered that they'd both pursued occupations in law enforcement, one as a security guard, and one as a deputy sheriff. They'd also been given the same names by their adopted parents, drove the same model blue Chevrolet, chain-smoked the same cigarette brand, owned dogs named Toy, married women named Linda, and then divorced and re-married women named Betty.
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Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.
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