By Devin Rose
Carol Holibaugh is looking for an Oak Parker named Bill. The problem is, she needs a little help from area residents to find him.
Holibaugh, of Barrington, went with a friend late last month to see rock band The Who perform at Allstate Arena. The 48-year-old healthcare worker was sitting in the venue's handicapped section, since her friend uses a wheelchair, when she met a man named Bill. The two struck up a conversation.
Holibaugh said they talked about the band, who she has seen live close to 20 times. He told her he lived in Oak Park across from the Green Line L tracks. They talked about his amputated right leg.
Close to the end of the concert, Holibaugh needed to get her friend home for treatment. She wanted to beat traffic before it was over, so she told Bill it was nice to meet him, shook his hand and left.
The next morning, Holibaugh thought more about the encounter, and realized they hadn't exchanged numbers. So she began a search for Bill from Oak Park.
She knows the story sounds cheesy, but "he was such a nice guy," Holibaugh said. "I didn't know how else to do it; somebody's got to know him."
Holibaugh made 13 signs — her lucky number — that included her phone number and details about how the two met and put them up around downtown Oak Park. She said she decided to put the information out there because she's seen a lot of circumstances in the healthcare field that have made her realize life is short. This is a way for her to live life to the fullest, she said.
A little more than a week after the concert, Holibaugh got a call one night from someone claiming to be the same Bill. She was suspicious, but told him that she wanted to get together for coffee or lunch. He said he had to go but that he'd call back. The first name on the caller ID was William.
An internet search revealed this William had a Forest Park address on Madison Street and he seemed to be about the same age as Bill from the concert. Holibaugh sent a Christmas card to the address, giving her phone number and a note that she'd like to meet up again.
Holibaugh hasn't heard anything yet and doesn't know if she will, but she said she had to try.
"I know it sounds really weird, by my whole life has always played out like a bad Hollywood movie," she said. "If it's meant to be, it'll be, I guess."