Local filmmaker on silver screen

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Linda Wojtas will be sorely missed by everyone. Her charm and smile brought peace and joy to a troubled library several years ago. Linda got along with everyone and did her job efficiently and faithfully. She was proud of her magician husband and especially proud of her grandchildren. She was an artist whose work, like Linda herself, was brightly colored, and childlike. When she wrote letters, her envelopes were colored by crayon, with happy nature scenes; flowers, lakes, green trees, bright blue skies. That was how Linda viewed the world. We lost her at much too young an age.

Carol Byars is back in town for the premier of her son Eric Battersby's film, "Pyrite," which was shown at the Lake Theatre Monday, Jan. 28. The film has been Eric's dream and all-consuming project for the past 10 years. It involves Forest Park, Proviso East High School and many recent graduates of that school. Some prominent Forest Parkers have also been involved, in some way or other, with the completion of this work. Among the names you will probably recognize are Art and Christopher Jones, also Lisa and Loren Haeger and Justin Williams. The film was shot in or around Proviso East, Forest Park, and other familiar places.

Eric himself is a 1989 Proviso East graduate. Raising money, getting talent, writing and rewriting, have taken time. Eric's production company, Hollywood 27 Productions, is based in Forest Park.

Music is by Phil Doyle, director of photography is RJ Blazen, co-producers are Jonathan LaCocoque and Eric. "Pyrite" was written and directed by Eric. Best of luck to Hollywood 27 Productions.

Congratulations to Dorothy and Angelo Spinelli on the momentous occasion of their 71st wedding anniversary on Feb. 7. The Spinellis are lifelong Forest Park residents.

Olinda Fink is happy because she passed her audition and learned the soprano part for the "Brahms German Requiem," which will be performed by the orchestra and chorus of the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest on Feb. 10 at 4 p.m., First United Church of Oak Park, 848 Lake St. Tickets for this masterwork are going fast, but you may be able to purchase one at the door if you get there early. These chorus concerts are usually sell-outs so come early. Chorus Master is Bill Chin, symphony conductor, Jay Friedman.

The orchestra and chorus are pleased to spread the news that cellist, Phil Blum is recovering and back home at Holley Court.

On Feb. 9 the G.K. Chesterton Society will discuss "The Wisdom of Father Brown" at Centuries & Sleuths. On the 17th of February a discussion and signing of Larry W. Green's "Water Tanks of Chicago: A Vanishing Urban Legacy."

Mardi Gras at Fitzgerald's Monday, Feb. 4 and Tuesday, Feb. 5 will feature New Orleans cuisine and hot jazz. If you can't go to New Orleans, go to Fitzgerald's.

We say goodbye to January this week. On Jan. 30, happy birthday to Ricki Beam; on Feb. 1, to Megan Childs, Becky Lauris, Rosemary Krieger; on the 2nd, John and Marie Spence celebrate another wedding anniversary and Rose Everson has a birthday; on the 3rd, Ashley Mendez; Feb. 4, Laura Courtney; Feb. 6, Stacy LoCasio, Liliana Vincenza, and Ann Spence have a birthday.

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