It's that time of year again — block parties. The 600 block of Beloit Avenue has always had a famous one and this year was even more spectacular. The date was changed because a prominent family on the block is moving — to Peru!
Sarah, Chuck and Journey Alvarado will be leaving this week for a two-year stint in the shadow of Machu Pichu. They will be sorely missed by their neighbors and everyone hopes they will eventually return to Forest Park. The plan is to find another faraway place to spend another two years before returning. By the time Journey is a bit older, she will have had the experience of living in several different cultures, learning several languages and making friends with people of different ways of life. Wonderful!
Get well wishes to Lucy Gianelli who wasn't able to make the party since she was recovering at Rush Hospital in Oak Park. Her husband Joe was on hand greeting everyone and acting much like his old self. May Bill was the queen of the day as usual. The 97-year-old was still serving up her special recipe of baked beans along with her morning tea, lemonade or whatever your pleasure.
Two lifelong friends Scarlett Strickland and Ana Rrahmani will soon be parting because Scarlett is moving. The two girls have been together daily since Scarlett was born. Ana is four years old, Scarlet is three. Their birthdays are less than a week apart. Because Scarlett's mother works, Scarlett stayed with Ana so Ana's mother could care for her. The girls spent many happy hours in their log cabin playhouse this summer. We hope their friendship continues for a lifetime.
Another Forest Parker (who must be nameless as it involves taking time off school) has a mother who lives in Carbondale, Illinois! She is going to have a front row seat for the August 23eclipse. SIU is opening school a day early for the occasion.
Birthday Book is lost! Help. Are you on good terms with Saint Anthony? Please plead on my behalf for him to find it. Journey Alvarado will be celebrating this year's August birthday en route to Peru, other birthdays this month include Storey Novak, Allison Pacyga, Jake Brown, Phil Jilek, Joe Davis, Grant Neubeiser, Reid Thompson, Rocco Cirrintano, Angela Tricoci, Kevin Nutley, Tom Curry, Christina Cassiani, Donald Childs, Dorothy Lambke and Bill Lichtenberg.
Jackie is a former Chicago and Elmwood Park schoolteacher with an undying love for music, friendly pets and a host of life's other treasures too numerous to list. She was born on the far southwest side of Chicago in a great neighborhood when it was a great time to be young.