A little late with this one but it is certainly worth mentioning: On the night of July 4, Irene Cosgrove held her new great-grandson, 6-day-old Frank, in her arms for the first time. Baby Frank is the son of Tara and Tim, grandson of Pat and Rich Cassiani. He’s a handsome little fellow, very well behaved. His birthday is June 29.

My cousin lives in an apartment complex, far south suburb. When he had a BBQ last weekend, the grass caught fire! The grass!

Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, and Teddy Roosevelt will have nice clean faces when Forest Park pays them a visit in September. Have you read about the really big scrubbing the boys have been getting at Mt. Rushmore?

Proud parents Kevin and Anne Formanski welcomed their new baby girl, Paityn Frances on May 31. Equally proud grandparents are Peggy Woods Curran and Gary Curran of Forest Park. You probably remember Daddy Kevin from his growing up days in Forest Park.

One of the brightest jewels in the crown of Forest Park has always been our library. Even in the old days when the library was a quaint old frame house, we were rated an “A” classification, based on the number of books in the collection, the number of card holders per population, etc. Circulation was published monthly. Rarely, if ever, was anyone fired. The reason anyone left the board or the staff was usually because they’d moved too far away. Morale was high, Chuck Brod was firm but well-liked, the staff was always glad to see him, as was true of Orrin Thorsen who preceded Chuck. Money was always a problem, but good planning produced good results. Everyone loved to drop into the library. Everyone loved going to work there. That was then. This is now. Since John Sayers was let go (and I plead guilty as a participant in that grave mistake) the library has gone from good to bad to a disaster. Morale could not possibly be worse. There are no new books on the circulation shelves. Loyal well-liked, conscientious workers have been fired for no apparent reason. The most recent four to leave are Adult Services’ Eric Battaglia (now at Oak Park), Youth Services’ Nancy Kerr (now at River Forest), and board members Suzie Bale and Dwight Decker who will soon be leaving. One of those four was quoted as saying, “There is no hope left here.”

A recent Review editorial got it right. We do not have the right form of government for our community. The library board members and president should not be appointed by a mayor; they should be elected by the people. They are trustees. We put our trust in them to make decisions for the welfare of all of us. Any who betray that trust should be removed before the library has to close. If that occurs, what will happen to our real estate values that seem to be booming so nicely? Schools and libraries are cultural and social gauges by which communities are judged. Let’s keep Forest Park’s reputation positive. In my opinion, a library is the most important institution in a community. The thoughts and lives of the past can influence us today. We have to think when we read, so we can question ideas and actions of leaders. That’s what our country used to believe in. I hope we still do.

July 20-27 birthdays are: July 20, Kate Tricoci and Ellie Clifton; on the 21st, happy birthday to Tim Mellin and Arthur Farrell; July 22, Ryan Pacyga; the 23rd, Derek Hein; on July 24, happy birthday to Elfie Pett, Kathy Thiesse and Rick Hemstreet, and happy first anniversary to Jeff Ashman and Lorien Menhennett; on July 25, happy birthday to Stephanie Mondragon, Richard Lulipani and Kevin Thompson; Aug. 26 and a birthday wish goes to Cathy Collins and Claudia Mandile; on August 27, the same wish goes to Eric Hartley Neubeiser and Joan Bigos.

Thanks for your time. Insist on a good library. You paid for it.

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...