Do you like it well enough to go on a vacation with your boss? I don’t mean a boss/employee thing like Weyland Smithers and Montgomery Burns, I mean like Dixie Quitsch and Nedra Wentland. Not only are they cousins, they work side by side all year doing flower arrangements, wedding flowers, church, funeral, birthday, etc., but they even have to go to family affairs in the same family. This year Nedra and Dixie went to Branson, Missouri for a week, then up to the North Woods to spend some time with their friend, ex-Forest Parker, Shirley Jahoda.

Remember Lillian Spain from the produce department at Calcagno’s long ago? While doing some telephone business with 4 Imprint in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, I learned that Lillian’s granddaughter, Kathi Spangler is working right there at 4 Imprint! She said hello from Lillian to all the Forest Parkers who remember her.

Is everyone going to hear Danny Davis at the River Forest Community Center August 24? We see what can happen when government is left to the politicians. “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” I’m as guilty as the next guy, but it’s too bad we don’t all go to library meetings, council meetings, park board meetings, school board meetings etc. Money can be squandered, voted on and spent without anyone knowing a thing about it. It has happened in the past and will happen in the future. Only we can do something to stop it or at least slow it down.

As you may have heard, the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest (what a mouthful that is) is celebrating its 75th anniversary this coming season, 2005-2006. Volunteers are needed to assist in the selling of souvenir mementos, i.e. tote bags, mugs, tee shirts, etc. during concert intermissions. If you think you could give an hour or two this year to help out, please call (708) 366-4685. Leave a message and a phone number. You’ll meet lots of nice people at the symphony.

The 500 Thomas Block Party was a huge success as usual. One reason the day was such a success is that it got off to a great start with breakfast on the porch of the venerable Cora Koch. Lillian Sansone was back to inspect the progress of her former house as it is growing and growing and growing. The party went on into the night, never rowdy, just lots of nice quiet conversation and soft laughter. What would you expect? Good neighbors and good friends all of them.

Daniel and Sarah Gassi are back from their long vacation in Argentina, Daniel’s former home. Looking for a good music teacher? Gassi School of Music, right here in town, is the place.

No changes on the library board yet. When is that going to happen? Of the 80 libraries in our district FIVE are in the “at risk” category. Five out of eighty, and Forest Park is one of those five at risk. At risk when just a few short years ago the Forest Park Public Library was a showplace for the Illinois Library Association. Visitors from all over were brought here to show off the excellent working conditions, obvious high morale, children’s activities in the lower level, and so on.

Senior Oktoberfest August 31, 11 am til 3 pm. $17 for residents, $20 non-resident. Make a reservation, (708) 771-7737 There’ll be a German band, polkas, waltzes,lots of favorite food and drinks. Senior Bingo Thursday, August 25 at 1 p.m. $2.50, lunch for $5 per person at noon. Reservations required, (708)771-7737. Everybody has a good time on the senior trips. In September they’ll be heading for Drury Lane, Morton Arboretum, Wrigley Field, Drury Lane Water Tower, Mystery Trip, Village Players, and lunch at La Piazza.Call 708.771.7737 to make a reservation before they’re all filled up.

On August 24 happy birthday to Kamryn Edwards and happy anniversary to Mary and Ron Moravec; on the 25th Candi Manaois has a birthday ; on the 26th Leslie Kelley and Wilma Haley get a birthday wish; on the 27th Hazel Anne Rossi will be two years old; on the 28th the Cassiani sisters,Colleen and Tiffany share a birthday Rosalie Koldan has a birthday and Melissa and Anthony Tareck have a happy anniversary; August 29th and a happy birthday to Donna Chan, Len Gappa, Milady Gerger, Bethany Hawkins, Brandi Mintz, Jaclyn Moravec and Matt DeCosola; on August 30 happy birthday to Michelle Becker, Aaron Scheiwe, Zachary Drane, John Connor Trage; August 31 and birthday wishes go to Jessica Huebner, Al Lussow and Samantha Triplett.

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...