Jack Clark walked tall out of Deadwood, tall as a tree but with a shiner to light up the skies. (You should have seen the other guy.) Don’t play poker with Jack Clark.

There were a few youngsters on the Mt. Rushmore senior trip. The youngest was Doris Smith and even she had a birthday on September 21st and became a year older. To celebrate Doris’s birthday we all went for a ride on an antique 1880’s train ride to Keystone, South Dakota. Here’s Doris, there’s the train. You can see she is not an official senior yet.

The adventure took us to the Badlands, buffalo country (we were told they are bison, not buffalo), the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D., Mt Rushmore, all that wonderful open space. They have stars in the sky in South Dakota, lots and lots of stars, which was a wonderful experience.

But I couldn’t help but feel great sadness thinking of what we did to the Indians. The sculptor who created the foundation that is carving the Crazy Horse memorial was Korczak Ziolkowski. The foundation will not accept any government money for the completion of this monument. Never did, never will. All donations are from private money. The U.S government lied too many times to the Indians ever to be trusted again. By the way, they do call themselves “Indians” not “native Americans”.

Also by the way, Gutzon Borglum was the sculptor of Mr. Rushmore, completed a few months after his death.

Cathy Vetter has been busy collecting items for the Katrina and Rita animals via the Oak Park Animal Care League.

Speaking of our animal “friends,” some busybody has been calling animal control reporting dogs that are left in back yards around town. One of our dearest little furry friends has been put under “house arrest” after being reported for being in his own fenced, gated yard complete with toys, water and a cool tree to lie under on hot days.

That poor little dog had been living in a cage awaiting death at a shelter. It was so happy to be free at last in a nice grassy yard able to run and play with passers by. Fun’s over. Get a life, busybody.

Profuse apologies to Augie Aleksy and Centuries & Sleuths for the mixup in dates. Here is the truth: On November 4 and 5 “Meeting of Minds” will feature Benjamin Franklin (John Kearney), Ida B. Wells (Madelin Moon),Nellie Bly (Tracy Aleksy) and moderator Edward R. Murrow (John Rice). The group will consider Journalism’s responsibility to the commonwealth. Admission is $10. On November 6 the bookstore will celebrate 15 years of service to the community by presenting excellent reading in the mystery and history departments. On that day from 1 till 5 p.m. 15 festive and memorable prizes will be raffled off (one for each year). Several Chicago area authors will be in attendance.

Many thanks to Hope Simon for trying to keep me up to date on the birthdays.

On October 5 happy birthday wishes go to Theresa Lovasich, Nick Mangiaracina and Nathan Johnson; on the 6th to Allen Latall, Jason Fabiani and Gary Aelmeroth; on October 7 Yo Yo Ma has a birthday along with Angela Spiratos;on October 8 Todd and Denise Marler have an anniversary, as do Katie and Johnny Tricoci, and a happy birthday to Samantha Thiesse and Todd Cote; on October 9 Karen and Tom Hawkins get a happy anniversary and the same to Karen and Craig Kurey; Cody Healy has a birthday and so do Jan Behnke and Marissa Mullen; October 10 and a happy birthday to Morgan Hosty, Kevin Doss and Anthony Bartolotte happy anniversary to Mike and Eve Dudzik; October 11th and a happy birthday to Bob Sullivan, Mark Hosty, Eve Dudzik and happy anniversary to the Marundes, Fred and Roberta.

Thanks for your time. Chop a bun.

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...