Regardless of your feelings about the “war” in Iraq, I think everyone feels great respect and awe for the medics and clergy who are serving the men and women who are over there. Such a man is marine Chaplain Rev. John T. Hannigan, brother in law of Osco pharmacist, Marv Georke. Father Hannigan is the brother of Pat Hannigan, Marv’s wife. He has seen action in Djbouti, Baghdad, and every Iraqi city you have ever heard mentioned in the news. Although they are proud of his unselfish actions, their days are filled with anxiety as they wait for Father Hannigan’s return. As do we all.

Dorothy Smith is an enterprising woman. Since she retired from nursing, she has filled her days riding her bike down the alleys of Forest Park collecting aluminum cans. With the money Dorothy gets from recycling, she pays for her fishing hobby. You might want to save a few cans “watch for her pedaling down your alley.

The 1500 block of Marengo welcomes the Roach Family. That block has always been known as an extremely child-friendly block and the Roaches fit right in. Daddy Paul is a navy doctor doing a fellowship at the University of Chicago. Mom Meghan is a stay at home mom having retired early from the teaching profession to raise her family. Big sister is Helen, middle sister Maeve and lively Fiona, the youngest. After a three year stay in Sicily, a short stay in Maryland and a few other naval bases, the Roach Family will be here for a few years before daddy has to move on. One of Forest Park’s finest is their uncle Tim Adams married to Paul’s sister Ann Roach Adams.

Save March 19 for the Beethoven 9th Symphony being performed to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest. It’s at 4 p.m. at First United Church , 848 Lake Street in Oak Park. Several of your neighbors are performing. In the orchestra and chorus. On March 12 at 3 p.m., same church, you can hear Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. This piece is really exciting and wonderful, I think you’ll be glad you came to hear it.

It’s the week of March 8 and the birthday of Beau Ahern, Scott Novak, Whitey Harris, Eddie Johnson, and Madeline Krieger; on the 9th happy birthday to Steve Grams, Bill Scheiwe, Dorothy Olson, Logan Kantzer, and Melissa Dodge; a March 10 happy birthday to Matt Stefl, Julie Doloszycki, Jean Malone and Kelli Haukendahl; on March 11 to Loretta Jantz, Ruth Lussow, and Seth Stern; on March 12 to Esther Hartke, Connor Grimes and Davion Barr; March 13 to Terry Meffley and happy anniversary to Fritz and Susanne Kloess; a March 14 happy birthday to Geri Leninger, Ted Fox and Tom Pingel; on the 15th happy anniversary to Lou and Bev Thompson; and to Isabel and Bob Fox happy birthday to Coralee Johnson, Ethan Flanagan .

Again, thanks for your time. Chop a bun ,as they say in Albania.

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...