It was a lovely spring afternoon and Christine Montes was celebrating her spring break by having lunch with her grandmother, Marion Eggersdorf and mother Linda Montes. Naturally they chose one of Forest Park’s most charming lunch spots, caffé de Luca. Josie Montes-Eggersdorf, the dachshund, remained at home because she barks too much. Adorable, but barks too much.

Congratulations to the President of the Friends of the River Forest Library and her husband, Mary and Dr. Edwin Liebner. The Dr. Edwin and Mary Liebner Endowment Fund has just been established and will provide income each year to support the mission of the library. The Liebners have also been active in the Friends of the Forest Park Library and Dr. Ed has presented programs here from time to time. His wild flower presentation broke all records for attendance at a library program.

Keep in mind the fund raiser on June 2 for abused women and children at the Elmcrest in Elmwood Park on Grand Avenue. This dinner is being sponsored by the Western Catholic Union and our contact person is Karen Lembkeat (773) 589-0344. Unfortunately Karen injured her back and is unable to work for a few days. But she can answer the phone and make a reservation for you or give you information.

Last week I got a delightful surprise when the phone rang and the voice of Roger Calcagno of the beloved Calcagno Clan was on the other end. Roger has news of the family including Mike and Frieda who will be married for 61 years! They’re still in Elmhurst where they’ve lived for all of those years. Joe Calcagno is also out west and daughter Jody is there too. Bonnie and Diane are living in Florida. Ann and John also send their love back to Forest Park. Many years ago, when the boys announced they’d be closing the store, customers cried and pleaded with them to stay. Unfortunately the younger generation didn’t want to tend to the business so close it they did. Too bad for all of us. I actually had dreams that they’d decided to stay. It was the social center of town, like the village fountain plaza in time past. If you were in a hurry, you could never shop at “Cal’s” because everyone you knew was in the store. You couldn’t get away in less than two hours! I can still see Sharon Calderone with her two full shopping carts when Tony and his brothers and sisters were little kids back home on Elgin Avenue. Jay Lentini used the store like a pantry, ran over whenever she needed something. It was just two doors away and open every day of the week. Larry Kaercher did a lot of the family shopping and he could talk for hours on end, Pat Hemstreet worked in the deli … I could go on about all the shoppers who are no longer with us (Pat Hemstreet is still extant, just living in Georgia with daughter Laurel). The name “Calcagno” is fading away from the south side of the building on Desplaines. But for those of us who loved Calcagno’s, the memory will always be bright.

Opus 3 Trio will present an all Argentine program on Saturday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Cheney Mansion at 220 North Euclid in Oak Park. Your favorite South American composers works will be featured. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door. Call (708) 383-2612 for information and/or reservations. Dr. Gerald Anderson on piano and our own Sarah Gasse on violin and Dr. Daniel Gasse, cello.

April 29 is the happy birthday of Julie Poisson, Patrick White, Josh Witkowski, Rosetta Hall and Ronald Moravec; on April 30 it’s Mstislav Rostropovich, Joanne Grant, Debbie Scolero, Narcy Dufkis Gleason and Horocio Munoz; on the 31st it’s Josef Haydn, Dan Tucker, Frieda Schwenke and Debbie Jargstorf; On April 1 it’s happy birthday to Dolores Holub, Fabrizio Cirrintano, and Frances Pusavc.

Jackie Schulz

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...