Welcome to the 1500 block of Elgin to Forest Park’s resident veterinarian, Dr. Gary Soumar. Dr. Soumar and his wife Amy have been honored by the American Humane Society and the ASPCA for their volunteer work in Austin, Texas with animal victims of Hurricane Katrina. There the Soumars cared for lost, old, separated, hungry, injured and frightened dogs, cats and whatever. They carefully bathed, petted, fed, administered medication where it was needed and housed hundreds of animals. Only about 10 percent of the animals were united with their families at the time the couple left, but there were hopes that the number would increase. The Soumars were uplifted by the generosity and love the volunteers down there showed. Food, clean towels and water were freely given.

Dr. Soumar’s business address is 603 Madison in Oak Park. I discovered him when one of my pets developed a problem on, naturally, a Wednesday. Soumar was the only one open on Wednesdays so that’s where we had to go. Great discovery, he also seems to charge a lot less than other vets, at least for simple medication. He will also tend to sick or injured animals after hours or will forward your call to a nearby location.

I also met a Forest Park groomer while walking around with my pal, Lucky. Pet Van Gogh is operated by Kathy Krupa. Kathy’s cell phone is (773) 368-2396 and she’s right here in town so she’ll be at your service within minutes.

Congratulations to Literacy Volunteers from the Friends of the Forest Park Library who earned a second place in the annual Spelling Bee for adults at Holley Court Terrace last Thursday evening. Winning spellers from our team were Marge Zwadlo, Nancy Robinson and Trudy Rosnos. The word they won on was “tutelage” and what they won was a $25 gift certificate-each for Lettuce Entertain You. So they’re going to have a victory party and invite their most loyal booster and cheer leader, Zeno Jacquat to be their guest. A special bonus for the friends was the fact that our beloved and much missed adult services librarian, Cynthia Maroon was there hard at work volunteering for the Literacy Volunteers.

Erin and Jim Watts became Mr. And Mrs. on March 31 at the Union League Club. They are now officially “at home” in Forest Park.

If you have been going to the series of films presented by the Friends of the Forest Park Library, you know how great these selections are. Barbara Plona deserves a big thank you for her research in getting these outstanding films. On April 22nd at 2 p.m. the Friends will present Paper Clips, a critically acclaimed compassionate and illuminating story. Students at a middle school in Indiana began collecting paper clips when they studied the holocaust. Nobody could have predicted what this simple activity engendered. It changed an entire town, come and see how and why. As Robert Butler of the Kansas City Star said “this is a modest film with a big heart that leaves you thinking that Anne Frank got it right, ‘basically people are good.'”

On to the birthdays, on April 12 it’s Chrissy Neumann, Sara Meschimer and Zachary Peter Janopoulos; on April 13 Kara Einbinder and Jim Stanton; April 14 Don Cote, Julie Mahnke, Dawn Mandile, John Marino and Amy Thiesse Vobornik; April 16 Benjamin Gerger, Don Cote, John Rice, Jesscia Witt, and Parker Ryan Wojtas; April 17 and happy birthday to Shawn Miller and Grace Ahern; on the 18th of April Lisa Grimes,.

That’s about it. 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...