The Christells, Jack and Shirley are winding down a year long celebration of their 60th wedding anniversary. The latest event was a trip through the Panama Canal with son Lance and daughter-in-law Carol. One of the activities aboard ship was a ship building contest in which passengers could use any materials on the ship to construct a working model that was able to carry a six pack. Guess who won? Lance, Carol, Jack and Shirley, of course (why else would I be mentioning it?).

If you should happen to see the pair as they take their morning stroll around town, stop and ask them all about the wonderful experience, the ships they saw from around the world, the scenery, the fascinating people, all of it. And welcome home, Christells. Spring put on this beautiful flower show just for your return.

Speaking of Shirley Christell, Mayor Calderone nominated her as Senior Volunteer of the Year for the Village of Forest Park! The ceremony took place in the Chicago Cultural Center in downtown Chicago and Mayor Daley presided over the affair. Unfortunately it all took place the day before the Christells arrived back home from the Panama Canal, so Shirley had to miss out on her fifteen minutes of fame.

The young ones are growing up. Natalie Ginger has become engaged to Matt Domek of Naperville. Natalie is the daughter of Debbie and Bob Ginger.who celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on April 4.

The West Suburban Artists Guild will present Art in the Park on Sunday, May 21 at Downtown Oak Park at Austin Gardens, Ontario and Forest (that’s behind the Lake theatre). One hundred artists will display their wares, admission is free and food and entertainment are also on the bill. Loro Auto works, Whole Foods Market, and Mancini’s Pizza and Pasta are offering awards. Call (708)445-9700 for more information.

Lisa Becker Grimes had a shower honoring her sister, Michelle who will be getting married next month to Clay Baum . The couple will be living in Ukrainian Village in Chicago following their wedding in the Tower of the Civil Opera Building. Among the celebrants at the shower were Michelle’s mother, Diane Becker, sister Nancy Becker and sister-in-law Desi Becker.

Do you remember the book by Sean Bryan, grandson of Ruth Loyd, A Boy and his Bunny? Well, Mr. Bryan has written a sequel to the “Bunny” book. If you recall, on the last page of that book, the boy’s sister came in with an alligator on her head. Naturally this sequel is A Girl and her Gator. It too had a favorable review in the Chicago Tribune book section a few weeks ago. You can probably get it at “The Magic Tree” at 141 North Oak Park Avenue (The Review is at 141 South Oak Park Avenue). Both books are not just silly kid stuff, they are clever and written in charming rhyme. You and your child will enjoy them.

Any composers in the audience? If so, start writing. The Walter A. Horban Memorial Composition Competition sponsored by the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest will offer a stipend of $2000 to the winner. The style should bridge the gap between classical and popular, the piece should not exceed 15 minutes, it will be performed during the 2007-2008 season of the symphony. For information write to SOPRF, Box 3564, Oak Park 60303.

May 4 happy birthday to Janie Grimes; on the 5th to Bill Dwyer and Sarah Ann Bothie; a May 6 happy birthday to Shirell Mollo; on the 7th to Michelle Collis, Erin Casey, Ashley Kanelos and Chantel Kamin; on May 8 birthday wishes to Dorothy Tricoci on the 9th to Becky Marcantonio and Carrie Schwebl; May 19 and Carol Dwyer gets a birthday greeting along with Kylie Earing, and happy anniversary wishes to June and Bob Isslehard and Ellen and Morris O’Connor.

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

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...