Welcome to Forest Park to newcomers, Ingrid Smith and her son Glenn Smith. Oh Glenny, we hardly knew ye…Glenn and his mother were here only a short time when he took off for Indonesia where he taught English for a year. Mr. Smith earned his degrees at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and following his graduation he became a part of CELTA, associated with Cambridge University. CELTA involves the teaching of English to students in non English speaking countries. While in Indonesia Glenn traveled to exotic places such as Singapore, Java, Australia and who knows where else. After spending a short summer with us, he is again off to teach. This time in the Czech Republic and the beautiful old city of Prague. Ingrid’s other son, Wayne is now living in New York where he recently graduated form Julliard, no less, with a major in drama. Has anyone form Forest Park ever graduated from Julliard, I wonder?

Wayne has taken acting roles in some off Broadway productions and is now performing in “Faust,” “Measure for Measure,” and “The Beatles.” Break a leg, Wayne!

Block parties are a rarity this summer owing to the much needed, long awaited alley work being done. But Rich and Uli Leib again took matters into their own hands, gave their own block party and invited personal friends along with everyone on the block. Even thought the heat index was somewhere around 100, neighbors and friends came to visit and listen to great music supplied by an ad hoc ensemble composed of professional musicians – well, most of them were professional. Rich and Uli’s friends came from all over from Riverwoods to Riverside and points in between. The Leibs have been “making summer funner” since 1999.

Thanks for letting me know about birthdays. I’m always looking for new names. But please leave your phone number in case I have some questions. And always include the birth date, not just the names. I do appreciate any help I can get here.

Speedy get well wishes to Marge Hanson who was recently cared for at Oak Park Hospital.

Welcome to the world and Forest Park to Akeela Owens who arrived on June 22. Akeela is the daughter of Taushe and Gregory Owens , the granddaughter of Dorothy and Roosevelt Smith and great granddaughter of Minnie Maxwell Smith. Akeela has lots of cousins including Christian Harper to help mom take care of her.

Tina and Gary Neubeiser with sons Grant and Eric have returned from a cruise up the Mississippi on their boat whose name escapes me. The Neubeisers cast off from MacGregor, Iowa and ended their voyage at Winona, Minnesota. While on board they celebrated the birthdays of Tina on July 4; Grant on July 24 and Eric on July 27.

On July 28 Centuries and Sleuths will have an author discussion and signing of Will Thomas’s latest Cyrus Baker Mystery, The Limehouse Test at 7 p.m. On the 30th of July, Clio’s Chroniclers will discuss Che: A Memoir by author Fidel Castro. That sounds like a not-to-be-missed afternoon. Starts at 2 p.m.

On July 27 we can all sing “happy birthday” to Eric Hartley Neubeiser, Joan Bigos and Lauri Falbo; On July 28 to dear old Brett McNeil (whatever are you up to these days, Brett?) On the 29th of July it’s time for Hope Simon to get a birthday greeting , she’s always helping me out with birthday dates, so special Happy Birthday to you, Hope; also to Brent Marler, Debbie Wall and Heather Byrnes; on the 30th Cecilia Rossi, and Dan Venske get a cake and on July 31 Kelly Rice has a birthday; Can you believe it’s August already? On August 1, Happy birthday to Rebecca Greskoniak, Allison Pacyga and eleven-year-old Jake Brown, grandson of Esther and Ed Huebner; on August 2 special birthday greetings to Mary Liebner toPhil Jilek and also Al Verri

Thanks for taking the time to read this and 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...