Sympathy to Maureen Booth on the death of her husband, John Booth. If you are a Forest Parker who has lived here for several years, you will remember the tragic, dramatic fire in their home several years ago when they were saved by their beloved English bulldog, Jake. Jake too, died a few years ago.

Shirly Christell, president of the Friends of the Library alerts us to the fact that the friends are again doing what they do best? having a book sale. This fall’s event will take place Nov. 11, 12 and 13. Donations are welcome and volunteers are needed at the library and with the friends. Leave your name or a message at the desk if you are interested in helping out.

And while we’re in the library, may I recommend an exciting book I recently finished? Are you now or have you ever been a Roman Catholic? If so, I think you will find former Jesuit, Robert Kayser’s book “A Church in Search of Itself” most fascinating. It is a page turner.

On Sept. 23 the father-daughter team of Benny Goodman and Erika Goodman will be raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at Healy’s Westside on W. Madison. All are invited to an all-you-can-eat from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. for $35. Don’t forget to wish Erika and her father luck in the Chicago Marathon.

On Sunday, Oct. 8 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Doggie Palooza will be at our dog park, at Lehmer and Circle streets. Entertainment, food, doggie treats, hourly raffles and more, all for $5 at the gate. This fund-raiser will help pay for improvement and beautification projects at the park. It is sponsored by Friends of the Dog Park and the village of Forest Park. Call Jennifer Wolfe at 312-733-5227 for more information.

Although Peggy Hughes has only a small garden space in her back yard (about 4-feet by 20-feet) she has managed to grow enough vegetables to fill a silo. In Peggy’s limited space she has produced lots and lots of tomatoes, celery, peppers of several varieties, onions, squash, carrots, beans, and more.

Congratulations to new grandma, Diane Dormeyer and hubby grandpa Reza Ebadi. Parents of the new baby whose name is Max are Ryan and Jennifer Russ. Max was born Sept. 12, 2006.

There may just be a seat left on the bus to the Amana Colonies on Oct. 25, 26 and 27. You’ll get to visit the Herbert Hoover Memorial Library in West Branch, Iowa, play bingo and try your luck on other casino games with a $20 Good Times coupon in Tama, Iowa. All this occurs before touring the old world villages and National Landmark. Naturally you will be well fed along the way. Call 771-7737 before it’s too late.

Congratulations to Western Illinois graduate, Christopher M. Bayer who received his degree in law enforcement and justice administration.

It’s not too early to mark Wednesday, Oct. 25 on your calendar, or to make a reservation for the day at Centuries & Sleuths. That’s when nationally famous author, Erik Larson (“Devil in the White City,” etc.) will be signing copies of his latest thriller, “Thunderstruck.” Remember, Mr. Larson writes non-fiction that reads like fiction. This thriller-mystery is a non-fiction account of how Guglielmo Marconi’s new invention-the wireless-was used to capture a murderer who killed his wife in England. He escapes to America with his girlfriend dressed as a young boy who passes as the murderer’s son. Here is an author who tells us history in a most exciting way.

L’shana Tovah.

On to the birthdays? Sept. 21, Maria Walsh, Joseph Peterson, Gene Fletcher; Sept. 22, Gigi Alfano, VanEsta Harris, Pete Thiesse; Sept. 23, Bishoy Saleeb; Sept. 24, Samantha Grams; and on Sept. 25, Elsa Katlic, Linda Wojas. Also, a happy anniversary to Marge and Al Bucholtz. On Sept. 26 Caryn Lichtenberg, Lou Thompson, Jason Almeroth and Mary Ann Munoz will celebrate birthdays, and anniversary greetings to Connie and Ted Consiidine; on Sept. 27 happy birthday to Laura Zimmer and happy anniversary to Lori and Jim O’Shea.

(No Albanian lesson today, lost my book).

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...