Congratulations to new parents Melissa and Tony Turek on the birth of their new son John Peter, who was born Oct. 20, 2006. John Peter has a big sister, Zianna and a big brother, A.J.. A.J. and Zianna are waiting for John to get bigger so they can all play together.

Forest Park grandparents are Sharon and Dennis Limbagh.

It was SRO at Centuries and Sleuths last Wednesday when best-selling author Erik Larson signed copies of his latest non-fiction historical mystery, “Thunderstruck.” Mr. Larson’s research took him far and wide including a trip to Italy with his daughter. While eating at a small, unpretentious restaurant near the Pantheon, their waiter suggested they stay a while and order dessert. Within minutes a large impressive cortege of Alpha Romeos stormed the place and discharged their passenger, Bill Clinton followed by Victor Ushenko. Clinton walked past the Larson’s table, smiled and said, “good evening” to Larson’s beautiful daughter.

In case you’re near the Pantheon some day, Sabbatino’s is the restaurant.

A pre-Halloween block party for the 600 blocks of Hannah and Thomas and the 500 block of Thomas ended prematurely when a sudden cloudburst forced the revelers to flee indoors. But the Urban’s big, bouncing spooks kept having fun with the row of jack-o-lanterns.

Nick Garlisch holds one of the winning pumpkin heads. Other winning heads were decorated by Kate and Sophia Miller, Madeleyne and Victoria Garlisch and Heubertine Henzler.

Sympathy to Tom Hardin and the Hardin family, Chuck, Jerry, Jeanne, Pat, Diane and Phil on the death of their father, Gene Hardin. The Hardins grew up here and were so much a part of our lives for many years. Along with their Hemstreet and Gearon cousins they made up a small percentage of the entire Forest Park population.

Apologies to those October birthday celebrants whose birthdays I changed to November. Now it really is time for November birthdays and here they are: Nov. 1; Alena Murguia Uphughes, Kevin Massoth, Sean Thiesse, Michael Fabre, Nov. 2; Robyn Popelka, on the third; Sharon O’Shea, Meredith Dorneker and 2-year-old A.J. Turek, the fourth; Ryan Miller and 7-year-old Jim Brown, grandson of Esther and Ed Huebner, Nov. 5; Carl Hajec, Laura Steinhaver, Heather Dornbusch, Michael Bruzek, Michael Rudolph, Nov. 6; Ed Spinelli, Harriet Smith, Nov. 7; Brian Cote, Art McGrath, Marikate Marino, Nov. 8; Renee Van Zant, Lyford Arey, Richard Cotton and happy anniversary to Sam and Rosalie Corso.

No more Albanian lessons for a while, but a new language is coming soon.

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...