Goodbye to one of Forest Park’s favorite people, Irene Kueltzo. Everyone will miss you Irene, especially your neighbors and many friends on the weekly community center trips. Irene left us so she could be near relatives. She was another Forest Park icon, always dressed in the latest fashion with her strawberry blond hair beautifully coiffed.

Have another Manhattan? “Right here,” was her answer.

Carroll Ralphs, everyone’s favorite bus driver gallantly offered his arm every step of the way to our 97-year-old party girl.

Congratulations to Karen Childs and her committee who worked hard for the passage of the library referendum. Getting a referendum passed is no easy task as we learned many years ago when we campaigned for the new library referendum. That village administration opposed the building of a new library. Only one administrator even owned a library card.

But that was then and this is now. The face of Forest Park has changed considerably and our priorities have changed along with it. Congratulations to all of Forest Park on this decision to support the library.

Forest Park potter, Mary Dye was a featured artist at the recent Oak Park Area Arts Council “Passage to India” exhibit. Mary is somewhat unique in that she uses a wood-fired kiln to fire her work. The amount of wood needed to fire up a kiln is staggering, but with the help of her sturdy little dog, Ferguson, Mary gets the job done. She built the kiln brick by brick herself, because she likes the effect and patina this method produces. If you’re interested in seeing some of Mary’s work, Todd and Holland Tea Merchants at 7311 West Madison St. and Moss Modern Flowers, Ltd. 7442 Madison St. have many of her pieces for sale.

This Christmas season the Village of Forest Park and the Howard Mohr Community Center are offering “Drop and Shop.” You and a friend can drop the kids off at the center for a mere $5 per child per hour, but if you produce a receipt of $50 from a Forest Park merchant, the baby-sitting is free! Dates for this fantastic deal are Nov. 25 and Dec. 9. Remember “Drop the kids” and “Shop Forest Park.”

On to the birthdays: Nov. 22, Lisa Haeger and Nicholas Mangiaracina; on the 23rd, Alex Trage; Nov. 24, Gina Orland, Olinda Fink, Jaime Cook and Brandon Paugh; Nov. 25, Roberta James, Karen McGrath, Gina Barger, Carla Loyd, William Sheimsher and happy anniversary to John and Carol O’Donnell; Nov. 26 birthday girl is Ariel Michelle Smith; the 27th Brian Hawkins and Meghan Ryann; happy birthday to May Bill on Nov. 28.

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...