The other day, Bob Sullivan, with whom I share these pages, called to tell me Dennis Gordon died on his way to work here at the Wednesday Journal Inc. offices. It is taking me a long time to get this into my head.

Dennis was only 58. He was a husband and the father of a wonderful son attending Northwestern. Dennis was just about the smartest person here, witty, funny, even-tempered, had time to help anyone, and he really knew how to do everything and anything around this office. Dennis was loved and respected by everyone. It is a very sad time here. No one will ever replace him.

The ladies of the VFW Auxiliary are proud to announce that this year there are two winners of the VFW essay contests. Sisters Joan Smedinghoff, an eighth-grader at St. Luke’s, took first place in the Patriotic Pen contest. Her sister Regina Smedinghoff, a junior at Fenwick, won first place in the Voice of Democracy contest. Both girls’ entries were sent to the Department of Illinois for judging where Regina’s took first place and she will be entered in the national competition in Washington, D.C. The girls’ parents are Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Smedinghoff.

Last week when we were buried in snow and all the kids were off school, I remembered days past when the streets would be filled with eager youngsters with shovels on their shoulders cleaning your sidewalk. The past is returning. Here is petite Deanna McClane, a Triton College student going from house to house with her shovel. Deanna is a graduate of our Forest Park Middle School, Proviso East and is now earning credits at Triton with an eye to the future, probably in civil engineering. She is one of a kind these days and we wish her continued success.

Congratulations to Judy Arnold, a proud member of the Sons of Norway Elvesund Lodge. Members come from several suburban communities and present programs celebrating Norwegian customs, art, food, and genealogy. Visitors are always welcome to the meetings, refreshments are served and the programs are always interesting. For more information about this organization call John Myher, president, at (708) 246-5991 or Judy Arnold at (798) 366-0607.

Congratulations to middle schoolers Michael Branda and Bethany Marinier who have been chosen to participate in the People to People program this summer. The youngsters will spend about three weeks in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

Sympathy to Kay Duff and family on the death of John Duff last Wednesday. Kay was a longtime receptionist at the offices of the Wednesday Journal Inc., which publishes the Forest Park Review.

A special happy birthday to Rosemary Besick on her un-birthday, Feb. 29. We’ll have to wait a year for her real birthday. Belated happy birthday to 6-year-old Xavier Skinner, who celebrated on Feb. 22. On March 1, Geri Kowalski, Kim Reina, Jim Breseman, Billy Brown; March 2, anniversary greetings to Lucy and Joe Gianelli and birthday greetings to Isabella Celenzi, Heather Babcock, Joe Breseman, Diannemarie Williams, and Grace Spence; on the 3rd, Edith Scheiwe, David Rodenbostel, Brandon Thompson; March 4, Joe Calcagno, Tevian Russell, Christian Schfremser; on the 5th, Jeremy Loll, Tara Cassiani, Jennifer Deering, Speedy Christiansen and Grany Heyer; March 6, Lucy Landaeta, Steve Blazek, Ryan Marinier, Chris Loughlin, Corwin Lindell; March 7, Ed Martinski.

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...