More exciting news over at Centuries & Sleuths-the great, the famous, the favorite mystery writer of all Chicago mystery lovers-Sara Peretsky will be a guest at noon on Saturday, April 21. She’ll be discussing and signing her latest book, “Writing in an Age of Silence.” This work isn’t Ms. Peretsky’s usual mystery fare. It is a memoir of her life and a commentary on the times in which we live.

Congratulations are in order for one of Proviso East’s stellar graduates of a few years ago. Aaron Apilado is now working in design at Poggenpohl in New York. Poggenpohl is a top of the line designer for bathrooms and kitchens with headquarters in Germany. Aaron will be going to Germany in a few weeks to meet with corporate big guys. He took on the Big Apple and seems to be winning. Aaron is still playing tennis and meeting lots of people in New York, as well as traveling all up and down New England. 

A sure sign of spring is the blossoming of fruit trees. Here is one of those sublimely beautiful weeping cherry trees. I saw hundreds of them blooming in D.C. and couldn’t believe something so beautiful was real. Here is one right here in Forest Park. 

Remember Brett McNeill? Who could forget him? Brett’s mother and aunt were dining at LaPiazza recently and here they are (maybe). After leaving the Journal he worked for a time at the Chicago Tribune and is now doing investigative work at Kroll-Mercer. Seen are Brenda McNeill and Pricilla Bruce.

Sincere sympathy to Betty Gilchrist on the death of her son.

On to the April birthdays: Phyllis Orland and Mike Thompson celebrate their birthday on April 11, which also marks the wedding anniversary  of Kevin and Melissa Dodge; on April 12, birthday greetings to Chrissy Neumann, Sara Mesheimer, Zachary Peter Janopoulos; on the 13th, Kara Einbinder, Jim Stanton, John Spence; April 14, Don Cote, Julie Mahnke, Dawn Mandile, Sara Stahlke, John Marino, Amy Vobornik; on the 16th, happy birthday to 4-year-old Parker Ryan Wojtas and to Benjamin Gerger, Joe Rice, Jessica Witt; April 17, Shawn Miller, Grace Ahern; April 18, Lisa Grimes.

Everyone’s thoughts and prayers are with Lorraine Popelka as she continues her good fight.

My apologies to the family and friends of the late Mr. and Mrs. Ray Duke for posthumously acknowledging their wedding anniversary. Also, my apologies to Gary and Andrea Balsavich who became grandparents again on Feb. 14; I should have made this announcement sooner. Payton Elizabeth Schmidt was born at Elmhurst Hospital weighing seven pounds and nine ounces. She was nearly 20 inches long. Her big brother is JP and her parents are Bill and Carin Schmidt