Our singers are home from Evansville, Ind., where the participated in the 59th Saengerfest of the “Nord Amerikaniser Saengerbund” whose motto is “love and friendship through music.” Singers and their guests came from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and Forest Park.

Judy Huether put Forest Park on the map, or at least in the press of the Evansville Courier, when she was interviewed by a staff writer from that paper. Everyone sorely missed Zeno Jacquat who is still recovering from recent health problems, but he was definitely there in spirit. Singers from town included Ellie Clifton, Judy and Ed Huether and Elfie Pett. Former singers who attended but didn’t participate were Peter and Isabelle Herdeg, Annemarie Borchert and Gerlinde Van Dreesen (almost from Forest Park).

But the Neubeisers were also among the missing and missed. These singers have a lot of fun at rehearsals and are an unforgettable pair when they sing together with about 1,500 other singers. Imagine a choir of that magnitude singing Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” and other works of such giants as Schiller and Goethe, set to music by the likes of Haydn and Beethoven. The songfest closed with a more contemporary work, “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” Thanks to Ellie Clifton for all this information.

When Centuries & Sleuths hosted writer Sara Paretsky a few weeks ago readers were lined up all around the store to have their copies autographed. One avid reader who got Ms. Paretsky’s autograph was Marion Davis. Serious readers and writers enjoy small book stores such as ours because these individually owned shops encourage really good writers and good books, not just the commercial junk that you’ll find in airports and chain stores. Read Ms. Paretsky’s latest book and find out why this is and how the bottom line is robbing us of the writings of good authors and worthwhile reading material. “Writing in an Age of Silence” should be required reading for every American.

The Midwest Region of Mystery Writers of America will hold its annual meeting right here in Forest Park at Centuries & Sleuths on Sunday, May 20 from 1 p.m. till 3 p.m. The following Sunday, May 27, the History Discussion Group will discuss “Eleanor and the Four Kings,” led by Anne Canapary.

Happy May birthdays to Becky Marcantonioo and Carrie Schwebl on May 9; on the 10th, to Carol Dwyer, Madison and Taylor Triplett, Kylie Earing and happy anniversary to Bob and June Isslehard and Ellen and Morris O’Connor; on the 11th, birthday greetings to L.A. Goodman, Tracie Karlin 12-year-old John V. Grimes and to Chris Fuko; on May 13, Lori Coughlin, Mary Ann Geraci, Tyler Kuttnauer and anniversary  wishes to Vincent and Robin Cirrintano; on May 14, Andy Madden, Yvette Manaois and Pauline Grippando; May 15, Nedra Wentland, Dave Novak, Danielle Boy, Molly Adamson; May 16, Lisa Novak, Sara Neubeiser, Sue Lyons, Audrey Kaczmarek and anniversary couple Bob and Lisa Kowalski.

A sad farewell is bid to Linda Wojas, the willing, helpful darling of the library for nine years. Linda will find time for her grandchildren and her artwork now that she has retired. But library users will sorely miss her.