That wasn’t a helium balloon floating over the 500 block of Circle Avenue last week. That was Nedra Wentland unable to stay planted on earth when she heard that she had become a grandmother. Maya Reese Keppner was born on March 17, 2008, with a head of thick dark hair and beautiful chubby cheeks. Her parents are Carrie and Chris Keppner. Wayne Wentland, of course, is grandpa. Stephanie Keppner, of Quincy, is the paternal grandmother. My wish for the new baby is that all wars will have become obsolete and differences will be settled peaceably by the time she is an adult. Congratulations to the Wentland and Keppner families.

Forest Park may be losing the first gem out of its renaissance crown, but we have a new bright jewel to help compensate for the loss of Circle Theatre. It is the Cavatina Duo, brought to us compliments of the Music for Life foundation, and Dr. Daniel Gasse. Flutist Eugenia Moliner and her husband, classical guitarist Denis Azabagic, produce music that seems to float down to earth from heaven. They performed recently at a Music for Life benefit and mesmerized the audience. The Music for Life benefit concerts are exciting and offer something to please just about every taste.

The program began with the bluegrass ensemble from the farmers’ market in Oak Park. Next were scholarship winners; a 7-year-old violinist, a 15-year-old cellist, a clarinetist, and a high school senior. The program ended with hypnotic music by the Sandalwood Sitar ensemble performed on sitars, tanpuras, and tablas.

Congratulations to Annie Johnson, daughter of Steve and Karen Johnson, who has graduated Summa Cum Laude from Illinois State University with a B.A. in elementary education, and a minor in Spanish. Annie is now working at her alma mater, Garfield Elementary School.

You are invited to the Forest Park Public Library Open House on April 13. Come see and enjoy all that our library has to offer. Friends will honor the staff at a luncheon on April 15.The Friends of the Library are working hard on the next book sale, which will be June 20 and 21. Of course there is an ongoing sale right now as always. Books, videos and magazines are needed for the June sale, so get rid of some of those long standing books. Let someone else enjoy them, and you can pick up some new ones for yourself.

Spring seems to be bringing good health to Loretta Woeltje and Mitzi DeVilbiss who had slight health setbacks this cruel winter.

A short postscript to the story in my column two weeks ago: Doug Genens and his wife Connie are living in prosperity in Florida. They are grandparents now.

March 26 happy birthday greetings to Dan Haley, Michael O’Malley, Tom Giers, Maeve Eloise White, Jim Papa; on the 27th, to Lisa Bothie, Frank Pyotyr, Kathryn Greskoviak, Sherry Maughm; March 28, Nancy Becker, Jim Whalen, Dolores Petersohn, Grant Harrison Woltje; on the 29th, Shirley Zapfel, Julie Poisson, Patrick White, Rosetta Hall, Ronald Moravec; March 30, Barbara St. James (is she still in town?), Debbie Scolero, Marey Dufkis Gleason, Horacio Munoz; March 31, Friede Schwenke, Debbie Jargsdorf and happy anniversary to Erin and Jim Watts.