The Kiwanis dinner was a resounding success (I mean that literally, the conversational hum was all but drowned out by the addition of noisy “music”). The food was the best ever, the crowd was smiling, happy, and after a time, full. After the long dreary winter it was a perfect way to start the spring. The annual dinner is my favorite Forest Park party. No worries about rain or excessive heat outdoors; a chance to see all your neighbors after the winter. Thank you, Kiwanis. It was wonderful. Thanks also, to the restaurateurs who furnished all that delectable food.

Among the pleased and full eaters was Karen Stewart. You all know who Karen is; she’s the pleasant crossing guard in front of the Forest Park library every school day.

Nancy Bower‘s, and Forest Park’s friend, Judy Topinka stopped in for a while. She looks like a whole new Judy with her colorful new knee.

Also sharing conversation were friends and neighbors, Maggie Smith, Judy Arnold, Judy Jilek, Loretta Woeltje and May Bill. Andy Collis‘ sister, Vespatia “Esther” Mallon discovered she is related to Peter Giankopoulis of Old School Records. It was like a reunion when they got into conversation and made the happy discovery. A couple of years ago I met the wife of a former student at the dinner. The young man died at a very young age and his wife remarried … Nancy Bower‘s son, Todd Bower! So don’t miss next year’s Kiwanis dinner, you never know who you’ll run into.

If you have been wondering what happened to super waitress Diane LeFevour, look no further than Healy’s West Side. Diane is now working lunches at Healy’s and what’s more – Healy’s is now open for lunch every day. Don’t miss their fish sandwich. It is the best fish sandwich ever. Diane says she loves working at Healy’s. The atmosphere is relaxed and easy. Waiting tables can be very stressful, but the workers at Healy’s say it’s not like that there. Erika Goodman said the same thing about the place when she worked there. “Good people to work for.” Try that fish sandwich!

CVS Pharmacy just isn’t the same without Eva Cantu. Eva’s injured foot isn’t healing very fast and she can’t return to work until it does. With her gone, we realize she was the heart of that pharmacy. The sunshine has gone without her smile.

You can’t beat those Lutherans for music. Someone said when Martin Luther left the Catholic Church he took all the good music with him. They’ve got a point there. Bach surely did know where to put all those notes. Now the Friends of Music at St. John will be having their annual St. John Music Celebration on Sunday, May 18 at 4 p.m. The celebration will feature the adult and children’s choirs, the Walther Academy Choir, the Handbell Choir, instrumentalists and the organ. The program will feature Beethoven’s “Hallelujah” from the “Mount of Olives.” Everyone is invited to this joyous music celebration. There is free parking and free admission. Feel free to make a donation, however.

On May 7, Michelle Collis has a birthday, so do Erin Casey, Ashley Kanelos, and Chantel Kamin; on the 8th, special happy birthday wishes to Dorothy Tricoci; May 9, Becky Marcantonio and Carrie Schwebl; May 10, Carol Dwyer and Kylie Earing, and Bob and June Isslehard will celebrate anniversary number 56; Ellen and Morris O’Connor also have a wedding anniversary on May 10; on May 11, L.A. Goodman, Tracie Karlin, John V. Grimes, Chris Fulco all get a happy birthday wish.

If you have any local nuggets to pass along to Jackie, please contact her at (708) 366-4685.