It’s time to say a sad goodbye to one of the most beloved familiar faces in Forest Park-Cindy Fischer. Cindy will not be driving the school bus anymore. We don’t know how she’ll spend her mornings but we’re sure her mornings will be more relaxing. We’ll still have her around town to flash that famous smile as she waves at us. There is a special place in heaven for school bus drivers. Good luck, Cindy.

Cindy is proud of her daughters, Mariann Fischer and Jenny Fischer. Mariann has completed boot camp at San Antonio, Texas, and will be deployed to Guam where she will serve with the U.S. Army in the military police. Jenny Fischer has earned her pastry certificate at Triton College and will be a pastry chef at Nordstrom’s on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Jenny’s famous German Chocolate cake recipe will be featured in Nordstrom’s soon-to-be published cookbook. The book is due to come out this summer.

Dad, Ray Fischer, is equally proud of his daughters, and is home recovering from a recent surgery. We wish him a speedy recovery.

The Wednesday Community Center trips have lost a bit of their sparkle since Irene Kelso moved to Kansas City, Mo., to be nearer her daughter and son-in-law, Sharon and Jon Bowers. Forest Park lost a remarkable fun-loving lady who celebrated her 100th birthday May 1 with family friends and probably a couple of manhattans.

Joann and Cliff Leber went to the party and brought Irene greetings from Mayor Anthony Calderone and many of her Forest Park friends, as well as photos from Community Center trips. Irene sends her love and thanks to everyone in Forest Park, where she lived for more than 70 years.

Congratulations to winners, Lauren Hunter and Ambria Mahomes, eighth-grade students from Saint Bernardine’s. The young ladies were awarded $250 each for their very moving essays on the topic, “How to be a World Citizen.” Their words showed great depth of thought and sensitivity. I hope they retain their feelings as they emerge into a less sensitive world. Lauren will be attending Saint Ignatius in the fall, Ambria, Trinity.

Judges of the essays were Dan Haley of our Wednesday Journal, Lindsey Kraft, at the Forest Park library, Bill Tshlopoulos, of the Sylvan Learning Center, and Mary Richie, a retired teacher. The girls were given plaques by CUinFP President Steve Backman.

CUinFP meetings are open to everyone, however, elected officials are not allowed to become members. Topics discussed at the recent meeting included homelessness in Forest Park, consequences of the new YMCA-if and when it ever materializes-voter registration for the November election, the election of new officers within CUinFP, and the announcement of the essay contest winners. New CUinFP officers for the coming year are Gwendolyn Craydon, Sharon Obeidallah, Amanda O’Connor, Karen Rozmus and Cecile Webster.

Belated and sincere sympathy to Karen Rozmus and her family on the death of Ted Rozmus. Ted was a great guy and he will surely be missed by everyone.

Belated happy birthday to Steve Backman, who celebrated on May 25, and belated anniversary greetings to Tim and Ruth Stefl, who also celebrated on May 25.

Birthday greetings May 28 to Philip Tenca; May 29, Dermot Casey, Tom Aftanas, Jim Collis, Keionne Maughm, Adam Stahlke; May 30, Michelle at Pete’s Auto, Shirley Hamilton, Doris Knapp, Tara Cassiani, Jim Watts, Dan Watts, Lydia Holmes, Kevin Coppolino; May 31, Dan Goodman, Pauline Coyne, Mike Bigos, Therese Giglio, Paityn Frances Formanski, Shirley Haeger, Tyler Fink; June 1, happy birthday to Tony Sarley, Jack Pingel; June 2, Nancy Brod, Steve Huebner, Nicole Rice, Ian Hansen; June 3, Christy Cesario, Lucian Duhem, Daniari Dejuiera.

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 of Chicago in a great neighborhood when it was a great time to be young.