In  observance of International Literacy Day, which was a week ago Monday, Dianne Collins, Forest Park Library’s adult services expert (aka reference librarian), went to Good Earth and Jewel last Wednesday to gather about a hundred flowers to give to library patrons. Among the happy recipients were Jim Murray and Evelyn Krueger.  Evelyn was, as usual, getting caught up on work for Friends of the Library. It must be mentioned that along with Dianne’s love of books is her love of animals. Most Forest Parkers seem to love animals. Dog walkers can be seen on the street just about every hour of the day and night.    
Commuters who pass Athena’s Silverland Desserts on Desplaines Avenue on their way to the Blue Line have noticed the beautiful new face on the shop this summer. The floral décor is the work of Jose Coria and his partner Ezequiel Anzaldo. Jose’s daughter, Maribel, is the friendly young lady who waits on you in the store. If you look closely on the north brick wall of the parking lot, you can see the name Calcagno’s slowly and sadly fading away. The end of the old era.
Drew and Nicole Carter were honored at a farewell party at the Beacon on Friday. The Carters are leaving this week for London, where Drew-who was formerly with Wednesday Journal, the Review’s sibling newspaper in Oak Park-will continue his work for Crain’s Communications’ Pensions & Investments, but just in another office. For the last year, Drew has worked for the money management publication in Crain’s Chicago office. The Carters will be in London for the next three years.
A belated happy 34th wedding anniversary, from Aug. 31, to Sam and Janice Alonzo.
Gary, Tina, Grant and Eric Neubeiser had an active summer traveling, traveling, traveling. First they went by train, Burlington, all the way to San Francisco. They rode past mountains, ravines, rivers, big and small cities, and took in all there was to be seen by train-which is never seen when traveling by plane. When they got to San Francisco, they rented a car and drove to Carmel an Big Sur, along the ocean, stopping at all the familiar-name cities along the California coast. Their train ride home took them through the desert, so they got to see it all. The boys will have lots of happy family memories to take with them through life.
But no sooner had they recovered from their big western adventure, they all went to Starved Rock, where Gary attended a cemetery seminar. Son Grant attended the meetings with his father, perhaps with an eye to pursuing his father’s line of work: It can’t be outsourced or put online, and it will never be obsolete.  
This Thursday, Sept. 18, is the birthday of Dan Lala, Brett Massoth and Alyssa Neff. On Friday, Sept. 19, happy birthday to Brendan Miranda and on Saturday, Sept. 20, happy birthday to Rachel Riske and Charistina Respas. Happy anniversary on Sept. 20 to Dan and Donna Danielson. On Sunday, Sept. 21, happy birthday to Gene Fletcher and to Joseph J. Peterson. Happy birthday to Gigi Alfano, Pete Thiesse and VanEsta Harris on Monday, Sept. 22. On Tuesday, Sept. 23, it’s Bishoy Saleeb’s birthday.

Sincere regrets for name errors in a wedding announcement last week: Bill and Veronica Gerst’s last name was printed incorrectly. And Veronica’s middle name was given as her first.

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.