Check out this year’s Forest Park Community Guide!

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Miss Meyer’s kindergarteners at St. John participated in a lovely Christmas program. Among them were Adarsh, Ahja, Emma and Christine. The gingerbread house in the photo was made by Christine with a little assistance from her mother, Hong Mai Chao.

You say you love this snow and cold? Not as much as Ben and Jamie Curran, I’ll bet.  They have just returned from a winter vacation in Eagle River, Wisc., where they skied, hiked and slept outdoors in a tent!

Nancy Bower wasn’t able to get to the Kiwanis Christmas party this year. She was in Puerto Rico keeping warm and having a great time.

The annual Kiwanis Christmas party was unusually happy and lively this year. One of the reasons was the honoring of 50-year Kiwanian Ed O’Shea. Ed is shown receiving the medal and hearing the official proclamation being read by Oronzo Peconio, who is with Ed’s wife, Irene O’Shea, Jerry Lourdan and Ed’s daughter, Sharon. 

Other Kiwanis members honored at the party were Lou Taglia, Tony Calderone, Dan Callahan and Terry Collins. They each received a 25-year pin. Ron Haddad was honored for 40 years of membership. Andy Collis got a 45-year pin. Mike Mohr and Joe Szerbininski each received recognition for 30 years. Laureen Thornton was chairman of the event; Jerry Lourdan was emcee. Two of the younger members there were Dan Watts, patron saint of the Forest Park Library, and Mike Mohr, whose father, the late Howard Mohr, was the patron saint of Forest Park for many years. Dan won a prize for his festive Christmas sweater.

Meanwhile, down the street, the Goodman family celebrated the homecoming of brother Sean from the war. At the corner of Circle and Madison, a brass ensemble played Christmas carols as the partygoers trudged on in the snow.  

Jan. 1, 2009, with 365 days of the unknown ahead of us. Happy birthday to Amy Hocheimer, Carol O’Donnell, Rich Gray, Caitlin Miller and happy anniversary to Mark and Amy Vaboraik. Other early January birthdays-Jan. 2: Jenni Jargstorf and Renee Rausch; Jan. 3: Alice and Lara Mellin; Jan. 4: Lou Moran,Tom Kloess, Ian Hoffman, Marce Skorda, Danielle Watson; Jan. 5: Joan Huynh, Christine Malone, Deb Harris, Lynn Karavitos, Mike Marcantonio, Ashley Breseman, Michael Huttner, April Kutak; Jan. 6: Emily Garrity; Jan. 7: Fred Marunde, Karen Skinner, Laureen Thornton, David Thornton, Cecilia Consalvo, Rosemary Cole; Jan. 8: Kathy Leninger,Tina Marcantonio, Charlie Vederal.

On Jan. 1, 1901, Australia became a member of the British Empire. On Jan. 1, 1892, Ellis Island opened. The first baby boomer was born Jan. 1, 1946. On Jan. 1, 1735, Paul Revere was born. On Jan. 1, 1919, J.D. Salinger born. Jan. 1 is also the feast day of St. Basil.

On Jan. 2, 1929, born in Russia was Isaac Asimov, not only a writer of science fiction but a student of the Bible, Shakespeare and an authority on Gilbert and Sullivan. On Jan. 3, 1959, Alaska became a state. The same day in 1988, the drinking straw was patented. J.R.R. Tolkien born on Jan. 3, 1892. Louis Braille was born Jan. 4, 1809. He became blind at age 3 and later developed the system of writing and reading for the blind that’s named for him. Also born on Jan. 4 were Isaac Newton and Mother Elizabeth Seton, the first American-born saint and founder of the Sisters of Charity (known in the old days as the “big bonnet” sisters).  On Jan. 4, 1896, Utah was admitted to the union. The naval officer who said “…my country, right or wrong”- Steven Decatur-was born on Jan. 5, 1779.

The 12th night of Christmas, the feast day of Epiphany, is Jan. 6. That’s also Charlie Rose’s birthday. On Jan. 7, 1955, Marian Anderson became the first black to perform with the New York Metropolitan Opera. She sang the part of Ulrica in Giuseppe Verdi’s Un Ballo in Mascera.

On Jan. 8, Elvis would have been 73.

Happy New Year!