My sympathies go out to Lisa Becker Grimes on the death of her friend, Michael Jackson. What, you say?

Yes, in the early ’80s Lisa and Jermaine Jackson, Michael’s brother, were good friends. Jermaine took her to a Michael Jackson concert where she sat with the entire Jackson family. She liked them all, especially the mother.

David G. Clark gave a fascinating presentation of the Burnham Plan at the Forest Park library last Tuesday, June 21. Why does society not listen to its wisest members? If the Congress Parkway had gone as planned by Burnham, instead of a noisy, ugly roadway alongside town, we would have had a real parkway, with trees along a midway and cars on either side. Trees would muffle the noise and clean the air. Drop in to the library and see pictures of Burnham’s other ideas. Daniel Burnham was also involved with the Philippine Islands. Jane Addams had a somewhat dim view of his grand plans. She was interested in small plans, immediate communities. His idea was “make no small plans, they do not have the power to stir men’s souls.” But I guess they respected each other.

Stanley the pug had enough of the heat last week. He was seen clawing at his air conditioner as if to say, “Somebody turn this thing on.” Pugs, as you know, have an extremely difficult time breathing in the hot weather. Stanley’s person, Kristine Quintana, must hold Stanley’s nostrils while coaxing his mouth open so he’ll breathe more easily. It works.

Happy birthday to Kay Maden on July 1, and to Tim Flight, Virginia Collis, Scott McAdam, Ben Reina, Matt Montes and Melissa Murgas. On July 2, Shannon VanDiepen, Sue Pyan, Shirley Christell and Michael Fox all celebrate birthdays; July 4, Tina Neubeiser, Patricia Gotier, Nancy Lovell and Nicholas Ross have birthdays; July 5, John O’Donnell, Madalyn Little Craig Lichtenberg and Emmett Byrne; July 6, Michelle Lindgren; July 7, Dawn Jasper, Kim Jargstorf, Madhu Pallath, Janine Boy, Jackie Clifton and Victoria Garlisch.

July 1 marks the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. It’s also National Blueberry Month. The 16th Amendment was passed on this date, and secured voting rights for anyone at least 18 years old. In 1963, five-digit zip codes were introduced.

On July 2, Amelia Earhart disappeared somewhere near Howland Island in the Pacific. President Garfield was assassinated in 1881. Did you know that at noon on July 2, the year is exactly 182.5 days old? Only 182.5 days to go. In 1908, Thurgood Marshall became the first black American to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court bench. Marshall died in 1993.

On July 3, the dog days of summer begin. In the past, the dog star Sirius rose at about sunrise, but that’s no longer the case.

On July 4, Adams and Jefferson both died in 1826. “America the Beautiful” was published in 1895, and Stephen Foster was born in 1826. Rube Goldberg was born in 1883. He was a cartoonist/engineer who invented elaborate, complicated and ludicrous machines to perform the simplest of tasks.

On July 5, the bikini made its first appearance at a fashion show in Paris.

July 6 marks the anniversary of when John Lennon met Paul McCartney in 1957. Lennon was 17, McCartney was 15. July 6 also marks the Dali Lama’s birthday, George Bush’s birthday, my dog’s birthday, Nancy Reagan’s birthday, Della Reese’s birthday, and the birth of the Republican Party in 1854 in Ripon, Wis.