Art, like love, is where you find it.

This graceful, fluid, simple line drawing of a flamingo is truly a work of art. Someone said it is graffiti. If it is graffiti, so is da Vinci’s “Last Supper.” I read that da Vinci once won an art contest by simply drawing a perfect circle, unaided. Who drew this flamingo? Where can we get more of this person’s art? Please contact me at In the meantime, you can see this work of art on a trash container behind The Old School record shop in the alley south of Madison at Beloit.

A moving, and elegant farewell tribute to Phil Blum took place on stage at Orchestra Hall last Wednesday. As mourners entered, cellists from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra filled the air with Bach. When the actual ceremony began, the lights of the hall went out, only aisle lights and the rosette lights around the balconies were lit. At stage left, where Phil had sat in the cello section, was a vacant chair holding a resting cello banked by a tall vase of white flowers dramatically illuminated by a spotlight. It was stunning and unforgettable. The members of the cello section played, mostly Bach, and after many fitting tributes the service closed with a piece by Elgar, which Phil and Nancy had played when their beloved cat, Blackie died. I must confess to an irreverent thought I had when I saw that lone cello in the spotlight. That’s not Phil’s real cello, if it were his good cello, he’d come back from the dead to guard it sitting there on the stage.

Damian Smith and Friends performed at Healy’s Westside last Friday. Damian and his siblings grew up in River Forest and he now lives in Aspen, Colo. Damian’s father is Bob Smith, who was well known in music circles in the Chicago area for many years before his retirement to Gays Mills, Wis.

Are you looking for an alternative to having your pets anesthetized in order to have their teeth cleaned? Paws and Claws dental work is now available in your home. Christina Lee recently graduated from dental cleaning school in California and is ready for business. Visit for more info. Ms. Lee will arrive complete with all equipment. She has four dogs herself and so has had lots of practice. When her dogs smile, the room lights up.

The Poe Fest is ongoing through October here in Forest Park, Oak Park and River Forest. Our libraries have all the information and Centuries and Sleuths will have a grand closing on Oct. 21 (that’s a Wednesday). This program is organized in cooperation with the Oak Park Public Library and if you wear a spooky Poe costume, you may get a tiny glass of Amontillado, straight from the Cask of Amontillado, compliments of House Red.

Also, remember that on Oct. 23 and 24 at C&S, the Meeting of Minds XVI will discuss Sir George Williams, Frances Willard, Father Flanagan and Jane Addams. $10 per person, reservations strongly advised

Interested in supporting PAWS? Angie at Scratch ‘n Sniff is accepting donations for her walk this weekend.

Happy birthday this week to Patrick Michael Olson, Todd Cote, Samantha Thiesse, Jan Behnke, Cody Healy, Marissa Mullen, Morgan Hosty, Gloria Perrelli, Anthony Bartolotte, Kevin Doss, Lily O’Neill, Riley Nee (2 years old this year!) Bob Sullivan, Mark Hosty, Eve Dudzik, Bernice Abbott, Donna Eggers, Laura Hein and Barbara Sedlak. And happy anniversary to Tracy and Debbie Guracio, Fred and Roberta Marunde, Karen and Craig Curey, Todd and Denise Marler, Katie and Johnny Tricoci, and Karen and Tim Hawkins.