Congratulations to chili-champ Mary Sullivan. The 600 block of Thomas annually chooses a chili champ, and for the third year – I think – it was Mary Sullivan. Talk nice to one of them and maybe you’ll be invited to the party and get to sample Mary’s chili. Not for the faint hearted, I’m told.

There wasn’t a dry eye in Francesca’s last Tuesday when Irene and Sharon O’Shea presented Andy Collis with the first annual Ed O’Shea Memorial Award sponsored by the Forest Park Kiwanis. Even Andy got teary when his son, Jim, appeared, surprising the crowd. Jim has a very successful business in northern Wisconsin, but he couldn’t miss his dad’s great day.

House Red is in the music business as well as the wine business. They are co-sponsoring a concert by the world famous Michael Teolis Singers on Nov. 19 from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. at 7403 Madison. The Teolis Christmas concert will be on Dec. 5 at First United Methodist Church, 324 North Oak Park Ave., and will begin at 7:30 p.m. This concert will feature a Christmas Cantata by K. Lee Scott. Carl Schalk‘s 80th birthday will be celebrated and excerpts from his work Scenes from the New Testament will be performed. For tickets or more information please call 366-2889.

Speedy get-well wishes to Marlene Quandt at Gottlieb Hospital. Everyone hopes she will be home by the time this paper gets to you.

Forest Park has at least one publisher to its credit. Emily Clark Victorson of Allium Press is located right here and its recent release, Death at Hull House, by Frances McNamara, can be purchased at Centuries & Sleuths along with Frances’ Death at the Fair.

Rick Kogan is so much a fan of our Augie Aleksy he thinks Forest Park should erect a statue of Augie. He said so on his early Sunday morning radio program recently. Not too long ago, Edgar Alan Poe (aka Bob Goldsborough) spoke at the bookstore. He is seen here with Luisa Buehler, author of Rosary Bride, a mystery set at Rosary College before it became Dominican University.

Diane Gilbert Madsen, author of the Bobby Burns mysteries, will speak and sign copies of her latest Robert Burns mystery, The Cadger’s Curse on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m., also at 7419 Madison. The Literary Journal says “this … series will appeal to readers who prefer mysteries soft boiled and seasoned with … literary sleuthing.” Sounds like another exciting evening at C&S.

On Thursday, Nov. 5 at 6 p.m., Lisa Marquardt, Tom Morgan and John Mella will read selections from their poetry magazine, Light Quarterly. The public is invited to the Oak Park Arms Hotel, Washington and Oak Park streets. The poetry is, just as it says, light. You will surely enjoy the one-hour presentation.

On to this week’s birthdays!

Ryan Miller, Jim Brown, Carl Hajec, Laura Steinhaver, Heather Dornbusch, Michael Bruzak, Michael Rudolph, Ed Spinelli, Harriet Smith, Jean Zalinski, Brian Cote, Art McGrath, Marikate Marino, Renee Van Zant, Emily Johnson, Amy Brod, Andy Thiesse, Anita D’Souza, Janet Todd, Max Trage, Jackson Domer, and Lyford Arey all have birthdays this week. Anniversary celebrants include Cindy and Chris Wood.

Happy birthday, also, to Chess Ramirez, and congratulations to Chess on the birth, a few months ago, of her son, Jackson Ramirez.