There is probably not a person in the Forest Park, Oak Park and River Forest area who has not benefited in some way, large or small, from the generosity of Michael Kelly of the First Bank of Oak Park. Mr. Kelly has, anonymously, kept afloat many schools, civic organizations, cultural organizations and the like in our area.

Because of some bureaucratic misstep or whatever, he has lost his bank and all of us are the poorer for it. An acquaintance of mine worked for Michael Kelly for many years. At one of the mergers a few years ago, he announced that every bank employee would get $1,000 for every year he or she had worked at that bank. My friend had been there for 40 years! She got $40,000. All of this charitable work was done without the right hand knowing what the left hand was doing.

A busload of local people went to D.C. last week to plead for Mr. Kelly. We wish him well. Is it true that nice guys don’t win ballgames?

Speaking of locals, a few doctors of the area are awaiting clearance to go to Haiti. When (if) names are available, you’ll be the first to know them.

It’s never too early to start thinking about your future. One-year-old Eviana Gianakopoulos is in training at The Old School Records. She is becoming acquainted with all kinds of music, learning to greet customers, and checking the inventory. Did I mention charming the customers?

Two-year-old Riley Nee, below, usually has great enthusiasm for riding in “Poppa’s” truck. He prefers the rear seat so that may be why he looks a bit unhappy. “Poppa” is Frank Nee, president and #1 fan in Riley’s Fan Club.

Back at the bookstore: On Jan. 29 will be an author discussion and signing with Troy Taylor as part of the store’s Murder and Mayhem in Chicago Series. It begins at 7 p.m. On Sunday, Jan 31, Clio’s Chroniclers discusses the Age of Napoleon. That’s at 2 p.m. Always stimulating and informative.

The Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest will have a very special Valentine concert on Feb. 14. Amy Pikler, recorder virtuoso, will perform Paganini’s “Moto Perpetuo.” She and Kaye Clements will perform in the Bach “Brandenburg Concerto #4.” The afternoon will conclude with the Beethoven “Symphony #9.” A pre-concert lecture by Jack Zimmerman at 3 p.m. will increase your appreciation and enjoyment of the concert. All this at First United Church, 848 Lake St. in Oak Park.

Say happy birthday this week to Marlene Quandt, Matt Walsh, Sharon Andrews, Lisa Pardun, Rickie Beam, Tracey Doss, Orion Javier, Leela Itze, Rosemary Krieger, Megan Childs, Beccy Lauris, Sally Cody, Rose Evenson and Ashley Mendez. And a happy anniversary to John and Marie Spence.