Nancy Greco” – those were the first words I heard this morning when I turned on WBBM. Nancy knew that on that date, April 9, many years ago, Marian Anderson had sung “America” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. For being so smart, and so alert early in the morning, Nancy won two tickets to the CSO, two tickets to a Hubbard Dance performance and a $50 certificate for the Greek Islands restaurant. Congratulations, Nancy.

Here is Kiba, a gentle, intelligent Greyhound who was rescued a few years ago by Bridget and Jim Payseur. If you look closely, you will see a shiny gold medal on Kiba’s neck. She worked diligently for many months to earn that “service” dog medal. Now she is eligible to brighten the lives of seniors, children, the disabled, whoever needs the loving service of a wonderful dog. Kiba will still live with Jim and Bridget but will be available for work where needed. She has helped to train other Greyhounds, Jackie and Romeo, in the years she has lived here in Forest Park. Now Jim has found a lucrative job in the Deerfield area where his graduate degree in economics will be put to use. Bridget will soon be the proud possessor of a Ph.D. degree in immunology. .

Forest Park’s pride, Augie Aleksy and Centuries & Sleuths were honored on March 31 at the Cliffdwellers meeting of Bookselling This Week on the occasion of his 20th anniversary here in the area. The actual date will be in November but plans are already under way for a giant celebration This spring, summer and fall there will be even more book signings, panel discussions and a special “Meeting of the Minds.” Some famous authors Augie has entertained at the bookstore over the years are Steve Allen, Sara Paretsky, Sir Peter Ustinov, Sen. Paul Simon, Ian Rankin and Anne Perry.

His first major program several years ago was “The Trial of Richard III,” with two lawyers and a federal court judge (Gene Wedoff). This June, you will see Augie’s diorama of the Battle of Waterloo in the store window. The Meeting of Minds in October will present a discussion by such diverse figures from history as Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, and Marcus Garvey. Drop in at the shop, 7419 Madison, for a schedule of exciting upcoming events.

In the meantime, you have Mahler’s 8th at Symphony Center to look forward to with the Symphony of Oak Park-River Forest and many local choirs and choruses to enjoy. That’s 7:30 p.m., Monday, April 19, at 220 S. Michigan.

Say happy birthday to Dan Cote, Julie Mahnke, Dawn Mandile, Amy Thiesse Vobornik, Eleanor Locati, Benjamin Gerger, Joe Rice, Jessica Witt, Parker Ryan Wojtas, Shawn Miller, Grace Ahern, Pricilla Bruce, Urtan Romani, Lisa Grimes, Lorraine Sansone, Frank Nee, Michael Accetura, Ben Waldron, Michael Bowker, Krystle Kutak, Kate Leinweber, McKenna Mintz and Ruth Meyer.