Welcome home to the 11 members of Harlem Männer and Damen Chor. The singers recently attended the 60th National Saengerfest of German choirs in San Antonio, Texas. They were among 130 singers representing the Chicago district. Altogether eight district choruses attended this festival. Outstanding German and American selections were sung by 1,300 choir members. Several years ago, Forest Park’s former mayor, Fred Marunde, organized the gargantuan songfest in Chicago, arranging hotel rooms, rehearsal space and times, meals, etc. for 3,000 singers and their families! The next Sangerfest will be in Milwaukee in 2013. Search the photo for Forest Parkers Peter, Isabelle and Stefan Herdeg, Judy and Ed Huether, Ellie Clifton and Larry Foster. Everyone missed Zeno Jacquat, who was unable to attend this year.

Congratulations to Peggy Hughes, who got an extra-special birthday present this year. Her granddaughter, Rihanna Tillman, was born at West Suburban Hospital on April 24, Grandma’s birthday. Rihanna weighed 8 pounds and was 20 inches long at birth. Big sisters Tatiana and Keyora and big brothers Josh and R.J. are eager to help Mom out with their new sister. Proud parents of the new baby are Autumn Norton and Raymond Tillman.

For a garden wedding Saturday afternoon, the guests were in good cheer even though the weatherman did not cooperate. The children, close friends, co-workers and neighbors of Forest Park Review editor Helen Karakoudas and Blommer Chocolate executive Ernie Redfern shivered and sneezed in 50-degree weather as Pastor Tom Holmes, a Lutheran minister and our award-winning Review columnist, bravely united the couple in matrimony. The back of a Beloit Avenue yard was the bride’s wish so that Mr. Big, her soulmate Chihuahua, could attend the ceremony. Among other honored guests were a dachshund mix named Suzy Greenberg, a Westie named Callahan, and a beagle named Spartacus.

It has been a long, troublesome week for me, if you don’t mind indulging me for a few minutes here in case you, like me, are unaware of the fact that it is just about impossible to have your landline phone number assigned to your cellphone. When I inquired as I tried to activate a new cellphone, I was told, “Yes, it can be done.” For 11 days, I was without a landline, an Internet connection and use of my cellphone. That means I was without any contact with the outside world and not one person at AT&T was any help. I was borrowing neighbors’ phones and using lines at the Review office, O’Shea & O’Shea, and Schauer’s Hardware as I pleaded with AT&T for assistance. Nobody there seems to know what anybody else is doing. I am still tearing my hair out. I was assigned a temporary number, but have lost all access to my voicemail. The telephone number that I had for the past 50 years is, as of now, unavailable to me or to any of my family and longtime friends. Thanks for listening. Does anybody out there know what I can do?

My temporary number, after May13, is 708-657-4229.

The Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest will present its last concert on May 23 at 4:p.m. Tickets will be available at door. A pre-concert lecture by Jack Zimmerman begins at 3:30.

Now it’s time to say happy birthday to Lori Coughlin, Mary Ann Geraci, Tyler Kuttnauer, Andy Madden, Yvette Manadis, Pauline Grippando, Vicki Kaup, Nedra Wentland, Dave Novak, Danielle Boy, Milly Adamson, Audrey Kaczmarek, Sara Neubeiser, Sue Lyons, Jason Webb, Carl Schwebl, Mikela Brown, Peg O’Connell, Jonas Wojtas. And happy anniversary to Vince and Robin Cirrintano, and to Bob and Lisa Kowalski.

Thanks to the businesses and restaurants and to Scott McAdam who last Wednesday put on another warm and friendly annual gathering for the chamber. It really promotes good will and civic pride.