Let’s begin with a rousing chorus of “We wish you a Merry Christmas.” For a change, there is some happy news to report this week.

To begin with, we have a lovely young nurse in our midst. She is Ivy Millar, daughter of Nancy and Brikkh Millar. The Millars celebrated their daughter’s graduation with a brunch at DeLuca’s on Sunday, Dec. 19. Ivy has worked hard in school and all the while she was in nurse training. One of her jobs was at DeLuca’s. She also worked at the Forest Park National Bank. Now she is looking for a job in her chosen field, nursing. We wish all the best of luck to a hard-working, very bright young lady, Nurse Ivy Millar.

Humanitarian of the year award goes to Samara and Tom Condon who took pity on a homeless shelter dog, Gator (probably because one of his lower teeth protrudes and looks something like an alligator tooth, just guessing) and a homeless stray cat, who they named Weasley. (I don’t know where that came from.)  

And come Jan. 5, they will adopt a baby girl, who they have already named, Juliane Vincenza!

Frank Nee had a fine time at the reception of his longtime friend, Joe Burkett, at Burkett’s reception honoring the new appellate court judge. Joe and Frank have been buddies since they played football together for Saint Phillip’s.

Speaking of football, on a recent trip inside the Forest Park National Bank I saw that Jerry Vainisi is now in the Football Hall of Fame!! Whoo hoo! Congratulations, Jerry!  Wonderful, but in my opinion the proudest achievement in your life is your son, Jack.

Congratulations are also in order for past Kiwanis presidents, Jerry Lourdan and Eric Entler, who were praised and honored at the Christmas dinner last week. The dinner was supposed to be the Ed O’Shea annual award dinner. This year’s award went to Laureen Thornton, who died
Dec. 1. Laureen was honored and a moment of silence was observed for her. 

By the time this paper hits the streets, we will have passed the winter solstice and soon there will be a few more minutes of light each day until March. So let’s not give up hope. Have a Merry Christmas, and, by the way, have you noticed people are again saying the feared word, “Christmas?”

Remember to wish these December babies a happy birthday as well: Giacomo Pucini who gave us “La Boheme,” Angelina Cote, Jennifer Vince, J.P. Iceli, Peggy Madden, Angel D’Souza, Daniel Gerger, Vince Cirrintano, Thalia Becker, Monica Saleeb, Michael Rausch, Mel Noel, Ryan Patrick Mintz, Ben Hoffman.

Thanks for your time and patience. I can hardly see these keys on my new computer. It’s about as big as a cigar box. Thanks for listening.

Jackie is a former Chicago and Elmwood Park schoolteacher with an undying love for music, friendly pets and a host of life’s other treasures too numerous to list. She was born on the far southwest side of Chicago in a great neighborhood when it was a great time to be young.