Centuries & Sleuths owner Augie Aleksy received extraordinary honors in New York City last week. The Mystery Writers of America honored our book store with the coveted Raven Award, which is rarely given. The outstanding mystery writer of the year is given the Edgar Award. The Raven is given to the outstanding contributor to the field of mystery writing.

Augie’s Raven can be seen in the window of the store. The words “Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore, Forest Park, Illinois” can be seen inscribed if you look closely. More photos may be seen online. He is pictured here with his wife, Tracy, and internationally known mystery writer, Sara Paretsky.

On Sunday, May 15, Erik Larsen will talk about and sign copies of his latest book, In the Garden of Beasts; Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin. Augie has high praise for this book. In fact, if he isn’t reading it, he’s collaring passersby and telling them about it. That event takes place at 2 p.m.

Also on Sunday, at 2 p.m.,is the Ed O’Shea dedication on Madison Street. Friends of Ed wouldn’t miss that ceremony even if Barack Obama came to town. Ed surely left his mark on the town.

On Sunday, May 15, at 2 p.m., the Gasse School of Music will sponsor a cello master class at the Forest Park Public Library. Cellists young and old are invited to come, bring your cello, and learn from a master.

The Kiwanis Pasta Dinner is being held this Saturday, May 14, from 3:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. Regular admission is $8, children and seniors $5. BYOB or purchase some of theirs. Brown Cow will supply the desserts, Gaetano’s the pasta, Jimmy’s the salad, etc., etc.

Thank you to the Chamber of Commerce for another great gala last week. There were so many old friends there, it was impossible to talk to everyone. Elvira Galang and Isca Tam were among the happy eaters and visitors.

Correction (another one): On May 11, the German Choir singers’ accompanist, Dennis Castanzo, will perform at the library from 1:30 p.m. until about 2:30 p.m. This is part of the Seniors Week Celebration. Anyone who enjoys singing is invited to join the singers each Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., where music and good fellowship abound.

If you’re cleaning house and have books you don’t have room for but hate to throw away, your library needs them for its annual book sale. Bring them any time; the sale is June 10 and 11.

Saint Peter’s Church, Adams & Hannah, will probably hold its last service on Sunday, May 15. That date marks the church’s 112th anniversary as well. You are invited to attend that service and recall memories of the church’s past. The members are still hoping to be able to remain open after the building is sold. Time will tell.

Happy birthday to Tracie Karlin, Mary Ann Geraci, Tyler Kuttnauer, Andy Madden, Yvette Manois, Nedra Wentland, Dave Novak, Danielle Boy, L.A.Goodman, John V. Grimes, Taylor Hollis, Molly Adams, Lisa Novak, Sara Neubeiser, Sue Lyons, and Audrey Kaczmarek. Happy anniversary to Bob and Lisa Kowalski, and Vince and Robin Cirrintano.

Special Happy birthday greetings to 98-year-old Lorraine Boy!

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.