Gloria Hansberry, a longtime, dedicated first-grade teacher at St. Bernardine’s will be retiring at the end of this school year. A Mass will be held in her honor on the last day of school, June 9, at 8:30 a.m., at St. Bernardine’s, 7246 Harrison St.  Following the Mass there will be a dessert reception at the school’s Fearon Hall.  Everyone is invited to celebrate Ms. Hansberry and her long career.  “This remarkable woman …has shaped the lives of our children and been such an incredible blessing to our community,” one staff member told me. Everyone wishes Mrs. Hansberry a long and happy retirement. 

Kevin O’Shea delivered a most fitting memorial tribute in honor of his father, Ed O’Shea, two Sundays ago. Ed O’Shea served as Village Attorney for more than 40 years.  He was respected by everyone and loved by so many.  The day of the memorial, May 15, was gray and rainy, but Kevin joked that his father probably arranged for the weather because he never liked to be in the spotlight.  Ed did so much for so many; more than any of us will ever know.  He was a great man, a good husband and father, and a great friend.  There is now, at the corner of Madison and Hannah, a small brown and white sign honoring this unpretentious, great man.

Mayor Tony Calderone, who was in attendance, read a poem by Linda Ellis. It’s called “The Dash”; here’s an excerpt:

…I read of a man who stood to speak

at the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the dates on (his) tombstone,

From the beginning to the end.

…But he said that what mattered most of all

Was the dash between those years…

It matters not how much we own –

The cars, the house, the cash –

What matters is how we live and love,

And how we spend the dash.

There is much more, but space requires me to end here.  Look up the poem. You’ll probably like it.

While the Ed O’Shea dedication was happening over on Hannah, author Erik Larsen spoke to an overflow of fans. About 200 people crammed into Centuries and Sleuths bookstore to listen to the world-famous author discuss his latest book, In the Garden of Beasts. What’s more, Rick Hogan praised Mr. Larsen, Augie and our “jewel” of a town on his Sunday morning radio program “The Sunday Papers,” on WGN 720 AM.

Happy birthdays this week go out to: Gary Fink, Tricia Cassiani, Bob Ashcroft, Ben Reina, Aberta Williams, Ashley Spinelli, Patrick Carr, Lynette Carr, Lauren Arneiri, Margaret Rohde, Paul Schlichting, Eve Cubic, Dermot Casey, Tom Aftanas, Jim Collis, Keionne Maughm, Alan Stahlke, Michelle Collis, Shirley Hamilton, Doris Knapp, Tara Cassiani, Dan Watts, Lydia Holmes, Kevin Coppolino, Dan Goodman, Pauline Coyne, Mike Bigos, Theresa Giglio, Shirley Haeger, Tyler Fink, Paityn Formanski. Happy anniversaries to Tim and Ruth Stefl, and to Judi and Phil Jilek.  

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.