Last call for the St. Bernardine’s reunion!  Call Sheree Pintozzi at 785 633 3384 to make a reservation.  It’s on Sept. 10, at Fearon Hall, at 7 p.m. The crowd is growing, so don’t be left out.

The new illuminated crossing signs on Madison Street should help keep pedestrians safe, but they still need to be as safe and aware as before. Remember: there are still drivers who will ignore the signs or go around stopped vehicles.

Another star in the crown of Forest Park is artist Cathy Garnes, a naturalist and a fine artist. Ms. Garnes’ painting “Lost in Paradise,” which depicts a Yellow Lady’s Slipper Orchid, has been on display in Washington D.C., and it’s on its way to a museum in Kew Gardens, in London, England.

Cathy also raises several other types of orchids right here in Forest Park, and she told me there are more than 50 types of wild orchids in Illinois alone.

By observing the behavior of orchids, we can determine the quality of water, Cathy told me. She also said an orchid is like the canary in the coalmine – if the orchid dies, it could be because of something in the groundwater. So, let’s treat our groundwater with respect. A few dandelions or a little crabgrass is better than poisoning the water with tons of weed killer.

Birthday wishes to: Kamryn Edwards, Bonnie Cimiglia, Candi Manaois, Leslie Kelley, Wilma Haley, Hazel Rossi, Madelyn Entler, Colleen Cassiani, Tiffany Cassiani, Donna Chan, Len Gappa, Milady Gerger, Matt DeCosola, Brandi Mintz, Paul Richards, Michelle Baum, Aaron Scheiwe, John Connor Trage, Jessica Huebner, Al Lussow, Pat Petrie.

Happy anniversary to: Sam and Jamie Alonzo, Melissa and Anthony Tureck, Hafid and Siham Hamadene.

Thanks for your time.

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.