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Belated happy Valentine’s Day. Sorry, I can’t count seven days ahead even though I have ten fingers. By unanimous vote, Roxanne (aka “Roxie”) O’Shea won the Madison Street Sweetheart of Valentine’s Day Award this year. Roxie is a “special needs” adoptee who has a few unimportant physical shortcomings, including a “bad hair day” every day, but on her it looks good. She has a winning personality and unbounded love for everyone. She was officially adopted by Sharon O’Shea and her only fault is that she steals hearts. When Sharon is in court or wherever, Roxie assists Donna Eggars in the office.

Recently, a few people were talking about Forest Park matters, when one of the group asked if anyone knew whatever became of the man who used to walk across the Circle Bridge every day. A little research revealed that the man was James Payette, who did indeed walk across that bridge 10 times a day, a sort of self-imposed therapy. Jim had served in Vietnam. After Vietnam, he returned to his job as an Illinois State Trooper. He had been a party animal and a hit with the ladies before fate stepped in and altered his activities.

On most nice days, Jim can be seen sitting in Constitution Court where he greets friends, pets dogs, watches young ladies walk by in their minis. He is a friend to all and makes everyone’s day more pleasant for having spent time with him. For more information, talk to Jim yourself. Wait a bit for the temperature to rise, however.

You might want to drop in on Brown Cow and meet William Hofmann, super scooper. William is an honor student at Triton College, for which he has high praise. High praise for William, too. He plans to pursue a career in engineering and save some money by attending Triton. We are fortunate to have such an institution as Triton available to us.

Congratulations to Patrick Dorneker of Forest Park, a freshman College of Business student at Creighton University in Omaha who was named to the fall Dean’s List for the 2011-2012 academic year. Benedictine College in Lisle, meanwhile, announced that Sophia Lynette Clayborn,ÊTheresa L. Huston and Joyce A. White all made the Dean’s List. And James Krivchenia was honored on the Dean’s List at Boston’s Berklee College of Music last semester as well.

Speedy get well wishes to Carol Scicotta who will be undergoing back surgery later this week. Her dog, Gizmo, will lend moral support, while husband Ray and mother Helen will be on hand to do other important duties.

The Oak Park Animal Care League will have a baby shower for the many kittens and puppies that will arrive on their doorstep because careless owners didn’t spay or neuter their pets. The baby shower will be held Feb. 26 from noon until 3 p.m. Their needs are liquid hand soap, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, liquid bleach, and canned dog food -Friskies classic pate, turkey/giblets, super supper or mixed grill. Also, unscented baby wipes, new dog/cat toys, non-clumping litter, towels and blankets (gently used). Or visit www.animalcareleague.org. Refreshments will be served at the baby shower. The facility is at 1011 Garfield in Oak Park. Call 708-848-8115 for more.

Dr. Barb Royal, animal nutritionist, will be speaking on WGN. Call 773-267-9966 for more information or call Sirius Cooks, 708-358-0100.

News Flash: I saw signs of new red growth on a branch of a silver maple tree on our block. Winter is waning.

Happy Birthday this week to Marty Redmond, Mike Cossio, Nathan Flanagan, Julie Xia Donna McKuine, Lauren Pardun, Ed Fee, Shelby Adolphson, Sammy Anderson, Leonard Gist, Hannah Brown, Judy Jilek, Mary Haley, Shartiase Clay, Kristi Kasack, Alexandria Reina, Jonah Victorson, Elaine Czarnak, Jacquie Madden, Megan Lyons, Bill Dunne, Michael Gillian , Xauer Skinner and Bob and Rich Krieger.

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.