The bells at Saint Peter’s Church have been marking the milestones in May Bill’s life for more than half a century. The latest event will be the First Holy Communion of young Tyler Robert Fink, great grandson of May and her late husband, Bob Bill. The bells will ring on April 1, 2012 while young Tyler will be making his First Holy Communion up at the Woodstock Lutheran Church. Tyler’s parents are Cory and Angela Fink; his grandparents are Janet (Bill) and Gary Fink and Pat and Geno Birkner.

If you do your banking via the drive-thru at Forest Park National Bank, you probably miss some of the delights inside the bank lobby, including the ongoing art exhibits. Currently the Marion Street Gallery, managed by Connie Elazier with Frame Shop manager Owen Skelly, is displaying colorful, sensitive paintings sure to raise your spirits.

Congratulations to Mike Kvelland, newest employee at the Brown Cow. Mike was studying philosophy at Loyola University, thinking deep, penetrating thoughts about the meaning of life and such when he came to the conclusion that his life had to have a purpose. So he decided to drop out of school and pursue organic farming. It will take a while, but this is a real vocation, not just a life of making money (not that philosophy would have brought in much either). I guess Mike is just not a materialistic young man.

There is an organization right here in town which is dedicated to fighting and curing childhood cancer. Our neighbor, Dr. Jason Canner, is working on a tight budget, in conjunction with many other organizations, to do research and find ways to cure this heartbreak. I know your heart has been touched at the sight of those sad-eyed babies at Saint Jude’s Hospital. Saint Jude’s is a caring, wonderful place without a doubt. But it has a $100 million marketing budget. And they operate alone. These other organizations need help, too. More about in the future.

If you know John Raniere, you know he has had a very difficult year. Thanks to bilateral leg amputations, complicated by ongoing heart issues, John has stayed at more than a dozen hospitals, nursing homes, Marianjoy Rehab Institution, and other health care institutions. He has now begun the long process of learning to walk on artificial legs. An event sponsored by friends and family will be held at St. Ignatius’ Tully Hall on Sunday, April 22 from 1 to 5 in the afternoon to “Help John Get Back on His Feet.” A suggested contribution of $50 per person ($75 per couple) can be sent to John Raniere, c/o Kathy Tindell, P.O. Box 256, Itasca, IL 60143 or you can make a contribution at the door. Or call 630-205-1272

St. Bernardine Women’s Club presents its annual dinner and fashion show at Crystal Sky Banquets, 7941 W. 47th St. in McCook on April 19. Tickets are $35 before April 9, $40 after the 9th. Junior high and high school admission: $30. Contact Christine Dunaway at 708-366-4497. Lots of great prizes and a $500 grand prize!

On to the birthdays – March 28: Nancy Becker, Jim Whalen, Dolores Petersohn, Grant Wojas, Shirley Zapfel, Patrick White, Rosetta Hall, Geri Grant, Jo Ann Grant, Debbie Scolero, Friede Schwenke, Debbie Jargstorff, LaBelle Jones and happy anniversary to Erin and Jim Watts.

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.