Congratulations to Tom Holmes, who again this year was nominated for an award from the Illinois Press Association for his excellent writing. In fact the Review as a whole was nominated for an award for excellence. Winners will be announced in June.

Congratulatons to the Kiwanians, Jerry Lordan, Jill Wagner and everyone who helped make the annual pasta dinner a success. Vegetarians especially liked the mushroom-pea pasta dish. It is such a great way for neighbors to see one another after the dreary winter days.

Gerry Hills, Joan Steinbach and Joan’s friend Gert Rada spent a day exploring scenes along the I & M Canal last week. The ladies began at the Chicago Portage Site on Harlem Avenue, the one you have passed so many times but probably never stopped to examine. It depicts Father Marquette and Louis Joliet and marks the head of the I&M Canal National Heritage Corridor.

Their favorite stop was the church of Saint James of the Sag which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s the oldest church in the Archdiocese of Chicago and is still in operation as a parish church. Many Irish immigrants who built the I&M Canal are buried in this cemetery. It was said at the time that four things were needed to build a canal; a shovel, a pickaxe, a wheelbarrow and an Irishman. The ladies were beginning to get tired at this point but on they went to a very interesting museum at Isle a La Cache in Lemont. The name means “Island of the Hiding Place” in French. During the 1600s, French fur trappers hid their loot near the present day museum, using the island as a clue. Don’t miss it and bring the kids. On to Lockport, Lincoln’s Landing and the Lockport Gallery. A last stop at Haven Greenhouse and Conservatory where they picked up some great flower bargains.

A sad dog tale which turned into a happy tail. Little newcomer Piper Apilado was out for his evening walk with his companion Chip and person Honor Apilado. The family, recently arrived from Texas, doesn’t know Forest Park too well yet. Suddenly a loud motorcycle frightened little Piper and he took off. The dog lives near Jackson and Thomas and they were walking by the park on Harrison!

Everyone spent the next seven hours calling for little Piper. The family gave up and went home presumably to bed. But Elizabeth Apilado couldn’t sleep. At about 2:30 a.m. she took little Chip and said, “Let’s look for Piper again.” When she opened the back door, there just outside the back fence was a weary looking little face. Piper had found his way back home all the way from the park! The next day all the neighborhood dogs came over and sniffed and sniffed at Piper. Trying to figure out where he’d been all night.

Remember the Library Book Sale Friday June 8th 9:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Saturday June 9th, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 and Sunday, June 10th 1:00 p.m. -4:30. Books go fast, so shop early. You are welcome to bring donations of all books, paperbacks DVDs, but please no magazines or encyclopedias. The library is located at 7555 Jackson the sale is in the Austin room. See you there!

Happy birthday this week to Mike Jargstorf, Tom Conrad, Aianna Turek, Mark Janopoulos, Matt Schuler, Brendan McNeill, Gary Fink, Tricia Cassiani, Bob Ashcroft, Ben Reina, LaVerne Cameron, Sarah and Mary Lotus, Alberta Williams, Ashley Santellik, Patrick Carr, Lynette Carr, Lauren Arnieri, Margaret Rohde, Paul Schlichting, Eve Cubic, Dermot Casey, Tom Aftanas, Jim Collis, Keionne Maughm, Adam Stehlke, Doris Knapp, Tara Cassiani, Jim Watts, Dan Watts, Lydia Holmes, Kevin Cappolino, Dan Goodman, Pauline Coyne, Mike Bigos, Theresa Giglio, Shirley Haeger, Tyler Fink, Shirley Hamilton and Michelle Collins .

Happy Memorial Day weekend. Summer is here!