The Wednesday Journal and the Forest Park Review would like to thank the Oak Park Public Library for the use of its space on Tuesday, July 24. A power failure at the offices on Oak Park Avenue brought work to a halt, but thanks to the librarians, the presses rolled on and the paper got out on time.

A familiar face we all know and love, but few ever get to talk to is that of Forest Parker Pete Vodicka. Pete is a friendly, handsome man with thick wavy white hair who will happily wave back when you wave first. Pete is deaf, or as we now say, “hearing impaired.” He can be seen around the Short Stop, washing the windows and generally keeping the place clean and neat. Some of the regulars, and some not-so-regular friends of Pete are Frank Nee (proudly sober for 30 years), Jimmy Cavanaugh, Jack Becker, Bill Sullivan and others. The Short Stop is a friendly, old-fashioned neighborhood tavern, and the patrons are very fond of Pete. He is not much of a lip reader, but in print he is very articulate. In 1971, Pete graduated from the School for the Deaf at Jacksonville. He has one brother; their mother died in 2001, but their father is still with us.

Jessica Rinks from the Community Garden and Rick Schauer have a bloomin’ great deal going: Schauer’s Hardware has donated their inventory of post-season gardening seeds to the garden for their seed bank. The seeds, which can last several years, are a mix of flowers, vegetables and herbs. Gardeners can select seeds at their January swap and at various fun demonstrations the Community Garden hosts at the library and other locations.

Congratulations to Jan Stephens who recently won a trip to Ireland as a result of a Bailey’s Coffee Creamer contest. Jan and her son, Mike, don’t know when they’ll be going, but when they get there, they’ll visit Galway and Killarney.

Belated happy birthday to Angela Nutley, July 24. Angela and family celebrated at Caffe de Luca’s.

Congratulations to Girlicious on Madison Street, which is celebrating their eighth year with us. The date of the party is Aug. 4, noon until 8 p.m.

Birthday celebrants this week are: Chris Behnke, Kathleen Marie Lane, Marie Gianelli, Cali Carlson, Evelyn Rose Osborn, Barack Obama, Ashley Ernst, Sandy Boy, Brian Balsavich, Barbara Sullivan, Dan Giers, David Stahlke, Rhonda Roldan, James Childs, Betty Schulz, Flynn Vogel and Madeline Kochman. Happy anniversary to Janet and Gary Fink, and Tim and Peggy Grams.