Since this is Thanksgiving week, let’s join the parade and tell what we are thankful for.
We are thankful for Fiorenza, which will open its doors to those who have nowhere else to go for a Thanksgiving dinner. The owners want them to be able to enjoy a bountiful dinner during difficult times. A most happy Thanksgiving Day to the folks at Fiorenza.
We are thankful for the Oak Park Concert Chorale which began the holiday season with a glorious concert at St. John last Sunday. It featured the premiere of a recently commissioned work by Harvey Hahn, who wrote “Coventry Carol” especially for director Paul Lindblad and this concert. Mr. Hahn wrote the piece in two days! It’s a musical depiction of the slaying of the Holy Innocents, atonal in parts, moving and extremely beautiful. Director Lindblad is a worthy successor to the late Victor Hildner, who started this group many years ago.
Of course we are thankful for our pets, our wonderful, understanding, forgiving, always loving, sometimes exasperating pets. The Oak Park Animal Care League is holding its annual Holiday Bazaar on Friday, Nov. 30 (3-9 p.m.) and Saturday, Dec. 1 (9 a.m.-3 p.m.) at 6930 W. Roosevelt in Oak Park. That’s across the street from Culvers. Free parking west of the building. This location was generously donated by Community Bank of OP-RF. There will be holiday decorations, gift baskets, bakery, jewelry and an activity corner for kids and more. Your generosity supports the shelter.
We Forest Parkers are thankful for all our good neighbors, for the library, the Community Center, our firefighters, policemen, teachers, and all our village workers.
One especially good neighbor is the lovely and talented Janet Paulin, who created lovely “infinity” scarves for the Vendor Fair at St. John last Sunday. More of her creations will be available at Ascension Church, Oak Park, on Dec.1 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Janet is also the neighbor everyone on her block calls when there’s trouble.
Last but certainly not least, we are thankful for the Michael Teolis Singers, who will begin their fifth annual season of presenting new and forgotten works of music. A Christmas cantata, written in 1954 by African-American, female composer, Margaret Bonds, uses texts by Langston Hughes and makes use of popular styles of music of the day. “The Ballad of the Brown King” is a masterpiece to be enjoyed by an audience eagerly awaiting it. Ms. Bonds received a B.A. and M.A. in music from Northwestern University. Because of her race, she wasn’t allowed to live on campus, so she commuted from the South Side of Chicago every day. Margaret Bonds is one of the first black composers to gain recognition in the U.S. There are several other musical surprises accompanied by strings, percussion, organ and piano. Forest Park members of the group include Nancy Greco, Louise Brueggermann, and Erick Johnson. The concert will be performed Dec. 1 at First United Methodist Church, 324 N. Oak Park Ave. Concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 adults; $12 seniors and students. It’s handicap accessible and street parking is available.
Jerry Lordan is thankful for many things. He is especially thankful for two former St. Bernardine students, Jose Flores, a soccer star and now a Forest Park policeman, and Marques Sullivan, former pro football player and now a Chicago Public School teacher at the Brenneman School on the North Side.
Important addition to last week’s column – Joe Byrnes is the grandfather of Matt Pingel, talented young musician who is now attending Indiana University and can be heard at FitzGerald’s this Friday, Nov.23.
Birthdays this week include the amazing 92-year-old May Bill who has no gray hair, no arthritis and doesn’t wear glasses. Lisa Haeger, Nicholas Mangiaracina, AlexTrage, Kevin Harnett, Gina Orlando, Olinda Fink, Jaime Cook, Branden Paugh, Roberta James, Karen McGrath, Gina Barger, William Shremsher, Ariel Smith, Brian Hawkins, Meagan Ryan, Jessica Maragatsos, Maddie MacKay, Michael Branda, and Patrick Rice. Happy anniversary to John and Carol O’Donnell.
Happy Thanksgiving to you.