Old master: Artist Tom Van Eynde displays his photo series created to resemble Dutch Master paintings at Concordia University.Courtesy TOM VAN EYNDE

Flags are flying at half-staff, candles are lit, churches are filled, people are shaking their heads as they wipe their eyes. “This must stop!” they all say. But sadly, we know it won’t stop. It will just be a matter of weeks before the same tragic headlines scream at us again. And on and on the slaughter will go. Why? The answer, which many will deny, is guns. As long as we have guns, guns will be used to kill. That is what guns are for.

Peggy Hughes and her beloved dog, Roxanne, are moving to Arizona. Peggy will be living with her daughter there. Roxanne will love everybody no matter where she goes. She is a super bundle of enthusiastic love. Neighbors will miss Peggy and Roxanne. Peggy asked that I send this note along to Forest Park friends:

“To all my friends in Forest Park, I want to say goodbye. I will always keep you in my heart. God bless everyone. Peggy Hughes.”

God bless you, Peggy. You will always be in our hearts.

If you want to give your family Christmas photo an exotic, old Dutch look, you may want to contact Concordia University and Tom Van Eynde. Mr. Van Eynde recently had an art show at the Ferguson Art Gallery where portraits with an authentic old Dutch Masters look were exhibited.

While we’re in the art department, let us remember our local artist in residence, Marge Zwadlo. Marge’s prize-winning paintings will be exhibited at the Oak Park Regional Housing Center, 21 South Blvd., through January. You can see her paintings at the Oak Park Art League until the end of December. The Oak Park Art League is at 720 Chicago Avenue.

If you were listening to WBBM on Monday, Dec. 17, you were probably awakened by the sound of Rich Schauer’s voice. He was being interviewed by WBBM concerning the sale of snow-removal equipment in the area. Unfortunately for Rich and others who do this for a living, it has been a very bad year. Rich said he’s selling more garden supplies than snowplows.

Happy birthday this week to Diana Dylewski, Scott Popelka, Kaylee Ross, Angelina Cote, Jennifer Vince, John Paul Miceli, Peggy Madden, Angel D’Souza, Daniel Gerger, Vince Cirrintano, Monica Saleeb, Thalia Becker, Lauren Duvell, Norm Hopp, and Michael Rausch, and to you, too if your name wasn’t mentioned.

Have as Merry a Christmas as you can.

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...