Sheldin Newsome, Ifeanyi Okusor and Ashley Mitchell

Bob Crane, still hard at work right up until the last minute. Bob spent most of his entire life here in Forest Park and worked for 40 years as a custodian at Garfield School. His custodian career will come to a happy end on the last day of this school year. He went to school with many old friends who later on sent their kids to Garfield. Now Bob sees faces of grandchildren of former classmates. Everyone wishes Bob a happy retirement and everyone wants him to know he will be sorely missed. Most of us can’t imagine Garfield School without Bob Crain around.

Bob and lots of other retired teachers and staff from Forest Park School District 91 visited the halls of Garfield school later that day for the First Annual Retiree Reading Day. Returning teachers and staff included Cathy Dunaway, Anne Murray, Mary Fedorski and Jeanne Tyms.

“We had enough District 91 retirees volunteer to read at Garfield that every classroom had their own reader,” said Garfield’s Rose Bottorff. “Everyone enjoyed their special visitor.”

Three year old Sofia Alvarato will be starting preschool without the benefit of Bob. But Sofia does have the advantage of a big brother, Henry to enlighten her about the ways of school life. Shown with Sofia is her mother, Molly Brennan. Henry is hard at work in a nearby classroom. Incidentally, Sofia just celebrated birthday number three May 7.

A big loud “thank you” to the Kiwanis and all the workers supplied by scout master Jill Wagner. Among the many helpful workers were Kiwanis Key Club members Sheldin Newsome, Ashley Mitchell and Ifeanyi Okusor from Proviso Math and Science Academy. The service club members dispensed soft drinks to the thirsty diners.

Ann and Jim Murray are anxiously awaiting the introduction and signing of Ken Trainor’s long-awaited, much researched book, Unfinished Pentecost. It’s about the promises and future of the Catholic church’s Vatican II reforms. The book signing will take place on Thursday, June 6 at 7 p.m. at the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Unity Temple in Oak Park. It will be well worth attending.

Valparaiso University will be a little more musical this fall since Erica Hegerty won a music scholarship to attend the university. She auditioned on viola. Congratulations Erica. Congratulations to George Martin who received a Bachelor of Science in Economics (with a Business minor) from University of Kansas.

Newlyweds Patty Cotter and Ariel Mendez-Penite were married in New York after Ariel left his California home. Patty and Ariel are now living in New York (Brooklyn) where she teaches, he is a coach. Relatives from Cuba, New York, California, Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park gathered at Jimmy’s for wedding reception #2.

Happy birthday to Mike Jargstorf, Tom Conrad, Zianna Turek, Mark Janopoulos, Matt Schuler, Brenda McNeill. Gary Fink, Tricia Cassiani, Bob Ashcroft, Ben Reina, Sarah Lotus, Kyle Kutak, Ashley Santelli, Patrick Carr, Lynette Carr, Lauren Arnieri, Margaret Rhode, Paul Schlichting, Eve Cubic, Dermot Casey, Tom Aftanas, Jim Collis, Keionne Maughm, and Adam Stahlke. Happy anniversary to Judi and Phil Jilek, and Max and Emma.

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...