Author Zejnullah Rrahmani was visiting Forest Park from Kosovo.

Forest Park was host to a famous Albanian writer last week. Although he is not well known in the U.S., Zejnullah Rrahmani is famous in his native Kosovo and is a teacher at the University of Pristina there. He spends part of his life in Ottawa, Canada and the other part in Kosovo. His wife and four children spent almost all of their lives in Canada. Welcome to this great man.

Donna Eggers, Donna Eggers. This town lost a lot of color when Donna died last week. Tough on the surface, but a big marshmallowy heart underneath, especially when it came to her nephews and dogs. One story everyone remembers about Donna happened about two years ago on a brisk winter day. “Someone” (name withheld) left the rear door open and Sharon O’Shea’s little dog Roxy escaped out into the cold world! Without missing a beat, Donna leapt out of her chair, without coat or sweater, tore down the alley, down Ferdinand, turned left onto Jackson and off through the town chasing after that little dog. About a half hour later cold and bedraggled, Donna reappeared with Roxanne. There are a hundred Donna stories. Faithful and hard-working, she was as much a part of O’Shea & O’Shea as the ampersand between their names.

The 600 block of Beloit block partyjust keeps getting better and better. It now lasts for two days and even has its own rock group. With a vocalist! The guest of honor was Journey Alvarado who celebrated her birthday at the party. Special surprise at this year’s fest were the cookies made by May Bill’s granddaughter, Jill Smentek! Don’t just think “cookies” these are the best cookies you will taste all year and Jill can make them into any shape you have in mind. Speaking of May, this 92-year-old great-grandmother still is still the queen of the party. Her baked beans are the reason many started coming to the party, and those beans get better every year. Chuck Liber, famous fisherman and fish chef, didn’t disappoint the crowd. Being conservationists dedicated to preserving the gifts of the earth, he and his fishing buddies still catch lots of fish. But after catching them, they examine the fish and throw back all the healthy ones so the sport of fishing will continue. Joe Gianelli wants us all to eat healthier so he freely passes out his arugula.

Birthday greetings this week to Barbara Sullivan, James Childs, Flynn Vogel, Roger Grant, Janet Sullivan,T.J. Janopoulos, Danny Seveda, Hannah Novak, Journey Alvorado, Rebecca Greskoniak, Allison Pacyga, Joke Brown, Phil Jilek. Happy anniversary to The Goetz’s, Tim and Peggy Grams.

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...

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