Nichole Rice and William Callaghan III, of Midlothian are preparing for their nuptuals October, 2014. Nichole is daughter of FPR columnist John Rice.Courtesy JOHN RICE

Let us begin this September column with a Happy New Year: L’Shana Tova for the year 5774.

The first fall week-end started off with a big bang here in Forest Park. Eating and dancing until you drop. You’ll have get over to Pineapple Dance Studios to watch Christopher Courtney lead the dancers in Hip Hop. Pineapple hosted free workshops all day for Hip hop, Zumba, belly dancing and other amazing dances.

As for the eating, the Historical Society of Forest Park took small groups along Madison Street to our current eateries for sampling. The members of the society recalled some of the old and gone business and eating establishments that no longer exist. Sadly, I especially miss Homer’s. Homer Bale was a much loved, revered and respected gentle man in town. Wolf Brothers at the corner of Circle & Madison, also a quality furniture store, and much missed. La Maison de Bonbon, lives on having begun in 1921 as Stejr’s, then as Jerome’s and now as Shanahan’s. Group leaders were Dixie Quitsch, Judy Anderson, Diane Grah, Elizabeth Carpenter, Jean Lotus and John Rice.

John and Diane Rice happily announce the engagement of their daughter Nicole, a former forest Park teachers’ aide to William Callaghan III, of Midlothian who works estimations for Henry Brothers Construction Co. John will again be walking a daughter down the aisle as Nicole marries Mr. Callaghan in October, 2014. All our best wishes to the young couple.

By the way, John Rice is mentioned in the acknowledgments of a recently published book “Chicago Shadows” available at Centuries & Sleuths.

Mark your calendar; the Symphony Oak Park and River Forest will present its first concert of the season at Dominican University on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 4 p.m.

There’s a book party tonight for America 3.0 co-authored by Michael Lotus, husband of our editor. The party takes place at Ontourage Night Club in Chicago. Free food and drink, plus a chance to get your book autographed. Tix available at America’s Future Foundation on Facebook.

Greg Hedges was as proud as a new father as he celebrated the “birth” of his restored 1957 Pontiac last week. The golden beauty, complete with original North Carolina 1957 license plate, was the honored guest at Greg and Nora’s champagne party. The party was held to introduce the neighbors to the latest in the Hodges family of cars. Chuck Alvarado came dressed appropriately in jeans, white tee shirt with a pack of cigarettes rolled up under his sleeve (since cigarettes were unavailable, Chuck used a deck of playing cards).

Sympathy to Elizabeth Apilado who has returned to town after spending some time with her family in the Philippines. The sad reason for her visit was the death of her father. He waited for Beth to come home one more time so her could say good bye to her.

Condolences to Forest Park Commissioner Rory Hoskins, whose father, Attorney Robert Emmett Hoskins, 71, passed away Monday in Galveston, Tex.

Birthdays in the news this week are Diane and Betty Huebner, Marion Flight, Nicole Walsh, Max Rus, Celeste Cosgrove, Brian Foley, Adam Goetz, Alyssa Neff, Bridget Dowdle, Jodi Gianakopolis, Alexandra Bafetti, Nick Spanrello, Dee Galbraith, Debbie Doss-Morris, Lucy Giannelli, Laura McDermott, Hunter VanZant. Happy anniversary to Carol and Dave Novak, Guy and Katina Macino, Ben and Millie Spinelli.

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...