Hail the hero of the year! This stalwart soul is Rafael Cervantes, one of a team of trash collectors who went beyond the call of duty to collect Forest Park’s waste last week. Where the snow was piled too high in front of the trash cans, this conscientious worker removed the garbage bags by hand. Always smiling, always waving to his “customers” Rafael is surely an example for all of us to just get out there and take it, no matter what’s being dished out.

Remember Callie Birch who lived in the building just east of our Library? Well the reason you don’t see her anymore is that she is at Indiana University studying Veterinary Medicine. She came back to work at Prairie State Animal Hospital during her Christmas break and to brush up on the veterinary skills she learned there. She’s shown with Luther, official greeter at Prairie State.

 Don’t throw out your party hats and noisemakers just yet. Chinese New Year is right around the corner. January 31st will usher in The Year of the Horse, 4712 beginning at sunset. 

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Panama Canal. Shakespeare and Galileo would be 450 years old this year is they were still around. Happy 150th birthday to George Washington Carver and Toulouse Latrec as well. 

While you’re marking your calendars for the coming year: Rosh Hashanah is Sept. 25-26 , Hebrew month Tishri 1 – 2 of the year 5,775. Mardi Gras is March 4. Daylight Savings Time begins March 9. The clocks go back to standard time on Nov. 2. And so there goes the year.

 Betty and Cindy Huebner welcomed their old neighbor, for a ladies luncheon last Saturday. Joan Horvath is very happy at Mays Lake since her retirement.

We’re very sad to say good bye to Joan Nadeau and the one-of-a-kind Carl Schwebl this week. 

Coming in the very near future is Handel Week, Grace Episcopal, 924 Lake Street Feb. 16, at 3 pm, 22nd 7:30 p.m. and March 2 at 3 p.m. While we’re in the Music Department, let’s remember the Czech concert of the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest on Jan. 26 at 4 p.m. featuring music of Dvorak and Mahler.

Happy birthday to Holly Fjelstad, Colleen Nee, Elyse O’Connell, James Nackey, Eunice Blazek, Tom Dasek, Bob Kurash, Judy Baar Topinka, Caroline Rose Glinke, Joan Steinbach, Janet Fabiani, Mararet Flanagan, Danile Mondragon, Marge Zwadlo, Judy Daniels, Dan Olson, Kirk Oliver, Kaitlyn Trage, Christopher Madden, SharonTierney, Julie Kaiser, Dale Heath and Audree Catalano. Happy anniversary to Shirley and Jack Christell.

 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 of Chicago in a great neighborhood when it was a great time to be young.

Jackie Schulz

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...