March was a good month for big-number birthdays. Frieda Schwenke was the honored guest at two big parties honoring her on the occasion of her 100th birthday. Irene Kaldis and all the regulars at “Always in Style” helped her celebrate with many of her friends from the Community Center on hand as well as most of the present and former staff of the beauty shop. A big “happy birthday” banner, a large and very delicious cake, balloons, the works! Later in the day her family, including ten grandchildren, honored Frieda with at another large gathering at the family’s country club. Frieda still lives alone, does her own cleaning, shopping, cooking and so on. She still looks beautiful, as you can see. 

Another big number celebrant is Joe Gianelli who turned 90 on Saint Joseph’s Day, March 19. Joe is wiry, energetic, loud and perpetually moving. Always seen with a hoe, or hammer, or a step ladder. He’s a big supporter of eating arugula and he’ll give you a bunch-like it or not. Joe is a great cook, gardener, handyman, carpenter, general handyman. Joe Gianelli is living life to the fullest.

Another big birthday celebrant is Dolores Holub who was omitted from last week’s birthdays. Dolores had a birthday March 1.

Welcome to new babies Ella Kay Daylo, latest addition to the Daylo household. Ella Kay has a brother, Macrussell and sister Megan Rose.

John Rice has another grandson, Kelly and Josh Molnar have a new baby boy named Brody John. Baby Brody was born March 29 at 6:30 a.m. weighing a little more than six pounds. 

Older brother Troy (age 2) is having a hard time adjusting. 

“We’ve been buying him toys, taking him out for ice cream, etc. to ease his pain from being dethroned as King of the Universe,” writes proud grandpa, John.

It’s spring, and that means kids will be dusting off their bikes. Don’t miss the Cub Scout pancake breakfast Saturday at the Community Center, featuring a bicycle rodeo and a spring tune-up demonstration by staff from Berwyn’s Dan’s Bike Shop. Forest Park police will be on-hand to register your bicycle and there will be a bike safety demonstration. All that, plus pancakes, bacon and orange juice/coffee for $5. Such a deal! Flapjacks are on starting at 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Recently the Community Center held a Drive Safely seminar for older drivers. Among the drivers was Rose Roman. Drivers were warned about keeping pets belted in as well as babies. Rose had some stories to tell about her longhaired dachshund, Mickey Rooney. Mickey is a talented little fellow; who sings tenor along with the three tenors, sings so beautifully that listeners are often moved to tears. Mickey also tells time along with the cuckoo clock. 

A highlight of the class was coffee break time when Rich Barger brought in cupcakes made by his wife, Mary Ann. Later on Rich was seen making lunch for his fellow workers, scrambled eggs with peppers. I stole a bite and wow! Delicious. Rich said his father in law, the late Gus Scolero, taught him everything he knows about cooking.

Happy birthday this week to Sherri Sandow, Kaylee Reese, Ian Hitre, Matt Espinoza, Jim McGuin, Todd Bower, Joe Bugajsky, Tony Callis, Vito Gabino, Nick Novak, Tony Calderone, Kyler Pacyga, Ryan Thompson, Roseann McGuin, Joe McGuin, Maura Flanagan, Jessie Jones and Rich Schauer. Happy anniversary to Brian and Mary Sullivan.

 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 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...