In keeping with these balmy days, Holly the duck was out walking in Forest Park and Oak Park with her person, Kia Walker last week. About a year ago, Kia went to a market in Chicago and asked if she could buy a duck. “Sure,” said the proprietor, I’ll wrap one up for you.”

“No, No!” shouted Kia, “I want one for a pet.” So she chose Holly and off they went. Now the two are inseparable. Holly likes to be petted, north to south on her bill. She expects a bit of seed when you pet her, but it’s not required. Holly is friendly and does not bite.

Jason Smith of the Book Table in Oak Park was guest speaker at the Friends of the Forest Park Library meeting last Saturday. He spoke about rare books, first editions and the difference between something that is “rare” and something that is “unique.” Too often The words “unique” and “rare” are interchanged. For example, let’s say there are four original copies of the Magna Carta. If you have one, you have a rare book indeed. But if you have the only copy of some book THAT is unique. Some priceless, or pricy first editions may contain misprints or errors that are corrected in later editions. For example, if you know that on say, page 218 of a certain book , fourth line from the top, a word is misspelled, that makes that particular book rare and costly, depending on the book. Mr. Smith educated the audience on many topics.

That James Turek is a history star! The Nazareth High School junior will advance with his team to participate in National History Day at the University of Maryland in June. James and his team won the State Finals of the Metro Chicago History Fair in Springfield with their documentary “Vanquishing the Illinois Black Codes: Chicagoans Who Made a Difference.”

What a party at McAdam Landscaping last week for Forest Park Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting! There was a great clamoring at the auction for a dinner cruise hosted by Forest Park Administratorand boat owner Tim Gillian. The winner was Scott McAdam, who donated $1,100. Sheneather “Shay” Butler, owner of Color Me Beautiful full-service spa and wig shop on Madison Street, won a Forest Park pool party for her clients, many of whom are cancer patients.

This Saturday, May 18 at 3:30 p.m., author/musician Dean Milano will talk about his experiences in the music scene in and around Chicago since 1966. He has played in numerous bands and shows performing on his bass guitar. Of course he will perform for the audience that afternoon. 

To show that we music lovers have eclectic taste, The Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest will perform at Dominican University at 7 p.m. that same day, May 18 at 7 p.m .This last concert of the season , the “German Concert” will feature the Bach Violin concerto performed on the marimba by soloist Cynthi Yeh. She will also present the world premiere of Kvistad’s Concerto for Vibraphone and Orchestra, written expressly for her. Ms. Yeh is principal percussionist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Kvistad, the composer will speak at the concert. The Beethoven “Pastoral” Symphony (Number Six) will complete the program.

 Happy birthday this week to Andy Madden, Claire Hansen, Yvette Manaois, Dan Scollard, Nedra Wentland, Dave Novak, Danielle Boy, Molly Adams, Irene Kaldis, Audrey Kazmarek, Sara Neubeiser, Sue Lyons, Mikela Brown, Peggy O’Connell, Jonas Wojtas, Phyllis DeVilbiss, Janet Fink, Pam Bower, Shirley Stange, Tyler Robert Fink, Mary Lotus, Emma Elizabeth and Maxwell Strong, seven year old twins. Happy anniversary to Bob and Lisa Kowalski and Roy and Terry Sansone. 

 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...

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