Forest Park is becoming cosmopolitan lately. The most exotic visitor, Palma Djuris, left us on Monday to return to her home in Uganda! Palma left Uganda several weeks ago with a group of friends to visit several shrines in Italy. The friends are devout Roman Catholics and looked forward to praying at so many important religious sites. Have you ever heard of a saint from the town of Lanciano? His shrine was one of the stops. They also visited the home of Padre Pio, remember him? Palma had to leave the group early to come here and attend the graduation of her daughter Lily from Benedictine University in Lisle. Palmas son, Deo Gratias, an artist, stayed in Uganda but he hopes to get to the U.S. .some day. Palma has been to the Congo which is a place that intrigues all of us, I think. She knows a little Swahili, since each tribe speaks its own language in Africa. Most speak English, some speak French and quite a few speak Swahili. Since Uganda is on the equator, all the days of the year are the same, 7 a.m. dawn, 7 p.m. dusk. Winter means “rain” not cold. Since Idi Amin is gone everyone gets along.
Congratulations to Bob Dwyer who graduated with honors from Lincoln Academy in Rantoul. This ambitious young man already has a great job and plans to continue his education in the near future. His proud mother is Susan Rainley. See her beaming at Ed’s Way.
My fellow columnists at the Review won awards at the Illinois Press Assn. Friday. Congrats to Sharon Daly, Tom Holmes and John Rice. Congrats to editor Jean Lotus, too, as well as the design and advertising staff who brought home the prizes.
Donna McKune is proud of her brilliant grandson, Max McKune who graduated from Jones Academy in Chicago. Jones has always been a selective institution which, even back in my day, took in only the brightest and the best. Max is planning to attend Saint Norbert’s in DePere, Wisconsin this fall. Max’s interest is the theatre.
Congratulations to Erika Ochoa and Pineapple Dance Studio on Madison Street. Erika has been keeping us tapping and trim (or trying to) for seven years now! Drop in -everyone is welcome, all ages and abilities. Everyone can dance, it’s in our nature.
We hear Juneteenth was a huge success, although chilly at the Forest Park Aquatic Center. Congratulations to Commissioner Rory Hoskins and all the people who make it possible.
Birthdays this week: Emily Myint, Artie Gray, Maria Willinger, Mary Ellen Dowdle, Ginger McKay, Angela Hodges, Sophia Miller, Dorothy Spinelli, Tyler Leninger, Chuck Brod, Caileigh Pronek, Steve Backman, John Mahoney, John Fabbrini, Jane Hseu, Sydney Gray, Jackson Ramirez. Happy anniversary to Jill and Brian Hosty, Danny and Diane Mohr Mr. and Mrs. Wilson Chen, Millie and Ben Spinelli, Angela and Gary Fink, and Mark and Joan Janopoulos.
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.