A little good news is in order. So far, Sue Paschke seems to be improving a little and everyone is wishing her the best. The Schauer Hallmark Store on Madison just isn’t the same without Sue. As soon as she is able, Scott Schauer will bring her in just to say hello to old customers.

The 600 block of Beloit now officially holds the best — well one of the best — block parties in Forest Park. This year Don Carter, WWII veteran and best friend of the late Bob Bill, arrived in his 1926 Model “T” Ford. Dan offered rides to the partygoers and reminisced with May about the good old days with Bob in Okinawa. As usual May Bill produced her prize winning pot of beans along with the recipe. Cliff Leber is the master fish fryer of the block. Cliff and his buddies spend about a week up in Canada fishing in an environmentally responsible way. They catch and release, only keeping enough for a shore meal. I think Cliff and his friends would enjoy reading Mission Blue by Sylvia Earl. The kids on the block bounced around in the bouncy house, dogs remained in the back yards, even visiting dogs. 

Two famous visiting dogs from Woodstock, Illinois were Edgar and Ling Ling Fink. Gary Fink is doing well and enjoyed seeing his old neighbors. This block party has turned into a week-end affair and promises to last even longer.  Since Mary Sullivan moved to Wisconsin the 600 block of Thomas misses its Chili Cookoff. And the block party there isn’t the same.

Remember Gwen Huynh? The young lady who moved to California a few years ago? Gwen has been teaching English in her native Vietnam for the past two years. She promises to come back and see us when she can.

August is sadly drawing to a close and I hear a school bell in the distance. So it’s almost time for the big Women’s Exchange sale in November. Keep it in mind, details to follow.

Thursdays “Authors Under the Awning” at Centuries & Sleuths, 7 p.m. is drawing to a close. So hurry on over while there’s still time! Thursday, Aug. 28 will feature Sue Myers, author of the Claire O’Shaunessy Series and M.E. Mays, who writes the Circle City Mysteries. Actor JoBe Cerny is now in the mystery novel business with his The Taylor Street File of Red Cin. Libby Fischer Hellmann will also be there to promote the latest Georgia Davis mystery. Come on over and just schmooze with the readers and authors.

And speaking of authors, Forest Park’s own Blues historian Steve Cushing has finally released his newest scholarly work: Pioneers of the Blues Revival (Music in American Life) published by University of Illinois Press. Congratulations Steve!

Celebrating birthdays this last week of August are Raysel Gist, Joe Blazek, Jacob Marchetti, Kamryn Edwards, Bonnie Cmiglia, Candi Manois, Leslie Kelley, Wilma Haley, Hazel Ann Rossi, Madelyn Entler, Dee Shoman, Rosalie Koldan, Donna Chan, Len Gappa, Miady Gerger, and Bethany Hawkins.  Happy anniversary to Mary and Ron Moravec, Jon and Letitia Olmsted, Melissa and Anthony Tureck, and Mike and Claire Cossio.      

 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.

 This story has been updated to correct Don Carter’s name.

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...