Happy New Year this week. Lo Shana Tova.

Where were you last Friday night? Several Forest Parkers were at Crea.ti.vita, 7502 ½  Madison Street,  having a creative, sublime time painting the Chicago skyline as they saw it. Art coach Jessica Luciano, and her daughter Christine were on hand to advise, suggest or answer questions as needed. Jessica never tells you what to paint, she never picks up her brush to add to your work, she just is there to encourage. Joe Sullivan even saw a dragon (or something) on the side of one of his buildings. No one there had ever painted before and each one went home with an original work of art. No two were anything alike. It’s art, it’s you, it’s your soul. Did I mention there is a different picture for you to paint or look at for ideas, at each session. You aren’t expected to copy the model. In fact, you aren’t expected to do anything except what you want to do.

On Saturday a wild, exciting very happy birthday party was happening at Crea.ti.vita It was the sixth birthday of Gianna Lopez. Gianna, her sister, brother and several friends were getting ready to paint a big pink birthday cupcake for the occasion.

If you weren’t painting the Chicago skyline last Friday, you were probably at Counter Coffee purchasing copies of Tom Holmes’ Forty Days Alone in Thailand. Congratulations to Tom on his monumental accomplishment. Religion is on most people’s minds most of the time (way in the back). Let’s all get his book, read it and talk about it.

Or maybe you were at Doc Ryan’s this weekend? The Klein family was honored by Guinness Beer Company when their late daughter Terese Klein was posthumously given the Guinness “Raise your glasses to a Local Hero” Award. Terese, who passed away five years ago at age 26, was an active camp counsellor and volunteer for Camp Oasis, a special sleep-away camp for children who have Crohn’s Disease and Colitis. Terese was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when she was seven years old, but never let it slow her down. Her River Forest family holds a fundraiser every year to help the Illinois chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America send Illinois kids to camp. This year mother Marie Klein said 200 attended the special TKcampfund fundraiser and brought in $20,000. Cousins Jen Stasch and Molly Mueller helped with the festivities. Terese’s sisters Alison Klein and Kelly Klein Patterson willspeak this year at the CCFA Annual Gala in Chicago Oct. 17.

Sue Paschke, that’s Sue of Hallmark cards, has had her surgery and is now recovering at her son’s home. Speedy recovery, Sue. Everyone loves you and is hoping for the best for you. You can drop off a get well card at the store.

A very important general meeting of the Forest Park Historical Society will take place in October at a date to be decided. We want to preserve all that has been accomplished for so many years. The late Dr. Frank Orland who gave most of his life after his retirement researching the history and early citizens of Forest Park. Whether you are a newcomer or long time resident, come to this meeting. Contact Diane Grah, Executive Director. 708.232.3747 or forestparkhistory1975@gmail.com

Birthday greetings this week go to Caryn Lichtenberg, Kathy Thompson, Mary Ann Munoz, Jason Aelmeroth, Laura Zimmer, Christina Wiesneth, Sydney Mangiaracina, Roy Sansone, Michael Clifton, Kimberly O’Shea, Abigail Childs, Pat Falbo, Sawyer Paeth, Cade Tomkins, Daniel Lotus and Ed Lambke. Happy anniversary to Lori and Jim O’Shea, Tina and Gary Neubeiser, Art and Diane Janopoulos.  Good bye, September. 

 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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