At the International Carl Nielson Flute Competition, our Forest Park flutist, Yukie Ota (a native of Japan, actually) won a second-place award. The competition took place in Odense Concert Hall in Denmark Sept. 15. What an amazing phenomenon: While Yuke was performing, a butterfly seemingly from out of nowhere, lighted on her forehead and stayed there until the piece was finished. The butterfly/flute duo enchanted the audience. Yuke lives in Forest Park with Rose Kraugh much of the time except when she is in Kalamazoo for rehearsals and performances with that city’s symphony orchestra. Ms. Ota received her Master’s Degree from DePaul University where she studied with CSO Principal flutist, Mathieu DuFour. She has performed at festivals in Italy and Spain as well as with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Osaka Philharmonic and the Ravinia Summer Festival here in Chicago. Congratulations, Yuke.

It happens every year about this time. The Schirama, Sciaccota, Buresch Family celebrates an Oct. 21st “combination birthday.” Each person is 20 years older than the next. Helen Schirama was 92 this year, her son-in-law Ray 20 years younger than she and Carol and Ray’s son in law Scott Buresch, 20 years younger than Ray. Happy birthdays to all of you.

 At this year’s Ed O’Shea award dinner Dave Novak will receive the local Kiwanis award. Dave worked for decades as director of the Park District and then after he retired, he has worked brining youngsters to the game of golf with the Junior Golf Program at the Willowcrest Golfcourse at the Oak Brook Hills Resort. Dave also helped get our No Gloves tournament off the ground and is an inductee in the Chicago 16″ Softball Hall of Fame. Dave will be presented the Ed O’Shea Award.

At the same dinner, Mike Mohr will accept the Zeller Award on behalf of the Mohr Family. This award is given by the Kiwanis International Foundation dedicated to the elimination of maternal and natal typhus infection.

Many people have been commenting on the lively activities at the library lately. One of the reasons is our outstanding YA Librarian, Regina Townsend. Regina was the recipient of the Illinois Association Young Adult Librarian of the Year Award. She earned this honor for providing outstanding service through innovative and dynamic programs and services. She has helped to instill a love of libraries to our young adults and thereby benefitted our community. Regina has sponsored many fun and educational events, writing groups, open mike nights, job and college preparation. Library users are aware of the difference Regina has made to our Forest Park Library.

Another great asset to our library is Diane Collins who moderates “Senior Moments Book Group”. The next meeting will be Thursday, Nov. 20 at 1 p.m. The book to be discussed is Defending Jacob by William Landay. These discussions will be held at the Howard Mohr Community Center. You can register at the library of online at

The senior movie discussion group will meet Nov. 6 at 1 p.m. “Tall Ships” will be that topic. The Community Center and the Library are cooperating in some of these activities. Discussions for both activities will be held at the center.

Remember the Harlemmaernerchor and Damenchor in River Grove, Nov. 1. The music begins at 7 p.m. tickets are $10. The group extends congratulations to Peter and Isabel Herdeg who are the proud grandparents of a grandson.

Everyone hopes the Patels, Sunny and Jashmi, at the Subway at Circle Avenue and Madison Street will continue after the restaurant resumes under new ownership. Sunny and Jashmi have made many friends in the years they have worked there. The Hindu Feast of Duvali has begun, Lakshmi’s feast was Tuesday. I think Lakshmi has something to do with money. 

Birthday greetings to Rebecca Jargstorf, Michael Sansone, Judy Gist, Noreen Carr, Jesse Sosa, Elizabeth Schiffman, Mark Ross, Michael Rudolf, Angeline Cote, Anil D’Souza, Theren McComb, Jamie Stetler, Samantha Zaverdas, Dick Byars, Josie Becker, Anahli Rosell, Kay Duff, Mary Kroger. Anniversary congratulations to Austin and Terry D’Souza, Brent and Yvonne Marler; Kathleen and Michael Redmond and Jill and Dave Smentel. 

  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...