The wine walk seemed to be a huge success. The weatherman cooperated; everyone was in a good mood. It was a day that would live on as a happy memory. My dog had just been bathed so he looked unusually handsome and got lots of attention. He’s not well, but all that attention worked a miracle for his morale (and mine as well). Especially the admiration he got from those beautiful young ladies from the State’s Attorney’s Office.

John Hogan, author of historical books, was the featured guest at Centuries & Sleuths (C&S) last weekend. Most of his work deals with Chicago, such as his recent book, The Great Chicago Beer Riot. Other Chicago-based works are The Steel Strike and The Chicago Fire Department. Mr. Hogan’s books have all received excellent reviews and readers give them high praise as well.

He’s a real Chicagoan, being a Southsider where all real Chicagoans (like me!) come from.

The Chicago Big Read book for this month is The Maltese Falcon, to be discussed at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 30 at 2 p.m. No doubt you have seen the movie, probably several times, but I, for one, had never actually read the book. So now is our chance to actually read, The Maltese Falcon. The discussion will take place at C&S, 7419 Madison St. 

Everyone who takes on the role of tour guide at the Community Center leaves a bit of herself behind. Our late Bev Thompson originated the idea of Wednesday tours and she will always be remembered with a smile. Now Denise Murray has come up with a few spectacular trips, including eight days in Maine: hidden coves, ocean beaches — a dream vacation if ever there was one. Thirty people must sign up by May 2 or the trip may be cancelled. Only $200 is due at registration. It sounds like the best trip ever. Dinners, lobster bakes, tour of West Point, a ride on the narrow gauge railroad, Boothbay harbor. Y’all come! Call 708-771-7737. Lots of great trips this month as well: The King and I (how did she get those tickets?) on May 11, the Joffrey Ballet, on May 19; Donny and Marie Osmond on the 25th. This girl is on her toes. 

If you want to get in on “Panama Papers” wealth, talk to our girl at Everett Wealth Solutions, 708-771-7777. You don’t have to be as rich as the Pritzkers, but she’ll help you get partway there. And she is local. “Shop locally” is our motto, remember.

You are invited to the second annual Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea, hosted by the Oak Park Women’s Exchange and the Artisans & Crafters Unique Boutique, 839 S. Oak Park Ave. The date is Sunday, April 17 and there are two seatings for this popular annual event. First Seating, 11:30 a.m. until 12:30; the second seating is 1:30 until 3. You are encouraged to join friends for an afternoon of tea, dainty nibbles, silent auctions, and more. Vintage and fancy dress encouraged. Purchase tickets at the door or online at See you there (n.b. dainty sandwiches taste so much more delicious in this atmosphere. Tickets are $15 in advance or $25 at the door. For more information, call 708-848-4693.

Happy birthday to Fran Nee on the 13th, also to Evelyn Wirkowski, Kara Einbinder, Jim Stanton, John Spence, Ernesto Gassi, Don Cote, Julie Mahnke, Sarah Stahlke, Dawn Mandile, Amy Vobornik, Irene Kaldis, Eleanor Locati, Joe Rice, Parker Wojtas, Shawn Miller, Pricilla Bruce, Urtan Romani, Lisa Grimes, Bob Farrow, McKenna Mintz, Regan Doolan, and Katie Leinweber

Happy anniversary to Jean and Mike Lotus

  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...