It’s a sad time and getting sadder, but in the words of the late Gwen Ifill, “Life is wonderful.” However, beware. Neville Chamberlain said we should “wait and see” concerning Hitler. I guess God doesn’t take sides.

Remember 11 o’clock Mass at Saint Edmund this Saturday, Nov. 26, is honoring our dear, beloved Zeno Jacquat. There aren’t words to describe that dear man. He loved everyone and everyone loved him. If he sounds like a smiling, sweet, boring person, he wasn’t. Zeno had strong opinions, deep knowledge on every topic and a strong religious faith. 

The Symphony of Oak Park-River Forest had to amend its program last Sunday. The Nielsen #4 had to be dropped and will be heard at a later date. It’s a very difficult piece and I think the Cubs had something to do with a few missing and/or poorly attended rehearsals.

Denise Murray gives credit to Mayor Calderone for the Community Center getting those early tickets for Hamilton. Everyone was wild with excitement and the atmosphere was heavy with glee. The price on the ticket just about tripled by the time our date arrived. Group tickets are no longer available until August of 2017. So Denise and Tony deserve great appreciation. Let’s hear it for them!

Denise distributed a short summary of the book by Ron Chernow. You can get the book at Centuries & Sleuths. It’s pretty big but not too expensive, a good addition to anyone’s library. Alexander Hamilton was not born in the U.S., but on the island of what is now Saint Kitts in the West Indies. His legal education was mostly self-taught, with the aid of John Jay and William Patterson, both of whom became Supreme Court judges. George Washington found Hamilton to be indispensible. Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison wrote the Federalist Papers which are still consulted today. He and Aaron Burr were not enemies and often collaborated on cases. Hamilton founded the U.S. Treasury Department, political parties and promoted the constitutional convention. The details of that infamous duel are still controversial. Witnesses at the time did not agree on what exactly happened. His son Philip had died in a duel three years earlier. Read the book; there’s too much to fit in here.

Animal lovers will want to get to the Holiday Bazaar on Friday, Dec. 2 from 3 until 9 p.m.; on the 3rd from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and the 4th from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The new location is at 1003 Garfield in Oak Park. Holiday items, pet items, gift baskets, bakery goods, jewelry, and more. All your generosity goes right back to support the activities of the Animal Care League. Pictures with Santa, of course. Saturday and Sunday. 

The Michael Teolis concert will feature brasses, so you’ll hear a great Christmas sound. That’s Saturday, Dec. 3 at First United Methodist Church on Oak Park Avenue, right across the street from Hemingway’s house (see below). Come early and find a good place to park. 

On Sunday, Dec. 4 at 3:30, join your friends for the 16th annual Sing-Along Messiah also at First United Methodist Church, 324 N. Oak Park Ave. This Messiah features a professional orchestra and soloists, the church’s historic Skinner organ and local singers. Of course there is a reception following the concert. No tickets are required. Just come and bring your voice.

 On Sunday, Dec. 11 at 4 p.m., celebrate Gaudete Sunday with choristers and instrumentalists. Remember, those Lutherans excel at music so come prepared to hear some real Christmas in song. 

 You are invited to attend the annual New Year’s Eve party at the Forest Park Community Center. Reservations are required. Call 771-7737, $46 for residents, $50 non-residents, still a great bargain for the eight-course dinner, served elegantly by the staff, champagne, party poppers, dancing and entertainment. In case you like to be in bed by 10 p.m., the New Year unofficially begins at 3 p.m. Party at 11 a.m. 

Happy birthday to Noreen Carr, Jesse Sosa, Elizabeth Schiffman, Mark Ross, Michael Rudolf, Angelina Cote, Anil D’Souza, Frank Anselmo, Amber Allen, Hannah Connell, John Schmidt, Lisa Walsh, Therese McComb, Samantha Zavredas, Josie Becker, Anahli Rosell, Drew Frank, Charlotte Lavnick, Chloe Hillis, Annette Stetler, Rich Bisluk, Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson), Marjorie Beyer, Ryan Neff, Tony Iannantuoni, Helen Dvorak, Pat Uphues, Mary Sullivan, Karen Woods, Spencer Brooks, Jessica Dodge, and Pete Giankopoulis

Happy anniversary to Joe and Diane Criscone, and Mary and Pat Brown.

Enjoy Thanksgiving.

 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...