This display spruced up the Roos property lot at Harrison and Circle. | Courtesy Park District of Forest Park

Happy 2017. It’s a bit of a mystery where the sleigh full of toys, standing in the middle of the snowy field just north of Harrison, seen from the Circle Avenue Bridge, came from. Did Santa find it in time for Christmas Eve? As of this writing (Thursday, Dec. 22) we have no way of knowing. But thanks to Michael Thomas we got a picture of the snowman, sleigh, etc. By the way, Michael’s son Steven Thomas has a New Year’s Day birthday. Have a great year, Steve.

Congratulations to Dylan Trainor, a former resident of Forest Park, who has completed Infantry Basic Training at Ft. Benning, Georgia. He is a member of the Army National Guard and works as a police officer in Willowbrook. Ken and his mother, Sheila, are bursting with pride. 

We like to pretend that this is a happy time of year. But in our hearts we know everyone has a sad ache, mostly because of happy memories of past Christmases. Jill Fink lived a magical, blessed life, until a few years ago when her much-loved husband, Gary Fink came down with Alzheimer’s. He recently had to be placed in a home which broke everyone’s heart. They met at age 19, graduated from Carthage College and were married a short time later. They had a very happy marriage. He recently told a nurse at the home that his wife was “the pretty one,” after nearly 50 years.

Many of Forest Park’s neighbors remember the Karlins. Rachel still owns the Karlin house at Adams & Harlem. You haven’t seen her for a while because she is living in a home in Niles. Rachel’s father, Leonard Karlin, was one of the smartest, funniest people in town. I loved it when he and Dr. Frank Orland got together. So many memories. Anyway, Rachel’s sister Judy writes to tell us that Rachel has been having health problems lately. She comes into Rush Oak Park Hospital periodically for treatment. Brothers David and Ben come to see her occasionally. We send them our best wishes for a happy 2017. 

But time goes in one direction only, so let’s leave off the past and look at the future. We’ll see each other at the New Year’s Eve party at the Community Center won’t we?

Birthdays for the last week in December and a few days in January: Ryan Mintz, Chris Harris, Jean Lotus, Suzy Bjornson, Angela Spinelli, Tom Ahern, Hunter Treiber, Mark Rice, Brenda Riske Powers, Ryan Neff, and Lauren Trage

Happy anniversary to Doug and Nancy Deuchler and Barbara and Bob Sullivan. A 2017 happy birthday to Rich Gray, Caitlin Miller, Alice and Lara Mellin, Lou Moran, Tom Kloess, Ian Hoffman, and Danielle Watson.

 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 Schulz

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...