Looking for something interesting to do? Try your local library, which has something going on to excite every taste. If you go to our Forest Park Public Library, Skye Lavin, manager of Adult Services, will be there to show you around. Skye is a graduate of Yale University where she earned her BA degree, then went on to the University of Wisconsin Madison, for her master’s degree in Library Science. How did we get lucky enough to acquire such a smart librarian? 

Skye is an animal lover who loves her cat, Davey. Our other really smart Adult Services librarian is Gina Carfagno. More about Gina at a later date. The two ladies are shown at the copier where they are helping a patron with some important papers.

Some other exciting activities to get us through these gloomy days of winter: Grown Up Game Night on Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m. You can play Scrabble, Exploding Kittens, Flash Point, or bring your own game if you’d like. Play with friends, meet new friends or play a solitary game. Then on Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. see “Hamilton’s Women,” a living history program in which Leslie Goddard brings alive the women in Hamilton’s life. On Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. something for us seniors (or anyone else): learn how to create a Facebook account. Set up your profile and more in this workshop. 

Did you know you can research your genealogy at the library, too? Libraries are wonderful places. I think the library is the most important building in any community. 

Regardless of your religious beliefs, I hope you saw Rick Steves’ television special on Martin Luther last week. In my opinion, it was one of the best programs ever shown on television. I am not Lutheran, but it doesn’t take much thought to realize the Reformation and Martin Luther were pivotal in history. It will probably be shown again. Rick Steves doesn’t try to convert viewers; he just relates a most important period of history. This year is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, a most significant date in history. How often in history have those who have spoken truth to power paid dearly for their independent thoughts? Often with much bloodshed and pain, and after long periods of time. But in the end, mankind achieved a little more freedom, a bit more progress. 

Besides our library, we in Forest Park have Dominican University, right across the street in River Forest with its great diversity of lectures and programs to broaden and enrich our lives. The 37th Annual Benefit Concert this year features “Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen” on Saturday, March 11 at 5 p.m. Tickets start at $47. Gala package tickets are $350. Remember Bob Fosse? He once said, “There is no man like him on the musical comedy stage.” Call 708-524-5980

Happy birthday the first week in February to Becky Lauris, Sally Cody, Aiden Grant, Hailey Hemstreet, Elene Collis, Rosemary Krieger, Ashley Mendez, Stacey LoCascio, Ann Spence, Cherise Stewart. Michelle Rubio, Mike Lyons Jr., and Cassidy and Frances McSherry. Happy anniversary to Pam and Todd Bower.

In case you didn’t read about it last week (actually last month), the world population has risen to 7.1 billion. Water will be, and actually already is, becoming an enormous problem. But I have a recipe for you to make your own water in case you run short: Two tablespoons of hydrogen and 1 tablespoon of oxygen. Mix them in a bowl and there you’ll have it. The most difficult part will be keeping the hydrogen in the bowl. Work on it.

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...