When a gentleman approached me last September to say what a nice addition the PreTour Cocktail Party cigar bar was, he only regretted he'd missed the availability of cigars.
I told him, "fear not. There's an event coming just for you and your kin in September called Kindred Spirits. It's cigars, bourbon or beer, bonding -- and it's just for gentlemen."
And it raises money to make Schiller Park beautiful, safe and to help share its history with the public.
Organizers like to explain it is an outrageous night with a noble purpose.
There will be a full bar, assorted appetizers, silent auction with rare opportunities, a cigar garden and, this year, three top-drawer gins to taste.
Gin has cycled through times of wild popularity, been banished to the back of the liquor cabinet, and then celebrated as a cult commodity.
Without it there is no martini. Without it there is no Negroni. Without it there is no bramble.
Once you've tasted the best gin made, a world without the juniper berry isn't worth imagining.
Your $85 entry fee funds things such as the Schiller pond fountain and improvements to the bridge, and money from the event helped fund the storytelling signs at the Schiller statue.
Who said cigars are bad for you? They are very good for the park.
Bill Mains, Kelly Clark and Nelson Heinrich, all great Friends of Schiller Park members, created the event in 2013.
It is getting difficult to know how it all started. There are stories about rare scotches and kilts, but memories start to fail. It is a men-only gathering, that's for sure.
Kindred means a group of related individuals. And as event-founder and German Village Society Frank Fetch Award 2012 winner, that fits perfectly with the way Dr. Bill Mains thinks about the event and the neighborhood.
Bill once encountered an acquaintance at a funeral service. The man asked "You don't attend services for all of your patients, do you?" and Bill explained that it was a special circumstance -- the patient was also a neighbor.
"Neighbor? I thought you two lived something like 12 blocks away from each other." Learning that Bill's definition of neighbor boundaries included more ground than the block you live on might have shocked his friend, but it only reaffirmed Bill's understanding of what it means to be a German Villager.
Cocktails, food and plenty of male bonding will be part of Kindred Spirits, the annual fundraiser for Friends of Schiller Park.
The guys-only party will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 21, at the residence of Chris King and Rob Hunter, 356 E. Sycamore St. in Schumacher Place.
Tickets are on sale now in our Visitors Center at 588 S. Third St.
German Village Society Executive Director Shiloh Todorov submitted the Village Notebook column .