In Mexico they call it "Da de Muertos" (Day of the Dead), a time each year to gather at gravesides with loved ones, good food and drink to honor and remember those who have died.

In our family we call it "Cemeteries Day." Every May, on a weekday before Mother's Day, we gather in Chicago to visit the each grave, share stories and remember the influence of those who have gone before us.

Since it's become a tradition of my Polish/Ukranian relatives, food and drink are indeed part of the day, but enjoyed in a local restaurant so no one ends up with KP. With Mother's Day and Memorial Day coming up, it's a great time for remembering.

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Friends of Aurora Memorial Library will host a very special evening with Mary Doria Russell on May 23 at 7 p.m. in the Aurora Community Theatre.

Author of "The Sparrow," "Children of God," "A Thread of Grace," "Dreamers Day" and "Doc," the American Library Association's 2011 best novel in the historical fiction category, Russell has been called one of our greatest contemporary storytellers.

Her novels are critically acclaimed commercial successes, studied in literature, theology and history courses in colleges and universities, and often chosen as book club and "community read" selections.

Russell will autograph copies of her books offered for sale by Rita Williams' Books of Aurora. For more information, contact library branch manager Jonathan Harris at or 330-562-6502.

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Aurora Historical Society will open tits new exhibit "Early Aurora: Before the Pioneers" May 15 at 7 p.m. The 48-square foot exhibition tells the story of the people, animals and plants that inhabited Aurora long before New Englanders migrated here.

The public is welcome to enjoy the kick-off event in the lower level of the library/museum. The evening will feature appetizers, desserts and remarks by Portage County historian Guy Pernetti. For more information, contact Michael Thal at 330-995-4067.

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Margaret Chapman tells us her first fashion show last month at Aurora's Thorncreek Winery was a success.

Chapman, a super seamstress, owns Margaret's Fine Tailoring for Men and Women and the tiny, freestanding shop, appropriately named "The Little White Cottage," which now features a collection of soft fashions, scarves and jewelry.

She's open for business from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays at 1013 N. Aurora Road

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We welcome your Aurora news. Contact Christine Patronik-Holder at 440-708-1755 or