Celebrating 50 years of the Joker Band

VIDEO | STORY: About 300 people crowded into the VFW hall for menudo, tacos, cocktails and dancing to tunes from Richard Franco, 73, and his band.

Neighborhood news and notes

Bill Cochran of Lakewood created a Super Bowl commercial for Bridgestone called “Reply All,” and it ranked No. 3 on Time magazine’s list of best TV ads of 2011. Cochran is creative director and writer at The Richards Group and also a longtime cast member with Ad-Libs improvisational comedy troupe. Watch the commercial here.

Q&A: Chuck Connor of White Rock Skate

This Lord of the Rink, who hasn’t missed a day of work in about 40 years, has kept the place looking and feeling just like it did in the ’70s.

Witches’ remedies at the Labyrinth

Step up to the purple house on Bell Ave, and you’ll catch the scent of incense through Labyrinth Metaphysical Herbal Apothecary’s screen door.

Career day at Lakewood Elementary School

Last month, Lakewood Elementary School counselor Lydia Dickson invited about a dozen Lakewood alumni to visit fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms. The Lakewood students asked a lot of questions: Why did you pick your college? How long are your classes? Do you live in a dorm? Did you get to pick your roommate? What is the food like? Is there recess?

Hearty winter soups

Hearty winter soups

Henk’s deli known for its black forest cakes and sausages, but the cozy European-style café also is a prime spot for Dutch, German and Swiss soups.