Forty Years Ago

It happened 40 years ago … and 30, 20 and 10 years ago. What happened? Stinking winter, that’s what. In this latitude, once locked in, it never goes away. I can speak for most of us when I say we”are”fed”up”with”it and badly want this unjust punishment removed.

Winter is like a snake; a snake named the Gabon viper. It’s said to have Guinness record fangs”4 inches long. And when it bites you in your Gabon it never, never lets go. No. This season, it seems winter’s fangs have sunk deeper and locked in longer than ever. Must we suffer the unrelenting cold silently without reward? Warmth, blue skies and sunshine come only late in May, and then grudgingly. We want badly to express venom of our own but because we lack the eloquence, we turn to the poet”in this case, Ezra Pound (from “Ancient Music”): “Winter is cummin in,/Lhude sing goddamn,/Raineth drop and staineth slop,/And how the wind doth ramm!/Sing god damn Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,/An ague hath my ham./Freezeth river, turneth liver,/Damn you, sing god damn.”

There’s more, but there’s more winter, too. On the other hand, Victorian writer Max Beerbohm”more tired of winter talk than of winter”ended the matter with, “There is nothing you can say about the weather that isn’t already observable.”

(P.S. This written on an unpleasant Wed., March 23. Am giving 8-5 odds that if you’re reading this Wed., March 30, it’ll be a peachy day.)

From the Feb. 1965 issues of the Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

You know that shopping center to the south of us? You’d like a dollar for every time you’ve gone there? Shown is an aerial view when the North Riverside Park Mall was under construction in November of 1974. The 1.2 million square foot mall opened eleven months later. Besides 120 specialty shops, major tenants were Carson Pirie Scott & Co., Montgomery Ward and J.C. Penney, with auto facility centers operated by the latter two. Parking could accommodate 5,000 cars. (The view looks north from the I.C. tracks to Cermak Rd.)

“Dear Sally: I’m soon to be married to a wonderful guy. Before he and I began dating, he went steady with another girl who later tried to get him back, but I won and she eventually gave up and moved to another town. I would like her to know about our marriage. Do you think it would be a good idea to mail her a marriage announcement after the wedding?”The Winner.” “Dear Winner: No. That would be a childish bit of gloating on your part. She’s certain to learn the news in time. Much better that way.”

Jim Sansone, then completing his second term on the village council, announced that he was seeking re-election to the post of commissioner in the April, 1975 election. Meanwhile, Bill McKenzie, village clerk, was elected president of the 1975 Chamber of Commerce.

From the Dec. 1974 issues of the Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

In a move that came as a complete surprise to the honoree, the Park District Board of Commissioners officially designated the principal softball diamond “Fred O’Connor Field.” It was deemed fit recognition of a man who had been identified with youth sports and recreation here for 30 years. O’Connor had originated the local Pony League and served as its president for 17 years. Since the late 30s he was a great promoter of ladies softball in the area, and had recently coached the girls’ slow pitch team to a playoff spot in California.

Editor Bob Haeger reminded us that postage stamps would soon go up to 22 cents. Then he told of his cousin who was stocking up on 20 cent stamps before the hike went into effect. Haeger also shared comments from old (1930s) Forest Park newspapers. What were supposed to be straight news stories, left no doubt what the editor’s feelings were. One judgmental headline””Moron arrested here.” Also, when Fred Burkart was opening a recreation parlor (billiards), no superlatives were spared. “Mr. Burkart’s business will cater to ladies and gentlemen only. Others will not be tolerated.”

From the Feb. 1985 issues of the Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

Mission accomplished. In 1991 a group of concerned citizens (the best kind) formed an environmental commission to establish a curbside recycling program here. After four years of coordinating waste haulers, educating the public and promoting its own efforts, the group called it quits because their program was in place.

Commissioner Jerry Jacknow said, “there’s really not much more they can do. They started out getting recycling into single-family homes, then moved on to apartments and some businesses. Now further policy will fall under the Department of Health and Safety.”

Karen Rozmus of the original group was the leading force behind the current recycling program in Forest Park.

From the Feb. 1995 issues of the Forest Park Review