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Forty Years Ago

A quiet giant came to the fore when the village most needed it. Howard Sammon founded the Forest Park National Bank in 1943 when the Depression still had a lingering stranglehold on local businesses. With characteristic aggressiveness and know-how he obtained the capital and convinced residents that in those chancy times, the bank would be a safe place to earn money and carry out financial enterprises.

Sammon rebuilt the institution from one that was nearly scraping bottom to a savings and investing entity that had grown to $18.5 million after 22 years.

He was also a strong, effective force downstate in opposing branch banking. After rejuvenating the bank, Sammon then focused on helping the local businessman escape his economic doldrums. He had a forceful personality and clear visions. That along with his business acumen and experience, could have laid the groundwork for today’s Main Street.

Sammon died early in 1965 of a heart attack in Palm Desert, California.

From the Mar. 1965 issues of the Forest Park Review.

Thirty Years Ago

Detective Richard Archambault saw a man loitering near Desplaines Avenue and Washington Street at about 7 p.m. Leaving his squad car, he followed the fellow and noted that the man seemed intent on two female residents as they were walking to the rear of their building. The suspect crouched beside some parked autos in the back lot, then noticed that he was being watched by Archambault.

He tried to casually walk away from the scene, when he was questioned by the detective. Headquarters revealed he was wanted on two counts of robbery in Chicago. Next stop”a night’s rest in the local slammer, then turnover to the Chicago police next day.

From Steve Olderr’s “curio” column comes the question, “Why don’t birds sing on the ground?” Steve said that a few species of shore and prairie birds will sing on the ground, but the vast majority of them warble only when they are in trees or bushes.

“Dear Sally: One of my best friends played a dirty trick on me. I had told him I was intending to ask a certain gorgeous girl to go out with me to a formal party at a big country club. When I phoned, she said that my ‘good buddy’ beat me to the punch. I’m really teed on this. Any suggestions?”Taken.” “Dear Taken: Stop burning, and next time try be more discreet about revealing your dating plans. Of course, this fellow wasn’t playing by the rules, knows it and is probably not too happy about his tactics.”

From the Mar. 1975 issues of the Forest Park Review.

Twenty Years Ago

The operator of a service station at First Avenue and Roosevelt Road was victimized by a man who apparently had excellent acting credentials. The perpetrator presented himself as an off-duty police detective who seemed to have the right police credentials, too. He convinced the attendant that while tailing a non-existent suspect, he had run out of money. Would you believe that the man gave him a requested hundred bucks? That attendant took first prize in the “Not-the-Sharpest-Tack-in-the-Box” run-offs.

Once there was a Giving Tree/that loved a little boy;/and the little boy ate her apples,/and climbed her trunk/and sat in her shade. This classic Shel Silverstein story (as reported by Dr. James Murray) typified the gift of giving and the grace of accepting, between young children from the Grant-White School during a visit to the aged at the Altenheim Home.

The story goes on: My apples are gone,/my branches are gone,/my trunk is gone;/I am just an old stick./But an old stump is good for sitting and resting./Come, boy, sit down and rest./And the boy did./And the tree was happy.

From the Mar. 1985 issues of the Forest Park Review.

Ten Years Ago

Who Remembers? the Double-mint Twins … double headers … double features … double bubbles … double troubles … double crossers (dirty) … double plays … double agents … double dates … Double Jeopardy … double duty … double indemnity … doublespeak … double dribbles … double negatives … snake eyes.

You may recall the Wally Glos shooting of 1992. One of two young punks shot him in the abdomen when Glos refused to surrender to their demands for money. The incident took place on the sidewalk of Circle Ave while Gloss was peacefully talking with a neighbor. It took almost three years to bring the goons to justice. Nonetheless, it was a classic case of a witnesses getting involved”without unduly endangering themselves”by being observant and taking part when something wrong was being played out.

A couple driving by saw the shooting (Glos survived) and followed the two apes who were driving their getaway car. The woman, in the passenger seat of the pursuing car, despite being shot at, managed to copy the license number. Result: a couple of dangers to society were put away for the public good.

“That was a very brave thing for her to do,” said the prosecuting attorney. “That was also the kind of citizen involvement that helps police do their job better.”

From the Mar. 1995 issues of the Forest Park Review.