Forty Years Ago

The following is a nice little story”not an earthshaker, yet not all sugar and spice: Betsy Ross third-grader Robert Wozniak and his fifth-grade sister Tori Marlaine”children from the Republic of Korea”marked a special event here on June 14, Flag Day. Three years before (1962), Naval Commander Adam Wozniak and his wife had made arrangements to adopt the brother and sister while Wozniak was on duty in Seoul. (He had previously served as commander of the Naval Ordnance Plant here, on the current site of Ultra Foods.)

This special swearing-in of the two young children as U.S. citizens would be officiated by the then-current Naval Ordnance Commander, J.J. Pate. Robert and Tori provided a highlight by lowering the colors at retreat.

And now this wacky fantasy of a “hospital patients reunion” in 1965 by Claude Walker Jr., son of the editor and sometimes editor his own self. He claimed the get-together would take place on a Saturday at Oak Park Hospital and predicted a good time for one and all. Fellow ex-patients would gather Saturday for a hilarious evening of diet-defying eating. Fun and games would include sticking nurses with needles. Show and tell would feature the display of scars, stitches and incisions. Top prize would be a free prescription”a $15 value, [mark it up ten-fold today]. Walker also mentioned that some former patients were just dying to attend.

From the June 1965 issues of the Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

Lost: One punchline from two issues back. The gist of the joke is that in 1835 Joseph Kettlestrings “Bought Oak Park” for $215.98 (True); that Peter Minuet earlier had purchased the island of Manhattan for $24 (True). Then there was the American Indian bartender who charged $24 for a Manhattan.

The new order was in and the old element of surprise was included. Shortly after the new Forest Park administration had been sworn in, a popular appointee was voted out. Mayor Mohr and commissioners Ed Lambke, Cathy Buckley, Santo Rizzo and Fred Marunde retired for a half-hour closed meeting. Along with others decisions, assignments and considerations, they emerged with the announcement that Health Commissioner Patricia Stetler would be replaced by Sandra Boy. A buzz of surprise issued from those attending the village hall meeting, and the murmurs continued for a few weeks.

Mohr stated he had high regard for Ms. Boy, yet could not undersand how Ms. Stetler “could be rewarded in this manner after four years of service above and beyond the call.” Stetler”among many accomplishments”had initiated the village’s Meals on Wheels program.

Former Commissioner Jim Sansone was quoted as saying, “Letting her go was a sad mistake.” Mohr called her firing “shabby treatment.”

From the May/June 1975 issues of the Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

An infestation of bees visited a fair-sized tree in the 600 block of Circle Ave. A great carpet of the buzzers covered about five feet of one limb. The commotion was caused by”what else?”a female, in particular a queen bee (Cherche la femme). A professional beekeeper from Countryside cut the limb off and transported the entire colony back in a corrugated carton. He was paid a modest sum, but was reported to be more than satisfied because “Getting a queen is a real prize.”

Afterthought: The bee is the only insect that provides us with food”and bee stings.

We may not have any idea how much turmoil the human head can contain. Two instances from the Police Report:

From the June/July 1985 issues of the Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

Here’s one that fell through the cracks: The following was submitted by Cora Sallee in answer to this paper’s request for personal accounts of what life was like during the war years”particularly the summer of 1945:

“My husband, John, was the radio man on a bomber flying out of England. I recall his admiration for the English people and their stamina during air raids there. I worked in an office downtown during the week, but three nights I went back to the factory to help [in the war effort] with the shortage of workers. The nights I worked late, I returned home on the Garfield el, got off about 10 p.m. and walked in The Park in the dark (brownouts were in effect) to my home with no fear. That’s a sad commentary on today, isn’t it?

“There were humorous memories, too. Our dog loved his morning treat of buttered toast dipped in coffee. With shortages, we had to resort to margerine for butter”ugly white stuff in a plastic squeeze bag complete with an orange pellet (like a belly button). You’d knead it until the color spread and simulated that of butter. Not acceptable to dog or man, but what could you do?”

From the June/July 1995 Forest Park Review