Forty Years Ago

It must’ve been a slow news day beause Ye Olde Editor Claude Walker was lazily leafing through a book titled, “Accidental Facts,” published by the Illinois Department of Public Works. From it, he gleaned that Forest Park had nearly one auto accident per day in 1964″362. And 349 in ’63. Accident-prone LaGrange, with about the same population, had nearly 100 more auto mishaps both years. There was one traffic fatality here in ’64, while two lost their lives on the road in ’63.

Walker noted that most fatal car accidents in Illinois occur on a Saturday; the next most lethal day being Sunday. A surprising entry was one stating that only six percent of deadly auto accidents in Illinois took place at dusk. Seems like we’ve always been told that the twilight hours were the most dangerous time.

Humor at a village meeting? Commissioner Vernon Reich reported that he had been receiving some nasty calls about his notice that homeowners’ diseased elm trees would have to be cut down. Noting that one irate resident suggested that Reich be “tossed out of office,” the commissioner unexpectedly replied, “that might not be such a bad idea.” Such self-effacement was rare from any public official, so no one took it seriously. Humor? Maybe. Staying power? For sure.

From the August 1965 issues of the Forest Park Review.

Thirty Years Ago

Free bus service was instituted to and from the Mohr Community Center. When the service began, pick-ups and drop-offs of oldsters and the handicapped were made only on Tuesdays. Today the convenience is available on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Call 771-7737, but never on Wednesdays or weekends.

Planning for Oktoberfest ’75 was shaping up 30 years ago, just as it’s revival is doing now. After a ten-year hiatus, the new, somewhat different, yet “good old” Forest Park fest will have good food, foam and fun packed into in a single day”Saturday, September 24, from noon ’til 10 p.m. It’ll take place at the Ferrara Pan parking lot, and will feature wonderful German music by the Harlem German Chor, beer and brats, oompahs, plenty of kid activties, lots of other events and”this above all”authentic John Rice German Potato Salad! Yes!

Go. It’ll do you good.

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

Twenty Years Ago

The estranged couple agreed to discuss divorce details at the wife’s Barrington Hills home. When the husband left, his wife lay dead of multiple shotgun wounds. The husband, a prominent Forest Park businessman, then allegedy drove off leaving his car in Evansville, Indiana where he boarded a flight for his home in suburban Miami.

Someone had called Barrington Hills police regarding the gunshots. A Police investigation there eventually led to a disturbance in a Florida City motel. In quelling the disturbance, Florida police uncovered information apparently suggesting that the rabble-rouser and the murder suspect were one and the same. The accused was in custody, awaiting extradition.

From the July 3, 1985 issue of the Forest Park Review.

Ten Years Ago

We depart in different ways. Local police identified the body of an elderly man who had been missing for three days. Detective Pat Tierney identified the man from a missing person’s report containing a photo. The body had been discovered next to a Commowealth Edison building near the 700 block of DesPlaines Ave., just south of the Eisenhower Expressway.

It was believed that the man, James Curtis, died of natural causes. “He had bouts of forgetfulness,” said a relative, “yet hadn’t been diagnosed with Alzheimers.” Police speculated he may have ridden the el, become confused, decided to lie down and then suffered a heart attack.

Talk about a sound sleeper! A 74 year-old woman told police that while she snoozed from 2 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. someone entered her apartment and ransacked the place. How quietly can you ransack? The offender(s), who apparently entered through a window, got away with $35″a small amount for a Big Sleep.

Who Remembers? Those yellow, triangular rear window car signs that announced to the world that a BABY was ON BOARD. My favorite was, STUPID YELLOW SIGN ON BOARD. Then there was everyone’s creative stroke to write with their finger on the back of a filthy truck, WASH ME. Wasn’t that a hoot? My favorite variant was the genius who defied convention with, DO NOT WASH. ENTERED IN DIRT CONTEST.

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