Forty Years Ago

For at least one day Forest Park had a drive-thru florist shop. Paul’s Flowers, 7606 Madison, was paid a visit from a 1963 Ford Fairlane with Mrs. James Shoffer of Maywood at the wheel. Back then it was not only the time of “tiger in your tank,” but of automobiles in your front window. Ms. Shoffer was driving north on DesPlaines, about to turn west (left) onto Madison. She didn’t make it. Her car ricocheted off another car, put away a parking meter and crashed into the flower store. Ms. Shoffer was a new driver who had gotten her license three months earlier. By our mistakes shall we learn.

“Troop moral is at an all-time high,” said marine Major Joseph Doser, commander of the Marine Reserve at Roosevelt Rd. Regarding Vietnam, he expressed satisfaction with the kind-heartedness of U.S. troops there. “Our boys share their soap and candy with the kids.” He also added that these troops know their jobs and are “proud to serve their country.” He concluded by saying he couldn’t understand the anti-war feeling reported so much in the papers.

Maybe the major understands better since history yet once more has let itself get repeated. It also seems past time to retire worn phrases like “Serve [die for?] their country.” As recently as this year at least one sorrowful mother has said, “My son did not die for his country. His life was taken from him.” It’s getting a little old, and it seems like for too long, too many lives are being taken away”every day.

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

Thirty Years Ago

On the night of Aug. 10, 1975, Roosevelt Road might aptly have been called Burglars’ Row. That Sunday night and before dawn on Monday, six burglaries were committed on that stretch between Harlem and DesPlaines.

Two men were apprehended for suspicious behavior and no identification when discovered parked in an alley behind the White Hen Pantry. While questioning the suspects, police heard an alarm go off in the Martin gas station to the west. Another two men were arrested as they attempted to break in. Besides White Hen and Martin’s, before the night was over, the following businesses were found to have been burglarized or broken into: Amling’s, Whitehall Service Station, Tom Carlson’s Auto Sales and Leo’s Flowers”all along the Roosevelt strip.

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

Twenty Years Ago

Given that woman’s rights were mighty late in coming …to be the first female anything is always something. Given the lateness of civil rights in our oh-so-wonderful country…to be the first black anything is really something.

Cheryl Baker, through her qualifications, work ethic, healthy ambition and self-respect, became the first black, female police officer in Forest Park. In July of ’85 she was sworn in as a probationary police officer here, and would report for 10 weeks of recruit training at Maybrook. She easily passed in the four qualifying categories of physical agility, written exam, oral interview and in-depth psychological evaluation.

From the July-Aug. 1985 issues of the Forest Park Review.

Ten Years Ago

Recall the Forest Park Starship Subs’ battle with the mighty Paramount Studios of Hollywood? The good guys won. The Movie conglomerate came down hard on the sub sandwich shop”something about infringement on the part of the local upstarts. Infringement on what? On the name of the business and the spacecraft in the TV series. Long before a script was written or a camera began rolling, the establishment at 7618 Madison was stuffing fresh rolls with lunchmeats, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, oil and vinegar and whatever else”under its present name. The moguls from movieland sued co-owners Paul McKenna and Henry Laskowski, claiming the business name, Starship Subs was a steal from the name of Captain Kirk’s vehicle.

I am not trying to curry favor with John Rice. It just happens that two of his past columns seem so quotable. I refer to his recent mention of his love for genuine German potato salad”soon to be served at this Saturday’s revived Oktoberfest, noon to 10 p.m. at Ferrara Pan’s parking lot. That and a pretty funny piece he did of Aug. 16, 1995″an interview with his 7 ½ month-old son, Mark. Two example: “So Mark, how long have you lived in Forest Park?” Mark””Let’s see, I was born December 30, 1994 and I lived in Chicago for about a day and a half. So I guess I’ve been around a little over seven months.” “How do you like it here so far?” Mark””Well it’s been kind of hot. You wouldn’t believe what it’s like wearing diapers in this weather. I’m looking forward to the wading pool next year.” It goes on.

Hey John, why not give that interview a re-run? (Popular demand.)

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