Forty Years Ago

We kid a lot about Claude Walker in this column”Ye Olde Editor. But he was a thoughtful, concerned and active man. Aside from editing and publishing the Forest Park Review, he was a four”term member of the Illinois House of Representatives. In September of 1965 he announced his candidacy for nomination to the State Senate in the newly formed 5th District. His platform was his successful tenure in the House and his experience as a businessman, law graduate and newspaper publisher. Here’s an excerpt from his weekly column, “Personal Observations”:

“Oft”times a community takes for granted many of the things that are marveled at by folks from out of town. A good example of this is the Garfield Conservatory, located less than ten minutes drive from here (This was forty years ago). A lady from White Pigeon, Michigan was surprised to learn that I had never visited this shrine to plant life. People come from all over the world to savor this spot, and here it is right on my very doorstep and I don’t drop in to see the beautiful flowers.

“So it is with many places. I well remember the first time I attended the auto races at Indianapolis. We stayed in a tourist home directly across the street from the track. I was amazed to learn from the owners of the home that they had never attended a race, and cared less.” (To be continued.)

From the Sept. 9, 1965 issue of the Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

Forest Park police apprehended three men who were about to commit a robbery. The Go”Tane station on Harlem was visited by the trio at 2 a.m. A pack of cigarettes was purchased and they left. The attendant, suspecting they might be casing the place, called police. Sure enough, they returned to walk into the arms of the law. Good move. Simple. Smart. Cooperative. Preventive. It’s not pleasant but it’s true; you have to be suspicious”now as well as 30 years ago. Citizen alertness”our police force appreciates it.

Filler: “The trick,” a smart guy once said, “is to get what you want…then really enjoy it.”

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

Twenty Years Ago

Ms. Gerry Bruhn of the local VFW Auxiliary wrote to Editor Larry Kaercher that as a Hines Veterans’ volunteer, she had been in touch by mail with wounded veteran, Andrew Kellerman. Before she took a trip to California with her husband the vet asked if she might bring back a small cactus plant. This she did, but not before receiving a letter from him at a relative’s home in Los Angeles.

He wrote: “Hello again, I’m still having troubles and get down in the dumps. I have a few good days, then I get nervous again. Say hello to Mr. Bruhn….”

So. If ever you were thinking to make a dark life brighter, your telephone and Hines Hospital are close by. It seems we’ll never be short of people who need cheering. And we know we’d feel very good about ourselves for bringing the cheer.

Businesses come, businesses go. One that left two decades ago was partially closed 33 years after coming to the village. Located at 7501 Brown, E.W. Kneip Meat Packing shut down here because of “economic reasons.” The closing affected 165 employees. The plant still operated a portion”control section that employed 75.

From the Aug./Sept. 1985 issues of the Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

The longtime impasse between the noise and the mess coming from the Oak Leaf/Pines Lounge…and nearby residents, was finally resolved. After two hours of testimony Mayor Popelka and the Village Council decided in favor of the people. The resolution called for the revocation of owner Richard Navratil’s entertainment license but not the business or liquor license.

Rev. Tom Holmes of St. Paul Lutheran Church did a feature article on another local cleric”Rev. Cliff DeMascio. A partial reprint of the sidebar accompanying the article reveals a fondness for, and genuine liking of, the subject by the writer.

“Cliff DiMascio is one of the most ‘unreligious’ pastors I know. Along with his clergy shirt he’ll wear a pair of worn”out blue jeans and those old clodhopper boots of his. He’ll use words to describe his faith that you won’t hear in ‘proper’ churches. When was the last time you heard a pastor say he got ‘a religious buzz’ from an experience in the Holy Land? He laughs louder, likes teenagers, and sings worse than most preachers I know. And that’s why I am grateful that Cliff DiMascio is part of our community.”

These two men of religion are very much around today, and I’m betting more than a farthing that their mutual affinity is as intact as ever.

Our town is better for both of them.

From the Sept. 1995 issues of the Forest Park Review