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Forty Years Ago

Manny Skar in the 1960s was at times a hustler, gangster, lowlife, high roller, rascal, reprobate and reprehensible rogue. He wrapped it up by being gunned down in 1965. A week later Editor Walker confided that it was rare for him to rejoice over the misfortunes of others. “Oft-times the person being judged may not have been as despicable as imagined,” he wrote. In spite of Skar’s track record, Walker confessed he couldn’t feel really good about this person’s demise, “(Because) I think of his wife and children, innocent victims of his lurid operations.” He wrote that he had shed no tears, yet couldn’t say, “That’s what he deserved.”

All this was Walker’s way of making a point: that no one should regularly park in the space of a homeowner’s spot “reserved” for his car.Walker concluded by remarking that he watched “with fiendish glee” as Officer Fred Zimmerman slapped tickets on the parked cars of “enterprising interlopers.”

Weren’t more important things going on back then?

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

Thirty Years Ago

William Jahoda of 1433 Marengo qualified for membership in the Mid-Continent Region Honor Club of the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co. He was an agent of the Oak Park District Office. In recognition of his achievements, he would meet with other leading sales representatives at a four-day conference at the French Lick (Ind.) Hotel Sept. 9-12. Bill Jahoda” a man of several faces.

Maybe it was a crazy teenager on a lark. Maybe strong winds picked up a municipal container and placed it daintily atop an upright parking meter. Or maybe an irate driver who parked his car at Thomas and Madison was wrongly ticketed and felt the need to express himself. (See picture on right).

From the Sept. 1975 issue of the Forest Park Review.

Twenty years Ago

Again Haeger: “We dine out quite a bit, so I took a firm stand with my kids at an early age. When we went into a restaurant, I’d tell them, ‘I am going to order for you, and it will be a healthy selection, and it will be eaten.’ I thought it was working out pretty well until the morning when I found a vegetable plate in the glove compartment.”

Mother see. Mother do. Eric and Karen Nordstrom of Forest Park were understandably joyous with the birth of a granddaughter, Alison, on July 19 1985. Their daughter, Alecia, had delivered the 8 lb. 6 oz. girl making them second-time grandparents. Not to be outdone, three days later, on July 22, Grandma Karen gave birth to a 7 lb. l oz. daughter of her own”Danica. There are eight million stories in the city. This is just one of them. Or two?

Judy Baar Topinka once reported for this newspaper. Judy Baar Topinka stands a chance of being the next governor of Illinois. Twenty years ago, she was the subject of a page one story in this newspaper. The subject was seat belts”the enforced use of. It was more of a controversy then. Her position then was that the wearing of the belts was an “infringement of personal rights.” People think differently at different times”they have to” and mention of her views then is not intended to cast a negative light on her today. After all, two weeks ago our esteemed president asssured everyone that”should she be appointed”Harriet Myers would never, never change. Is this what we want in an ever-changing world?

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

Ten Years Ago

It takes a special kind of person to get arrested for breaking into his own apartment. (Yet it’s a promising premise for a sitcom episode.) That’s what the 25 year-old man did when he locked himself out of his third floor apartment. A witness reported to police that a man seemed to be trying to gain entry. Police arrived and questioned the “suspected “burglar.” While questioning, police noticed a glow coming from a partly open closet door. The light was “nourishing” five one-gallon buckets of green sprouts that weren’t alfafa. An adventuresome day”gone to pot. Only one question remained; would the indoor farmer represent himself at court?

Who Remembers?Notre Dame great Johnny Lattner, who owned a tarvern on Madison…Weatherman P.J. Hoff…Charles Siragusa of the Illinois Crime Commission…Benjamin Adamowski…Alderman Leon Depres (still active at 97)…The First Edition (check with Kenny Rogers)…Abner Mickva…Vince Garity (1960s political groupie)…Hugo Winterhalter…Milton Caniff (Terry and the Pirates)…Frankie Laine … Joe Piscapo… Earl Nightingale (1960s adman-motivator) … crazy 1940s pop tune, “Cement Mixer, Putty-Putty.”

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