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Forty Years Ago
Hurricane Betsy. Which she-devil was that? And when did it strike? In August of ’65. Like Katrina, it hit New Orleans. Though not as devastating, Betsy’s name is at least memorable to anyone over age 40. At least one Forest Parker was down there helping to restore communications.

W.F. Lusthuff of 7515 Dixon was one of an Illinois Bell task force of 32 airlifted to the Big Easy. During five hours of hurricane winds the storm had knocked out 228,000 telephones. Western Electric’s Hawthorne plant here dispatched 3,000 crates of equipment and supplies along with 86 boxcar loads of cable. Lusthuff stayed on this special assignment for 14 days.

From the September 1965 issues of the Forest Park Review.

Thirty Years Ago

In the early morning hours Officer Bill Pates noticed a car weaving unsteadily down the street. When he tried to curb the vehicle the driver sped away. Pates called for back-up and pursued the car. The chase continued down side streets and alleys. Road blocks were set up as the offender drove over parkways and across lawns, then across Harlem and into Oak Park, where Sergeant Joe Mendrick, Officer Michael Mulryan and Officer Gary Leisten surrounded the offender and arrested him”but not without a struggle. Hard case.

From the September 1975 issue of the Forest Park Review.

Twenty Years Ago

Two decades ago somebody here in town really succeeded at Doing the right thing. And it saved a young life. The mother of 17 month-old Katherine Townsend called for help when she found the infant lying on the kitchen floor choking and having difficulty breathing. Officer James Mandock was there seemingly only moments after the call. He picked up the child and established a breathing passageway by freeing its tongue which had blocked her attempt to breathe. He then carried the baby outside to meet the ambulance.

Officer Rick Romano then administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation as the ambulance sped to the hospital. The officers received commendations for their speedy action and the next day, Katherine’s older sister reported that she was “doing fine.”

Raymond Pasqua was not so lucky. The 25 year-old man was on a fishing trip near LaCosse, Wisconsin when he lost control of his motorcycle during a heavy fog. He had finished dinner and was returning to his motel when the fog may have disoriented him sufficiently to cause him to swerve into the opposite lane where he smashed into a light pole. Three companions from this area left the motel to search for him. He left his wife, Laurie and one year-old son, Michael.

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

Ten Years Ago

Until the 1990s Al Buerger was a teacher in our school Disrict 91. Many young people around town remember him, and the memories are positive. Buerger was that unusual combination”good teacher and good guy. Retired now and living in Lyons, he wrote some entertaining columns (essays) for the Review. This one concerns his acquisition of a bloodhound pup, to replace his beloved “Bogart.”

Traveling to an Iowa “dog farm,” he chose Harry from the litter because he was the biggest and the pushiest. It cost Buerger a fiver for the tags, making Harry an official Forest Park resident. Living with a puppy became the first major problem to overcome. Buerger descibed the relationship as a “downhill mishap.” After innumerable mop-ups, he discovered that “tinkle” was a mild verb; indeed, it was a gross misnomer when it came to bloodhounds, he said. “Deluge was more like it.”

Soon his living room”no Martha Stewart prize-winner for neatness”resembled the debris and detritus that follows a killer monsoon. It was aflood with tennis balls, bones, puppy toys, old shoes and a sea of socks. “Harry’s favorite toy, aside from my leg and some furniture, was an outsized yellow plastic pencil that squeaked with every bite. Enough to guarantee 1 1/2 hours sleep every night. There’s more about Harry, but no more space. Maybe next week

Who Remembers? The soap boxes from Bughouse Square … Sam Kinnison (Don’t live in the sand! You’ll die in the sand! Get out of the sand!) … Trini Lopez … Dolores Del Rio … Neil Hartigan … Gordon Lightfoot…Alan Dixon … actor Earl Holliman … Wink Martindale … railroad cabooses (cabeece?) … Mateus wine … Lancer’s wine … Ripple … that ever-popular jazz tune from the ’20s, “Clap Hands, Here Comes Charley.”

From the Sept. 20, 1995 issue of the Forest Park Review.