Forty Years Ago

The following is not a pretty story. Some might call it sordid. Others might call it unnecessary. The principals aren’t named.

A senseless and lethal drinking binge took place in several Forest Park taverns over three days and nights. “A”, age 31, of Forest Park and drinking buddy “B”, 27, of Chicago, were imbibing in earnest at the Sing-a-Loon Lounge on Madison on a Sunday evening. Witnesses said “A” had consumed about ten double shots of whiskey before becoming bellicose. “B” tried to quiet his pal and hustle him outside with the help of the bartender, “C”. A scuffle ensued, “A” was struck and passed out. “B” placed “A” in his (“B’s) car for a sleep-off. On waking Monday morning, “A” sought and found another tavern and resumed drinking until 5 p.m., when he met a female companion who took him to her apartment for another sleep-off until a neighbor of “A’s returned him to his own home. “A” wouldn’t allow his wife to call a doctor, and she went to work the next morning.

At noon, the landlady tried to rouse him, and when he didn’t respond she phoned his wife. By the time she returned home he was reported having convulsions and running a temperature of 106 degrees. The police”called 36 hours after the binge began”took “A” to the hospital, and he died that evening.

Mayor Mohr ordered the lounge closed, while “B” and “C” were taken into custody and charged with manslaughter. Some old-timers recalled that in former days the Sing-a-Loon had been known for its good beer and “genial companionship”

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

Thirty Years Ago

Editor Claude Walker wrote about that colorful, yet melancholy season”autumn. To some it signals the World Series; to others, the start of the football season; to Jewish people it’s Yom Kippur; to denizens of Berwyn and Cicero it could be hobey-picking time. To Walker, it was his usual futile attempt to get the local school board and administration to initiate at least a short course on (local) civics; to give young students an early grounding in the subject. It would include mandatory attendance for at least two sessions of the village council meetings (also at meetings of other local governing bodies). At that time (and now?) the odds were at least even that the average adult wouldn’t know what form of government we have in our village. Seems like Ye Olde Editor had a good idea. Why didn’t it fly? Why doesn’t it now?

Filler: Tobias Wolfe is a current novelist who teaches at the University of Southern California. There’s a sign on his office door: “Beauty is Truth and Truth Beauty. Rooty-toot-toot and a toot-toot-rooty.”

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

Twenty Years Ago

Five thousand extras were needed to act as parade spectators for the John Hughes film, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” starring Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara and Jennifer Grey. Extras were asked to report to Daley Center Plaza, Dearborn and Randolph, at 10 a.m. Upon registration all extras received raffle and refreshment tickets. Prizes included a trip to Mexico, a Honda scooter, hotel weekend packages, certificates from Just Pants, movie passes and record albums.

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

Ten Years Ago

Has the F&M store at 215 Harlem been gone for ten years? F&M Distributors”a deep discount purveyor of health and beauty supplies”was a Michigan-based chain that was closing 20 of its Midwest outlets, leaving six open in Chicagoland. The Forest Park store didn’t make the cut. After extensive remodeling and a stint as Pep Boys Auto Parts, the facility was made over into the current Bed, Bath and Beyond.

The trouble with the unforeseen is that you ever know when its will happen. Like our new library ten years ago. Just before its grand opening some dimwit kiddos (lovable rascals, no doubt) did a spray-paint job on its front facing. Once that was restored, the hub of the library activity”its circulation desk”was destroyed before it ever reached Forest Park. Somewhere on Pulaski Avenue the driver of the delivery truck was pulled over by Chicago police and arrested for outstanding warrants. The truck was left parked at the curb, and vandals broke in. Librarian John Sayers said, “They must’ve taken a sledgehammer to it. They destroyed whatever they couldn’t take.”

“I dunno, Marty, whadya wanna do today?” “I dunno, Philly, let’s put away a library circulation desk.”

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