Forty Years Ago

Claude Walker was the writer and squirrels were the subject. Ye Olde Editor reported that Commissioner Vernon Reich received a complaint from a citizen that branches of a tree in the parkway overhung his roof, allowing the skittish critters to tap dance on his ceiling at 5 a.m. “Some think they’re cute,” wrote Walker, “while others say they’re pests that riddle your lawn burying nuts.” He added that squirrels are rodents that carry rodent diseases; that they’re hard to catch and once caught what to do with them? Poison can boomerang because of young children and pets. These hyper, twitching, darting, little attic-invaders have the metabolism of a Tasmanian devil, the tenacity of a pit bull and the reproductive ability of sex-crazed rabbit. Shave their tails and they look just like rats.

From the Nov. 17, 1965 issue of the Forest Park Review.

Thirty Years AgoDear Sally: About a month ago my husband’s company installed a billiard table in their lounge, and we haven’t had dinner on time at home since. He gets off work at 4:30, formerly arriving home no later than 5 p.m., but now if he arrives before 6:30 it’s a miracle. Our kids have always been used to eating between 5:30 and 6 p.m. Keeping dinner warm and holding the kids down is hard. What’s the answer?

“Side Pocket.

Dear Side: Inform the pool shark that dinner will be placed on the table no later than 6 p.m. and that you and the children will begin eating then whether he has arrived or not. This will still give him an hour for his new passion without putting so much inconvenience on his family.

From the Oct. 1974 issues of the Forest Park Review.

Twenty Years AgoSome people really know how to live. Some know how to die, too, with as much dignity, grace and “aliveness” as they can summon. Glen Schnurstein of Forest Park was a shining example. He had a store of humor that he tapped often when he was stricken with ALS”which ranks among the “cruelest of human illnesses.” It gradually robs the body of its ability to function. It brings ironic symptoms like involuntary crying or laughing, loss of bodily controls, much pain, weakness and increasing difficulty chewing and swallowing”all this while one’s awareness is unaffected.

First symptoms came to Glen in 1980. He would pickup his morning coffee cup yet couldn’t hold it straight. He couldn’t swing a hammer on his job. Some generalized trembling set in. It took three years before a conclusive diagnosis could be made. Interviewed in the Review, he said, “I think not knowing was worse than knowing.” When he asked, “Why me?” he couldn’t come up with an answer better than “Why not?” Then he transferred any self-pity to a concern for his wife, Nancy who worked at a job and cared for him. As much as he could, he continued his interests and his reluctant dependence on Nancy and his eldest daughter, Becky. Of her he said, “If anyone is going to get this disease they better have a Becky around.” Glen Schnurstein died in 1990. Besides his family and friends he drew upon his own reserves of humor, wisdom, courage and realistic attitude.

From the Oct. 23, 1985 issue of the Forest Park Review.

Ten Years Ago

Circle Theater’s latest performance was a first”the first time on-stage nudity would be presented in town. The play, entitled “Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love,” was threatened with a closing when Mayor Lorraine Popelka called artistic director Karen Skinner. She told Skinner that any actors who disrobed would be arrested because they would be in violation of the village’s obscenity ordinance. In a second conversation the mayor decided to have a police officer assigned to the show as a witness to report back on the show’s content. Theater-goers”including the cop”critics and cast members, may have had jitters of different kinds, but after the officer reported back to the mayor’s office, Popelka said no action would be taken. Ah, the skin trade.Answer to last week’s question, “What object has six letters when in the atmosphere, and nine letter when on the ground?”””A meteor and a meteorite.Who Remembers? E.B. White… Justice Hugo Black… Graham Greene… Jimmy Lavender… Cyd Chartruse (Charisse)… Horace Silver (Nothing rhymes with Silver, or Orange or Purple)… Sweet Georgia Brown… Elmo Tanner… Grey Davis… Ben Blue… Daniel Pinkwater…Helen Reddy… Ethelred the Unready.

From the Nov. l, 1995 issue of the Forest Park Review.