Forty Years Ago

Charity and clarity then. And now? The requests for charity drives in Forest Park in 1965 caused the village council to take a hard look at this issue. Several miscellaneous fund drives had been requested yearly. Attorney Ed O’Shea said it was difficult for the council to draw a line, stating that it was a common problem for all suburbs, since good causes were numerous and it was a challenge to distinguish between a sincere charity and a possible fraud. Commissioner Vernon Reich said some people were reluctant to donate when they heard that only a fraction of a donation was earmarked for the benefactor. It was suggested that each applicant submit a financial statement when filing.

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

Thirty Years Ago

Continuing the country’s Bicentennial Celebration, the Heritage Committee of Forest Park noted further historical milestones as they affected our village.

Public transportation came to the future site of Forest Park in 1856 when the Chicago and Galena Union Railroad, now the Northwestern, established a division where Desplaines Ave. now approaches the track. A roundhouse and repair shop were built employing 25. Many local streets were named after western train stops on the line, i.e., Elgin, Marengo, Rockford, and Dixon.

About the time the railroad arrived, John Henry Quick, a local land owner, gave part of the area a new name. He called it Harlem, after his hometown, a little Dutch settlement in New York.

Reverend Richard W. Roth died a year and a half after retiring from his ministry in 1975. He led the St. Peter’s congregation here for 23 years. Only three years before he had been voted “Man of the Year” in Forest Park. He passed away in his and Mrs. Roth’s retirement home in Laona, Wisconsin.

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

Twenty Years Ago

(Then) State Senator Judy Baar Topinka had this to say after a marathon 1985 legislative session that ran ten days longer than scheduled, costing taxpayers an additional $125,000:

“Chicago got McCormick Place. Southern Illinois got something called farm aid and suburban Cook County and DuPage County got to pay for it all with little gain for themselves.” Particularizing some results of legislative action, she cited a $60 million McCormick Place bailout, an 8 cents a pack cigarette tax increase, and a $55 million farm aid program. Other results: a sweeping interstate banking bill, and collective bargaining for police officers and firefighters.

Most readers know that Judy Baar Topinka worked as a Review reporter some years ago. Virtually everyone knows that the outgoing state treasurer is currently in the race for Governor of Illinois.

From the Nov. 20, 1985 issue of the Forest Park Review.

Ten Years Ago

Last week we reported that $1,400 worth of Christmas gifts were stolen from a car parked on the Wal-Mart lot. We took a different tack, reporting that instead of a “Meanest Thief” story we’d let it serve as an object lesson in extravagance bordering on the materialistic overbuying at Christmas. A week later the “Meanest Thief” story came to pass.

Director Cindy Lyons of the Mohr Community center went to fetch a cache of 20 boxes filled with donated toys, clothing and bedding from storage at the adjacent Water Works building for distribution to 200 needy Forest Park families. Gone. Kaput. Like nothin’ left. Stolen. Looking for deserving words to describe the vile, mean-spirited perpetrators, along with their just punishment, “grinch” seemed almost cutesy. What rhymes came to mind? How about the verb, “lynch?” Gift-wrapped in a ten-foot tall winch?

Who Remembers?Patrice Lamumba … Vannaver Bush … Petri Wine … Kenny Rogers … the First Edition … earth shoes … Billy Barta (midget showman) … Cade McNown (Where are you, nown?) … Stan Freberg (Still funny, still around) …Mott the Hoople … skyliners … the Earl of Old Town … Galloping Geretie (the all-too-flapplable bridge that flapped itself to destruction in high winds in Washington state in 1940 only months after it opened.)

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