Forty years ago
Explosion and fire! Thirty-five flee building! At the William Pen Company. Something to write home about! At 7:30 a.m., as employee Francis Rogalsky was sweeping an accumulation of lacquer from a spray machine, the mixture burst into flame and quickly spread. The concrete block building at 930 Dunlop was the storage place of several million plastic pens”and the source of dense, acrid smoke. The steel and cement roof made entry from above impossible, and control of the fire wasn’t gained until 11 a.m. Damage was extensive, yet only Rogalsky and a fellow worker suffered minor burns. President Paul Fisher later relocated his business to the Roos Building.

Mr. Walter Kin of 500 Beloit was pleasantly surprised by his family with dinner at Klas Restaurant to celebrate his 75th birthday. Those present were Mr. and Mrs. John Kilinski Sr., Mr. and Mrs. John Kilinski Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Henry Kilinski Sr., Mr. and Mrs. Henry Kilinski, Jr. and son, Michael (Kilinski) ya-nanna, ya-nanna, ya-nanna…and Mrs. M. Beltz”an out-of-town ringer?

Kinda rekalls the klassic Jack Webb-Johnny Karson Kaper about who kopped Klara Kooper’s klean, kopper klappers. Kould only come from the Komedy Kings or the Ku Klux Klan klosing in to kollar the kulprit.

From the Jan. 6, 1966 issue of the Forest Park Review.

Thirty years ago

Kontinuing the kountry’s Bicen“oops! Continuing the country’s Bicentennial Celebration, the Heritage Committee of Forest Park noted further historical landmarks as they affected our village:

•  Four men were hanged, then buried at Waldheim Cemetery for murder and conspiracy to commit murder during the 1886 Haymarket Riot. They were Adolph Spies, Albert Parsons, Adolph Flescher and George Engel. No other cemetery would accept them.

• The village’s first resident physician, Dr. F. Kahle, opened his office on Franklin Street in 1887.

• The Farley School, named for Judge Peter Farley, a pioneer resident, was erected at Jackson and Hannah in 1890. The school was later named after President James Garfield.

From the January 1976 issues of the Forest Park Review.

Twenty Years Ago

A sorry note was sounded in our village February 14, 1986 when William R. (Bill) McKenzie, 62, died of a heart attack at home. He had served as village clerk here for 18 years. Typical of his priorities, he had risen early that morning, dropped off some Valentine chocolates for his Village Hall staff and distributed pay checks. He returned home, mentioned to his wife, Marilyn, that he wasn’t feeling up to par. She was preparing to drive him for an appointment with his doctor, when he was stricken.

Like his lifelong and boyhood friend, Howard Mohr, who predeceased him by nine years, he served for three years in WWII. He was extremely active in civic affairs here, had strong political interests and died suddenly “in office.” Shock and dismay were the immediate reactions to McKenzie’s”and Mohr’s”deaths. Many knew Bill McKenzie well and sincerely liked him because of his outgoing personality. In addition to his wife, he was survived by four daughters, a son, five grandchildren and two brothers.

From the Jan./Feb. 1986 issues of the Forest Park Review.

Ten Years Ago

Every so often, space allowing, we like to reprint excerpts from a column by Al Buerger. He was a math teacher here, now retired, who had a flair for words and a love of dogs. This excerpt concerns his bloodhound, Harry:

“I decided it was about time Heinrich Der Weiner Bluthund learned the house rules. Whether he can sit and stay is of no matter now. My current concern is his adherence to the Basic Four Rules of Behavior.

•  He must not grab and chew just anything his nose encounters; especially the carpet fringe, my new wooden toilet seat and the TV remote.

• He must learn to signal when seized with the urge to piddle.

• The backyard is not a repository for relics that must be excavated. Neither is it a burial ground.

• Finally, sex is natural and sex is good, however, romancing my shin is frowned upon, even in my social circle.”

From the Jan. 3, 1996 issue of the Forest Park Review.