Forty years ago

Forest Park’s snorkel proved its worth and effectiveness when a fire broke out on the fourth floor of an apartment at 227 Desplaines Avenue. Local firemen, who were recuperating from two other earlier blazes, were called at 7:45 p.m. A short circuit in a wall generated the fire which had begun to spread. The firefighters’ job was made easier and faster because of the department’s new snorkel. They made short time as the snorkel rose and articulated directly to the level of the fourth floor window. The blaze was extinguished in minutes with minimum damage.

From the Jan. 1966 issues of the Forest Park Review.

Thirty years ago

Toward the end of 1975 a family moved into Forest Park. A black family. In fact, the first black family to move here. Almost predictably, unpleasantness moved in too, in the form of some local young people who felt this was a wrong thing. So one night, they threw rocks and bricks at the home breaking some windows, and in their ignorance and lack of something else to do they expressed their hatred by bringing grief to the occupants and committing criminal damage to the home. (“Hey! Something to do!”) At the outset, one youth was nabbed and his parents made restitution. It got big play”all the way up to Dan Rather on network television news. Police responded with added protection for owner Ezra Buckner, his family and their home.

As nearly always, it was the few, the young”not the meaningfully busy young”the idle, bored and unstimulated young. It’s sad to recall such behavior as part of our village’s history, the operative word here being history. While Forest Park didn’t match Oak Park’s earlier trailblazing Open Housing efforts in the mid ’60s, it can be proud today that blacks and whites have been living peaceably together since the night Ezra Buckner and his family went through their little hell. Good for us all.

From the January 1976 issues of the Forest Park Review.

Twenty years ago

Dear Sally: We’re badly in need of some advice regarding our 14 year-old son. He has recently fallen into the habit of lying to us”about everything and anything; where he’s been, what he’s been doing and so on. He can look his mother and me straight in the eye and blurt out the biggest fabricated story you’ve ever heard. We’ve lectured, stormed, raved and pleaded with him”but to no avail. The boy is essentially good and hasn’t had a good walloping for years”but maybe he needs one now. What do you think about this?”


Dear Whip: Could be your boy needs a more affectionate, chummy kind of relationship than you have been extending with your lecturing, raving and storming. As for such corporal punishment, I can’t recommend that for a 14-year-old. Much better and more effective, usually, is depriving him of something he really enjoys. Good luck!”

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

Ten years ago

This could have happened to you. You just can’t sleep, so you get up and take a look outside your picture window. What do you see but your own car with its lights on and a figure sitting behind the steering wheel. By now you’re awake. You go for the door and run barefoot straight at your car. The figure springs out, then cuts out”fast”on foot. You’re up for the night and you know it. When sleep is again ready to set in, it’s time to get up and go to work (The victim’s name wasn’t given in the police report).

Who Remembers? Key clubs … the Ink Spots … financial advisor Sylvia Porter … H. Rap Brown … the Hillman Minx … the Wilys Wagon … Satch Allen (Woody’s step son) … actor Clu Galager … Forever Yours Chocolate Bars (Dark!) (Yes!)(Good!)

From the February 14, 1996 issues of the Forest Park Review.