Forty Years Ago

“Ye Olde Venerable” Editor Claude Walker was the victim of an unnamed practical jester. A regular advertiser in the Review sent in what was purported to be his regular business ad. Said ad offered to pay 50 cents for every discarded Christmas tree dropped off at the address of this newspaper. The ad had the appearance of one in a series by this advertiser and, in the normal rush, wasn’t carefully scrutinized. Dozens of “used” Christmas trees were brought to the Review office. “Ye Olde” perplexed editor realized he had been had, yet so had several kids who lugged trees from various homes for 50 cent payments. This happened 15 years after the Fibber McGee and Molly radio show left the airwaves, but one can still hear Molly saying, “‘Taint funny, McGee.”

A small news item told that hungry thieves broke into the rear of a Commercial Freight Line delivery truck containing large cuts of meat. Two hindquarters and one forequarter of beef were taken. Beside this report was a notice headlined, “Beef, Pork, Kraut for St. John Dinner” Evil to him who thinks evil.

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

Thirty Years Ago

Once more, and then no more. Some reader response to the harassment of the first black family to move into the village:

 “I am very disturbed to hear stories of harassment of a black family by local citizens. I find threats, crank calls and vandalism repulsive to me as a Christian and a human being.”

 “Let’s get to know the Buckners, and welcome them. If we’re concerned about too many black families coming in and changing the community, let’s work on a community level like Oak Park, to deal constructively with the issue. In the meantime, cut out the barbaric behavior”you who are terrorizing this family.”

 “I think that the behavior toward the Buckners is detestable and reduces Forest Park to the level of a small southern town in the ’50s.”

From the Nov. 1975 and Jan. 1976 issues of the Forest Park Review.

Twenty Years Ago

Movies you might’ve gone out to see. “F/X,” a crack thriller with Brian Brown of “Breaker Morant” fame. “The Delta Force,” with Chuck Norris and Lee Marvin. “Quicksilver,” with Kevin Bacon as a trading exchange whiz. “Wildcats,” with Goldie Hawn as a teacher turned football coach. “Down and Out in Beverly Hills,” with Nick Nolte as a sexy slob.

It’s that time of year when we’ve all just plain had it with winter blues and skies of grey. When grass of green and the mellow sun of yellow, and a canopy of blue are just worn, thin memories. Then”in April let weather break forth wonderfully. Or maybe break our hearts. These words by Robert Frost from “Two Tramps in Mudtime,” say it all:

The sun was warm but the wind was chill.

You know how it is with an April day

When the sun is out and the wind is still,

You’re one month on in the middle of May.

But if you so much as dare to speak,

A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,

A wind comes off a frozen peak,

And you’re two months back in the middle of March.

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

Ten Years Ago

Adults Behaving Badly. An investigation was launched into a theft at Wal-Mart that netted the thief/thieves $170,000. Several suspects were being questioned about a crime that had all the appearances of an inside job.

A 61-year-old Chicago woman pulled into a parking space in the Blockbuster parking lot at 109 N. Harlem Ave. Suddenly, another woman accosted her, tugged at her purse and, when the victim resisted, produced a gun. She yanked the purse from the owner’s hands, called her an obscene name and fled. The purse contained no cash but held several credit cards.

Children Behaving Well. Jeffrey Cline, a fifth-grader at the Forest Park Middle School, was dawdling to school (as only fifth-graders can dawdle) when he noticed a wallet near curbside. He brought it to school, handing it over to his teacher, Josephine Barzowski. The wallet, containing $145 in cash and identification, was then turned over to police who notified its owner, Mary Schmitt. Young Jeffrey was given a crisp ten-dollar tip. Good to him who does good.

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