Forty Years Ago

Library Director Jo Austin reminded readers of the season with books on spring-related matters. Like when the man of the house comes home and bumps into re-arranged furniture, finds rugs off the floor and on the line”and a wife with an ever-critical and new appraising look in her eye, her pent-up need for change at last expressed. Ms. A. had recommended books on everything from home decoration to tulip bulbs to wild color schemes. Virtually every weekend she would submit her columns to the Review. Those who were around remember her well. One of the memorable ones from Forest Park past.

From the Mar. 14, 1966 issue of the Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

There were two other memorable Forest Park figures who preceded Ms. Austin by over 100 years: John Gaden and Albert Roos. By way of introduction, remember that the majority of the village’s first settlers were of German origin; and that Richard Wagner’s Die Meistersinger was one of the best loved overtures and operas of the time. Out of this, a successful musical society, the Harlem Mannerchor, evolved. This “men’s choir” competed with others at local and nearby churches. Time and customs expanded the venues to auditoriums, fraternal halls, even taverns.

The tradition grew, the groups multiplied, the competition became keener and the hometown Mannerchor was regarded as the finest in the Chicago area. John Gaden was elected the organization’s first president. Albert Roos succeeded him in 1895 and served a record 23 years. Among the more recent who served as president were Ernst Kuebel (12 years) and former Forest Park Mayor, Fred Marunde (also 12 years).

The way time unfolds, (in one direction) and the way this column is written (by the decade) someone newsworthy for longer than ten years may be reported as passed away only to reappear earlier in a real-time, earlier decade. So it was with a Chamber of Commerce Roast hosted by Village Clerk Bill McKenzie at the Sheraton Oak Brook in April, 1976. One moment worked particularly well when McKenzie warmly introduced incoming Chamber president Bill Hughes”and the entire room emptied out. Nice stunt if you can pull it off, and they did.

From the April 1976 issues of the Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

Continuing our Historical Society’s list of Forest Park Milestones concurrent
with the nation’s Bicentennial Celebration:

 Checkerboard Air Field, built in 1926 at Cermak Road and 1st Avenue, was significant because it was the northern landing strip of the Chicago-St. Louis airmail run. A dash of glamour was added by young pilot Charles Lindbergh, soon to achieve aviation fame. His north-leg layovers meant he stayed in a rented room on Circle Ave. and took most of his meals at the Harlem Eagle Restaurant.

 The Graf Zeppelin, famous German dirigible, flew over 15th Street at 5 p.m., August 29, 1929.

 Later the same year a gun battle broke out between Triangle Cafe owner M.T. Rafferty and a competing saloon keeper, Edward McFadden. Rafferty was shot in the abdomen and was attended by the largest number of doctors Oak Park Hospital ever assigned to a single case.

From the March 26, 1986 issue of the Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

Quite a few of us remember a chili parlor here that had a long run at Roosevelt and Elgin. At one point, it also had an extended run out in Westmont, as well as in Sister Bay, Wisconsin. We speak, of course, of Bishop’s Famous Chili. The hometown operation ended in March, 1996. The reason this tickled the memory and tantalized the taste buds was a notice that owner and founder Joseph Janouch, 68, died only a month later. The man knew how to brew a batch of chili that appealed to a majority taste. Eaten on site or carried out in a lidded bucket, it’s another cherished memory of Forest Park-gone-by.

Who Remembers? Even more radio names, like … Minerva Pious … Kate Smith … Ted Lewis … Jack Webb … Clayton Moore and Brace Beamer”just a couple of the 5 or 6 who played the Lone Ranger … Mel Allen (Voice of the Yankees) … Don Wilson … Andre Baruch … Arthur Tracey, the street singer… Pinky Lee … Sal Hepatica (a product, not a person) … H.V. Kaltenborn … Patty, LaVerne and Maxine (go figure).

From the April 3, 1996 issue of the Forest Park Review