Forty Years Ago

Editor Claude Walker wrote of an eight-year-old Forest Park boy with an overloaded imagination who told a policeman he had been abandoned by his parents, slept in the woods and was living on “wet leaves.” A commotion resulted, but not a large one. The truth-stretcher was found out. Walker, though not the “Dr. Phil” of his day, had some opinions.

“Why, in my day‚Ķ” he started”then went on to recall how his (Walker’s) father would handle things when the editor was eight years old. You can fill in the scenario. A belt would appear. It would be used, but not to hold up pants. Sharp admonishments would be delivered and severe justice meted out. I’ll bet all this was played out even before Socrates’ time.

From the May 12 1966 issue of the Forest Park Review

Kelly’s Tavern, corner of Roosevelt and Marengo, was the scene of a robbery and shoot out in the early hours of a Monday morning. Three goons displaying guns walked in and made their announcement. They “suggested” that each customer lay his wallet and money on the bar. One scooped cash from the register, another collected the patrons’ offerings while a third held the victims at bay. Suddenly, an accidental shot went off (hitting no one), but “triggering” customer Richard Cobb of Oak Park, to wrest a gun from one of the other goons. Two more shots, then the three fled on foot, two running south on Marengo and one north.

Responding to a dispatch, Office William Pates pursued a getaway car speeding west on Roosevelt to Maywood where he took the driver, the fourth goon, into custody. The original three were nabbed when police from Oak Park and Berwyn collared them.

In trying to disarm the wrongdoers, Cobb was shot in the abdomen. One of the goons sustained a gunshot wound to the hand. Both casualties were in satisfactory condition.

From the May 12, 1976 issue of the Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

Up went Otto’s in smoke, and down came the end to an era. The landmark restaurant on Washington Blvd. just west of Harlem was long known as one of the finest German-American dining experiences in Chicagoland. It was named for Otto Schneider, who started the business in 1906. After a series of different owners the place fell onto leaner times.

In 1984 fire swept through the place in the early morning hours. Chief Robert Hodges said the blaze was unusually hot, and that it appeared to be of a suspicious nature. After the blaze the place was unoccupied for two years, coming down in favor of condo units in 1986.

From the April 9, 1986 issue of the Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

One nice guy. Police here arrested a homeless man twice after he allegedly beat up on two people in separate instances. At 1:20 p.m. a mailman was walking on Jackson north of the Howard Mohr Center. He was approached by a 32 year-old man who cursed and berated him, then punched the letter carrier in the face, knocking his glasses off. The assumed offender was subdued with the help on a witness, brought to the local slammer, then released on his own recognizance.

Next day, a woman told police that a man assaulted her on the CTA platform at Harlem and Eisenhower; that he lifted her and reportedly threw her to the ground before fleeing on foot. Within 20 minutes a patrol car nabbed him on Marengo and Adams. Same person. Bond was set at $150,000. He didn’t make it.

Meanwhile, in the Jewish Cemetery, an officer found a plastic bag containing a decapitated chicken. Other contents were an orange peel and some lunchmeat. Yummy. (No chicken head was discovered.) Could this have involved our man on a lunch break between assaults?

From the May 8, 1996 issue of the Forest Park Review