Forty Years Ago

This brief item appeared on page 7 of the May 12, 1966 Review: “Religious-minded thieves stole a tray of Rosaries from the All Beautiful store in Forest Park. Also taken were a gold bracelet and wrist watch. Proprietor Nancy Trainer reported the loss at $45.”

Two pages earlier All Beautiful ran what for all appearances looked like a 2-colomn ad which read, “MISSING 1 silver rosary bead, $13.75, 1 green Irish horn rosary bead, $3.50. Please say a prayer for me! NANC.

MISSING… l ladies gold watch bracelet, $19.95. [Signed] All Beautiful Gift & Display, 7208 Madison St., Forest Park, Ill.”

What was the purpose of this communication? And the cutesy gun-toting rabbit? Strange. Odd. Puzzling. Not Quite Real. Also, do the math; the numbers don’t compute.

From the May 12, 1966 issue of the Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

Since pre-Revolutionary America, the country has had its Uncle Sam. Forest Park has its own claim to Uncle Sam”Salvatore “Uncle Sam” Sansone. When all the votes are in, our Sam might well be recognized as the village’s most beloved citizen. Sam arrived here in 1914, became a barber, then began his own construction company building scores of local homes. Then he opened a very successful restaurant-tavern near the Lake St. el terminal and became a landlord.

In 1976 he and his wife, Mae, were honored at an elbow-to-elbow dinner at Nielsen’s Restaurant on North Ave., west of Harlem. If one had to tag Sam with a label, “philanthropist” might serve. He gained high regard all his life for helping others in practical ways: like giving “free passes” on rent payments to strapped tenants, several times assisting needy families, being the first donor to the community center. Because of his civic service, he was named Forest Park Man of the Year in 1973. The tribute at Nielsens’ was highlighted with a letter of greeting from President Gerald Ford and a framed Papal Blessing from His Holiness, Pope Paul. Pretty good recognition for a “regular guy.” (The main street leading into our park carries his name.)

From the May 19, 1976 issue of the Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

Employees of Brown’s Chicken here were herded into the restaurant’s cooler the evening April 14 by a man wearing a ski mask and carrying a gun. A chilly reminder of the infamous robbery and multiple-murder at Brown’s Chicken five years later in Palatine. Who can be sure why one turned tragic while the other was “only” criminal?

The gunman here grabbed $1,059 before taking off in his car. Officer Richard Boyce spotted the vehicle heading east on the Eisenhower, then lost it in traffic. Officer Mike Cody picked up the chase, and with the aid of an Oak Park police car, apprehended the subject when he crashed into a garage on Mayfair Avenue in Chicago. The money was recovered and the suspect was delivered to Cook County Jail in lieu of bond.

From the April 1986 issues of the Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

A number of homes and businesses took PRIDE awards for sprucing and improving their properties. Winners included Peaslee Ace Hardware for its new sign and remodeled front…the Taylor St. home of John and Maureen Booth…Steve Lee’s Restaurant on Roosevelt Rd and New Archery, tucked away on Industrial Drive and Concordia Cemetery.

Has it been a decade since Marlene Quandt stepped down as village clerk? It has. This smiling, helpful efficient person had been working at the village hall for 40 years. On May 22, she announced her end-of-June retirement. She had served the village for 30 years as deputy clerk and took over at the sad and sudden death of her boss, Bill McKenzie in February, 1986. The popular lady allowed as to the many flowers she planned to smell, noting “It was time to kick back at last.”

Who Remembers? Polly Adler … Konrad Adenauer … day baseball … pure baseball … a good baseball score”like 5-4 … baseball players pumped up by enthusiasm, not steroids … John Jacob Niles … undercoating … an old-time flashbulb, ping-pong ball-size, containing a shiny bundle of tightly wound tungsten that went “Pop!””and a week later your Walgreen-developed photo was in. (A whole generation doesn’t know what I’m talking about.)

From the April-May 1996 issues of the Forest Park Review