The picture accompanyingthis week’s column shows three apparently normal human beings-Paul Reeves, Margie Zarebski and Steve McAdams. All three were Civil Air Patrol members from Forest Park who went for a weekend canoe trip to Shades of Death State Park. Yes, that’s right, Shades of Death State Park. (I don’t know where it is, either.)

With a name like that they might not have been surprised to come upon a brooding building of gothic proportions high on a craggy knoll, maybe called the “Ministry of Fear.” It could’ve painted the scene for their first morning’s breakfast (true) of French Toast soaked in rain. Maybe the whole weekend jaunt could be turned into a Stephen King novel, published by Charnel House.

Lives end, many too soon,but the sentiments of those left live on. Like this notice in the Forest Park Review of June 28, 1966: “In loving memory of Alexander Kilcheos killed in action June 27, 1944, 502 Parachute Division, Co. F: Ah, once you were happy, lived, loved and laughed. Now the hero of the Purple Heart. A price paid dear; blood of our own. Nothing left to say. You gave more than all of us can pay.” (Singer-songwriter John Prine put it this way: “We lost Davy in the Korean War. Don’t know what for. Don’t matter anymore.”)

From the Jun/Jul 1966 issues of the Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

Dear Sally: I’m a widower of 51 and have for the past two years been going with a widow of 49. We have wonderful times together, have mutual tastes, and think alike on everything but the subject of matrimony. I just cannot nail her down on this idea. She admits she is fond of me, but not fond enough for marriage. She doesn’t go out with any other men. Do you think I should hang in there in the hope that sometime she will break down-or should I throw in the towel?-Stumped.

Dear Stumped: Broach the idea once more, and if she is still ‘positively negative,’ tell her it’s been nice-then look elsewhere for a woman to share your life. There are plenty who would jump at the chance you’re offering.

One of Circle Theater’s earliest productions was the seminal World War II drama, “The Diary of Anne Frank.” It merited its enthusiastic praise and “played” its part in establishing the theater’s current deserving reputation. Alena Murguia, an honor student at Nazareth Academy, excelled in the title role.

From the July 1976 issues of the Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

Alfresco dining seemed likelyfor some local restaurants when the Zoning Board of Appeals received a proposed ordinance that would permit outdoor dining at specific locations. Some forward thinking that makes today’s Madison Street so welcoming.

In the summer of ’86if you got a positive response to the question, “Hey, ya wanna go to the movies?” here’s what you might’ve seen: Top Gun-with a younger Tom Cruise. About Air Force pilots in training and competition…Back to School-Rodney Dangerfield returns to school to set an example for his anti-intellectual son…Ferris Bueller’s Day Off-trio of school buddies go on a spree in Chicago, led by Matthew Broderick…The Manhattan Project-teen science wiz (Cristopher Collet) puts together a plutomium bomb in a school lab. What follows is interesting. Arnold Schwarzenegger flexes his huge body and his sense of humor. A film noir update set in Chicago.

From the Jun/Jul 1986 issues of the Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

Bernie Schwartz was so buggedat bar patrons’ post-midnight noisy and offensive departures that he sarcastically offered five suggestions on how to be even more annoying than they already were. l. Repeatedly sing all the lyrics to Loue, Louie, loud and off-key. 2 Dump your ashtray all over the flowers. 3. Set off your car alarm trying to fit your key in the ignition. 4. Drive up Troost the wrong way and run the stop sign at Yuba. 5. Join A.A.

Who Remembers?Betsy Palmer … the Palmer Method of cursive writing … the Palmer Peninsula … the Palmer House … the Palmpilot … Palm Springs … Palm Desert … Palm Sunday … Potter Palmer … Harry Potter …John Florence Sullivan (Fred Allen) … actor Franchot Tone (and his one-dimensional brother, Mono.)

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