Forty Years Ago

Once upon a time in the 1960s: Proviso Township, Kenilworth and the State of Illinois could boast of a young politician certain to command his portion of history-a charismatic precursor, perhaps, to Paul Simon and Barack Obama.

His name was Charles “Chuck” Percy, and his connection with Forest Park was politically helpful to many Republican office-holders here to whom he lent support. He often spoke at political rallies at Miller Meadows. Those who benefited from his endorsements included Richard Ogilvie, Edmund Kucharski and Forest Park Mayor Howard Mohr.

Especially as a young man, Percy embodied the ideal of a virtuous, hard worker. At the University of Chicago, he held several jobs while carrying a full academic load. His industry evidently paid off because he was elected chairman of the board of Bell and Howell Corporation at 29. Losing to Otto Kerner in the 1964 gubernatorial race, two years later he upset the popular Democratic incumbent Paul Douglas in the race for the U.S. Senate.

Tragedy intervened during that campaign, when his 21-year-old daughter, Valerie, was murdered in their Kenilworth home. Percy served in the U.S. Senate as a moderate Republican for 18 years and twice withdrew his name as a candidate for the office of U.S. President. Today, at 87, he is reported suffering from the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

From the July 21, 1976 issue of the Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

Ever had the urge to write someone a deserving note? Read this Letter to the Editor from the July 21, 1966 Review. We hope by now your “pen” pal has a new address:

“I am a man in prison, 27 years old. I am presently pursuing my college education and self-development. I am writing you this letter as an agent of appeal for correspondence and friendship. Life in a place like this is almost unbearable and letters could very well bridge new friendships and exit [sic] mutual loneliness and aloneness. I have many interests, my pleasures are few, and I hope someone will respond to my request for moral, spiritual and intellectual communication. I wish to thank you in advance. Denny Burns P.O. Box 787 #138097 Lucasville, Ohio 45648

Twenty Years Ago

A 41 year-old man who lived in Forest Park and taught at Spencer Elementary School in Chicago, was arrested by local police, charged with the sexual abuse of a 14-year-old boy at the school, corroborated by another witness. The student told police here that he had been involved in about 20 sexual encounters with the man and consequently attempted suicide.

From the June/July 1986 issues of the Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

A Forest Park cop helped capture a pair of killers in Oak Park. Officer Tom Aftanas was parked on surveillance in the Dunkin Donuts lot on Harlem Avenue and the Green Line terminal. A call came in reporting the shooting of a teenager. He drove to the scene a short distance away and was told that two men were seen fleeing. Aftanas and arriving Oak Park policeman James Norton spotted and were interrogating two men who seemed to match. Dramatically, the shooting victim’s dying voice came over the car’s radio, confirming the descriptions. Arrests were made and justice was eventually meted.

From the June 26, 1996 issue of the Forest Park Review

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