Forty Years Ago

“July came in like a prohibitionist, and went out like an alcoholic.” Pretty nimble phrasing of a dry-into-wet-month by Ye Olde Editor Claude Walker. Walker went on to stretch the subject of weather, though it doesn’t require much stretching. I’ve got my own views on dull topics and worn out language.

People unendingly say things they often don’t mean. Like “How ya doin’?” Before you can answer, the asker is four offices down the hall. And if you always answer “Fine,” you’ve got to be lying half the time. Then there’s Everyman’s command to “Have a nice day.” Lord, deliver us from this meaningless sound. Grant Everyman the energy to try to come up with a different word or phrase; a form of fresh, new speech. And don’t forget that oldie, but baddie, “When you get through washin’ yours?.” Or the equally insipid, “Hot enough for you?”

Max Beerbohm, Victorian writer and gentle soul, said, “There is nothing you can say about the weather that isn’t already observable.” Then Dylan Thomas, during a torrid afternoon on the island of Elba, wrote, “Oh, oh, oh, the heat! It comes round corners at you like an animal with windmill arms. As I enter my bedroom, it stuns, thuds, throttles, spins me round by my soaking hair; lays me flat as a mat on my boiled and steaming bed. Cold beer is bottled God.”

From the Aug. 4, 1966, Forest Park Review.

Thirty Years Ago

“Polish-Italian picnic enjoyed by all.” What a great headline. It told of some good old-fashioned outdoor eating and drinking at Miller Meadow. Very ethnic and very American. And it came with all the usuals-sunshine, kids, games, rides, merrymaking, song, dance and other entertainment, on into sundown. Put people together, leave them alone and they’ll have their good times. What a headline! What a country!

From the Aug. 11, 1976, Forest Park Review.

Twenty Years Ago

“Dear Sally: Shall I break off with my husband or with my mother? That’s the big question. It’s not a simple problem. There are two children involved. My husband drinks entirely too much and my mother, with whom I’ve always been very close, tells me that if I continue living with him she’s through with me. My husband is otherwise a great guy-kind, considerate and intelligent-and our kids adore him. He professes to love me dearly, too. If only he would kick the bottle, life would be wonderful for us.”-Problem.

Dear Problem: “Your first obligation is to your husband and children. Have it out with him, and make the big threat. Surely, if he loves you and his children, he’ll make the supreme sacrifice of the bottle for you. And I’m sure if your mother loves you enough she’ll certainly be happy if you save your marriage. Please try.”

From the July 16, 1986, Forest Park Review.

Ten Years Ago

Brad Ogilve, 41, owner of the Hideaway Lounge at Roosevelt and Marengo, had seen too many of his friends become victims of AIDS. He and three others decided to take part in a fund-raising drive called Ride Against Aids, whereby participants rode bicycles from Minneapolis to Montrose Harbor.

“It was nothing but grueling,” said Ogilve, of the six-day test of endurance that covered 460 miles. “However, we did cycle through some pretty country and quaint towns.”

They would rendezvous several times a day with a support van for food, access to an onboard phone and medical supplies when needed. At appointed campsites the foursome would shower and sleep. The team took home their tired bodies and good memories of a worthy cause. Ogilve also brought home something else.

“A classic sunburn,” he said.

Through sponsors such as the Forest Park National Bank and the Miller Brewing Company, they realized $10,000 in donations.

Who Remembers? Yahtzee? the gold Dust Twins? the Seven Oaks Restaurant on Roosevelt Rd.? men’s garters? Michael Dukakis? Michael Bilandic? Michael Bakalis? Michael, Row-the-Boat-Ashore? Simonize? Yma Sumac? Telly Savalas? Trini Lopez? Rubric’s Cube.

From the July 17, 1996, Forest Park Review.

Confidential to, well, I forget

Will the reader who wanted information on the shooting of two Forest Park policemen please leave a message for me at 366-0600. I misplaced your name, address and telephone number and would like to forward the information to you.
-B. Sullivan