Forty Years Ago

Picnics and politics were not-so-odd bedfellows at Miller Meadow in the 1960s. The Republicans, more so than the Democrats, held many a festive rally on this greensward at the corner of Roosevelt Road and First Avenue. Many recognizable names would be there like Chuck Percy, whom I mentioned a column or two ago. Appearing with him might be Leslie Ahrends, Richard Ogilvie, Ed Kukcharski or, at times, a young Henry Hyde. Also present, a goodly turnout of Proviso influencers and other local political lights.

Coral Koch, a senior at Proviso High was the winner of the Taggart Memorial Scholarship granted yearly to a prospective teacher who demonstrated scholastic promise and achievement. In applying for this scholarship she made this significant statement: “Through my 12 years in school I’ve become aware of the great influence a teacher can have on a student in forming not only one’s attitudes toward learning but in knowing right from wrong. I want to have a part in forming these attitudes.”

From the Aug. 11, 1976, Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

“To hear them tell it, it was the best idea to come down the pike in years.” So said editor Bob Haeger. The subject was the community vegetable garden just off Industrial Drive. And the idea was Commissioner Ed Lambke’s; with a big assist from his wife, Barbara. There was this fallow, fertile expanse of land among light manufacturing plants and warehouses midway between Greenburg (“Cemetery”) Road. There was also in town, a desire to work one’s own vegetable and flower garden.

Lambke pushed his good idea through, and it was like, “If you ask them for a $10 returnable deposit, they will come-and grow.” They came and grew 20-foot by 20-foot plots for half dozen years until industrial expansion took over. One nifty by-product was that not only did residents grow their own fresh food, but they grew to know each other.

From the Aug. 18, 1976, Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

Some good progress has been made in town. The following is editor Bob Haeger’s version of the Circle Theater’s status in 1986: “The theater was rebuffed again in its efforts to find-if not a performing house-at least a place to store their accumulating properties. To the surprise of no one, the village’s insurance carriers emphatically nixed the use of some space in the waterworks building, so this talented and persistent group will have to continue its search.” By 2006, it’s safe to say the theater has found itself.

Another wry Haegerism: “My uncle is complaining that when you’re on Medicare, hospitals are not all that enthusiastic about your business. He says he’s having triple bypass surgery, a liver transplant and his gall bladder removed-as an outpatient!”

From the July 16, 1986, Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

Editor Paige Fumo told of another round of playoffs for the 16-inch Forest Park No Gloves Softball National Invitational-or as it’s so much better known, the FPNGSNI.(Sounds like a spritzy, juicy sneeze). With respect to “no gloves,” she commented that the phrase “never had ’em, never will,” might be heard several times during the tournament.

Can anyone out there put an end to my ignorance? Who conceived these annual playoffs? Since these are playoffs, what are the where’s, when’s and who’s of the regular season? Were gloves ever allowed? If so, when did the gloves come off? If someone knows, let us all in on it by e-mailing or writing a letter to the editor.

Who Remembers? Sandra Dee? Pinky Lee? Beerbaum Tree? Bobby Vee? Rick Dees? Lou Breeze? bumble bees? carrots and peas? your old dog’s fleas? a spritzy, juicy sneeze? stop, stop, please.

From the July 24, 1996, Forest Park Review