A good man died here in 1966, and Forest Park’s biggest funeral (to date) gave testament from the many who knew and loved him. Elmer “Moe” Schnurstein, 57, served for 24 years on the police force, the last three years as chief. In name, appearance and action, he was very much a Forest Parker. He had a deserved reputation for being tough, dedicated and fair. It took not one but three heart attacks to put him down.
Born here in 1913, he was from a family that contributed a half dozen men to both the police and fire departments. Surviving members included his wife, Dorothy, two sons and a daughter, three sisters and seven brothers. Lt. John Tobin served as acting chief.
At the village council meeting following Schnursteins’s death, a grieving Mayor Mohr lifted a few eyebrows when he announced in a “dictatorial tone” that he wanted no discussion concerning a replacement of the late chief for 30 days. He was taken to task by Editor Claude Walker, who reminded both Mohr and the newspaper’s readers that under the First Amendment [Mohr] had no right to “muzzle” the council members. He posed the question, “As much as we loved him, should we wear sack cloth and ashes and bury our heads in the sand for the next month?”
From the August 1966 issues of the Forest Park Review
Thirty Years Ago
Apparently nothing happened here August and September of 1976. These headlines reflect the quietude: Proviso High needs substitute teachers? OES rummage sale? Bobcats romp to title? Kangaroo’s birthday (local kids go to zoo, get to see how Hoppy the kangaroo reacts to his/her birthday cake)? Council on Old Age sponsors bingo? Real estate sales review at Triton? Opens dental office? Hello World? Free camping guide? Toastmasters hold ‘speech picnic’? Seek Austin grads for 51st reunion? Dates set for swine flu inoculations? P.O. closed Monday? Village to pay off sewers bond issue? and Hello World again. (Sleepy?)
From the Aug. 18 to Sep. 15, 1976, issues of the Forest Park Review
Twenty Years Ago
“DEAR SALLY: We visited my husband’s brother and his wife last evening, and their 7-year-old boy was giving my husband fits. He kept batting my husband on the head with a rolled newspaper. Neither my brother-in-law nor his wife made any effort to correct the kid, but I could see my husband was close to blowing his cool. Then suddenly the kid gave my husband a hard kick in the ankle, and that did it. My husband quickly gave the boy a hard swat on the seat of his pants. The boy yelled and ran to his mother. My husband was sharply reprimanded by both parents, and we left soon after in a very strained atmosphere. I’ve heard that nobody has the right to administer physical punishment on other people’s children. Have you anything to say about this?-SPARE THE ROD.”
“DEAR SPARE: Yes. Hurrah for your husband!”
From the July 16, 1986, Forest Park Review
Ten Years Ago
There’s the phenomenon known as “the wedge,” which requires two hands to execute properly. There’s another kind of do-it-yourself wedge; the kind that did in a burglar. The culprit had allegedly entered a number of area restaurants and businesses via rooftop exhaust vents. He would rifle through cash registers and let himself out from the inside, except for his last job at the Yum Thai.
Hearing late night noises from the closed restaurant, a neighbor called police. Investigating officers heard the noise too, and asked if it was the owner. “No,” came a plaintive voice. “It’s the burglar. I’m stuck in the vent.” (Quite a confessional self-description.) His modus operandi led police to suspect that our man might well have been the burglar who had broken into a dozen other restaurants here and in Oak Park, River Forest and Hillside.
From the July 31, 1996, Forest Park Review