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Forty Years Ago

Mention the name Don Ameche to anyone over 50 and you’ll get a response. They’ll remember a well mannered gentlemanly, 1930s to ’70s screen idol with soft brown eyes, a pencil-thin mustache and an air of distinction. Like Cary Grant, he was more than a ladies’ man, and had a flair for the comedic. He came out of retirement in the 1980s to play what he had become, an oldster in the movie, “Cocoon.” Word had it that he was a nice guy, too.

So think what a kick it must’ve been for Daisy Agnes, Ella Anderson, Bessie Stowe and Lee Robitshek of the Forest Park Professional Women’s Club to meet with the actor at The Drury Lane Theater in Evergreen Park. Ameche was starring there in “The Pleasure of His Company.”

From the August 25, 1966, Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

The staying power of a woman whose mind is made up is a powerful thing. The lady who lived on the 900 block of Elgin told police that two men came to her door and said they had some concrete left over from a job just finished. They proceeded to fix some cracks at the bottom of the woman’s stairs, and then told her they needed $120 for labor and materials. When she refused to pay, the men haggled with her and reduced the price to $20. She refused to pay that too, and told them she was going to call the police. The men left.

Well, it happened again. Maybe it was a matter of planet alignment, but for the second week in a row there seemed to be little or no news in Forest Park in 1975. What’s a poor columnist to do? Here goes: Historical Society begins second year? More changes in swine flu vaccination schedule? Buddy Rich appears at Triton (Ooooo, that sounds good.)? Coffeehouse entertainment? O.P. Art League opens new season? Tupperware party.

From the Sept. to Aug. 1976, issues of the Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

In the summer of ’86 these were some of the big screen movies showing at nearby theaters: “Running Scared,” starring Billy Crystal, Gregory Hines and a spectacular shootout at the State of Illinois Building (the Big Blue Bin)? “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” also featuring plenty of Chicago shots? “The Karate Kid, Part I” (what ever happened to Ralph Macchio?)? “About Last Night” with Jim Belushi, Rob Lowe and Demi Moore.

Humor was always a part of editor-publisher Bob Haeger’s column, “Once Over Lightly.” A couple of examples: “The age of automation is getting out of hand. Now, when a traffic light turns green, it automatically activates the horn of the car behind you.” And? “Those ubiquitous ‘Baby-on-Board’ yellow signs in the back windows of cars finally got some originality. Like, ‘Stupid Yellow Sign on Board.'”

From the August 1986 issues of the Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

It’s therapeutic to pass along some good news amidst all the travail. This is from column-mate Jackie Schulz: “Lydia and Ed Wiedman’s 7-year-old daughter, Nikki Agate was diagnosed as having leukemia. After seven months of prayer, fear, support, medication and medical procedures, her last treatment showed she was 99 percent cured.”

O.K., back to the travail. The village park was down to its last two elm trees. What else? Dutch elm disease. And these were to be cut down. Both were mature and at full growth, but a summer of extremes-intense heat and heavy rains-took its toll. Too bad. Trees can be very neat. So can poets. Grab a volume of Robert Frost at our library and read his “Tree at My Window.” We can all identify with moments of despair.

Who Remembers? Dagwood Bumstead’s heroic, self-made, multi-level, cantilevered sandwiches? Mr. Dithers, Dagwood’s long-suffering boss? Daisy the dog? Friendly Bob Adams? singer Cleo Lane? Phil Cavaretta? Harry Reasoner? Harry Chapin.

From the Aug. 1996 issues of the Forest Park Review