Forty Years Ago

Letter to the editor: “Dear Mr. Walker:” ‘Elderly-Man in the 80s, active and in good health, would like the company of elderly lady.’ “I put the above ad in our local paper and I got 26 answers but not the lady. The reason-when the lady gets married she loses her social security. So I wrote the President [Johnson] about this. Enclosed is a copy of the letter I sent to the President and the answer I got.”-Sincerely, Doc Cotton.

“Dear Sir: I am writing you to see if you could get us elderly people some help in getting married. I read in a magazine where there is hundreds of couples living as man and wife out of wedlock, the reason being that when the woman marries she loses her social security. I live all alone in a little cottage and would like to have a companion. Here you have the choice either to marry out of wedlock or not at all. Could not something be done so when a woman marries she would not lose her social security?”-Sincerely, Edw. A. Cotton.

“Dear Mr. Cotton: President Johnson has asked me to thank you for your recent letter and to reply to it since it concerns Social Security. We are giving your letter our attention, and will be in touch with you again as soon as possible.”-Sincerely yours, Robert M. Ball, Commissioner of Social Security.

[Inadvertent note on back? “Send Form Letter 12D”]

From the Dec. 15, 1966, Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

“Dear Sally: How does a woman pick up the pieces when the love of her life says goodbye? I fell in love for the first time in my life last fall with an attractive, personable man. We got along wonderfully and even discussed marriage. I was sailing on cloud 9 when he told me we weren’t suited to each other, and to forget him. Well, I haven’t forgotten. How am I going to recover from this broken heart of mine?”-Shattered.

“Dear Shattered: The woman who grieves over a lost love has a tendency to screen out all the unpleasant aspects of the relationship. She remembers only the joyous moments, and as time passes the old romances seem more beautiful in her mind. But the mind can accommodate only one thought at a time. It’s up to you to substitute another thought-something real and alive and constructive, instead of yesterday’s dreams.”

From the Oct. 17, 1976, Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

Publisher Bob Haeger in his column: I like people who take instruction well. Like the checkout lady at the supermarket who was confronted by a gunman. “Take the money out of the register and put it in a bag,” he demanded. “Paper or plastic?” she asked.

We miss Bob Haeger columns as much as we miss Bob Haeger. A nice man with a nifty sense of humor.

From the Oct. 29, 1986, Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

Bill Plum of Forest Park and his friend John Fierick were leaving a restaurant on the 800 block of Pleasant Street in Oak Park when they saw an 84-year-old man being roughed up beside his car. Two baboons, one brandishing a knife, were robbing the old guy. When Plum and Fierick rushed to his aide the apes, knuckles dragging, took off in two directions with the good guys in pursuit. Fierick brought down one simian in an alley, while Plum flagged down a parking attendant to alert the police. He then returned to help restrain the captured gorilla until the cops arrived. Guided by Plum’s description of his cage mate, police later collared Baboon Number Two at Lake and Austin.

My apologies to monkeys everywhere.

This was an encore performance by Plum who, 15 years before, pulled a woman from her burning home-the aftermath of a gas explosion. Plum said he knew there wasn’t all that much difference between being a hero or a corpse but added, “I never give a second thought to helping someone in trouble.”

From the Nov. 6, 1996, Forest Park Review