Forty Years Ago

One of Forest Park’s best looking couples – Lillian and Jim Sansone – attended the NI-Gas Employee Recognition Dinner at Pheasant Run in St. Charles. The occasion was to honor the retirements and notable anniversaries of long-term employees. Jim, a well-liked, two-term village commissioner here, was recognized on his 25th year with the utility. He passed away about 13 years ago.

From the Dec. 15, 1966, issue of the Forest Park Review

Thirty Years ago

Riveredge Hospital on Roosevelt at the Des Plaines River, used to get word out regularly to its public about developments in psychiatry and other subjects as reported in the Review of Dec. 8, 1976: mental health problems faced by the children of the “super rich” and emergency psychiatric intervention by police.

Psychiatrist-in-chief Dr. Francis Gerty led a group discussion about emotionally neglected children of wealthy families who too often suffered this neglect because their families were well off; that enough of their emotional needs were perceived to be met at home on a material level.

As to the role of police in psychiatric emergencies, Gerty said, “There are ways other than overt suicide prevention in which police officers can intervene in a crisis situation. They can assist in taking over and calming a distressed person until a psychiatric professional arrives on the scene.”

Paramedic service in Forest Park moved a step closer to becoming a reality when the village council sought a referendum. The only “speed bump” preventing approval of the measure was the taxpayer cost, which was tentatively estimated at $160,000 to $180,000 for the first year, and about $50,000 for succeeding years.

From the Dec. 1976 issues of the Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

Forest Park actor Paul Rouffa was on stage not as a character but as a contestant on the Jeopardy game show. It was the semi-finals, and if he won he’d go on to win $100,000. (Back when $100,000 was $100,000.) He psyched himself up by watching the show regularly, reading religiously and developing a fast thumb for the buzzer.

The 30-year-old graduate of Northwestern U had recently appeared in a number of local acting jobs. Before that he worked for the defense dept. as a Russian translator. Later, between acting jobs, he waited tables at Philander’s in Oak Park – not your usual career path. After responding to an audition ad for contestants, correctly answering 40 Jeopardy-type questions in 10 minutes, he made two more cuts and waited two and a half months. Then he got the call. Paying his own airfare, he flew to L.A. and set a goal of winning $50,000. Nearly realizing it, his winnings came to $46,000 and he became a five-time winner with the right to compete in the tournament of champions.

The first thing he did with his winnings was to spend an extra week in California, a state he had never visited before. He bought a new car, made a few investments and donated to some needy local theaters. He also paid for a few more acting, voice and dance lessons. (And left his job at Philander’s.)

Eventually, Rouffa was flown back first-class to California and put up at a posh hotel. He prepped for the “Big Finals” the night before with some swimming and a couple of games of “Trivial Pursuit” with friends. The outcome? He was forbidden to reveal this information until the tape of the show was released.

From the Nov.19, 1986, Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

Mindlessness in the guise of tire slashing – and we all know what fun it is to slash tires. After an evening-into-early-morning spree, 21 people on the north side of town reported such damage to one, two, three or all four tires. Why? To what purpose? How about sheer boredom? The result of an inability to accomplish anything worthwhile when given that most precious gift of time.

From the Nov. 6, 1996, Forest Park Review