Forty Years Ago

One wonders when and if the issue of Forest Park’s controversial commission form of government will surface again. It was kicked around and criticized by Review editor Claude Walker, who wondered why in the 19-teens we switched from the original village type of government with a president and six trustees to (as he put it) “the current garbled monstrosity that encourages conniving and political shenanigans.”

Home rule was not mentioned in Walker’s column, yet it too might be worthy grist for the primary elections on Feb.27 and the general elections of April 17. Both issues could serve to depersonalize things while benefiting the people.

From the Dec. 15, 1966, Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

Here’s a side of Judy Baar Topinka you may have heard of, yet never read – an article (necessarily excerpted) she wrote as a Review reporter in December of 1976: $400 Worth of ‘Stolen’ Meat Costs Man His Job.

“A free holiday dinner along a six-block stretch of DesPlaines Avenue this week has cost a man his job and may result in a pretty meager Christmas for his wife and five children. Some residents living along Franklin and Madison streets helped themselves to $400 worth of ribs, which fell from the meat truck of Dennis Holte, 35, of Lombard.

“Passing motorists honked to call attention to the flapping doors of the now empty meat truck, which had sprung its latches. Holte stopped, turned around and tried to recover the nearly 2,000 pounds of ribs (worth $1,600 to $2,000) now strewn along the street. Not all the meat was recovered.”

To wrap up Topinka’s story, the human urge to salvage “easy pickings” had apparently set in. Holte, who was more than disappointed to lose his job, was also disenchanted in what he regarded as less than admirable behavior on the part of some onlookers. (Read scavengers.)

From the Dec. 22, 1976, Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

There’s a segment of restaurant marketing that hasn’t gotten much attention – children. Mike Kollios, owner of Cosmo’s, across from the Forest Park Mall, was an exception. Without neglecting his adult trade, he catered to the kids, believing that the small fry were not always treated properly in eating establishments. His extra touches included a children’s menu, right sized chairs and waitpersons that treated the young diners as the real people they were.

All this is remindful of a classic radio routine performed by Bob and Ray, Hall of Fame comics who made people laugh from 1946 until well into the 1980s. (You remember Bob and Ray don’t you? You remember radio, don’t you?) Their sketch involved a man who just happened to like children’s foods and children’s sized portions. Ray enters the restaurant humming a snatch from a Sigmund Romberg light opera. “One alone…” Bob, the waiter, greets him. “Table for one, sir?” “Yes, and a kiddie menu, please.”

“You’ve got to be kidding.” “No, I’m not,” he replies as he sings a little bit of “Tea for One.” “Let’s see now, I think I’ll have a Shirley Temple cocktail for openers.” Warming up a bit to his unusual customer, Bob chances, “Might I suggest the silver bell and cockleshell salad?” Ray is impressed. “Oh, boy! That really sounds good!” “Yes,” replies Bob, “It’s long been a big favorite with the kiddos.”

It goes on, rich humor from yesteryear. To hear it is to appreciate it.

From the Nov. 19, 1986, Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

The body of Forest Park resident Carlos Delara, 32, was found shot to death beside his home. Police charged Jose Ortega, 19, of Cicero and Roland Fierra, 20, of Prospect Heights, with the crime. Sergeant Martin Moy said it was a botched drug deal.

Ortega, who police believed was the shooter, was picked up at home and implicated Fierra during questioning.

From the Nov. 13, 1996, Forest Park Review