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Forty Years Ago

We’re not sure if January of ’67 was as locked-in-frigid as early January of ’07. If it was, there were many good books to be locked in with. When it’s just plain too cold to go out you can lock into a grabber of a good book, warm up to the storyline and invest your good time in a worthwhile read, commercial-free.

Back then, some of the hot items were “Papa Hemingway” by A.E. Hotchner; “Is Paris Burning?” is Larry Collins’ account of a retreating Hitler’s question; Barbara Tuchman’s “The Guns of August” is a gripping treatment of the great war of 1914 – 1918.

Away from wars and onto books with a racial slant, there were “Yes, I Can” by Sammy Davis Jr. and “Black Like Me,” the incredible true story of white journalist John Griffin, who literally changed skin color to record his “black” experience. Books on JFK still abounded and riveting true crime stories like “The Boston Strangler” and “In Cold Blood” warmed your interest despite the temperature.

From the Jan. 12, 1967, Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

This is from Jackie Schulz’s column , and as of this writing, it’s one below zero. As long as cold weather and responsibility for family pets exist, the lesson still applies. Per Jackie: “A German shepherd was left out all night on a balcony at 1005 Desplaines last Saturday night in the bitter cold. The owners of this pathetic creature were not even at home. Where was the management? [and compassion?] The dog was heard crying all night by tenants who couldn’t even see where the cries came from.

A nod toward yesteryear yielded a couple of popular supper clubs from back in the ’70s. Good-sized ads placed in the Forest Park Review told of the Lilac Lodge, 22nd and Wolf Road in Hillside. It served lunch, dinner and late night snacks, offered banquet facilities for 200 and featured comedian Joe Conti five nights a week.

A 20-minute ride away got you to the Sabre Room, 8900 W. 95th St. in Hickory Hills, where seven banquet rooms were available to up to 2,000 persons. Not only was dinner there “served on flaming sabers,” but Tony Bennett was on stage, two shows nightly for three nights.

From the Jan. 12, 1977, Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

What’s the story on that guy who won serious bucks on the Jeopardy Show? The outcome had to go on “hold” because of time-scheduled viewing in different national markets. But editor Mary Mateer got the story on the Tournament of Champions Finals. “That guy” was Paul Rouffa, a Forest Park actor, and he qualified for the finals on national TV. What made it dicey was that his competitors were also all champions. In a word, he finished second, and in a phrase, (his) when it was over, he was “brain-fried.” Reviewing his performance on tape, he did a lot of wincing, as he viewed his hesitations, over-eager answers, questionable wagers and occasional maladroit handling of his buzzer.

In the second round Rouffa blew $1,800 when he failed to name the woman immortalized in a Chuck Berry song. (It was Nadine.) He lost another chunk of money-$1,100-in the category, “1950s TV Shows,” answering “Buffalo Bill” instead of “Buffalo Bob.” As it happened, the big winner, a University of Michigan law student, took it all with a runaway grand total of $172,800. Rouffa won only $5,000 in the final game, yet took home considerably more from previous shows and play-off rounds. Anybody know how much 15 minutes of fame is going for?

From the Nov. 26, 1986, Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

“Death of Cleopatra” is a 120-year-old transient statue that turned up in Forest Park, nobody seems to know when, or why. After being unearthed in a salvage yard in Cicero, she ended up in storage in Forest Park for years. Ten years ago she was restored and shipped to her present home in Washington’s Smithsonian Institute. Its creator was Edmonia Lewis.

From the Dec. 21, 1996, Forest Park Review