Forty Years Ago

It was a small notice in the paper and didn’t quite happen in town, but musically it was a huge event. Internationally famous concert pianist Van Cliburn was to appear at the Rosary College Auditorium in River Forest. The lanky, young Texas pianist became a music idol before the word “icon” got overworked. He had won the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1958 while still a teenager. Cliburn had also won the coveted Levintritt Award on his way to his highly praised debut with the New York Philharmonic.

From the Jan. 26, 1967, Forest Park Review

Thirty Years ago

More on the death of Howard Mohr. The source for this story is Judy Baar Topinka, then a reporter for this newspaper. “Mr. Forest Park is gone,” said commissioner and acting mayor Santo Rizzo. He … epitomizes the late mayor of Forest Park, 5th District state senator and senate minority leader as the embodiment of the village he served.” Much like Chicago’s late mayor Richard J. Daley, who Mohr had eulogized only three weeks earlier, Mohr was a life-long devotee to public service and the crusades of his community. Already the void of his passing was being felt.

Though Mohr had seemed somewhat tired of late and had experienced chest congestion, those in attendance at the preceding night’s dinner and party at Springfield’s Ramada Inn recall that he seemed congenial, jovial and full of health and vigor. Tributes to Mohr poured in from friends and colleagues here and throughout the state.

The 60 friends and supporters from Forest Park who journeyed by bus to celebrate Howard Mohr’s “great day” were dumbstruck at the suddenness of his death, and the trip back was painfully slow, somber and subdued.

From the January 19, 1977, Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

From the Laws of Life and Death to Murphy’s Law, courtesy of publisher Bob Haeger: “Most of us have enough experience to know that Murphy is right when he tells us that if thingscango wrong, they will. Further, Murphy’s Fourth Law tells us that if there’s a chance ofseveralthings going wrong, the one that will do the most damage will happen.

“A reader has sent me an assortment of laws, axioms, corollaries and principles bearing the names of people I’ve never heard of. A chap named Sattinger is credited with a law that tells us, ‘It works better if you plug it in.’ Camm’s dictum states, ‘When all else fails, read the instructions.’ And Steinmetz reminds us, ‘If it jams force it’ and ‘If it breaks it wasn’t worth a damn anyway.'”

From the Dec. 10, 1996, Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

Speed, thrills, stupidity and madness.

A trio teenagers, 14, 14 and 16, were tooling a stolen car at 55 mph heading west on Chicago Avenue past Thatcher Road. Eventually, during the next 20 minutes, police from four suburbs gave chase through River Forest, Forest Park, Maywood and Oak Park. Following a pattern as twisted as the adolescent’s thinking, the race accelerated as the 14-year-old driver ignored the squad cars’ sirens and flashing lights, then raced through intersections regardless of stop signs, traffic signals or pedestrians. What happened was bound to.

At Fifth Avenue, speeding east, they broadsided a car legally crossing Roosevelt Road. The impact ejected all three in the stolen car, killing the 16-year-old. It took a while to extricate the innocent victims of the other car, the 59-year-old driver and his 63-year-old companion. All were taken to Loyola Medical Center where both drivers were listed in critical condition, the 14-year-old later upgraded to fair. The other surviving teenager and the 63-year-old passenger were listed at poor to fair.

From the Jan 8, 1997, Forest Park Review