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Forty Years Ago

Review editor Claude Walker and esteemed U.S. Senator Charles Percy were colleagues and friends. The former accompanied the latter on many cross-state political trips. Chuck Percy, a 29-year-old Golden Boy, was CEO of prestigious Bell & Howell. He also excelled as a politician gifted with a common touch for the common man.

This column recently alluded to the upcoming marriage of his daughter, Sharon, whose sister Valery had been tragically murdered a year before. Sensitive to this and aware of the glitter and prestige of the event, Walker felt somewhat challenged to report on the flowers, garments, finery and refinery of it all–from the ornate, Gothic University of Chicago wedding ceremony to Ida Noyes Hall and the reception.

It turned out, wrote Walker, to be a gracious mix of aristocrats and the hoi polloi. Some of the invited guests were Michigan governor George Romney, Maurice Chevelier, George Hamilton and Linda Bird Johnson, New York governor John Lindsay and several relatives of groom Jay Rockefeller. Members of different social strata got along wonderfully well, said Walker. “Something about a wedding and reception that bonds us all.”

From the Apr. 6, 1967, Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

“Dear Sally:My husband thinks nothing of spending $100 on fishing equipment or $300 on golf clubs, but he will slit open a tube of toothpaste after he has squeezed it to death, to make sure he gets every last bit of toothpaste out of it. This man is a successful business executive and when I see him working so hard to economize this way, it burns me up. He’s an extremely generous man about everything else, so why this little foible?-Mrs. M.”

“Dear Mrs. M: We all have pet miserly habits. Your husband happens to be thrifty about toothpaste. With others it’s paper bags, or pieces of string. I’m overly thrifty when it comes to soap. I save the little scraps and stick them together into usable bars.

How about you? No pet miser habits?”

From the Mar. 28, 1977, Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

“Brown’s Chicken … armed robbery … suspect arrested …” A familiar set of words, yet an outcome far less tragic than the infamous 1993 murders in Palatine. This incident took place at the Brown’s Chicken at 7247 Madison St. when a man walked in at 6 p.m., ordered a chicken sandwich, grabbed a male employee, drew a gun and announced a hold-up. Workers in the rear of the place were able to call 911 and one of them managed to copy the license plates number of the gunman’s car. He was also able to furnish an accurate description of the man. Cooperative detective work like this by police and the public resulted in a capture within an hour.

From the Jan. 21, 1987, Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

Michael Eng, 62, owner of the China Night restaurant, took three slugs in his back from a punk who walked in and ordered a glass of water. No money demanded; no money stolen; just three shots in his back. One word, three letters: w-h-y?

Anyway, neither of the three bullets did vital damage, and Eng was home recovering after nine days at Loyola Medical Center. As for the hapless, 21-year-old sicko, it’s hard to call him hapless and easy to call him a sicko. People who kill or try to kill innocent people desperately need help, not punishment. It’s emotion-or the murder of a relative-that makes us think otherwise.

No execution has brought back a murder victim. No punishment–even the ultimate one–has ever worked to prevent planned murder; in fact, capital punishment itself is regarded as murder by design. The novelist Kurt Vonnegut, who died last month (thankfully not from gunshot wounds), put it this way: “The final words of a condemned man lying on an execution gurney are not likely to be, ‘This will certainly teach me a lesson.'”

From the Feb. 26, 1997, Forest Park Review