Forty Years Ago

It’s chancy to quote a person out of context with omissions. But I’m being fair in this excerpt from editor Claude Walker’s column of May 4, 1967-like these days, a dicey, uncertain time.

“Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Edward F. Bulwith,” he wrote, “on the ordination of their son, Richard into the priesthood of the Catholic Church. Father Richard … celebrated his first Mass at his home church, St. Bernardine, here in Forest Park … I couldn’t help make a comparison between this splendid clean cut youth, who had the fortitude to complete his education, and those stupid college boys who are forever running around in their tight pants carrying protest signs.”

In 1967 I was in my 30’s, a copywriter in an ad agency and working with a lot of younger people. I don’t know how tight their pants were, but I valued much of what they were about-no war, honesty in politics and sincerity within. It was they, mostly, who alerted me to what was wrong with the status quo of the time-the unfunny funny “business as usual.” They put me on to what was going on in Vietnam.

I have some reactions to editor Walker’s take on the protest signs of ’67: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”–Santayana. “Fanaticism consists of redoubling your efforts when you’ve forgotten your aim.”–Same source, now exemplified by the undeviating (accelerated?) course taken by both Al Qaida and the present administration. And this from Jimmy Durante: “Why doesn’t everybody leave everybody else the hell alone?”

From the May 4, 1967, Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

Yes, Virginia, there really was a bean patch -north of Industrial Drive, itself south of Greenburg Road a.k.a. Cemetery Road before Forest Park runs into Woodlawn Cemetery. Commissioner Ed Lambke and his wife, Barbara, conceived and carried out the village’s community food and flower garden. A success from the start, 166 residents put up $10 deposits for each 20-foot by 20-foot parcel. In its second year (1977), the number jumped to 266. For several years everything was coming up roses, cukes, tomatoes, carrots, onions and leafy greens of all kinds.

From the May 4, 1977, Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

“The largest department store west of the Loop!” That’s how the Hain store billed itself during the late ’20s. It was located at the southeast corner of Madison and Elgin streets. Roy Cleveland Hain came to Forest Park from Wisconsin in 1909 to open a dry goods business here. In 1929 he built the three-story yellow brick building that housed the Hain Department Store and christened it with a long night’s fireworks display. The first floor sold clothing for both genders and featured a beauty salon. The basement offered hardware and toys, while the upper floors consisted of apartments that rented for less than $100 a month. If you look up, you can see the name HAIN chiseled into the façade. Came the depression though, and Roy Hain, who seemed like the well-intentioned, persevering type, lost his livelihood. “Nobody had any income,” he said. “Nobody could pay rent, and only a few could afford to buy our goods.” Bankruptcy followed, then, he attempted to make a success of a small rental shop a few doors west-known for a while as The Elsye Shop. Roy Hain died in 1944, a victim of the economy.

From the Feb. 25, 1987, Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

An update on the senseless shooting of China Night restaurant owner, Michael Eng. The victim, who was shot three times in the back, was discharged from the hospital nine days later. His wife and brother Edward had been running the place shorthanded since the Feb. 13 shooting. The coincidental death of Jeff, another brother, added to the burden. As for the accused 21-year-old gun wielder, he would be arraigned after five weeks of lockup on a $2 million bond.

Note: I think I deserve credit for not mentioning cicadas in any column last month.

From the Mar. 19, 1997, Forest Park Review