Forty Years Ago

Newly elected mayor Earl Witt apparently had a thing about belly dancers. The subject came up at a village council meeting when the Forest Park Tap asked permission to offer this entertainment. The mayor in turn asked for a definition of “entertainment.” This seemed to open floodgates because one man’s belly dance could be another man’s slumber trance. The mayor wanted to know if this entertainment was anything like go-go girls. A constellation of question marks apparently appeared above the heads of the other council members. (It was hard to keep up with the times even back then.) After a convoluted discussion that included the tavern owners, it was determined that they could settle for sing-a-longs on Friday nights.

After the voting into office of a new village administration comes the assignment of duties and responsibilities. The best person for a particular office is not always the smoothest fit. Where a couple of commissioners feel not well suited, changes at the start can be beneficial. So it was that Commissioner Bob Dowd relinquished his Department of Accounts and Finances to Ed Lambke for the duties of supervisor of Streets and Alleys.

From the May 11 and May 26, 1967, Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

It’s May 25, 1977, and here’s your grocery list for White Way: Round Steak, 98 cents a lb. … Porterhouse Steak, $1.79 a lb. … Ocean Perch Fillets, 98 cents a lb. … Watermelon (17 lb. Avg.), 10 cents! … Artichokes, two for 29 cents … Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese (8oz. Pkg.), 49 cents … Hamburger or Hot Dog Buns, 8-pack, 29 cents …

Minute Maid Concentrated Lemonade, 5 oz. tin for $1 … Head Lettuce, 25 cents each.

Here’s a joke, used as a column filler, and worthy of Bob Haeger:

The tramp came to the door of a farmer’s house and asked, “Could you give me anything to eat?” “If you don’t mind eating yesterday’s soup,” answered the farmer’s wife. “Why, no,” answered the tramp. “Good. Come back tomorrow.”

From the May 25, 1977, Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

Speaking of Bob here’s this from his regular column, Once Over Lightly: “I attended a meeting of the Madison Street Council of the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce. It’s a fledgling group that’s been formed for the purpose of stimulating more profit-making activity on Madison St. I can’t think of anything that could benefit our town more. And neither can you. (Could this have been the start of Main Street as we know it today?)

“Prime movers behind this group, who insisted that ‘Madison Street is alive’ are Lil McGovern and Cathy FitzHenry of our Chamber and Mark Bolander. Each has been involved since the group’s inception. Together they move ahead despite some evidence of apathy among those who would stand to benefit most. I have the feeling that something’s going to come from these guys.” (Editor’s note: Not included in the Main Street concept-and I’m sure it was an oversight-was the redoubtable Art Jones.)

From the March 11, 1987, Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

Bishop’s Famous Chili was operated only from the corner of Elgin Avenue and Roosevelt Road. It was The place to order, or order out, what many people called the best of its kind. Some claimed it was the only kind. Proprietor Guy Alfers said the place would soon be gone, but that the new Bishops’s would re-open in a month at 9253 Cermak Rd. in North Riverside. Since then, another Bishop’s has been opened in Westmont.

The Walgreen’s store that replaced the original Bishop’s at Roosevelt and Harlem streets has been there for over 10 years now. As often happens, great concerns were voiced that truck traffic would spill onto Elgin Avenue, and that other negatives would impact residents in the area. Luckily–or purposely–the neighborhood and village have gotten along pretty well since the store opened in 1997. It was built on property formerly occupied by a car dealer and a florist shop. Two private residences were razed to make room, and evidently all parties were satisfied.

From the March 26, 1997, issue of the Forest Park Review