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Forty Years Ago

In late spring of 1967 Forest Park had chosen its newly elected mayor, Earl Witt, and a board of commissioners consisting of Bob Dowd, Mike Lambke, Jim Sansone and Santo Rizzo. Cleanup and fix-up projects were yielding tidy results as the old town started to look like a clean, renewed town. School districts, police and other parties also joined in an effort to promote automobile and pedestrian safety.

Sadly, this last effort fell short. The notice appeared in the Review: “Sandra Dombrow, 9, died in Oak Park Hospital after the car in which she was a passenger struck another vehicle at Randolph Street and Marengo Avenue. Sandra was being driven to Field-Stevenson School when the accident occurred.”

A routine lift to school … just one lost second … a moment’s delay in driver attention … just a fraction of hesitance in reaction and you can wreck a car or end a life. Imagine the unexpected. Drive defensively. Every time. Nothing should be routine behind the wheel. Nothing.

From the May 18 & June l, 1967, Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

Remember Anthony Newley? Some of us do. He was an international star famed for combining his composing-singing-acting talents in the English-American music theater. He wrote such pop tunes as “Who Can I Turn To?” and “What Kind of Fool am I?” The Review carried a half-page article on Newley, who was appearing in concert at Park West in Chicago. His big break came in 1961 with the hit musical, “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off.” He starred, wrote the words and music and directed a second hit musical, the underrated “Roar of the Grease Paint, Smell of the Crowd.”

From the May 18, 1977, Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

What a good idea!The Ending Tavern, at 7409 Madison St., was host to a series of avid Trivial Pursuit players every Sunday evening from 6 to 9. An addiction was going on. The patrons, usually 50 or 60, weren’t hooked on booze but on little pieces of arcane knowledge known as trivia. Co-owner Bob Sweitzer said the idea was suggested by an employee who owned 10 Trivial Pursuit game sets, complete with 60,000 questions. Disc jockey and waitress Kim Smaczmy organized the rules and emceed the game. The regular Sunday get-togethers were popular, wholesome, challenging and family fun.

Try some of the questions and see how you’d fare. Under the category, Geography: What two states end with the letter “Y?” What four states carry a double “N?” What state is round at both ends and “high” in the middle? For arts and literature, who killed Macbeth? Under booze, this query – what beer was guzzled out of the first tab top can?

From the April 1, 1987, Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

Every year the swallows come back to Capistrano.And for the last two decades of century 20 it seemed that every month Acme Resin would have an unhealthy spill. I know, because my family lived there at ground zero for the full run. Acme owned a plant at 1401 Circle Ave. It – and its polluting agents – are gone now, and those who live in the affected area can only hope there are no residual toxic effects.

On March 30 of ’97 “something went amiss” at the plant for the second time that year, and 1,500 gallons of a phenol and formaldehyde mixture spilled to the factory floor, then into its containment pit. The liquid did not leave the building but its vapors drifted across the street where residents could smell the caustic chemical mix; some complained of eye irritation. The patience of those in the area, which includes Betsy Ross elementary school, was wearing thin. There had been an incident in the 1980s where everyone in the area from Circle to Harlem and 16th to Roosevelt Road had to be vacated. Most of the residents were housed and fed at the Community Center until 9 p.m. when an all-clear was announced.

From the April 2, 1997, Forest Park Review