Forty Years Ago

In general, you don’t come across a general every day. Back in 1967 a general from Forest Park was in the news. After appropriate ceremonies Major General R.G. Fergusson assumed duties as Commanding General of the U.S. Army in Berlin. Born in Chicago in 1911, he went to Forest Park schools, graduating from Proviso in 1929. A 1936 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, he had recently commanded the Army Training Center (infantry) at Ford Ord, California.

From the July 13, 1967, Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

Just a couple more examples of Forest Park’s “clairvoyant” cop, George Webber, mentioned in last week’s issue: “One night I was standing by Randolph and Lathrop when I got this feeling about something happening on the Circle Avenue bridge. I had an intuition that a rape attempt would take place there. Sure enough,” said Webber, “I got there and made the arrest.” He said he felt his intuition may have saved him more than once. “There have been times when I get the feeling that I shouldn’t walk up to a certain car–and sure enough, there’s some guy in the back seat just waiting for me.”

One of the owners of Magnum Police and Sporting Equipment on Madison Street, Webber says he doesn’t like to talk about his unbidden prophecies because he’s pretty sure most people wouldn’t take him seriously.

From the June 1, 1977, Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

Score one black eye for the Police Department. Chief Robert Conklin confirmed that a former Forest Park police officer here had been indicted on 15 counts relating to auto thefts. The charges stemmed from a three-month investigation that began from within the department. The accused was a three-year veteran, and had resigned two weeks after the investigation began.

Sgt. Michael Thompson, who spearheaded the effort to solve the thefts, said the case was “one of the most difficult I’ve been involved in.” He said the officer showed a lot of promise, and that he (Thompson) had given him the opportunity to tell the truth. “He had the chance to help himself and he didn’t,” Thompson said.

Nine (count ’em) auto accidents in 12 hours? Police said there was no logical explanation. The sun was out, the skies were blue, the wind was calm and the track was dry. Time, a wise person once said, was nature’s way of keeping everything from happening at once. Yet somehow, random events that day just kept bunching up.

At 6:44 a.m. that April 6, a man driving east on Madison was cut off by a driver turning left from Elgin. He was forced to cross the westbound lane, then hit two benches and careened into a storefront window. To close things out, at 5:50 p.m. the driver of a semi trailer truck made a poor right turn from Harrison into Elgin, pulling out a fire hydrant and bending an axle. The same driver eventually made his delivery, then struck a guard rail on the Circle Avenue overpass, finishing off the axle for good. Having a bad day, Bunky?

From the April 15, 1987, Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

We have a real asset in the Circle Theater. That’s why this letter to the editor was kind of sad: “I always read (theater critic) Doug Deuchler to get the lowdown on what’s playing in the area. After reading his latest review my wife and I immediately called for tickets because it sounded like a terrific show. We went and were surprised to be only two of three people in the audience. We felt a little uncomfortable, especially for the performers. But the show was as good as Doug described.”

This is not a cunning manufactured plea. The Circle Theater has never been better–or better attended. If you’ve never gone–go. If you’ve gone, you’ve probably returned many times, and urged others. It’s become a great experience, and it’s a Forest Park original to be proud of. Thank you, Wayne Buidens.

From the May 7, 1997, Forest Park Review