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Forty Years Ago

Ye Olde Editor, Claude Walker, received and printed a coal-raker of a letter. It seemed that in the previous week’s column he had suggested that “the physical facilities of the old library be transferred to the park administration’s building, thereby creating two tax levies.” A reader, J.P. Connolly, seemed incredulous. “Surely, Mr. Walker, you weren’t referring to the lovely building at Jackson and Desplaines (originally the Hasse family residence). Librarian Josephine Austin must be shedding tears of frustration…. Do you realize much work and planning went into this fine old building?” Connolly then asked Walker if he would condemn this “landmark” for 30 pieces of silver in exchange for a high-rise monstrosity.

St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, 305 Circle, celebrated its 100th anniversary. The original clapboard church had its humble beginnings at the corner of Marengo and Franklin two years after the Civil War. A bigger church was built in 1873 and the present structure was erected in 1914. A major renovation took place in 1953, and the school was constructed in 1964. St. John Church and congregation was chosen by the Lutheran Brotherhood to be featured in “The Bond,” a monthly Lutheran periodical.

From the July 13 & June 22, 1967, issues of the Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

Before Circle Theater got up to speed a number of plays, musicals and revues were presented at the St. Bernardine basement. One was “Little Tin Men,” starring Forest Park’s John Slankard and Oak Park’s Diane Oppenheim. The story dealt with a sensitive young man searching for more meaning than the ’70s could provide. His father joins in his quest, grows to know his son better, yet ultimately fails to help him.

Good news is a joy to repeat. Like fireman Ron Rodeghiero’s hole in one at the White Pines Golf Course in Bensenville. By plopping it in with a single stroke, Rodeghiero was eligible for the 17th Annual Rusty Nail Hole-in-One Sweepstakes, a national competition sponsored by the Drambuie Company of Edinburgh, Scotland.

From the May 4, July 18, & June 22, 1977, Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

It’s also very satisfying to report any story with a headline that starts, “Police Foil…” Two men went to the home of a Forest Park woman, said they were furnace inspectors and because she had never returned a warranty card on the furnace, an inspection was necessary. Afterward, they told her the furnace was full of condensation and that her basement needed to be waterproofed. They recommended a firm that would charge a bargain price. The lady wrote a check for $1,250 as half payment and was given a printed contract outlining the work to be done. The men allegedly took the check to the Forest Park Bank, which had been tipped off to stop payment to the bearer of any check made out to the “Safety Guard Company” of Lyons. The men were arrested. The money was returned.

The basement didn’t flood.

P.S. Reading of scams and con games, one gets the feeling that they themselves would never be such gullible victims. Yet, some of these people are pretty sharp, well-prepared and credible. To a degree, everyone is in the hands of these slick pros. And, remember, you’re not reading about it; it’s happening in real time in real life. When the woman signed the contract everything seemed official. So wise up, ask specific questions, insist on authentic identification, let no one in your home who doesn’t belong there-and even then-play your trump card by calling the police. They’d love to be in on it.

From the April 15, 1987, Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

Dawn DeBeers uncovered a chunk of unusual information in a past issue-something many of us either knew or suspected: for a lively village that’s humming with good things, we’re a lot more dead than alive. She found in an old Ripley “Believe It Or Not” syndicated column of oddities that dead people here outnumber the rest of us 12:1.

From the May 7, 1997, Forest Park Review