Forty Years Ago

Ye Olde Editor, Claude Walker, in his “Personal Observations” column, reported to his “59” readers that Forest Park police “are now equipped with the latest squirt guns for use in quelling belligerent gentlemen and women.” One assumes the reference is to stun guns or Tasers. Walker’s concern was that the Supreme Court might determine that the use of such weaponry would be “brutal.”

It was a quiet Thursday morning and the Forest Park Review office was full of Walkers, among them son Michael, who had come up with the idea of our village adopting a Marine company in Vietnam. The ringing phone broke the silence and the voice asked for him. A Marine in the field a world away had opened the first package and telephoned thanks from the unit. They had enjoyed the cigarettes (this was ’67), candy, paperbacks soft drink mix (to dilute any foul tasting water), instant coffee, cookies–plus immediately practical items like foot powder, Band-Aids, sunscreen, etc.

The village responded strongly to Mike’s idea. The unit was chosen, people here responded generously and the bulky packets were sent on a regular schedule to the troops in combat.

From the Aug. 17, 1967, Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

Breaking a 15-year record can be one tiring accomplishment. Take it from Eileen Licitra, born and raised here. She and her husband, a business executive from Manhattan, wanted to get away from the congested herds and board a fishing boat. They were 20 miles off Montauk Point at the easternmost end of Long Island. After tagging and releasing underweight catches, Eileen struck a big one, only to lose it and the bait. When her husband said it looked really big, she got a “rebate” when she cast and the same fish–a blue shark-bit again.

Eileen, then 26, and all of 5-feet 8-inches and 119 pounds, single-handedly struggled for 50 minutes to bring in the 8-foot 8-inch, 173 pound shark on a 12-pound test line–a world’s record for a female fisherman. Any weariness she felt seemed to vanish when she and her catch caught all the attention at the weigh-in.

From the Aug. 3, 1977, Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

Local police were still appealing to anyone with information about the April 30 fire at Homer’s Restaurant to come forward. They reported no progress on the investigation into the cause and origin of the suspicious blaze. Detective Steve Knack said police would begin looking for suspects, but if results are inconclusive the fire would continue to be labeled “suspicious.”

Bad news on page one. Child hit by van … critically injured. A 6-year-old Garfield kindergartener being walked to school was struck by a van at Circle and Adams streets. He darted out when his 5-year-old sister, led by an adult, apparently got too far ahead and was hit as he tried to catch up.

John Aufiero was taken to Loyola Hospital for treatment of head, internal and leg injuries. The van’s driver, from Forest Park, was charged with failure to exercise due care to avoid hitting a pedestrian. The father of two young children, the driver was visibly distraught, although police say he had observed the intersection and the people using it. He slowed till they had passed, then resumed driving, and said he never saw the boy until after striking him.

From the May 27, 1987, Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

More! More! More from Doug Deuchler’s Rapid-Fire, Sure-to-Please, Or-Maybe-Frustrate Forest Park Quiz: (answers below)

Q: Field Stevenson School at 925 Beloit Ave. is co-named after which two famous 19th century children’s’ authors?


Q: What massive construction in the 1950s necessitated the moving of 1,500 graves at Concordia Cemetery?


Q: What world-famous theatrical impresario died in a 1958 plane crash in a New Mexico plane crash?


Q: For nearly a century two European ethnic groups have predominated in Forest Park. Which?


From the July 9, 1997, Forest Park Review


Eugene Field and Robert Louis Stevenson.

The Eisenhower Expressway, or I-290.

Michael Todd. (If you had been reading the Review lately, you would have known.)

The Italians and the Germans.