Forty Years Ago

Thirty-five-count’em-35 Proviso East High School pupils were to be expelled, according to Board of Education President Dr. Norman Green. “No single incident caused this wholesale dismissal,” he said, “but a general lapse in acceptable behavior at school, combined with apparently little training at home.” Expulsions were based on such charges as attacking teachers and other pupils, throwing chairs in the cafeteria, swearing, contributing to disturbances, defiance to teachers, refusal to obey security personnel and mob actions. (This over a period of two months.)

Forty years have passed with less, and sometimes nearly as much, disorder taking place at Proviso. Local newspaper coverage of such student misbehavior has been intermittent. One reason–there is currently only some 236 students from Forest Park out of an enrollment of some 5,000.

From the Nov. 9, 1967, Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

The largest Forest Park drug bust (to date) was made in an apartment house at 315 Desplaines Ave. Investigator Michael Thompson and Sgt. Gary Doss gained entrance ostensibly to serve a traffic warrant. Charged with possession of heroin was Hillmon Stamps, 31. Other members of his family and friends were present but not charged. Found in plain sight on a dresser was a .357 Magnum revolver.

The arrest ended a month of surveillance when a taxi driver, a former policeman, told of picking up a fare at the apartment, taking his customer to the south side of Chicago and discussing, how well drugs were doing in the suburbs. As the policemen entered the building, they came upon a bag of heroin, apparently tossed out the window in an attempt to rid evidence, and a set of very strong, expensive locks on the apartment door. About 25 grams of mostly pure (uncut) Mexican was recovered while some packets were flushed down the toilet. Street value of the recovered drug was $40,000. Doss commented that the amount didn’t surprise him. “I expected more,” he said.

From the Nov. 9, 1977, Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

Flash! Bulletin! Emergency! Houston, we have a problem …. Ever wonder where our source material comes from–besides the past? From printed copies of the Review dating back to 1949; they’ve been gathered into bulky binders and identified by year. Some newspaper hack combs through every page, and the questionable outcome is this column. A shameless cur stole the July through December binder of 1987 and the very heart of “Twenty Years Ago.”

Not only that, but our failsafe, backup archive system at the Forest Park Public Library bogged down last week. Server problem. Until the wayward server is functioning, may the hole be filled and the force be with you.

From the missing pages of 1987

Ten Years Ago

Like most cemeteries, Woodlawn is a handsome piece of property–especially, the portion that occupies the southwestern quadrant of land at the corner of Desplaines and Cermak roads where tombstones are the fewest. In the mid and late 1990s there were plans for the cemetery to sell a 10-acre tract so it could be residentially re-zoned for 181 town homes.

Plans like this have a way of awakening interests of local residents, pro and con. Amid much controversy, the Review came down on the “anti-“side in a Nov. 5 editorial: “We can scarcely believe that owners and attorneys for Woodlawn Cemetery actually believe the town homes would not affect our village in any significant way.” The editor wondered why anyone would want to move into a cramped complex with little children and limited parking accommodations.

Years later, and Woodlawn has since built its own attractive, spacious funeral home on the site. But town homes, according to the editorial, would have created too many problems. The controversy, according to some, might never have been completely resolved. But it was argued peaceably, no blood was shed, and it serves as a good example of how this country makes democracy its business.

Illinois Presidential Primaries … Feb. 5. VOTE!

From the Nov. 5, 1997, Forest Park Review