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Forty Years Ago

Dec. 31, 1967; the year’s last day. Two brothers from the area are in good health; Lloyd Hatcher, 66, of Oak Park and Orville Hatcher, 64, from Forest Park. Jan. 1, 1968 – younger brother Orville suffers a heart attack and is taken to West Suburban Hospital. Critical. Jan. 5 – older brother Lloyd, about to visit Orville, is fatally stricken in the hospital lobby. Jan. 7 – only 36 hours later, Orville dies without knowing his brother has preceded him. Jan. 8 – the world goes on as always, indifferent to little dramas.

Let’s put a word to work here – “Entropy.” If you get past the thermodynamics and keep it simple, it’s the wearing away and degeneration of everything. That would include a rusted nail, the Chicago Skyway, your last remaining atom and our universe along with the universe next door.

This overstates the plight of the Park Board and its reluctance to close the swimming pool come summer – a victim of entropy, neglect and budget shortfall. Pipes busted … filters clogged … baked concrete cracked in August while wind and ice ate away in winter. Meanwhile, the entire park needed to be cared for … the ballparks and tennis courts, too…and the soccer field, tot lots and walkways. Maintaining all this within budget required sacrifice, and the pool seemed to get short-ended. More to come as this issue seemed to be accelerating like the cosmos.

From the Jan. 11 and 18, 1967, issues of the Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

Santo Rizzo, mayor from 1977 to 1979, never really wanted the job. It fell to him upon Howard Mohr’s sudden death. But the native-born Forest Parker cared enough about his village to be involved. He attended board meetings, owned a stucco and construction business here and was engaged in civic and school doings. Encouraged to run for political office, he won a seat on the village board in 1975. Typical of his hands-on approach, the commissioner rode the salt truck with his crew during post-midnight blizzards. (Streets and safety were part of his job).

With Mohr’s sudden death early in 1977, there was a void. Who could replace the man?

Rizzo had a good reputation and was well liked, so he was again urged to consider a political move, There were some who, in effect, might’ve said, “Mr. Rizzo, you’re no Howard Mohr.” But as mayor, he was the real thing. Case in point, when he felt uncertain about handling all aspects of the village budget, he had the honesty and humility to ask help from his fellow commissioners.

Santo Rizzo served and served well – then declined to extend his term. He and his wife moved to California, where he died a few years ago.

From the Jan. 3, 1979, Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

Hell hath no fury when this woman’s request for another drink was scorned. The 32 year old had apparently overshot her limit and was asked to leave Chauncey’s Pub on Madison Street. Three times a taxi was called by the management, yet the harridan three times refused to get in the cab, finally bringing down her glass hard on bartender/owner Ray Roche’s head. He took 10 stitches and she took the cab.

From the Jan. 6, 1988, Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

Two weeks ago we told of the real progress made by the Main Street Redevelopment group along Madison Street that pumped up – and still pumps up – the local economy. Art Jones was the force that co-founded and kept the project going. What went unmentioned was the search for someone to carry the torch, as Jones and his wife were planning to move.

After four months of searching, MRA hired Lisa Ortschied, 25, a native of River Forest. She started as executive director of Main Street Feb. 16, 1998, and brought with her four years experience at the same position in DePere, Wis. There, she reduced the business vacancy rate 40 percent while overseeing an investment of more than $9 million in downtown revitalization while focusing on fundraising.

From the Jan. 21, 1998, Forest Park Review