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Forty Years Ago

Earlier than you thought? The first working television transmission took place in 1927. The first successful heart transplant was performed by Dr. Denton Cooley in 1968. The first sustained nuclear reaction occurred under Chicago University’s Stagg Field late in 1942.

After the first personal computers went on the market, it wasn’t long before the print media published introductory articles like the one appearing in the Review in February 1968. “What’s a computer?” asked the headline. Then it invited the reader to check the local library. At this stage, it proved people were curious about computers and wanted basic information; that more and more businesses required present and prospective employees to have basic computer skills; that the library had dozens (!) of books on the subject with titles like “The Thinking Machine,” “Electronic Brains” and “Bernstein’s Analytical Engine.”

Herbert Reichert of 116 Circle Ave. left work, rode the el, got off at the Harlem Avenue platform and, halfway up the stairs at mid-landing, was attacked by a pair of thugs. These dopes knocked Reichert down and pummeled him, lifting his wallet in the process. It should be noted that the victim was blind and carried a very visible white cane tipped in red. Once caught – which they weren’t, because onlookers just looked on – the twin blobs of scum should have been strapped face-up to a wrecking ball and smashed repeatedly against an el stanchion until the filth that composed their elements was transformed into foul, pulverized dust destined for a black hole – at least in my not-so-humble opinion. (Overkill maybe, but wrong is wrong.)

From the Feb. 29, 1968, Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

You may recall a Review notice in this column two or three months ago. It concerned police officer Harley Merritt, 34, who had a run-in with a snow plow during a blizzard on the New York State Thruway near Buffalo. Merritt was returning from a visit with his parents in upstate New York when icy roads and poor visibility caused him to slam into the plow. He was seriously injured and required several operations – one in Westfield, N.Y. and follow-ups in Buffalo.

His wife, Frances, a dispatcher for the force here, and two or three accompanying officers flew to be at his side. She was accommodated in the nurse’s quarters at Buffalo General Hospital during the touch-and-go part of his hospitalization, and beyond. Mrs. Merritt said, “The best thing to come out of the ordeal was the kindness of friends, neighbors and fellow police officers.” She added that these people were especially helpful in seeing that the children were taken care of. After nine weeks, the family was intact and together at their home here.

From the March l, 1978, Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

The right time, the right place and the right person. Fire Investigator Bob Teets was driving down the block on a clear, sunny morning. He smelled smoke; then he saw smoke – coming out the windows of a neighbor’s house. He called his workplace, the fire department, while alerting any occupants. The blaze was overcome in an hour. Chief Tom Walsh said the cause was an electrical short. Teets was treated at Loyola Hospital for strained tendons in both hands from pounding on doors and trying to lift some windows that were locked.

From the March 9, 1988, Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

With spring only weeks away the bar-crawl season had an early start. After tossing a few back, some customers at Kelly’s, Roosevelt and Marengo streets, began tossing each other around. Police arrived at midnight to quell the disturbance, and one patron tried an encore on an officer. Request denied. For his efforts he managed to tag on “aggravated” to his charge of assault and battery.

Meanwhile, back at Doc Ryan’s, another skirmish broke out. The police report referred to the bar habitués there as “guests.” Does this imply that those at Kelly’s were riff-raff? Ah, Forest Park – Big City Action, Small Town Chumps.

From the Feb. 25, 1998, Forest Park Review