Forty Years Ago

The present is a fine place to consider the past. Like the ratchet of a turnstile, the present governs forward movement, yet allows correction of past misdeeds. Editor Walker pointed out a few that seem only to have gotten worse:

“Mother, if you were to have your son become president, start saving your money now, for it’s going to take plenty of the green stuff. [This written four decades ago, before finances and the economy really went berserk.] According to the last reports on how much it will take to get young Mr. Kennedy (Bobby) past the conventions and onto the final ballot, I can assure my 59 readers that there are very few in this country able to afford the top office.

“Such national election campaigns,” continued Walker, “create organizations that back a candidate to whom they can dictate and virtually ensure that person’s election. This means a deterioration of our system of free elections that too easily can include delegates to a national convention who may be bought, and large corporations that drop huge sums to a candidate who favors their business interests.” [Written before such practices were routinely rampant.]

From the March 28, 1968, Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

Jane Fonda was the announced speaker at Triton College in a continuing series sponsored by the Student Board. As well-known for her political activism as for her movie acting, she combined the two successfully. “I see myself as a lifelong political activist,” she admitted. “I’m not part of the system and I never will be. I don’t care about that. I care that things I fight for get respect; but there is no reason on earth why I should be respectable.”

From the March 22, 1978, Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

Ugly can be good, especially when an ugly innkeeper serves a soothing libation in exchange for your payment thereof – plus a buck or so for a good cause. The good cause being the fight against Multiple Sclerosis. Once again it was “Ugly Bartender Time” – time for all good drinkers to pony up a little bakshees to help those suffering with MS – a chronic, degenerative disease of the nervous system, usually affecting young adults. It needed – and needs – combating in every way.

Twelve local watering holes participated in the charity and a dozen woeful-looking can rushers were entered. The idea: patronize your favorite bar, sample some of their wares, pay for your drink and kick in an extra buck or so. The gratuity was the vote for the server, and went to the Multiple Sclerosis Society. As you may have guessed, no one involved in this worthwhile affair could be ugly because the underlying idea was beautiful.

From the March 23, 1988, Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

Ever run for public office? Ever think of it? Ever run and lose? One Forest Park candidate did all three in 1998 and lived to tell about it.

Mary Minaghan finished fifth out seven in the 4th District state senate race that year, garnering some 3,000 votes. According to her, you do meet a cross-section of people, and many of them have welcome ideas that could serve you well in the future. Her job title was “self-employed legislative consultant” – that could mean anything from an avid newspaper letter-to-the-editor writer to a Washington, D.C., member of Congress who shows up for two straight voting sessions.

Minaghan reckoned she lost mainly because she couldn’t establish a stronger voice in Forest Park and Oak Park. “A public forum might have helped,” she said. “A forum is a good way for people to get a feel for a candidate. This, plus strong mayoral support from the two villages, could have made the race closer.” She concluded by saying that the campaign was a real learning experience with 12- to 16-hour days being the norm.

“I’m proud of my participation,” she added. “I’m not a loser because I gained so much. Some of those who pledged support didn’t come through, but the rest can only be a help next time I run.”

From the March 25, 1998, Forest Park Review