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Forty Years Ago

There’s safety in the past. For better or worse it’s over and done with. As for the present and future, it’s uncertain at best. Like it or not, that’s the order of things.

Forty years back, Proviso high school students and staff members presented the musical variety show, “From Flapper to Flower Child” at the Proviso East auditorium. Proceeds went toward two scholarships for graduating seniors with special talents or leadership ability.

A week and a half ago (real time) a Proviso East High School girl was shot to death in her boyfriend’s car. When you’re faced with the here and now or the future, it’s simple and easy to throw up your hands, give it up, seek refuge, do nothing, put it in the past. Maybe the real danger in fearing what’s to come is to nest in our indifference.

But, thankfully, there’s more; there’s always more. There’s controlled anger, faith, resolve and action. Anything can and will happen. Both good and bad. If enough of us act it will be better; if not enough of us care it will be worse. That’s also the order of things. Two political buzz words are “change” and “diversity.” Two more are “care” and “action.” What time is it? It’s Now.

From the May 2, 1968, Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

Remember those full-page book club newspaper ads that offered eight or 10 books for about a dollar? They were the rage back in the 1970s. The ad that ran in our May 10, 1978, issue carried this intro and main head (plus 25 shots of book covers): “Browse through America’s Largest Family Book Club … Take ANY 4 BOOKS FOR ONLY 98 CENTS.” I recall a New Yorker cartoon showing an irate woman coming home and confronting a package on the floor surrounded by two innocent-looking dogs and a cat whose honesty was not to be questioned. The vexed woman asks, “Alright, who ordered 4 books for 4 bucks, and how do you propose to pay for them?”

For those who wonder what popular books were offered, the ad carried such titles as, “Best Loved Poems of the American Public” … “In My Father’s House,” by Corrie ten Boom … “Running the Good Race,” by Anita Bryant … and “The Innermost Room,” by Eileen Mitson.

From the May 10, 1978, Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

At 6:33 a.m. Sunday, May 29 came the call of a fire at the Altenheim “B” Building. When the first vehicle (a police car) arrived, not only had the fire intensified but its location was corrected to the nearby Concordia Cemetery equipment shed at 7900 Madison St. This workshop was engulfed in flames before being burned to the ground. All the equipment inside was destroyed and, as a result, there was no immediate estimate of loss.

Heavy smoke from the blaze could be seen from miles away, and at its greatest intensity the roof of the 75-foot by 200-foot building collapsed entirely. Firefighters from five towns were called and the debris still smoldered at 8 p.m.

From the June 1, 1988, Forest Park Review

Ten Years ago

A Gypsy section of the Forest Home Cemetery can be found at the main entrance just off Desplaines Avenue; others are clustered on the west side. All stand out. Gypsy gravesites are usually festooned with an abundance of artificial flowers, trinkets or even birthday remembrances in the form of an unopened bottle of beer or wine – reminders of the deceased’s happier times.

Public relations person Lionel Gore said, “Gypsy families tend to choose larger, more ornate monuments with crosses, angels and representations of the Virgin Mary. Maybe a photo of the dead person. They don’t mourn, they rejoice in the passing. They eat, drink and play music at the burial site.”

Do they wear black?

“No,” said Gore, “just regular clothes, but for Gypsies, that can be pretty flamboyant.”

Dead or alive, these are colorful people.

From the April l, 1998, Forest Park Review

Bob wasn’t so much born, as harvested, in a dirt lot in Yonkers, N.Y., in 1932. His family encouraged him to join the Air Force (ours) during the Korean War. There, he fell into the clutches of Barbara Miles. They still have two world-class daughters, Jill and Cara. “Each of the four of us likes the other three of us,” says Bob.