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Forty Years Ago

Chicagoan Patrick Scott, 17, seemed intent on clearing his busy agenda on Friday morning, June 1. He got things underway at the former Shell station, northwest corner of Madison and Harlem streets, when he found himself alone at the counter while attendants were busy at the pumps. (Time was, before the wonder of self-service, gas station employees filled your tank for you … for a lot less than $4.15 a gallon.)

Patrick vaulted the counter, light-fingered a loaded automatic money changer and walked away. To market, to market, to buy a fat pig? No, to Zimmerman’s Mortuary to inquire if there was a job opening. There wasn’t. Then Patrick asked if he could use the washroom. Permission granted. Once inside, he emptied the money changer and placed it in the flush box of the toilet. Flushed with accomplishment, he left after replacing the cover. Having heard the lifted cover being replaced, funeral home director Fred Ehringer took a peek and discovered the submerged changer. A call to police with a description was all that was needed. Patrick was picked up within minutes. Had a lot of change in his pockets.

From the June 6, 1968, Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

Could it be that you’ve never taken the Forest Home Cemetery walking tour? You’d find it most interesting and extremely worthwhile. It will give you a rounded historical feel and a local connection with our village, past and present.

More than three centuries ago, Potawatomi Indians buried their dead on the banks of the Des Plaines River. Forest Park founder Ferdinand Hasse and others followed suit. By 1854 a large tract of the Hasse family’s land had been made available for public burial. The bodies of Betty and Joseph Kettlestrings, original settlers of Oak Park, are buried there, as are those of the early 20th century evangelist and major league ballplayer, Billy Sunday – and Charles Chamberlain, composer of our state song.

Dissenter’s Row cradles the remains of four men (justly or unjustly) hanged for murder during the 1886 Haymarket Riots in Chicago. Others – communists, anarchists and exploited working men and women – lie in the shadow of the imposing Monument to Justice. Emma Goldman’s gravesite is also close by.

The annual guided walking tour of Forest Home Cemetery this year is planned for Sunday, Oct. 12. Stay posted. Plan on going. Should be worth it.

From the May 17, 1978, Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

Summer being the reading season in 1988, the library’s “Devour a Book” program was underway. True readers admit to no season, and are known to be as eager to get back to their book as they are anxious to leave the office. Can’t make it to the Cemetery Walk? Get thee to our library – another good place.

From the May 25, 1988, Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

A hate crime hit home when a man tried to visit a friend on Hannah Avenue. He was met instead by three strangers who dragged him inside. His wallet, empty, was tossed out the second floor window. Some cassette recordings, judged as “sissy” by the self-appointed music critics, also got tossed. A couple of slaps to the face led to punches, kicks to the body and an attempt to lock the victim in the bathroom. All this accompanied by judgmental, derogatory name calling while taunting the fellow for being homosexual. He finally broke free and reported the crime, but the home was empty when police arrived.

It could also be suspected that the homophobes were not born hating those with a sexual preference other than their own. As one of the songs puts it in the current revival of the musical “South Pacific” now on Broadway, “You’ve Got to be Taught.” That, and pure simple, boredom (nothing better to do or imagine) might be all it takes for those with badly stunted intellects to get vicious with an innocent person. (Could all this have something to do with what causes wars? Or is it that all heads of state are C students?)

From the June 8, 1998, Forest Park Review