Forty Years Ago

We’ve had our share of homegrown theatrical talent in Forest Park – talent other than the most recognized name of all, Mike (Dowd) Douglas.

Bob Wright, 77, who passed on only last month, directed more plays than most of us have seen – here, in Oak Park and in Chicago. Ever the showman, yet painfully shy, he pre-directed his own funeral service to include the show-stopper, “This is the Moment” from Jekyll and Hyde. It accompanied his casket as it was being carried out.

One other local name seen in lights through the ’60s, ’70s and early ’80s was that of Mark Lamos. He performed here and throughout the Midwest while attending Northwestern University where he took the lead roles in “Richard the Second,” “The Entertainer,” “The Lark” and Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Patience.” Lamos was named best actor for his portrayal of Algernon in “The Importance of Being Ernest.” He also composed a half-dozen tunes for Northwestern’s Waa-Mu Review while playing the role of Will Parker in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” Such a talent pool!

From the June 27, 1968, Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

This is the flip side to a story that could have been sensational or sickening. A couple of 10-year-old girls were playing near Harlem and Harrison streets when a car pulled up, a window rolled down and a sicko made a sexual proposal to them. The girls took off, keeping enough cool to memorize the car’s license plate number.

The rest of the story is less exciting but more gratifying. When the girls returned home they were able to give the information, plus a description of the sicko to the police. A radio dispatch went out to surrounding towns and Berwyn police collared their man.

From the June 7, 1978, Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

First, a citation from the Department of Health concerning a 91-year-old resident who wandered from the home unprotected, then an investigation into a similar incident where another “footloose” resident was found with possible gang-type slogans written on his arms and chest. It hadn’t been a good summer security-wise at the Altenheim Home.

In the latter case, an 80-year-old man was spotted walking without shoes or shirt on First Avenue and Wilcox Street. Found bruised and with cuts on his head, the man was incoherent. Someone apparently had used a felt-tip marker to write on and mark his upper body.

Growing old isn’t always a basket of posies. Caring for the old can often be a nest of thorns.

From the June 15, 1988, Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

Don’t know the name of this Mickey Mantle in the making, but he was from Forest Park. His picture ran in the April 22, 1998, Review. It’s a portrait of young optimism, promise and desire. The lad is so intent on getting a base hit that he can taste it. He embodies the goodness and greatness of the game with the gift of American boyhood. If you know this Huckleberry stereotype, please tell us. Meanwhile, we only regret that Norman Rockwell had already slipped the scene.

From the April 22, 1998, Forest Park Review

Bob was born 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.