40 years ago

When you’re bogged down in a war, almost any war at all, you really appreciate the little things. Faithful readers know that Claude Walker Jr., son of Ye Olde Editor, acted on a timely notion that brought some happiness to the troops in Vietnam. He spearheaded a drive for Forest Park to adopt a company of marines-Delta Company was chosen at random.

He promoted and arranged for local businesses, organizations and citizens to donate packages to these foot soldiers. Items of everyday needs like clean socks, toothpaste and mosquito spray were shipped bimonthly along with small treats such as candy bars and paperbacks. Here’s just one letter of thanks:

Dear Friends of Company D: On behalf of the men of “Big D,” I want to thank you for your box of assorted items which we received July 1, 1968. The effect on the morale of the men when they know someone back home shows concern about their welfare is really good to see. Again, I would like to thank you and let you know your kind efforts are appreciated greatly. Sincerely, W.F. Toohey III, 1st Lt. USMC Delta Co.,Vietnam

From the July 18, 1968 Forest Park Review

30 years ago

If a poll were taken on the best restaurant ever in our village, I’ll bet you a five-course dinner the winner would be Otto’s. The place came to mind with the death notice of its owner, Frank Schreiber, in July of 1978.

Otto’s occupied the present day site of the townhouses at 7212 Washington Blvd., just west of Harlem, and across from the Bed Bath & Beyond parking lot.

Schreiber had an interesting background in Chicago radio, television and advertising. At one point, he served as general manager of radio station WGN and had been a confidant of Col. Robert McCormick.

Several times he had occasion to enjoy a business lunch or dinner at Otto’s, and evidently thought highly of the place. Finally ready for a career change, he bought the place when the original owner passed away in 1957. Schreiber made it his business to continue the dining establishment’s reputation, high standards and four-star rating. It had a 100 year-run here.

From the July 19, 1978 Forest Park Review

20 years ago

Is there such a thing as a friendly neighborhood (or neighborhood-friendly) chemical company? Apparently not.

Certainly not Acme Resin at the 1400 block of Circle Ave.

For 25 years or so, there were seemingly endless hazardous chemical spills and botched or tardy clean-ups.

To avoid a litany of examples, let’s cite just one spill (not the worst) from March 15, 1988-it concerned 2,500 gallons of pungent, colorless, flammable formaldehyde.

Boiled down, an Acme spokesman blamed a mechanical problem in the tank car. The statement smacked of the lame variety uttered for the umpteenth time after the umpteenth dump. The people’s concern was not tank cars, but their health, their children’s health and those attending nearby Betsy Ross School.

From the March 23, 1988 Forest Park Review

10 years ago

Grab and run. Not the most sophisticated way to get money, yet that’s what the fellow did on a very hot July day at Osco Pharmacy on Circle, near Harlem. Spying an open cash register drawer, he grabbed $110 worth of green and took off.

With the store manager (slower afoot) in pursuit, he was last seen ducking into a nearby apartment building. The Osco manager called 911, and police surrounded the building.

One of the cops noticed a ground-floor air conditioner running in an unfurnished apartment. Getting a passkey from the building superintendent, he found the cash-grabber in a bedroom closet. Such is the high cost of comfort on a steaming day.

From the July 8, 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.