40 Years Ago

It had all the elements of every criminal chase scene, including squad cars from 15 (!) nearby towns, and a K-9 unit. With naught better to do, Larry Westbrook and an unnamed companion knocked off the Refiner’s Pride service station on Randolph Street at 2 p.m. By 4 o’clock they held up a milk driver during gridlock on the Eisenhower, escaping with the driver’s wallet. At 6:15 p.m., with a rhythm apparently established, they had acquired a third companion and robbed a convenience store in Bellwood.

The plot thickened. Alerted by radio, a Bellwood squad car spotted and pursued the trio, as did squads from as far away as Bensenville, when word was broadcast they might be headed for the Eisenhower Extension. Police kept them in sight as the three zigzagged the lanes. After a turnaround at St. Charles Road they reversed their direction and headed back to Forest Park, exiting north on Desplaines Avenue with sirens still close behind. They stopped at Beloit Avenue and scattered in three directions. Westbrook was nabbed by Forest Park police while his teammates were seen darting between buildings. One reportedly forced a couple to drive him to Maywood. These two were still at large when the story went to print.

From the Aug. 29, 1968, Forest Park Review

30 Years Ago

It was 3:45 a.m., a Monday. Chicago Transit Authority workers were switching trains in the storage yards at the Lake Street terminus, at Harlem and Circle avenues. They were “stopped in their tracks” when they came upon the body of a 10-year-old boy. It was believed the boy had been electrocuted after coming into contact with the third rail.

Investigators determined that his name was Daryl Clark, reportedly a runaway from his home in south Chicago. They speculated the youngster may have ridden the CTA trains for some time on Sunday, and that he may have been searching for an open car to sleep in. Pretty sad.

From the Aug. 16, 1978, Forest Park Review

20 Years Ago

It’s been 20 years since our very popular community garden just south of Industrial Drive came to an end. This resident repository for veggies, fruits and flowers yielded everything from rutabagas, raspberries and rhododendrons – all prettied up with blooms like peonies and petunias. The public loved it.

The idea came from the husband and wife team of Barbara and Ed Lambke in 1975. They never promised us a “rose garden,” though, because Ed, then a village commissioner, contracted to lease the land at a nominal fee for resident gardening use on a temporary basis. The people paid a 15 dollar deposit for each 20-foot by 20-foot plot. Eventually, industrial expansion reclaimed the land. For many, the community garden was more than a garden; it was a pleasant meeting place, a therapy, a way of life.

From the Sept. 7, 1988, Forest Park Review

10 Years Ago

The posting of too many bills around town had become a bother. Posting a bill curtailing such postings (see below) seemed a good idea – until the language therein got in its own way:

“It shall be unlawful to post, stick, stamp, tack, paint, or otherwise affix a public notice or cause the same to be done by any person, notice, placard, bill, card, poster or other device calculated to attract attention to the public, or upon any sidewalk … or any other portion of any sidewalk or street, lamp post, electric light, telegraph, telephone or trolley line pole, hitching post, bridge, pier, gatepost or system ….”

It goes on even if you can’t. Can our local hardware store order a hitching post? How about a trolley pole? Maybe it was an uncorrected first proof that made it to final printing. Simplicity, thou art a rare jewel. Legalese, thou art a great nuisance.

From the Oct. 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.