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40 Years Ago

We come. We go. Simple as that. And wrong as that going may seem, we still go.

There were two Claude Walkers in town, father and son. The old man was editor and publisher of the Review. Junior had other pursuits but served as standby. The sudden death of Claude Walker Jr. shocked family, friends and Forest Park.

A graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, he was active in many journalistic organizations, often spelling his father at the helm of this newspaper. He was particularly engaged in the DuPage County politics of the Republican Party, and served as president of our local Chamber of Commerce. At the time of his death Claude Jr. lived in Bensenville with his wife and three children. In addition to his father and wife, Nancy, he left three children, his mother, Lillian, and two brothers, Michael and Richard. He was 38.

From the Sept. 5, 1968, Forest Park Review

30 Years Ago

What an abdomen! Richard Cobb, 51, was shot in it during an exchange of gunfire from his ground floor apartment window at 1015 S. Harlem. After police answered a 911 call about shots being fired they found themselves targeted. A 45-minute siege took place when the gunman refused to surrender. At one point 22 officers were involved. Even when a tear gas bomb was tossed through his window, Cobb was a long time coming out. When he did it was guns ablaze, as he took a bullet to the arm and another to his stomach; the same abdomen that had taken a bullet in a skirmish at Kelly’s Bar two years earlier.

What started it all? Police guessed it was caused by the shooter’s despondency.

From the Sept. 13, 1978, Forest Park Review

20 Years Ago

Well, it happened. Acme Resin, 1401 Circle, had the big chemical spill. The one that made evacuees out of homeowners and apartment dwellers from Roosevelt to 16th and from Circle to Elgin. Virtually every person and pet was alerted and routed out of the south end of town.

At 4:16 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, the spill took place in the Acme plant. A mix of 4,000 gallons of formaldehyde, phenol and something called ortho-cresol overheated, causing a tank to overflow. The hazardous fumes gave off a nasty, acrid smell as they escaped, carried by 9 mph winds. The contamination permeated the air as it spread. This became a real emergency and a big story, complete with ABC and CBS TV crews and cameras. Assistance came from Oak Park, River Forest, Berwyn, Cicero and Stickney.

Most who fled (me and mine included) wound up at the Howard Mohr Community Center where local caterers provided food and beverages and where shelter would be provided if an overnight stay became necessary. Those gathered provided their own gratitude, questions, complaints, opinions – and anger with Acme. The chemical manufacturer had been cited or called to answer questions on innumerable related occasions. No deaths or serious injuries to report, though there was plenty of scare. Betsy Ross School had been let out an hour before. Some thin traces of fumes were left in the air, but by 8:15 p.m. it was every person to his own home.

From the Oct. 12, 1988, Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

Dilemma. It was 9:30 a.m. and hot. The couple pulling into the Wal-Mart lot noticed the dog sitting unattended in a parked car, one window slightly opened. They were about to open an unlocked door, when an older man approached, cursing. When the couple told of their concern for the dog, the apparent owner pulled up his shirt revealing a gun holster. The couple claimed they couldn’t positively say there was a gun in the holster, but were “sure” the man showed a small pistol. The fellow got into the car, threatened to return with a shotgun and drove off. Touchy, touchy. Strange, strange.

From the Aug. 26, 1998, Forest Park Review