40 years ago

Let’s go shopping, if only in our imaginations. Self-delusion may be our only balm against the wild and crazy prices in today’s crazy and wild economy. Yes, Virginia, there really was a time when a 15-ounce Dressel’s cheesecake cost only 49 cents. And two 15-ounce cans of Chef Boyardee ravioli went for just 49 cents. The time was October 1968. The store was Calcagno’s, on the present site of Athena’s, 433 Desplaines Ave. Some other fanciful seeming, yet real food prices at the time were:

Hem turkeys, 10 to 14 pounds, 33 cents a pound … Maxwell House coffee, two-pound can, $1.22 … Blue Bonnet margarine, five one-pound packages for 39 cents … Birds Eye broccoli spears, 10-ounce package, two for 29 cents … standing rib roast beef, 79 cents a pound. Bon appetite!

From the Oct. 24, 1968, Forest Park Review

30 years ago

Transitional politics is still politics, and in October of 1978 some local candidates filed six months early to run for the office of mayor-or for one of four commissioner seats on the village board.

Candidates for mayor were shaping up to be Commissioner Fred Marunde and John Stange. Among a large number vying for a village council position were Review publisher and editor Bob Haeger and two incumbents-Cathy Buckley and Ed Lambke.

A peek into 1979 would reveal that Marunde won handily over Stange, 2,713 to 1,902. The same crystal ball revealed that the future commissioners were Lorraine Popelka, Ed Lambke, Jim Sansone and Gus Heider.

From the Oct. 11, 1978, and April 18, l979, Forest Park Review

20 years ago

File this (again) under Santayana, George: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Vietnam veteran Barry Baron had spoken to the Forest Park Kiwanis Club that summer where he was warmly received. In October, Rick Boyce, a Forest Park police officer and a vet himself, invited Baron to share some war experiences with the eighth-grade students at the middle school.

His presentation, a seven-part slide show, showed Baron and some comrades preparing for action. It included shots of bombed villages and Vietnamese civilians while depicting the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.

“The show makes no political statement,” he told the students. “Nor is it a personal statement. It was put together for friends.”

The veteran said he wanted to show the children that people who take part in war are just ordinary people. Baron, who lost both legs in the fighting, noted that the school’s books relegated the Vietnam War to three-fourths of a page, under American History.

“Those who cannot remember the past ….”

From the Oct. 19, 1988, Forest Park Review

10 years ago

“A hundred goin’ to the churchyard … only 99 comin’ back.” So goes a fragment of an old lament. For that matter, so goes the last trip for all of us. We’re a village well steeped in cemeteries, with more of us dead than alive. In years past, a promenade through the bone yard was a Sunday afternoon custom. Some Romanian gypsies still pull a cork and spread a blanket to celebrate the passing of a loved one at gravesite.

In the 1960s and ’70s guided tours began to be offered by our historical society, mostly at Forest Home Cemetery. In the ’70s and ’80s the tours were “animated” by professional and amateur actors, often in costume. Anarchist Emma Goldman and major league ballplayer and evangelist Billy Sunday are just two who have been represented “in life.” The late Dr. Frank Orland, village historian, was the original docent and guide at Forest Home. Each summer, Rich Vitton, president of the historical society, organizes the September walking tours.

From the Oct. 14, 1998, Forest Park Review