40 years ago

One photo. One life. One more final story told about the Vietnam War, with more than 58,000 versions before it ended. This time, Forest Park lost its first soldier in combat. William J. Simpson, 22, son of Eugene and Janet Simpson of 1424 Marengo, was killed in combat. A crew chief on a military aircraft, his plane was shot down on a mission by automatic gun fire.

“Those who ignore the past …”

Bill Simpson lived in Forest Park for 15 years. After attending Proviso high school for two years he enlisted in the Army in 1965 and served 18 months in Vietnam. He planned to marry a local girl, Kathy Lueder, on completion of his tour. It was not to be. Simpson was killed in action the last week of November 1968. Survivors also included a brother, Eugene Jr., sister-in-law Barbara and a nephew, Eugene, III.

From the Dec. 5, 1968, Forest Park Review

30 years ago

The Big Election has been over for a month and a half, but some differences between Republicans and Democrats remain. Here are a few ways to distinguish between the two: (Source, The Sterling Bulletin.)

Democrats buy most of the banned books. Republicans form censorship committees and read them as a group.

Republicans usually wear hats and almost always clean their paint brushes.

Democrats give their worn-out clothes to those less fortunate. Republicans wear theirs.

Republicans employ exterminators, Democrats step on the bugs.

Democrats name their children after currently popular sports figures, politicians and entertainers. Republican children are named after their parents or grandparents, according to where the most money is.

Democrats keep trying to cut down on smoking, but are not successful. Neither are Republicans.

Republicans tend to keep their shades drawn, although there is seldom any reason why they should. Democrats ought to, but don’t.

More to come.

From the Oct. 25, 1978, Forest Park Review

20 years ago

It was a pretty good heist, if “pretty good” is the right phrase-and it ain’t. It took place at Lausanne’s Jewelry in the Forest Park Mall, between 3 and 3:30 in the afternoon. Three persons entered the store with a hidden folding basket. One climbed under a display case, and passed items of jewelry to an accomplice, while a third blocked the view of the clerk. The owner was distracted by a suspect couple engaging him in a prospective purchase at another part of the store. Five trays of jewelry worth $50,000 were stolen.

It was a pretty good heist.

From the Oct. 26, 1988, Forest Park Review

10 years ago

Ron Hardin, 45, of Chicago must’ve been in an inexplicably bad mood at the Ambrosia Restaurant, corner of Desplaines and Madison. All he wanted was a refund for a meal he had eaten there a few days earlier. The waitress advised him to tell the manager about it. His response was to back the waitress into a corner and yell at her. The restaurant owner said he’d call the police if the fellow didn’t leave. “Go ahead,” Hardin reportedly said in his best Jack Nicholson style. “Call the cops. I own the cops!”

When the police arrived, he refused to be searched, and allegedly struck an officer during a pat-down. After a struggle, he was being frog-marched toward the patrol wagon when he sat down on the road and told the officer there was no need for handcuffs because he was a “man of God.” Once in the station, according to the police report, he began speaking in tongues while quoting scripture.

From the Nov. 29, 1998, Forest Park Review