40 years ago

The purpose of a print advertisement is to inform the prospective buyer … to arm him or her with facts and information helpful toward making a wise purchase. An ad shouldn’t entertain except to gain the reader’s attention. Beyond this, it’s a matter of seller and buyer engaging in the details of a resolution involving product or service and dollars.

A couple of display advertisements appeared in the Dec. 12, 1968, Review. The Bank of Hillside ran a quarter-page ad featuring Larry Buckley in a 10-gallon hat driving up to the Forest Park branch with a customer. The headline read, “The Loan Arranger Rides Again,” to promote the bank’s loan department. The subhead, “And Introduces Pronto,” reminded the reader how quickly a loan could be made there.

The other pretty good ad promoted Jerome’s Candies and followed two pages after. If it didn’t have the creative “zatz” of the Loan Arranger, the words had appeal aplenty to the salivary glands, judging by the success and popularity of this ice cream parlor and its product.

Either way, both ads far outdistanced a pair of recent 10-second ComEd promo spots seen and heard all too often on WTTW-TV. Listen to the “zingers” that close the sale: “If you don’t like my light bulbs, get out of my kitchen.” And if that doesn’t grab you, how about, “I dunno, dude, I’m not good at numbers.” Entertaining? No. Informative? No.

From the Dec. 12, 1968, Forest Park Review

30 years ago

Business and busyness, but not as usual on Thanksgiving afternoon on Madison Street. First, a fire broke out at about 12:15 p.m. at the Olde Towne West restaurant. Arriving firefighters found smoke and flames belching from all windows at 7432 Madison. The source of the blaze was the kitchen and stairwell area, which fire chief Vrtis described as a total burnout. Loss was estimated at $75,000, with smoke damage accounting for 50 percent of that.

Meanwhile, Trage Bros. furniture and appliance store, less than a block sway, lost one of the two brothers who co-founded this pioneering Forest Park business. Edmund C. Trage died after a lengthy illness. With his brother Frederick, he opened the store in 1944, after having owned and operated a gasoline service station in town for 10 ears. He was a prominent businessman involved in several civic programs over the years. Trage Bros. today is still one of the village’s oldest and most successful businesses.

Here’s a filler from a November 1978 Forest Park Review: “Watergate and Nixon were still on people’s minds. A southern California hospital now refers to its constipated patients as the Enema List.”

From the Nov. 29, 1978, Forest Park Review

20 years ago

Not every job offers the exceptionally rewarding satisfaction of saving a human life. A letter from Elaine Carroll, whose heart had brushed death, thanked paramedics Scott Popelka and Andy Ferraro for a job well done: “In the 37 years I’ve lived here I had to call for the fire department’s emergency team only once. I can’t remember everything that happened but was told by friends that these young men supplied the CPR when it was needed most. Thank you and bless you.”

From the Nov. 30, 1988, Forest Park Review

10 years ago

Stay on a job long enough and its gets to be déjà vu all over again. Talking to yourself is OK, but you can’t really enjoy a joke because you already know the punch line. It’s like wondering that if you hadn’t been born, everybody would be asking why not. Where’s ol’ Whatzitsname? Going through the bound volume of 1998 back-issues I came across the vaguely familiar cartoon accompanying this column. After 10 years, isn’t it time for a new caption? How about, “You’ll never get me up in one of those things.”

From the Dec. 22, 1998, Forest Park Review