40 years ago

A day at the desk – the desk being that of the dispatcher at police headquarters, aka the other end of your 911 call. The day was Wednesday, Feb. 6, 1969. The business at hand was a call from Fred Tucker, gas station attendant at 601 Harlem. He sounded a little unnerved when he called the dispatcher. It seems a customer stuck a gun in his ribs and demanded money. A couple of seconds later the fellow told Fred, “I was only kidding,” then pulled away and joined the flow of traffic.

Forty-five minutes later, an upset Aurora Felui, of 314 Brown, reported that she arrived home to find her bedroom ransacked and $200 missing from her clothes closet. Shortly afterward, a distressed caller, Elsa Salvator, seemed confused and frightened. Not able to determine the problem, and not willing to leave the matter unresolved, the dispatcher notified paramedics who arrived to find Ms. Salvator suffering from an apparent heart attack. She was taken to Oak Park Hospital. Finally, John Mallon of 1135 Lathrop had to be taken to the same hospital when a piece of chicken he was eating had lodged in his throat. There may be some dull moments at the dispatcher’s desk, but not many.

From the Feb. 6, 1969, Forest Park Review

30 years ago

Publisher/Editor Bob Haeger, for the only time in his life, was running for mayor. He supported his campaign with a series of half-page ads. He also lost, but with a lot of sizzle and panache. You couldn’t beat his ringing slogan – “Vote for Haeger. It’s the next best thing to being mayor yourself!” Ah yes, that’s the vintage Haeger – winsome, witty and wiser than you think.

From the Feb. 7, 1979, Forest Park Review

20 years ago

Who better than Pastor Tom Holmes of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church to wrap up “gifts” of love in the person of the clergy who served residents here 20 years ago? According to Holmes, each seemed blessed with a special gift that he or she in turn bestowed on local churchgoers. John Fearon, St. Bernardine Church, gave the gift of love, joie de vivre and affection. Lana Sutton, Wesley United Methodist Church, offered the gifts of companionship and leadership, especially in her efforts to save the church after a disastrous fire. Cliff DiMascio, First United Church of Christ, brought his gift of spontaneity tempered with experience. He bubbled with life in spite of struggles. Charles Cairo, Fire Escape Ministry, shared his gift of zeal, won over personal challenges, and challenged others to win over theirs. David Steinhart, Forest Park Baptist Church, gave the gift of genuine goodness. Within his heart he carried the welfare of his congregation.

Pastor Tom had other “people of God” in mind. Six more to come next week.

From the Jan. 4, 1989, Forest Park Review

10 years ago

Want to hear a one-sided view of Circle Theatre’s 1999 version of Oscar Wilde’s treatment of Salome? The side was expressed by theatergoer Dorothy Jesuit of Elmwood Park. Here are excerpts from her letter:

“I was mortified and embarrassed … the depiction of sexual acts, pawing and touching, drugs and drinking was outrageous. I was too embarrassed to leave and too embarrassed to stay. How could the actors debase themselves in that way?”

The reader wondered if this was what passed for community theater in Forest Park. She admitted she knew the ad for the production mentioned “Nudity – 18 and over,” and suggested that “X-rated pornography” would be more appropriate. In closing, she mentioned that before attending the play, she was considering buying a membership but now thinks the theater should be shut down.

Meanwhile, Review critic Doug Deuchler put it simply when he wrote earlier that this production wasn’t for everyone – and Ms. Jesuit was one of those it wasn’t for; which is OK. We are a marvelously diverse bunch blessed with a Constitution like no other, and backed by a First Amendment that lets no prisoner be taken.

From the Feb. 3, 1999, Forest Park Review