40 years ago

While Ye Olde Editor Claude Walker was musing on local street names in his column, he made a good guess that many were tied to railroads. Or presidents. Names like Belvedere, Elgin, Marengo, Rockford and Dixon were obviously chosen from train-stop towns. Presidential street names here include Washington, Jackson and Madison. Past accounts on the subject run into a dead-end with the derivation of Yuba Street. Whence Yuba? If you’re the rare person who knows, please share the information with the rest of us.

By the way, some of us know that Circle Avenue followed a south-to-north Indian footpath that veered gradually to the east just north of Randolph. Studs Terkel’s title notwithstanding, this Circle was broken at Harlem and the Lake Street Green Line terminal. And there are those who live on Marengo not aware that their avenue was named after Napoleon’s horse. Interesting? No? Maybe next time.

From the Feb. 27, 1969, Forest Park Review

30 years ago

Three jokes. One from former editor Bob Haeger’s column, and two not.

A local bar patron who had kept the register ringing for three or four hours called a cab. Stepping in, he told the cabbie to take him to Circle and Madison. “That’s where you are,” said the driver. “Good,” said the passenger. “Only next time don’t drive so fast.”

A panhandler approached a businessman and honestly and respectfully said, “Mister, I need a drink. Will you buy me one?” The businessman, touched by the man’s candor, agreed to buy the man a drink, and they entered the nearest bar. “Two bourbons,” said the businessman. “I’ll have the same,” said the panhandler.

After the seat belt signs were turned off a drunk asked the flight attendant how high the plane was. The attendant said “33,000 feet.” Impressed, the drunk marveled, “Wow! How wide is it?”

Think about it … or don’t. (You’re looking maybe for Henny Youngman?)

From three issues of the March/April 1979 Forest Park Review

20 years ago

Forest Park has Riveredge Hospital for mental health care, but no general hospital. It’s a toss-up between Loyola and Oak Park hospitals as to which is closer.

In 1989, the latter was hurting economically, much as the world economy is hurting now. Case in point, this headline: “Oak Park Hospital readies final round of staff cuts.” As in so many cases today, the hospital was preparing for more layoffs and other major cost-cutting in its operations. Its president had recently resigned, its health and fitness programs had been curtailed, the closing of the OB unit had been suggested and reportedly the sale of some of its property was imminent.

So what’s the point? And who wants to hear 20-year-old news that’s happening now? Maybe just this – as dark as it all seemed then, and as much as that situation smacks of today, economic and financial “badness” is cyclical. And it’s not just that sorry old line, “what comes around goes around.” Attitude may not always be everything, but it can work in our heads on a personal level, just as economic stimuli works on a bigger stage. A little time, and we’ll be okay. We’ve got to believe. Is there another option?

From the April 12, 1989, Forest Park Review

10 years ago

It was a stormy mayoral election here a decade ago. Incumbent mayor Lorraine Popelka was up against a Force-3 trio of challengers in the persons of board commissioner Tony Calderone, former Review columnist Bill Lichtenberg and Dr. James Greco. With only a week to go, some strong gusts blew through town that outdid a lot of political bluster. The wind damage was minor yet oddly enough “uprooted” a disproportionate number of “Vote For” lawn signs. Equally strange, a much larger percentage of “Vote for Calderone” signs seemed to be missing. Quirky weather and missing Calderone signs. Gone with the wind?

From the Feb. 17, 1999, Forest Park Review