40 years ago

Ever wonder how many people answer, “Fine” to the over-asked question, “How ya doin’?” Ever wonder how many times you’ve answered the same? Let us count the times we lied. Too often the answer, like the question, is a knee-jerk reflex. No real meaning between transmitter and receiver.

Just scan the police reports from May of ’69 and judge for yourself how “fine” everyone seemed to be: 22-month-old Mark Merritt of 432 Ferdinand suffered stomach pains after a meal of loose plaster; Wanda Glow (now there’s a fetching name) of 7340 13th St. was taken to the Oak Park Hospital after a fall in her bathroom; Don Luther, ageless, of 321 Harlem, served as a finger sandwich to a mouse, then took a tetanus shot from Dr. Harry Swanstrom. (If you can remember Dr. Swanstrom, you’re probably doing real fine.) And last as well as least, Otto Moeller, 69, might’ve been asked “How ya doin’?” as he fell off his ladder from the second floor. An honest answer could’ve been, “I’m alright, so far.” No knee-jerk reflex there.

Leftover song fragment from Mother’s Day – a new twist to an old song can be a refreshment to the ear: M is for the million things she gave me. O means only that she’s growing old. T is for the tears she shed to save me. H is for her heart of purest gold. Put them altogether they spell Moth.

From the May 14, 1969, Forest Park Review

30 years ago

Which part of the body is most injury-prone? As the sore throat said to the persistent cough, “You’re back!” According to a syndicated health column printed in the Review, two of three people already know this. The most common back problems are strains, fatigue, fractured vertebrae, a ruptured or slipped disk, injury and disease (arthritis, infection). Contributing to these problems are poor posture, lack of exercise, excess weight, or chronic strains and sudden or undo stress on muscles. And working too long in one position can cause discomfort followed by pain. But enough about your back. How’s your front?

From the April 11, 1979, Forest Park Review

20 years ago

Reviewer Doug Deuchler’s critical essays on theatrical productions at Circle Theater and the Village Players appear frequently here and in the Wednesday Journal. For a couple of decades he’s helped theatergoers decide whether to spend their money on local dramas, comedies and musicals. His reviews reflect knowledgeable judgment, in-depth taste and honest appraisals. He often digs out and presents a tasty bijou of information about a character or actor.

Case in point: in reviewing Circle’s mounting of Ken Kesey’s Cuckoo’s Nest, he informs his readers that Kirk Douglas appeared in the lead role in an early version. In the same review he captured the nut of the play in one sentence: “Randall McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) symbolizes the definitive free spirit brought down by the system.” The system, of course, was personified in the character of Nurse Ratchett.

Ever the good critic, Mr. Deuchler knows his job is to recommend, ward off or shrug his shoulders on behalf of the potential audience, and to separate the available wheat from the abundant chaff. He knows what he’s doing, and does it well.

From the April 12, 1989, Forest Park Review

10 years ago

You may recall a story two weeks ago about the disappearance of some “Vote For” lawn signs on the eve of the mayoral primary. Most of the missing signs bore the name of candidate Calderone. Some thought a windstorm that evening may have selectively carried them away. Fat chance. Others suspected the ill winds of politics.

Turned out that Robert Stoner, of Berwyn, mistook our election day by 24 hours and began salvaging signs here for recycling purposes. A few Forest Park southsiders spotted Stoner making his rounds on election morning and called the village hall. Police determined that all signs pointed toward an honest mistake.

From the March 3, 1999, Forest Park Review