40 years ago

Remember last week’s note on the difficulty of getting a final OK to build two high-rises at the Big Curve on Desplaines? Before the first shovel got sunk into the turf, came this excerpted letter from A.M. Scheibel:

“Now that the village council has OK’d new hi-rises what will our elected representatives do to protect citizens from irregular construction hours and excessive noise?”

Nowhere is it written that democracy must work smoothly; just that it works. There are few places where freedom of speech works as effectively as in village halls and in village newspapers. What a country we have. There’s even room for complaints in advance.

From the June 4, 1969, Forest Park Review

30 years ago

The truck driver was hauling a load of furniture to Oak Park-River Forest High School. (See photo, right) Heading north on Harlem Avenue, he miscalculated the distance between the height of his rig’s roof and the allowed space of the viaduct on Harlem. The result: a stuck truck, long traffic delays, an embarrassed Teamster and a badly bent 18-wheeler.

Oops: This truck, carrying a load of furniture, didn’t quite fit.

Believe or don’t, the next issue of the Review featured a syndicated story headlined How to Become a Truck Driver. The opening sentence read, “Of all the jobs in the trucking industry perhaps none can match the romance associated with driving.” (True.)

From the July 4, 1979, Forest Park Review

20 years ago

This was going to be an account of troubles here at the gas pumps due to the switchover from 99 cents a gallon to $1 or more. But it reminded me of a joke:

Guy sends his dog to the tavern with a dollar bill tucked under the dog’s collar. Bartender exchanges the buck for a pack of smokes. (That’s a joke by itself.) One day, the guy has only a $10 dollar bill. Sends dog and it anyway. Dog fails to come back. Guy goes down to the tavern, and there’s his dog sitting on a bar stool, legs crossed, smoking a cigarette and sipping a martini. “You’ve never done this,” the guy says. “I never had the money before,” answered the dog.

From no particular issue of the Forest Park Review

10 years ago

Chris Broquet, a regular columnist for this paper during the ’90s, seems to get little remembrance in this column. Yet she did her homework and wrote in a lively style about a mix of subjects, some as dull as barley water – which can happen in any small, quiet town. Like the time she arrived home after shopping with her kids – bushed and tired with the “ordinariness” of life in a small village. To add annoyance to frustration, the parking spot in front of her home this day was taken. On looking around, she saw that the whole block seemed to be jammed with cars and trucks. Lo, a motion picture was being filmed! Stressed, and still tired, she learned from a production assistant that the film’s title was Under the Bus – about the joys and frustrations of small town life.

Gradually, almost subtly, she found herself giving in to the new environment. Her irritation vanished, replaced by romantic yet sane thoughts of being an extra. Or a cameo role, perhaps. Or, better yet, being cast at the last minute in a scene that the entire plot turned on. She even toyed with the impulse to invite the whole crew in – director, actors, even key grips and best boys. A Hollywood orgy, Forest Park style. Then her irritation totally vanished, replaced by thoughts of glamour. “Isn’t it funny,” she wrote, “how one little question can change your whole viewpoint?”

From the April 28, 1999, Forest Park Review