Expertise must be varied

In 1969, when I was 11 years old, my best friend invited me to go with him and his family to his Grandpa John’s farm for a week. This was going to be a real adventure because I had never been to a farm before.

It was a small farm somewhere in Ohio where cows were raised for dairy products and Grandpa John, by himself, managed all aspects of keeping the farm running.

Throughout the week Grandpa John showed us how he fed the cows and hooked them up to the milking machines and how to keep the cows and the machines clean. He told us stories about helping the cows give birth and raising the calves and on occasion, putting the cows down. He then took us to an area where he had a long bench and cabinets and pulled from one of the drawers a very large, silver syringe, maybe 7 or 8 inches long with a needle to match. I remember shivering a bit when I saw that monster. He said cows get sick from time to time and he had to use this to make them well. We all kind of joked about it and then he put the syringe away.

I think about Grandpa John from time to time and his vast knowledge about cows. He was almost like a veterinarian but Grandpa John was not a veterinarian. He was a good dairy farmer who knew a lot about cows but probably would have run into trouble treating cats, or dogs or snakes.

Very soon our village council will be choosing the next village administrator to run Forest Park. This is a profession that requires intense skill and experience in handling the day-to-day operations as well as the long-range plans of a 21st century municipality.

Tim Gillian is one of the remaining finalists competing for the job. Tim is like Grandpa John. His past experience as a village commissioner has given him a unique knowledge about Forest Park, but that does not make him a professional administrator. Tim’s past service is not enough to take on the tough job of running our community, our home.

Forest Park needs a professional village administrator. I hope our elected officials make the right choice.

Steven Backman
Forest Park

Gem of a season

The Forest Park Little League 8U all-stars, DJ Collier, Immanuel Collier, Collin Donaldson, Liam Gram, James Hobson, Charlie Hoehne, Julius Kabir-Evans, Reggie Loury, Ryan Mintz, Tremont Riley, Eric Skala, Mark Ward and Michael Whalen, would like to thank our team sponsors, Mark Kelty of Kelty Lawn Care and Pavers and Mike Mohr of the Mohr Oil Company.

The team went undefeated (10-0) in all-star play, winning both the 13th Annual Diamond Classic All-Star Tournament and the Bensenville Summer Slugfest. The Forest Park Little League is blessed to have the generous support of many area businesses and organizations. On behalf of my fellow coaches, Terry Whalen, Roy Sansone (manager) and Johnny Collier, we thank each of you for helping to make Little League baseball and softball affordable fun for all.

Chuck Hoehne
Forest Park

Tournament thanks

On behalf of the board of park commissioners of the Park District of Forest Park, I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank everyone who helped make the 41st Annual Forest Park Invitational Softball Tournament a huge success.

Special thanks to park district commissioners Sam Alonzo, John Doss, Eric Entler, Cathy McDermott and Roy Sansone for their continued support in keeping the tradition of this most prestigious 16-inch softball tournament alive for all of these years. They, along with our great recreation, maintenance, concession and office staff, put in countless hours of work each year for this event. The tournament is a “must-see” for any serious fan or player of “Chicagoland’s game,” and we are proud that the tradition continues.

Many thanks to the players, team sponsors, umpires, scorekeepers, announcers, grounds crew and to Mr. Stats, tournament statistician, for their participation in this year’s tournament. I would also like to thank the fans who come out in record numbers, year after year, to enjoy the games.

Thanks to Burke Beverage and the Miller Brewing Company for their 23rd year as tournament co-sponsors. We would also like to thank the Forest Park Review for once again publishing the official program, the Forest Park Post for their coverage and Wilbert Burial Vault for the use of their tents each year for this and all of our special events, as well as to Orthosport for the use of their parking facilities. Our appreciation is also extended to Mayor Anthony Calderone, the village council and the police and fire departments for their continued support.

We would especially like to express our appreciation to our wonderful group of volunteers who come forward each year to make the food and concessions operation second to none. It would be impossible to list all of them in this letter, but I just wanted to publicly say that without these volunteers, we certainly couldn’t do it alone. Our gratitude, as well, goes to the Boy family who manned the ticket/souvenir tent for the entire weekend.

This year’s tournament marked our 41st anniversary and, with the support of the community, we are looking forward to many more. On Sept. 6 we will be celebrating the park district’s 75th anniversary with a cookout, concert in the park and fireworks. We hope that our residents will join us for this very special community event.

Larry Piekarz
Director, Park District of Forest Park

Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor should include the author’s first and last name, town of residence and phone number for authorization purposes only. The Review will not publish phone numbers. All letters are subject to editing for space and content purposes and typically will be printed in the order they are received. While the Review does not impose a word limit, we encourage comments be held to 300 words.

Letters to the editor can be received by e-mail at, or by mail to Forest Park Review, 141 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, Ill., 60302.