40 years ago

Ruth Johnson finished her shopping at the supermarket, rolled her goods out to her parked car, put the bags in the car’s trunk, closed the lid and drove off leaving behind her purse with $900 in cash and checks. When she stopped to fill up at the gas station she got that dull, sick, pit-of-the-stomach feeling. Gone was the money, probably forever. Frantically – you better believe frantically – she raced back to the food store. No report of a lost purse. And no lost purse. The sick feeling ratcheted up to nausea as she drove (again frantically) to the police station to report the loss to Lt. Lew Good. As she and the lieutenant were filling out the report, one of the most welcome sights to greet her eyes entered the room – three teenage brothers, Tom, Dan and Jim Cox of 419 Marengo, one of them carrying her handbag with all contents intact.

The outcomes: Ms. Johnson was relieved beyond measure … the reward was immediate and generous … a lesson in virtue was learned early … a forgetful woman was made wiser.

The moral: Young people are not the worst people to hang with.

From the July 16, 1969, Forest Park Review

30 years ago

When did Hollywood come to the Midwest, especially to Chicago, to shoot a major motion picture? In the middle of 1979 when teamwork and contract agreements were struck between moviemakers and the city, particularly in the blockbuster hit, The Blues Brothers, then the most expensively budgeted picture ever filmed here. This comedic romp through some of the best music of our time promised to be logistically complicated with action (and calmer) scenes shot while holding up traffic from Joliet Prison to Lower Wacker Drive. Chase scenes had to be orchestrated on major expressways and thoroughfares including Lake Shore Drive; and a world’s record police car pile-up took place in front of Chicago’s State Street police headquarters. Universal Studios planned 10 of its 14 weeks of shooting in the city, its suburbs and downstate, generating local revenue as it went.

From the Aug. 1, 1979, Forest Park Review

20 years ago

There was bad news, and there was bad news. Early in the morning on June 15, 1989, a blaze at 7444 Washington Blvd. took the lives of 9-year-old Kola Clarke and her mother, Cheryl. Smoke inhalation was the cause of death – or the sick mind of an arsonist. Save for the accelerant, little was known of who caused the fire, and why. What was very well known was that this was the fourth suspicious fire-related incident at the address in five weeks.

Ongoing investigations into the repeated arson attempts were intensified under the upgraded charge of murder.

From the June 21, 1989, Forest Park Review

10 years ago

What wasn’t caught on the Big Screen (the Lake Theater) in ’99 is highly catchable now (on DVD).

Analyze This – New York mob figure Robert De Niro’s anxiety attacks cause him to seek psychologist Billy Crystal who, unnerved but fascinated by his patient, can’t resist taking on the case. It’s fun to see tough Bobby get all teary-eyed.

Life is Beautiful – Italian language comedy-drama set in WWII Tuscany. A Jewish-Italian man (Roberto Benigni) uses humor to distract his family from Nazi horrors. Three Oscars: Best Foreign Film, Best Actor, Best Original Dramatic Score.

From the April 29, 1999, Forest Park Review