40 years ago

A funny thing happened on the way to doing a short piece on neighborhood security – shady activities on the block and how to observe and report them. Thinking about this distracted me back from 40 years ago to today. Then the Forest Park of today began to look better than ever.

Our village isn’t perfect. Word has it that nothing is. But if you look out your window late at night, instead of a stealthy figure or a suspicious panel truck, you’re more likely to see or hear the brisk whiskers of a village cleanup sweeper. Next morning, if you’re paying attention, you may notice how clean your curbside can get. Then there’s our garbage. You’ve heard horror stories of the rank, piled-up trash in Naples, Italy. Our system works. Every Thursday is garbage day, and all we have to do is separate rubbish from recyclables.

What else? Take a long look at our beautiful park and pool. It’s clean and it’s green; it’s fun, relaxing and peaceful – and its all ours. Want them to be even better? Don’t wait for New Years; resolve now – a personal resolution – to suffer unthinking slobs who would befoul and litter our town. Bend, pick up and personally deposit all trash and rubbish in a receptacle. One way to really “have a nice day” is to have a nicer, cleaner town in which to enjoy that day.

Prompted by the Sept. 2, 1969, Forest Park Review

30 years ago

Know your Lutherans. From a 1979 St. Peter’s Church bulletin – a continuation of some characteristics of our good friends, the Lutherans – set down with love and affection.

Lutherans believe in ecumenism because they want everybody else to be just like them … Lutherans who have never served on church councils claim they don’t know what’s going on; Lutherans who have, say the same … Lutherans believe in change when it’s for the better; they unflinchingly oppose it when change is for the worse … Lutherans believe in an honorarium to a guest speaker; if he or she waives it they invite the speaker back … It’s okay to poke fun at Lutherans, otherwise, the column would be short.

From the Aug. 15, 1979, Forest Park Review

20 years ago

It’s amazing how much you can get done with clear, achievable goals. Even for a garage burglar (or burglars) it was a profitable “Hard Day’s Night.” Nineteen garages were broken into from 12:30 a.m. to first light along the alleys behind Harlem, Elgin and Marengo avenues. By 10 a.m. police received 19 calls reporting the break-ins.

The haul: the burglar exchanged his stolen ’83 Chevy Caprice for an ’84 Buick Century parked in one of the garages. He also got away with $1,200 worth of power tools and other “sundries.” In particular, these goodies included a computer chip programmer worth $200, a half-inch drill worth $400, another drill valued at $200, a $250 voltage reader, fishing gear, a $95 gas blower, a weed eater worth $65, a $100 leather sports jacket, and a roto-tiller. Add your own moral: a job well performed is a job well planned … or a busy mind is a boon to humanity.

From the July 19, 1989, Forest Park Review

10 years ago

Even more bad reports from the south end of town. If you like dogs you might’ve had a few uneasy days in June of 1999 – especially if you lived in the 1400 block of Circle or Marengo avenues. Five tail-waggers were poisoned, in one week, three fatally. After a 2-year-old German Shepard was found bleeding from the nose and mouth, the animal was rushed to the vet where it was determined that the dog had been fed rat poison. It was revealed that the poison had been mixed into meatballs and tossed into the yards of several dog owners.

From the June 9, 1999, Forest Park Review