40 years ago

In the midst of the growing war in Vietnam, the parishioners of St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church were on the march. The enemy was not the Cong, but leprosy. Its victims, about 120 of them, were caught up in a Northern Phu Bon leper colony in South Vietnam.

Captain Loren B. Hathorn, 625 Beloit, became aware of their situation and posted a letter of appeal to the church’s congregation. The communicants took it from there. Several shipments of canned food, shoes, blankets, clothing, soap and gauze bandages were sent. Also vitamins, writing paper, pencils and crayons for the children. All this as a positive answer to pleas and prayers from those suffering a cruel, deforming disease during an expanding war.

From the Nov. 5, 1969, Forest Park Review

30 years ago

As of October 1979 our fire department had zero paramedics. What they had were nine EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians). The difference between the two was a matter of training qualifications, accessibility to equipment and – in the case of paramedics – on-site availability to a consulting doctor at the hospital. Paramedics are trained in greater detail to use more advanced tools and more sophisticated equipment. Also, they can administer doctor-directed medication. EMTs on the other hand, did what they could without medicines – not even aspirin. They may, however, supply oxygen, apply splints and perform CPR.

Today, the department has eight highly qualified EMTs and 15 paramedics. So we’re in good hands.

From the Oct. 10, 1979, Forest Park Review

20 years ago

Here’s a letter that doesn’t appeal to emotion or call on dramatics. By itself, it didn’t solve any national or social issue. Maybe the best the reader could do was read and apply it to his or her family. Here it is, word for word.

“My name is Gloria Ray and I’m fed up. Some of my family members have gotten involved with something they think is a good thing, but unfortunately they’ve gotten involved in the use of coke and heroin. These family members are barely surviving and one failed to make it. The message to all people is, it’s time to wake up and it’s time to pray. Coke and heroin are not a form of recreation. There is no fun in death. It is time for God’s people to put a lid on drugs and educate our children about the destruction of drugs. People, drugs should not be a part of life because for so many they have become life’s enemy. This message won’t bring my cousin back, but it may save the life of another.” – Gloria Ray

From the Sept. 20, 1989, Forest Park Review

10 years ago

Car crawling east on Madison at 10-15 mph. Two males inside, one 30-ish, the other 17. Police car driven by Officer Michael Keating, trailing. Appears to him creeping car might be casing a place to rob. Creepers seem to focus on currency exchange near Madison and Harlem. They turn right and south on Harlem. They park. Cop exits and approaches subjects. They flee on foot in a north-south split. Officer feels momentarily abandoned.

Enter Officer Michael Harrington cruising calmly east on Jackson Boulevard, who hears Officer Keating’s call for help. He takes off, red and blue lights flashing and sirens blaring. Within two blocks a middle-aged woman pulls out onto Jackson. (CRASH!) Policeman and woman taken to Oak Park Hospital. Treated and released. Miscreants rounded up with help of Oak Park units. Miscreants reportedly admit, “We were out to do a job.”

From the Sept. 8, 1999, Forest Park Review