40 years ago

Here’s an unusual award winner who won an unusual award. She’s Ms. Linda Lelivelt from Forest Park, and she worked for the Berwyn Plaza district office of the Prudential Insurance Co. as a service assistant. One of those jobs where you meet all kinds.

“Most people are kind, patient and friendly most of the time,” she said. However, because most people are not all people, she and only five others from the 55,000 Prudential national workforce were singled out as the “Unflappables.” Like nearly all who serve the public one-on-one, she knew how to come across warm as she kept her cool. “People are appreciative when you go out of your way to help them,” she added.

It’s been 40 years since this emissary of goodwill appeared in these pages. Could it be she later headed the Foreign Relations Council of the State Department?

From the Nov. 5, 1969, Forest Park Review

30 years ago

One “little old lady” and two cops combined nicely to nab a Big One – a longtime, professional burglar operating out of Chicago and in the suburbs. “Light fingers” did a turnaround in his M.O. by tapping at the apartment door of his intended victim, an older lady. Claiming to be from the telephone company, he could produce no positive I.D. She told him to get out of the building, then called the police, giving a description. (See how easy that was? We should all be as helpful.)

Armed with such helpful information, officers Nick Maffei and Steve Knack soon spotted their man carrying an attaché case. He darted into a hedge, then called it Endgame, throwing out the case – in subsequent weeks, something he wished the sitting judge would do. Inside was a fine selection of tools of the trade. It was confirmed that “Light fingers” was the Big Heavy who had just escaped Cook County Jail two weeks before, carrying 11 aliases. Quite a few burglaries were cleared with his arrest.

From the Nov. 14, 1979, Forest Park Review

20 years ago

Reporters and editors work up to 10 hours a day, indoors and outside, covering breaking news. When your subject can’t come to you, you leave the relative comfort of your office and go to it. Then back to the office to put it all into factual words. Too often, while all other working stiffs are heading home, you get to cover a village hall meeting, a fire or a school district conference.

Such was the lamentation of Editor Claudia Lenart paraphrased in one of her columns – Good evening, readers. It’s 11:30 Monday night and the paper’s ready to go to sleep any minute. I’m overdue for some shuteye myself.

She complained that the police report was light. Someone reported squirrels in the attic. (Sounds like the title of a bad off-Broadway play.) Someone else called about a fire in a 50-gallon trash can in the alley. And there was no cause d’affair over an old oak tree that might have to be cut down.

No matter what the news, Ms. Lenart seemed to be saying the pages had to be filled with words as accurately and interestingly written as possible. Red Smith, a New York sports writer of two generations ago, put it this way: “Writing? It’s simple. Just sit down in front of a typewriter and open a vein.”

From the Sept. 27, 1989, Forest Park Review

10 years ago

A landmark store goes under after being a big part of the community. An upstart chain marks its fifth year in town. On it goes … the unchanging world of changing businesses.

Krader Wolf Furniture, corner of Madison and Circle, closed after serving residents, Chicagoans and the collar suburbs for 107 years. Then there’s Wal-Mart at 1300 Desplaines Ave. since 1994. Krader Wolf had class and panache. Wal-Mart still has a touch of … Wal-Mart.

From the Sept. 29, 1999, Forest Park Review