40 years ago

Big, bad story about vicious destruction to a bar in last week’s column. Young people at the core of it. A week later, an unpleasant episode at a teen dance was covered in Editor Walker’s column. He referred to past dances sponsored by our Recreation Board that had undergone the familiar scenario: boys, girls, somebody spikes a soda with rum, natural chemistry goes to work, a poorly placed remark, an improper gesture or grope, tempers flare, control is out and chaos is in.

Enter opinionated old geezers and self-righteous crones with “Why, in my day …” followed by “kids were better behaved …” or “… had more respect than kids of today.” When I hear this, I pull down my shade. Kids always were and always will be – kids.

Remember, you used to be one yourself, until the frontal lobes fully developed at age 20-something. “Kidhood” – 40 years ago, today or back at the agora in Socrates’ time -is a period of flux called growing up. Like measles, it goes away. Something to be gotten over. And just when you think all is well, you evolve into adulthood, middle age, a senior citizen, a geezer, a crone.

From the Nov. 19, 1969, Forest Park Review

30 years ago

Anatomy of a capture. Many a crime has been solved because the victim, though rattled at the time, was cool enough to remember the predator. Though you may feel helpless, there’s often no more helpful witness and observer than yourself. Look for peculiarities in speech, manner or dress. (This is possible to do under stress.) Notice any distinguishing characteristics or particulars in the modus operandi.

Case in point, an armed robbery at 1072 Desplaines Ave. took place in December 1979. Because the victim supplied unusually helpful information, Sgt. Michael Thompson did some extra footwork, traced license numbers, assembled and matched license records to driver’s photos and came up with the one that the victim positively identified. Sum-up: offender was arrested and victim got his stolen goods returned. Sometimes it takes two. You can be one of them.

From the Dec. 19, 1979, Forest Park Review

20 years ago

A private business transaction may have involved a “victim switch” when a woman brought a man to her place after a few drinks at a bar. He offered the lady $30 to “pay her bills.” She added the money to the shoebox next to her bed. Returning from the bathroom, she discovered the man, the shoe box and its $90 were gone.

To the tune of “When Your Lover has Gone.” – 1950s jazz ballad

From the Nov. 8, 1989, Forest Park Review

10 years ago

Ogden Nash wrote delightful nonsense poems and poetry that touches us today. This excerpt is from a piece titled, “A Carol for Children,” and fits well between Christmas and the New Year.

Two ultimate laws alone we know,
The ledger and the sword –
So far away, so long ago,
We lost the infant Lord.

Only the children clasp his hand;
His voice speaks low to them,
And still for them the shining band
Wings over Bethlehem.

God rest you, merry Innocents
While innocence endures.
A sweeter Christmas than we to ours
May you bequeath to yours.

From “The Golden Trashery of Ogden Nashery” (1902-1969)