40 years ago

Familiar Name Department – this time, Floyd Kalber. A Chicago network newscaster from 1960 till his death in 2004, he made a well-attended appearance one night in January 1970 at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church. The occasion was the centennial celebration of the church’s school and the changing role of parents after a troubled decade. An active layman in his own congregation in Hinsdale, Kalber followed his 30-minute talk with a lively Q-and-A session.

At the time, Kalber’s NBC telecast was ranked number one in viewership on that network, and later on CBS TV. He regularly outdrew even primetime shows, per audience surveys. He was also seen and heard on the Huntley Brinkley Report and occasionally stood in for Hugh Downs on the Today Show.

From the Jan. 21, 1970, Forest Park Review

30 years ago

One of Frank Sinatra’s earlier, lesser known songs was titled, “There Used To Be a Ballpark Here.” It had to do with nostalgia, the national past time, urban renewal, baseball and the transitory nature of everything. A fly ball away from our two ballparks there used to be a food market – Calgano’s. At 439 Desplaines, where Athena’s Silverland Desserts is now located.

Calcagno’s was one of the true family owned enterprises in town that you hardly come across anymore. (Never mind that we did a mention of Sam Zussman’s store last week.) It was almost the stereotype of all friendly Forest Park stores. It might well be that it was a put-it-on-the-tab-type operation in tight times. Then something vital preceded the departure of this friendly operation. Lou Calcagno, patriarch and founder of the enterprise, died.

My column-mate, Jackie Schulz, wrote that the family was shaken and the people who shopped there regularly seem genuinely moved. She described Lou as a great man, a hard worker and a man who his son and family would remember with pride. Then, it was business – but not as usual. The store held its own, and family members helped it prosper. Finally, Calcagno’s closed its doors and Athena’s opened theirs. What doesn’t change?

From the Jan. 23, 1980, Forest Park Review

20 years ago

If you can’t save ’em, sell ’em. That was the way a Forest Park firefighter felt about switching careers. Lieutenant Dick Gray, a 20 year vet, had dabbled in real estate to supplement his main income. Came the day a back injury suffered at a fire caused him to be assigned light duty at the firehouse. In a short while came his 20th year with the department, and with it the decision to retire drawing on 65 percent of his pension.

When asked about the career switch, Gray said he has helped people handle the possibility of losing a home to flames and now, less dramatically, helping them handle the stress of closing a $100,000 or $200,000 30-year contract commitment.

From the Jan. 24, 1990, Forest Park Review

10 years ago

As you know, in the 1980s and ’90s this newspaper ran half-page ads of big-screen movies showing at the Lake theater. One of the thousands or more services of this column is to search the Review’s back issues and perhaps remind you of some real winner movies that you meant to see and then, silly duffer that you are, flat forgot. Your only responsibility now is to find the errant flicks shown below and, if you choose, get the DVD at our library or local video store.

Angela’s Ashes – Stark, often humorous, account of Frank McCourt’s impoverished Irish childhood in the 1930s and ’40s. Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel.

The Talented Mr. Ripley – Young man commissioned to bring back a wandering playboy from sunny Italy in the late ’50s. The quarry never suspects the desperate measures of his stalker. Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow.

(My tip for a wide-awake sleeper goes back to 1955.) Marty, with Ernest Borgnine. He was just one of five or six Academy winners from this one movie! Screenplay by Paddy Chayefski.

From the Jan. 19, 2000, Forest Park Review