40 years ago

You may recall an item here about our fire department transferring a young man in full body cast from his second-floor bedroom to a waiting ambulance below. He was recovering from a serious out-of-state auto accident months before and needed to be taken to the Oak Park Hospital for some vital procedures. Carrying him on a stretcher through hallways and negotiating a stairwell proved painful for him and slow going for the EMTs. So his mother called Fire Chief Del Marousek who made a personal visit to the house.

Next morning at 7 a.m. during sub-zero weather (Here, the mother’s letter of thanks finishes the story.) … the Chief and a crew of four arrived with the department snorkel. “I was apprehensive,” she wrote, “but Chief Marousek convinced me this could be the safest, least painful way to handle things … it was all done so quickly yet with a lot of care. My son suffered no pain at all.”

The letter was signed, The family of Jim Krackenberger.

From the Jan. 21, 1970, Forest Park Review

30 years ago

You’re looking at a combination eyesore and death trap. The ugly towers had been the target of residents’ complaints since they stopped functioning as Acme Feed Co. grain elevators 18 years before. After shutting down they served as 100-foot challenges to testosterone-driven teen age boys with apparently nothing better to do than impress estrogen-imbalanced teenage girls.

In dangerous condition, and marked with Keep Away warnings, the towers seemed to attract more than discourage. Police were regularly called for reports of youthful climbers. In one case, an officer entered a tower, looked up and saw a face peering down from near the top of a ladder that had been partly pulled from its anchorage.

Several accidents had occurred at the elevators including one fatality back in the ’60s. This nuisance property finally came down with the goal of making more CTA parking available.

From the Feb. 20, 1980, Forest Park Review

20 years ago

Weird things can happen in the early morning hours, or even at high noon. That’s why we have police to investigate them, and police blotters to record them. Like, at 6:30 p.m., a 36-year-old man repeatedly called 911, harassing the police dispatcher. His voice, like his motive, was unclear. Example: “I got your number or mumble.” (Pick one.) His “mumble” was traced, and when officers arrived they found him, predictably intoxicated. He was taken away.

A 63-year-old woman was held in a headlock, battered and robbed of $5 – wait – with all due respect to victims and readers, don’t you find it tiresome, repetitive and boring to give space to a never-ending succession of sub-cretins who inflict themselves on an innocent public? Their “achievements” reflect an I.Q. lower than Death Valley’s floor.

With reports like these, small wonder why cops and journalists become cynical.

From the Jan. 17, 1990, Forest Park Review

10 years ago

Everyone knew how depressingly vacant our mall had become. Hardly anybody knew when it was about to be sold. Before papers were signed, a few “Q”s and “A”s were unresolved. Who ever heard of a church (The Living Word) buying a mall? Could the place be tax-exempt? The village, as any good village should do, sought to keep the property on the tax rolls, and engaged City Service Inc. as a profit holding company. It would operate the mall for the church, subject to the prevailing 1 percent retail sales tax.

Bold renovation plans were put to action, including a hybrid retail and conference center and a world class auditorium. For a while, funds slowed and work stopped. Seven months later, however, City Service was back on track with new financing and a renewed commitment. Result? One new mall.

From the Jan. 19, 2000, Forest Park Review