40 years ago

Editors don’t write focused columns the way they used to. Like the one that appeared under Claude Walker’s name in February 1970. It began with a complaint that “chillblains” wasn’t in his dictionary (probably because it had only one “l”). Then it wandered to a reply to a reader’s views on mini-skirts. (The reader was for them.) From there it sashayed on over to a promise to check out bikinis in the summer at the park pool. Happy assignment.

Editor Claude Walker’s column included a bitter-sweet human interest piece about a dying dog on Madison Street. The poodle had been hit by a car. Police Detective Chuck Whelpley arrived on the scene to find its owner, a young girl, with a broken heart. Together, they brought the pet to the vet, where it had to be destroyed. Himself a father and dog owner, Whelpley took a collection among fellow officers the next day. Within a week, a new poodle was delivered to the girl’s home, shots and all. Plus a free dog tag donated by the village clerk’s office.

From the Feb. 11, 1970, Forest Park Review

30 years ago

Chris DeSalvo, a sometime movie reviewer for this paper, drew some interesting parallels between Janis Joplin and Bette Midler, who played the Joplin role “Pearl” in The Rose. The point was made that stardom, even idolatry, can and does exert enormous pressures on pop and rock performers. Mix in drugs and alcohol, and it is not a discipline that breeds longevity. Constant travel and lack of proper diet and sleep don’t help; neither do schedule demands to meet revenue and crowd expectations. Early on, Judy Garland virtually created the profile, then Marilyn Monroe, among others. More recently, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain.

DeSalvo commented that Joplin was not an attractive woman, nor was she well bred. Her wardrobe was a disaster area that even a boa or two couldn’t save. “Yet,” he went on, “her soul was in all her songs, and her musical contributions almost from the start carried the aura of legend.” Midler, whether playing or not playing Joplin, could be as outrageously talented in her own way.

Both have pushed the limits of their considerable talents; Midler withstanding 30 years of Hollywood. Joplin, in her brief-candle career, swigging too many drug-laced Southern Comforts.

From the Feb. 27, 1980, Forest Park Review

20 years ago

Burns. Not the Scottish poet. Nor Gracie Allen’s cigar-propped husband, George. But Burns as in Yikes! Ouch! Or hot damn! Especially the avoidance, lessening or elimination of them – and the blessed relief from their pain. Fire Captain Tim Rehor gave a talk on the subject at the community center. Here are some “hot tips” and useful facts that can still be useful: First degree burns produce only reddening of the skin. Second degree burns raise blisters. Third degree burns cause deeper damage to underlying tissue.

Call the doctor, or 911. Have the victim lie down. Place the cleanest available cold-water soaked linen (handkerchief, pillow case) over burned area to keep air out. Do not break blisters or try to clean the burn. Other information from Rehor’s talk: Do not apply greasy ointments like butter, Vaseline or oil; they tend to hold the heat in.

From the Feb. 7, 1990, Forest Park Review

10 years ago

Editor Andrea Freidinger and columnist
Chris Broquet
agreed that too few letters were coming to the Review. Broquet joked that maybe she’d invent some outlandish story sure to make readers put pen to paper. She didn’t write the rabble-rousing piece but in her next column did plead her case for letters. It amounted to, “Expression is the need of our souls.” She went on … “The solitary act of writing gives you time to dwell on the right word to carry a thought … to set free to other minds what you’ve kept locked up in yours.”

“There are few things,” she said, “more satisfying than firing off a strongly worded missive when you know you’re in the right.” She had more to add, but maybe – just maybe – her little homily can push your thoughts out of your head and into the minds of hundreds of others. Send that letter!

From the Jan. 26, 2000, Forest Park Review