40 years ago

The Friends would occasionally contribute to the library’s weekly column in the Review. In March 1970 they recommended a clutch of books on regaining and maintaining good health. Apparently the title that caught the eye of most was “How to be Healthy, Lazy and Fit.” The author, one Dr. Steincrohn, must have believed that tension could be a killer. So far, so good. But he was quoted as saying that most people got enough exercise from their regular work. According to the column, he also harbored some other maverick views. Like overweight men should wear girdles to prevent heart attacks. Such startling medical revelations should find a better place in the Couch Potato Gazette or A.M.A.’s Oddities of the Year rather than our esteemed weekly.

The man should be driven from his profession. A preferable prescription might be to search out a title like, “Little Known Men of 1918.” That way, you’ll not only relax, you could fall into a healthful weeklong swoon.

From the Mar. 8, 1970 Forest Park Review

30 years ago

Different book, different decade. This one called “The World’s Greatest Hoaxes.” These ranged from the enterprising jokester who carved and placed the 12-foot Cardiff Giant in a barnyard just outside Cooperstown, N.Y. (The discovery fooled many into believing it was a fossilized pre-historic man.) … to the 26 professional writers who conspired to anonymously author the bestseller, “Naked Came the Stranger.” It was pretty much a one-chapter-at-a-time job, each writer continuing the previous writer’s efforts.

I tend to believe anyone who tells me something as long as the person has a pleasant face while telling it. Yet I might draw the line at this one. (It may have been told by a master hoaxer.) Someone stirred things up by claiming the weight of the buildings of lower Manhattan was about to cause the island to break off at about 14th Street and sink – unless it was sawed off and the sawed off portion floated and rejoined uptown so the weight was properly redistributed.

Nowhere was it claimed that veracity was the heartbeat of such tomfoolery; only gullibility.

From the Mar. 19, 1980 Forest Park Review

20 years ago

New life at the old newspaper. Claudia Lenart, news editor of the Review, was “upped” to managing editor. From the start she had encouraged her readers to participate in “things Forest Park” more frequently with a Letter to the Editor. “Why keep a perfectly good opinion a secret?” she asked. “Many of us make a lot of sense when talking among ourselves. Why not let the rest of us in? It’s a made-to-order way to change things, and a good way to feel great about your convictions.”

An important school tax referendum was coming up, and enough readers were hot on the matter – both ways. The Review took a positive editorial stance, and enough readers had apparently taken theirs. A lot of them wrote letters. It turned out that the referendum got a green light. So … one school system … another tax increase …different opinions … the usual amount of indifference … and just enough caring persons to support a good cause when it needed support … and enough public expression before voting time … it was both simple and subtle … it was participation at the cost of a postage stamp. And it was so American.

From the Mar. 14, 1990 Forest Park Review

10 years ago

“Candy Man Recognized by Chamber,” read the headline. The following report on this Chamber of Commerce banquet should not be confused with the one that honored Homer Bale. That was another decade. At this one, Sal Ferrara of Ferrara Pan Candy, was named “Person of the Year.” Ferrara flew back from San Diego especially to receive the honor at the Mar-Lac House in Oak Park. He was gracious in his acceptance saying that his hundred or so employees earned the reward for him. The company has now been a generous supporter and contributor in Forest Park for 50 years.

From the Feb. 23, 2000 Forest Park Review