40 years ago

Two Sundays ago we marked the 234th birthday anniversary of a pretty good country. Today any Forest Park parent age 45 or 50, might remember being a 5 or 10 year-old who celebrated the July 4th back in 1970.

A calm, lovely and placid blue-sky day made its appearance and stuck around. The park pool opened at 1 p.m. and pool people, especially the young pool people, splashed and frolicked. Physical Education teacher Fred O’Connor’s middle school girls were consigned to our softball fields for an all-day, six team triple-header. Sloppy Joe’s aplenty. Brats, burgers and Italian beef. Beer, too, and other refreshments, rock music all afternoon and the purgatorial strains of Lawrence Welk for the Q-Tips (white-haired). Add some John Phillips Sousa toward sunset, then as a finale, one of the greatest fireworks displays in the suburbs. Play it again, Uncle Sam. Don’t change a thing!

From the June 24, 1970 Forest Park Review

30 years ago

The sad story of the middle school boy who died dashing into to his burning home to save his pet dog came to a quiet end. Members of the Forest Park Fire Association presented a check to his mother, Maria Lopez, for $2,645 – the amount raised through local contributions and held in escrow by the Forest Park National Bank. “The amount was significant when one considers the large number of small donations that made up the total,” said Catherine Madden, who handled the account.

The boy, Richard Miranda, 13, was uniformly well spoken of and regarded as a role model to his classmates, both before and after his tragic death. Hence, a note of genuine sorrow and the absence of any gratuitous remarks; the circumstances and the person gave the word “tragic” a deeper meaning. Richard was survived by his mother and year-younger sister, Tania, who recovered fully from her burns.

From the June 4, 1980 Forest Park Review

20 years ago

Hoo boy … why is poetry a tough sell? Some say it’s just not chic. Wrong! People fear the unknown and feel intimidated by it. One who didn’t was Karen Bowers, who was told by a suspect sixth grade teacher that she “could not write poetry.” Karen went on to high school and college, took a position at the family-owned Bowers Labs on Madison St. – and kept loving to try it. The writing came slow, yet her efforts were steady. Encouraged by a friend, she entered her first contest. Since, she’s won two Editors Choice Awards and her work has appeared in anthologies and the children’s book “Lions, Lizards and Lady Bugs.” A fragment of an early prize-winner titled, “Released at Last: The chains entwined about your heart and mine / Were shared with great efforts (on your part) / With those willing to love and care about you …

A sprinkling or two from some other sources: O, early following thee, I searched the hills, blue-writ and odor-firm with violets. – Hart Crane, “To Walt Whitman” … How much can you pay a tulip to bloom? – baseball owner Bill Veeck on the insanely high salaries of ballplayers … Writing a book of verse is like tossing a rose petal into the Grand Canyon and listening for the echo. – Don Marquis, creator of Archy & Mehitabel.

From the June 27, 1990 Forest Park Review

10 years ago

Police Detective Steve Zanoni received a report that a 74-year-old man had approached two 13-year-old girls at the park, gave them a business card with the word, ADVERTISING in boldface, plus his name and phone number. He urged them to go to his house to take photos of them. When they refused he continued through the park, passing out his cards. Meanwhile, the girls contacted their parents, who contacted Oak Park police, who supplied his address and staked out his place ’til 3:30 a.m. when he returned. He consented to a search that revealed video recording equipment, 40 shoe boxes of photos taken of teen age girls dressed in lingerie and tight-fitting clothing. Bond was set at $50,000.

From the June 14, 2000 Forest Park Review


In Bob Sullivan’s July 14 column, he incorrectly named the boy who died in a fire trying to rescue his dog 30 years ago. That boy was my classmate and his name was Richard Miranda.

Georgia Tsaganos