40 years ago

Editor Larry Kaercher agreed to an interview with a college junior. The subject was journalism in small towns. In exchange he had a quid pro quo chat with the student on drug use and abuse.

Not surprisingly the subject matter, as well as the habit, began with marijuana. Kaercher was reminded that the drug probably held no greater harm than the cigarette he was smoking. He took the jab but may have suspected that he was in for a meaningful exchange. “But you must know,” he replied, “that marijuana brings on memory loss, a distorted sense of time and less self-control.” The student pointed out that most drugs were easier to come by than beer or booze; that his parents had gotten their kicks from a legalized drug (alcohol) when they were younger, often without an I.D. card.

Other aspects discussed were peer pressure – saying no makes you odd man out. Also, pot might seem too tame after regular use – or a supplier (friend or dealer) can do some watering down. And there’s the specter of doing even harder stuff that’s been well laced. Either way, the drugs are always out there. Weed, speed, pot, grass, Mary Jane … horse, coke, acid, LSD, ecstasy … the band plays on. All the above is from 40 years ago. Most of it still pertains. It pays to pay attention to the past. That’s where our mistakes come from.

From the June 24, 1970 Forest Park Review

30 years ago

Here’s what can surface when you’re searching old copies of past Reviews. The accompanying photo was found in a June, 1980 copy. You’re looking at a stretch of Circle Avenue that gave way to the airspace of the overpass 54 years ago. Visible in the far distance are the gates of the Soo Line Railroad and Rapid Transit Line, then known as the Garfield Terminal. Because the “Ike” was being carved through our village, passage between Forest Park north and south was rerouted, and the Fire Department put a pumper in the garage of Thomas McQueen & Co. at 1313 Circle Ave. It was promptly dubbed Fire House #2.

From the June 4, 1980 Forest Park Review

20 years ago

The Story Behind a Stolen Car – by Name Withheld

The Datsun stolen on Sunday was mine. I witnessed a figure from my window trying to back it out of its space. Because the car has a finicky stick shift I knew I had a little time as I called the police. I gave my name, address, car make, year, plate numbers and – getting a little panicky – told them that the theft was in progress.

By now, the thief had figured out the gear pattern and started to pull out. Phone still in hand, I gave directions ’til he was out of sight. A police officer arrived 11 minutes after I called. You cannot imagine greater helplessness than watching your car being stolen while reporting it to the police.

From the June 20, 1990 Forest Park Review

10 years ago

If word hasn’t gotten around that our Circle Theatre is indeed the real thing, somebody better fix the word machine. After several years of putting out dramas-after musicals-after revivals-after first runs, and garnering a slew of Jefferson Awards along the way – it’s no longer that quaint little hole-in-the-wall upstart, but a quality, proven theater experience; a tarnished crown right here in our suburb!

That’s how Circle Theatre was 10 years ago when it took six awards. It was led by Rebecca Gilman’s interpretation of the infamous Richard Speck’s unspeakable murder of eight student nurses on Chicago’s South Side in August 1966 The Crime of the Century.

This presentation may have been one of the three finest in the theater’s history. (I was there, so I know.) Citations went to Seema Sueko who played Corazon Amurao, the overlooked real life survivor of the senseless rape and killing rampage. Winning director Greg Kolack shared deserved admiration for successfully staging a shocking event without sensationalism. He and playwright Gilman knew that real horror happens in the head, not on a stage.

From the June 11, 2000 Forest Park Review.