40 years ago

I’ve been told too many of these columns begin with, “Editor Larry Kaercher wrote …” Well, how about, “Yanana, yanana, yanana wrote Editor Larry Kaercher?” The subject on August 19, 1970 was immigration; still a hot topic today. Different approaches to recent trends in this area were taken by Editor Harry Gordon of the Melbourne (Australia) Sun and Editor Larry Kaercher of the Forest Park (America) Review.

Quoth Mr. Gordon: “More Americans are finding new lives down under,” reported the Aussie. “A small but increasing stream of discontented Yank drop-outs and opt-outs have moved from one side of the Pacific to the other. The invasion, however, is rather sad and slightly ironic because they’re quitting a thriving country that is currently providing a home for some 200 million 200 years after its birth.”

Quoth Mr. Kaercher: “The reports of our leaving these shores are greatly exaggerated,” replied our esteemed editor. “Because Australia (pop. 12 million) is about the same size as the contiguous 48 states, there’s plenty of elbow room. Yet, even in these divisive times [year 14 of Vietnam involvement], enough Americans are likely to stay rooted here, regardless of the few that may have given up on our country.”

Besides, what could Kaersher suggest as replacement for the defectors – kangaroos?

From the August 19, 1970 Forest Park Review

30 years ago

Thought this timely item should be printed word for word: “State Senator Richard M. Daley, Democratic candidate for State’s Attorney, will be guest speaker next Tuesday at the regular monthly luncheon meeting of the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce. The meeting will be held at Giannotti’s Restaurant, 7711 Roosevelt Rd.

“Daley won a convincing primary victory over Alderman Edward Burke, hand-picked candidate of Mayor Jane Byrne. He now faces incumbent Bernard Carey in the November general election. In the senate Daley chairs the Judiciary committee and also serves on the Appropriations and Education committees. He has gained notice for his efforts to promote improved conditions in nursing homes and geriatric centers.”

From the Aug. 6, 1980 Forest Park Review

20 years ago

They keep showing up and impressing us with their uniqueness. Forest Park “characters” that is. Finally – like the stars and us- they fade away. One of the more colorful ones was “Uncle” Tom Collis, who died July 18, 1990 at 86.

Former mayor, milkman, poet, philosopher and later, candy maker up in Door County, Wisconsin, Tom Collis was born of Greek parents and came to Chicago as a boy. After moving to Forest Park, he quit Proviso High after just three weeks to help his parents run a candy store at 7414 Madison. Married to Meta Jantzen, they honeymooned in Door County. After falling in love with each other, they had fallen in love with northern Wisconsin. Tom became a milkman there in the depression, during which time he continued to deliver to families that couldn’t afford to pay. Returning to Forest Park as a milk distributor in the mid-30s, he found himself running for mayor here – and winning! (By the way, he defeated this newspaper’s editor, Claud Walker.) His campaign slogan? “I’d rather lose by being right than win by being wrong.” Expressions like this were included in a book he later published in 1988, called “Gratitude is Attitude.”

His term as mayor was a notable one. At one point, it included being locked out of the village hall by one of the commissioners and having to conduct village business from his milk truck. Finally, during the same war years, Collins insisted that even German music must be allowed to be played at the Altenheim. Believe it or don’t, he was investigated by the F.B.I. on that one.

Yes, “colorful” might serve as a fair description of Uncle Tom Collis.

From the July 25, 1990 Forest Park Review

10 years ago

Here’s homage from Jimmy Giblin’s family in the form of this touching letter to the Review thanking all who expressed their love and sorrow for him. (A few weeks ago in this column Jimmy’s death was the subject of a motorcycle-vehicle accident.) Following is an excerpt from their letter. It was at once gracious, humble and poignant:


“The loss of a child is, perhaps, the most extreme pain a parent can endure. The heartbreak, anger and torment is such that you are certain your heart can never mend. Then, if you are lucky enough to live in a community like Forest Park, people begin to flock to you, putting bandage, after bandage on your broken heart.

We will never be able to find the words to thank this community for the tremendous outpouring of love and support we have received during this most difficult time. Every person who has reached out to us has proven that Forest Park is a village with an enormous heart ….”


The remaining two-thirds of the letter is so beautifully and simply written that editing would make it less. However, anyone interested in reading the complete text will find it on line at www.forestparkreview.com

From the July 19, 2000 Forest Park Review

Bob was born in Yonkers, N.Y., in 1932. His family encouraged him to join the Air Force (ours) during the Korean War. There, he fell into the clutches of Barbara Miles. They still have two world-class daughters, Jill and Cara. “Each of the four of us likes the other three of us,” says Bob.