40 years ago

News can be as various as it is plentiful. Editor Larry Kaercher sampled some small town papers and came up with these oddments: From the Thorpe, Wisconsin Courier – “We humans are so used to the rising prices of everything else that we’re startled to learn that the value of us has really shot up.” The article goes on, “In 1940 the minerals in the human body had a commercial value of about 98 cents. We’re told today [1970] our chemical worth has jumped to nearly eight dollars!” Anybody who’s increased worth catapults eight times in that span can’t be all unproductive. Especially when you’re dead.

And the Morris (Minnesota) Tribune reported that a man who had given up smoking 17 years before was able to take his wife and daughter for a 5-week European vacation on the savings. Here’s the economic eye-opener within the financial oddity. He put away 20 cents a day – the price of a pack of smokes then. For every pack not purchased over those l7 years he saved $2,445 plus $437 in interest. If you’re a smoker, long or short term, don’t you feel guilty for denying your family a trip like that? Especially at about $8 to $10 a pack. Do the math for penance.

From the Sept. 20, 1970 Forest Park Review

30 years ago

When is a fire a mixed blessing? When it takes down a longstanding public nuisance like the two grain elevators that once stood on Van Buren St. across the Soo Line tracks from Jackson Blvd. Standing like ghostly precursors of Manhattan’s World Trade Center, the twin towers – long-abandoned storage facilities – caught fire at about 6 p.m. Despite a fast response from our fire department, the burning structures were hot with roaring flames and belching smoke that could be seen for 15 miles. “It was the hottest and maybe the most dangerous blaze I’ve witnessed since I’ve been fighting fires,” said Chief Robert Hodges. “The men did a great job of containing it and keeping it from nearby homes.”

The abandoned elevators had posed problems for some time, attracting some adolescents and a fringe element of vagrants. There was little double in Hodges’ mind that the cause of the blaze was arson. Editor Bob Haeger commented, “It was an eye-popper that required firefighter help from Oak Park, River Forest and Maywood.”

From the Sept. 17, 1980 Forest Park Review

20 years ago

Much ado about much. Our new library was still being debated in 1990 – five years before its realization. Columnist Jackie Schulz was a library trustee at the time, and a strong proponent for a whole new facility. Following is what one member of the opposition had to say in a Letter to the Editor – and Ms. Schulz’s reply in her column:

“A new super library is not needed. We need facts, figures and exact costs. Ms. Schulz said, ‘Don’t buy $3 hamburgers at McDonald’s. That’s $3 more toward the library.’ Is she writing for imbeciles? We voters know better. We know hamburger is made from ham, and ham comes from a pig, and we’re not going to buy a pig in the poke.”

Jackie’s reply: “I may or may not be an imbecile. But I know that hamburgers come from cows, not pigs. Whether you want to vote for a cow in the poke is up to you.”

From the October 10, 1990 Forest Park Review

10 years ago

During the Vietnam War a Forest Park school girl began writing to a soldier stationed there. Memories of those letters still lingered with both correspondents as recently as 2000 when editor Andrea Friedlinger resurrected a back issue account of the exchange. Ken Dohanish of New Jersey was the “dogface” marine. He spent 16 months in Vietnam but also spent quality time reading and writing to the local 14 year-old on behalf of Forest Park’s adopted Delta Company. It was later to be revealed that Dohanish won the Bronze Star for valor under fire.

Finally, this from a follow-up note sent by the ex-marine: “You didn’t know any of us in Delta Company, but your letters showed you cared.”

From the Oct. 11, 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.