Rory Hoskins conceded last week in his race for the 7th District state rep seat. It was the right choice despite the narrow margin of his defeat Ð just 36 votes. “I do not see a clear path to victory,” he said in announcing his decision.

We are strong supporters of Hoskins and sharp critics of the man who beat him, Chris Welch. Welch was the heavy favorite in this race and he raised nearly $157,000 to make his case to voters. By comparison, Hoskins raised just $39,000 and came up short by just three dozen votes.

Speaking of Chris Welch, he promised us during his endorsement interview that if elected he would resign as president of the Proviso Township High School board. When Mr. Welch are you going to honor that campaign promise and take your foot off the throat of this failing school district? The date, please.

History in small memories

Studs Terkel was the first to understand that the richest history came from the small, the ordinary memories of average people. Lugging his reel-to-reel tape recorder to kitchen tables and corner bars, Terkel captured the essence of real lives, compiled them by themes of work, race, religion and, in that way, told us the story of our times.

Now Forest Park, through the efforts of the reinvigorated Historical Society and the library, is launching its own oral history project. And while the first participants, Mayor Anthony Calderone, Village Administrator Tim Gillian, and former school board member Bob Cox are notable for their power in town these days, it is listening to the trio talk about delivering the Trib during 1967’s “big snow” or the long gone corner stores they frequented that one really gets the feel of this wonderful town.

More oral histories will be captured. And our readers are invited to add their voices, their memories to the cacophony of small moments in time which together are our history.

Remembering Don Peaslee

We hope someone recorded an oral history with Don Peaslee before he died last week. It would be an interesting mix of stories. An interesting man, Don Peaslee was part small town hardware store owner, part low-key intellectual.

Some of us remember Peaslee as the third generation owner of Peaslee Hardware on Madison Street. With no disrespect to the Schauer’s, some of us still call it Peaslee’s. Founded in 1910 by his grandfather, it was Don who found the right path in the 1970s and 1980s to maintain the store’s old-fashioned appeal while making sure it was fully competitive with the big box hardware chains that came and went in competition. Peaslee also took his turn as president of the chamber and was a leader on the street during its evolution and the start of its rebirth.

Don was headed toward a Ph.D. in education in the 1950s before he returned to the family business. But his curiosity never dimmed and it shone, for instance, in the monthly gatherings of Phi Sigma in Oak Park. He is remembered there for his intelligence and his sense of humor.