Memories Announcements

facebookWe are on Facebook!  Become a fan of  "Park Forest Historical Society" and of "1950s Park Forest House Museum!" We have joined Facebook (like us!) and have a Facebook page for the museum (like our museum page!). (Active links are further down the page.) There is a Facebook group, "Grew up in Park Forest".  It formerly had some wonderful memory streams going, but that changed with Facebook's new format.  It is still a place to reconnect with people who grew up here. We still accept memoirs sent to us via email.  We hope to get a "Park Forest Memories " group started sometime to capture those entries, but are looking at other social networking sites.  If you are interested in helping with that, contact us. We have joined Facebook (like us!) and have a Facebook page for the museum (like our museum page!). 

Remember to make a copy of your memory and submit it to us, too.  And, you will notice, you can write a much longer memoir to be put on our website to share with people.

If you see a topic there and want to expand on it, please share it with us!  Remember, many people are not on Facebook and don't read memories, there.  We may know something about your question.

I think the absence of emails to us is a result of the Facebook page, BUT if you have tried and we have not answered your email, please try again and put something in the subject line to draw attention to the fact. I have gotten some legitimate messages but a fraction of what I formerly received. I receive a lot of spam messages. I worry that I am missing some that don't come through as legitimate.


I will be adding the memoirs and sending you emails to let you know that yours is online. Hopefully this will go smoothly. When you get your email, please be sure to notify friends and relatives to come look at our site.

Let us hear from YOU!!

If you are reading and enjoying these memories, (and I can tell that you are by the web statistics) send yours along. You do not need to add your contact information for the website. Please let us know what information you want to include. Your memory can be a few sentences or an essay.  Our Memories stay up for years to come.


Be sure to read our story on this year-long project with South Suburban Genealogical and Historical Society.  Our program on September 20 will be on this. Read more in News and Programs. Be sure to contact SSGHS or PFHS if you have any information on farms in the Park Forest area.

Do you have photos of St. Irenaeus School or your class photos from your time there? Please contact us through our link. The Class of 1959 recenetly had a reunion in Chicago and we discovered St. Irenaeus School history files at the church had inadvertently been thrown out. Please help us and St. I's reconstruct the files.

Did you or your family attend St. Anne's Catholic Church before St. Irenaeus was built? We have people looking for history and photographs of the church. Do you know what happened to the original building? The museum has a lovely painting of the church hanging in the bedroom, donated by Terry Ruehl who moved to PF in October 1948 and attended the church. Terry has since moved and passed on. If any of you can help reconstruct the history of St. Anne's please contact us.

On June 13, 2009 thirty-nine or more people came through the museum on a special tour arranged by Jack and Becky Black. The reunion first went on a tour of Rich East High School, then came to the museum on a bus provided by the high school. Everyone enjoyed sharing memories of their years growing up in Park Forest.
We have since had tours for the Classes of 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966, and 1967.
Having a reunion?  Be sure to book your tour of the museum as part of your activities!
Class of 1964 Reunion 

The 1950s Museum is in GroupTour eMagazine, Spring 2013 issue, page 26.  You can download the issue here.

The 1950s Museum was in the Chicago Tribune Metro section on Sunday February 3, 2008. We had a color photo and text on the front page and more photos and text on page 5. If you go to, put "1950s Museum" in the search box, and you can go to the article, but now you have to pay to read it there. If you Search the internet for "1950s Museum" the article should come up in another site where you can read it for free.

Read more ...

Dreams Past and a Dream Reborn

Park Forest--Dreams Past and a Dream Reborn by Alan Fried  December 29, 1997

When you walked through certain neighborhoods in Park Forest, the air would grow breathlessly still and the sunlight would shimmer in a strange and almost magical way. Almost magical, because Park Forest is not a product of fantasy but of science fiction. And I always thought of those quiet places as a doorway into another dimension, what Robert Heinlein called the door into summer. When I was growing up there in the 1950s, I thought it was the Village of Tomorrow, I remember I was getting a free cookie in the Park Forest Bakery, located across from Wayne Howorth's music store, when I first heard about Sputnik being launched. For the rest of America, the launch of Sputnik meant American kids would begin getting an education in science and math. But not for Park Forest schoolkids like me. We were already getting a great education.

Read more ...

The Early Days of Park Forest

by Judge Henry X. Dietch (Retired) December 10, 1997

When I came back from serving overseas in World War II, there was, in fact, no place we could rent to start up our civilian life again. My wife was living with her parents and our small amount of furniture was in storage. Thus, when Park Forest townhouses became available to war veterans, we eagerly applied and were fortunate to rent a two-bedroom apartment. Several years later, we built our present home where we continue to live today even though our children are all grown up and have children of their own. Our house is really too big for two people. However, I continue to be a "big frog" in a "small pond." In addition, Park Forest represents our life for almost 50 years and we continue to enjoy the company of old friends and Park Forest's wonderful conveniences.

Read more ...

Memories of Park Forest

Memories and Reflections. Your memories of Park Forest.

Park Foresters and former Park Foresters, we invite you to contribute to this page! Please send your memories and reflections by email to: Jane Nicoll at our email --write "memoir for submission" in the subject line of your email or by regular mail to: The Park Forest Historical Society, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest, IL 60466.

See our latest contribution from Ruth Klinger Cisowski.

Please designate "For Website Entry" and tell me whether you want your contact information listed on the web or not.

Help the Society with its mission and vision. Donate today.

"Grew Up in Park Forest" group formed on Facebook.

There is a Facebook group for people who grew up in Park Forest.  Many memories we wish were landing here are ending up there. We have joined Facebook at "Park Forest Historical Society" and have a Facebook page for "1950s Park Forest House Museum."  If you join Facebook, please "Like" our two pages! There are now over 2000 Likes for "Grew up in."  The museum has over 500 and the Society has many, too.  We would like more for each!!

Remember to make a copy of your memory and submit it to us, too. You can write a much longer memoir to be put on our website to share with people.  It will be here for years to come.

If you see a topic there and want to expand on it, please share it with us!  Remember, many people aren't on Facebook and are not getting to read all of those memories. If you put up something on Facebook and get no replies, try us!  Thousands of folks are looking at this each month. We may know something about your question.  We often comment on the other sites, but sometimes miss things.

Have you tried to contact our email and not received an answer?

If you have tried and we have not answered your email, please try again and put something in the subject line to draw attention to the fact.

Thanks to all of you who have been submitting memories!allamer53crop

I will be adding the memoirs and sending you emails to let you know that yours is online.  When you get your email, please be sure to notify friends and relatives to come look at our site.

Let us hear from YOU!!

If you are reading and enjoying these memories, (and I can tell that you are by the web statistics) send yours along. You do not need to add your contact information for the website. Please let me know what information you want to include. Your memory can be a few sentences or an essay. In the near future, we plan to work on this section, dividing it up in some way, and linking so you can see who has memories here, or so you can get around within the section better.  If you are adding memories to a Rich High reunion site, be sure to send us a copy, too!

JN 2-2013

Exploring the Park Forest Area Farm History

Be sure to read our story on this project with South Suburban Genealogical and Historical Society.  We have done programs on this. Read more in News and Programs. Be sure to contact SSGHS or PFHS if you have any information on farms in the Park Forest area.

St. Irenaeus School

Do you have photos of St. Irenaeus School or your class photos from your time there? Please contact us through our link. The Class of 1959 recnetly had a reunion in Chicago and we discovered St. Irenaeus School history files at the church had inadvertently been thrown out. Please help us and St. I's reconstruct the files.

St. Anne's Catholic Church Sauk Trail and Westwood Drive

Did you or your family attend St. Anne's Catholic Church before St. Irenaeus was built? We have people looking for history and photographs of the church. The museum has a lovely painting of the church hanging in the bedroom, donated by Terry Ruehl who moved to PF in October 1948 and attended the church. Terry has since moved and passed on. If any of you can help reconstruct the history of St. Anne's please contact us.

Rich High Class of 1959 Tour

On June 13, 2009 thirty-nine or more people came through the museum on a special tour arranged by Jack and Becky Black. The reunion first went on a tour of Rich East High School, then came to the museum on a bus provided by the high school. Everyone enjoyed sharing memories of their years growing up in Park Forest.
We have since had many more reunion groups come for tours.
In June 2012, we had the classes of 1962 and 1967, and have had the Class of 1960.
Having a reunion?  Be sure to schedule your museum tour!
Class of 1964

1950s Museum in the News

The museum is featured in an article in GroupTours eMagazine, Spring 2013, page 26.  You can download the issue here.

 The 1950s Museum was in the Chicago Tribune Metro section on Sunday February 3, 2008. We had a color photo and text on the front page and more photos and text on page 5. If you go to, put "1950s Museum" in the search box, and you can go to the article, but now you have to pay to read it there. If you Search the internet for "1950s Museum" the article should come up in another site where you can read it for free. Along with the article are great color photographs, there was a video clip of me doing part of the tour, and comments from people who had read the article. There were 34 comments.

In March 2008 the museum appeared in an article on page 6 of the AARP Bulletin. That article included our web address. We have heard from people all over the country. You may be able to find the article through an internet search. It was on for two months, but is not there, now.

Memories of Park Forest - 1953 to 1964, by Ruth (Klinger) Cisowski February 7, 2010

My parents moved from Chicago to our house at 360 Oswego Street in 1953. There were no sidewalks only wood planks that led from the street up to our house. My mom planted two small evergreen trees out front of the house that were about 2 feet tall. My brother returned to Park Forest in the 1990's and told me they were about 15 feet over the house and that one had to be cut in half so they could get through the doorway and later was removed.

We moved to California in 1964 when my brother chose to go to Berkeley and my parents didn't want us to be separated by the distance. We watched Blackhawk Elementary and Jr. High get built and attended both which were constructed directly across the street from our house. The teachers were fantastic and I specifically remember Miss Pluzinsky who taught our science class and we watched the first space launch on TV.

I have many memories of skating on the flooded football field on Orchard, sledding on the hillsacross the street, drives through the Forest Preserve on hot summer nights, and of course, the Aqua Center where my Mom used to be a lifeguard. We were taught to swim around 5 or 6 and of course our goal was to pass the swim test to get into the "big pool" which meant you had to swim the 25 yards across by yourself without sinking. I remember the giant safety pins for our lockers, and the aqua center badge you got for passing the test you sewed onto your swimsuit to get into the "big pool". My Mom had us doing community service work at a very young age by working as swim buddies at the "Handy Camp" held at the Aqua Center every summer for disabled kids. It was amazing seeing the courage of kids who were blind or without limbs get in the pool eager for an adventure as a normal kid. I learned a lot of compassion and admiration for those who were far worse off than I in life. To this day I can still imagine the high chlorine smell of the pool on the skin of the lifeguards! We would lay out on the concrete areas near the pool soaking up the heat and sun. The McDonald's on site  sold hamburgers for 15 cents and fries for 10 cents! What a bargain! Most of us were at the pool as early as we could get in and stayed until closing.

Saturday mornings my Mom would give us 25 cents for the movies at the Holiday Theater, 25 cents for us to pick out candy at the Karmelkorn Shop, and 25 cents for hot fudge sundaes at Kresge's. We loved to watch the intermission serials like "Rocket Man", the yoyo contests, and to sit in the balcony watching kids fling flattened popcorn boxes while we ate jujubees. Some of us would sit in the cry room and scream at the movies on occasion. Seems it was a ritual for many of us.

For some reason in the 4th grade the Board of Education made a stupid decision that I lived on the wrong side of the street and transferred me down to Sauk Trail for the 4th through 6th grades. I was lucky to have two memorable teachers - Miss Iola in 4th grade who brought back Kabuki dolls from her summer trip to Japan as well as oysters for us to put grains of sand in so we could get a pearl at the end of the term and my 6th grade teacher Mr. Hunt. I can still visualize his flat top and black glasses!

Our parents took us to temple every Friday night and both my brother Les and I went through Hebrew School and Sunday School resulting in both Bar/Bat Mitzvah's and Confirmation. My parents were active in the B'nai B'rith and Sisterhood and became chaperones for the 7&8'ers youth group. The temple held many summer picnics with softball, relay races, hot dogs etc.

One 4th of July is especially memorable as we had a high school senior from Norway stay with our family during their trip across the country. They stopped in our town to see a typical 4th of July celebration. At that time we had the tug of war, fire hose contest, fireworks and carnival. I had my first crush on the boy who sent me photos and became my pen pal from a far away land.

Most after-school days were spent roller-skating down the hill on our street with the clamp-on Johnson steel rollers we would tighten with a skate key. When it rained, we would play in the mud and make paper or walnut boats we would float down next to the street curbs. Our mothers would sit outside chitchatting on the front steps and we never had to lock our doors. Boy are those times gone...

At Rich East High we had teachers who loved to teach, Mr. Janota and his wild ties, Mr. Schmidt who taught us to recite "The Highwayman" as a group ensemble, Glee Club (now popular again), and had great bonfires for homecoming. Prom meant a trip on a slow train down to the University of Illinois and a night of partying. We had an all-star football team with guys like Rick Swerangen and a top-notch gymnastic team. Our biggest basketball player was 6 feet tall and we had a 5'6" guard on the same team who was great!

Life seemed simpler back then, and although I had the same growing pains as most kids having braces on my teeth, freckles and being very short, I made friends there, as did my brother who remain in my heart today. My brother is a successful lawyer and author, and I have a good life here in Thousand Oaks, CA now with my 3 grandkids living nearby. I would love to get in touch with some of the people I went to school with so please contact me either by email or on Facebook. rcisowski1 at

Memories from Ann H. Rest Sent September 3, 2008, upon reading of the death of Robert Dinerstein in the Minneapolis newspaper.

I graduated from Rich Township in 1960 and have attended every reunion of my class and the all school reunion of several years ago. Our class is now in the process of planning a 50th reunion in 2010. My family lived in Park Forest from 1957-1963 when my dad (a middle manager for Swift & Co.) was transferred to North Carolina. I was married at Faith United Protestant Church on June 24, 1964 with Dr. Engelmann presiding. My mother, Lillnette Z. Hiller (1917-2006), also a member of Faith, inaugurated the Living Nativity at the church, I believe, a year after our move from New Orleans, LA where she had started it there but OUTSIDE. I have visited PF occasionally over the years, usually in conjunction with reunions, but also to visit my high school English teacher, D. Stanley Moore and his wife Jan. My experiences at Rich High School were the most formative of my adult life, outside of my family. My values were formed, particularly those concerning social justice and affirmative action, at that time. No person was more influential in my life than Stan Moore-- except for my parents, brother, and maternal grandmother (of Norfolk, Virginia--my birthplace and heritage of over three hundred years-- who lived two days shy of her 100th birthday in 1994.) Their only rivals are my daughter, Susan Lillnette Rest Asplund and her husband Jim.

As a teacher (1966-1968--Latin in Wheeling IL, and 1970-1979--English and humanities in Plymouth MN) and as a politician (Minnesota legislature 1984-current) I often reflect on the lessons of individual freedoms and compassion for those struggling to achieve the American Dream based on my experiences in the classrooms of Rich Township High School and teachers such as Jim Fisher, Len Peart, and Ray Janota as well as Stan Moore. I also owe a lot to my classmates who challenged every social stereotype even as we lived in an all-white Chicago suburb.

Most of us who were schooled in the late 50s-early 60s in the north were not aware at the time of the great social movement of which we were a part. It fascinates me to read the comments of Philip Klutznick (on your oral history site) of all the details that went into producing Park Forest.

So the ramblings of one to whom Park Forest is so endeared.


Ann Rest

P. S. An all school reunion memory. A couple of 1960 graduates and I chose a round table at random to sit at during the shopping center gala. We loved the prom dresses display and the music. The other folks at the table introduced themselves, and we started reminiscing. I asked the man sitting next to me how he and his wife were spending the weekend. He said that they were driving around to those spots that meant the most to him growing up. He spent all his school years in Park Forest. This was the first time he had returned to Park Forest since graduating from Rich in the early 70s. I don't remember his name, but he now lives in Washington state. I said that I did the same thing every time I visited: my house (and took photos), the Aqua Center, the library, my church, the cemetery where a dear friend was buried, and of course, the high school. I asked him where HE went. He said that he visited HIS house and the neighborhood. " Where did you live?" "On East Rocket Circle." "So did I. What number?" "Seventeen." I stopped dead in my tracks. That was MY HOUSE, and I told him so in no uncertain terms. He said he lived there. I couldn't believe it. My folks had moved to Wilmington, NC, when I was a senior at Northwestern U and had rented our house; his family bought it two years later from them. He and I had the SAME room alongside the path across the peat bog that led to the shopping center. Then came the part that brought me to tears. My father planted rose bushes at every home we ever had over the years-- Norfolk, VA; New Orleans, LA; Park Forest,IL; Wilmington, NC. So do I. This young man told me that at every home of his, HE plants rose bushes to remind him of those he and his family found in Park Forest when they moved in and for all the great memories he had of his life in our village. I have three rose bushes in my garden here in New Hope, Minnesota; every day they remind me of my father.

Ann H. Rest, State Senator District 45, Chair, Committee on State and Local Governmnt Operations and Oversight
State Capitol #205, St. Paul MN 55155 651-296-2889
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
3515 Hilsboro Ave. NO, New Hope, MN 55427 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Louise Eddington wrote, March 2008:

I lived in Park Forest as a child during the early 1950s. My dad was in the military and had been sent overseas. Mom and my sister and I were living in Chicago and had a terrible experience with our landlord. My granddad made all the arrangements and helped us move. We felt like we had died and gone to heaven! We lived in the rental townhouses--I believe ours was on 26th Street, if I remember right. I attended 5th and 6th grade in Chicago Heights, Garfield Elementary School, I think it was. My sister was in kindergarten and 1st grades and attended an elementary school near our home. The school was so overcrowded there were THREE shifts for kindergarten instead of the usual two. I can still visualize our home there, despite all the years. I remember the large picture windows in the dining and living rooms. I remember riding my bicycle over to the shopping plaza. When my dad returned from overseas, we moved to San Antonio, Texas.

Over 50 years and I still remember!

Louise (Arnold) Eddington

Debbie Robertson wrote, March 9, 2008 My First Memories of Park Forest, The Sandbox.

My parents are Gloria and Alex Robertson. I am their daughter, Debbie. We lived in Park Forest in a townhouse ($101 a Month) from Nov. 1954-Dec. 1958. I was 2-6 years old. My Father was on a training program with The Pru in Chicago. I can still remember all the kids in the sandbox: Carl Ruckle, Patty Delp, Ingrid Bostrom. Their parents: Richard and Joan Delp, Paul and Ginny Schneider, Helen Bitner, Mary and Wally Ruckle. Those four years of bonding have remained as some of the happiest moments in our lives. We have spoken of these Park Forest friends for years as if it was yesterday. What a wonderful idea to pay tribute to a "sub-culture"of post war families.

Please contact if you remember.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Debbie Robertson

Memories from Jerry Novareio, St. Petersburg, FL March 10, 2008

I was thrilled to see your website in this month's copy of AARP.... Living in Park Forest from 1953 to 1976 were some of the best years of our lives. We moved to Allegheny St. in 1953 and I was transferred to Minneapolis in 1958, but returned to Park Forest in 1959 living on Dogwood. In 1961 we moved to N. Orchard Dr. until we moved to Palatine to be closer to work, staying long enough for our 3 daughters to finish High School. We made many friends, some of whom we are still in contact with although they have also moved to other places. I will notify them of your website and I'm sure you will be hearing from them.

Many good and wonderful memories.
Jerry Novareio.

Julie Mays Frye March 12, 2008 1957-1962 resident of Park Forest Village

Great childhood memories

In the fall of 1957 our family moved from Dallas, Tx to 102 Chestnut Street. The day we moved in the snow began falling and we only had thin plastic galoshes on our feet. We knew we would need warmer clothes soon. Our tri-level home was bordered by the beautiful forest preserve where we played baseball in the mowed fields, and hiked the trails with abandon and no fear. Our father, Walter Mays, worked for Ford Motor Company in Chicago. I walked to Hickory Hills School and had a crush on Mr. Brudnicki and enjoyed sledding on the hill behind the school. My best friends were Karla Yale and Debbie Scanlon. My sister, Diane, modeled for Marshall Fields and we would ride our bikes to the shopping center to scan the aisles at the 5 and 10 for baby clothes for our dolls. We swam at the Aqua Center and my brother Brian led the football team as quarterback to a championship. He was all state quarterback for Rich High School and went on to Iowa on a football scholarship. He also worked at the first McDonalds on Western Ave. IC pizza was the best and Charles Chips delivered fresh chips to our home. We attended Steger Central Jr. High School and I played clarinet for the Sailors in the band with Mr. Cizek as our director. My dad had the best garden and my mother prepared a wonderful home life for us inviting many friends into our home. I wonder where Freddy Larson is now? We attended Homewood Baptist Church where we met many lovely people. In 1962, after only a short year at Rich High School, we moved to Ohio. I will always remember the five years we lived there and the joy it was. My husband and I drove through the town several years ago and it looked a little rundown. Smaller, too. I hope it is refurbished into a lovely community again.

Julie (Mays) Frye
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Barb Westfall March 12, 2008

I believe it was 1952 when we bought a small tract house on Sauk Trail. I cannot tell you the number right now, but it was between the Ivan Bakers (father and son). I believe the son became a principal or superintendent of schools there. We have moved so many times, but there are the memories of the short time spent there. I laugh. My computer ser up is on that old formica table which was purchased for the kitchen. I think it was about 30 yrs. ago that
the stove was finally donated and replaced by a built in. An the refrigerator went a short time after we moved to these mountains. Just call me a pack rat!!

Barbara R. Westfall, EdS.

Rosalie Turkel Cripps Growing up in Park Forest 1953-1968 sent March 23, 2008

My parents, Leo and Mary Turkel, older sister, Sandi, and I moved to Park Forest from Iowa in June, 1953 whne my father was transferred for his job to Chicago. We first lived in the "rental units" on Fir Street very close to Lakewood Elementary School where my sister and I attended 4th and 2nd grade, respectively. In April of 1954 we moved into our newly finished house on Blackhawk Drive (close to Orchard Drive). That house was truly the home of my childhood.

I attended Blackhawk Elementary School from 3rd to 6th grade; then Westwood Junior High for 7th, and the newly completed Blackhawk Junior High for 8th. I graduated from Rich East High School in 1964 and my parents moved to the north side of Chicago in 1968 during my last semester of college.

I have so very many memories of my childhood in Park Forest that it is difficult to distill them into a few brief paragraphs. When we still lived on Fir St., my sister and I would sometimes pull our red wagon the short distance to the shopping center to buy milk or other simple grocery items for our mother at the grocery store. We knew everyone in our relatively small "court" (as the groupings of townhomes were called), including our pediatrician, Dr. Braun, and Miss Dowling, who was my sister's teacher and then later, when she had become Mrs. Farabuagh (if I have the spelling right), my 3rd grade teacher at Blackhawk Elementary. There I also became fast friends with Janet "Jill" Lloyd.

Every day I walked to Blackhawk Elementary with my still best friend, Sally Goldman, who lived not far away on Monee Rd. Sally and I still recall that one day during 3rd grade, we taught Billy Dietch how to skip on the way home from school. Unfortunately, we discovered in high school that he did not remember that momentous event! In the summers my sister and I and the neighborhood kids spent many happy hours playing cards and other games on our living room floor, hula hooping in the backyard, playing jump rope or hopscotch on our front walk or out and about in the neighborhood, where we were free to roam without parental concerns about our safety. Summer evenings often found neighbors out for a stroll and it was completely acceptable for neighbors and friends of our family to drop by unannounced for a visit.

Summer afternoons, many mornings and some evenings were spent at the Aquacenter. My mother was an avid swimmer who made sure her daughters became good swimmers, too, and even cloudy and sometimes somewhat chilly summer days did not deter us from our daily trek to the swimming pool. Mom may have been a bit famous for her ability to stand on her hands under water for such a long time that people in the pool would be staring at those two legs straight up in the air. Mom always gave us a dime each to have an ice cream cone, ice cream sandwich or some other goody form the snack bar at the pool. At the age of 14 teens were allowed to enter the "Big Pool" without the badge that the younger kids had to have sewn on their bathing suits to signify that they had passed the swim test. Unfortunately, I looked quite a bit younger than my age all through my teens and thus was not believed when I said I was 14 and didn't need a badge. Determined that I would not be submitted to the swim test anymore, I carried my birth certificate with me to the Aquacenter that whole summer!

Since my mother did not drive, my feet, bicycle, the bus or friends' mothers were my sources of transportation around town while growing up. I made many trips to the shopping center on my bike, whether to purchase food for my pets at Kresge's, goodies at the Karmel Korn (thanks to another person's memoir for reminding me of the name of the candy store) or meet a friend at the Park Forest library just beyond the shopping center. During my high school years, I recall going to the movies at the Holiday Theatre with friends (Sheri Steinberg, Marie Ludmer, Sue DeLisle, Patti Wald, and Judy Shockey who, by the way, now lives just a couple of miles from me in Austin, Texas) and then to Park Forest Grill afterwards for a chocolate sundae.

I have lived in the warm climate of Austin, Texas for all but a few years of my adult life, but, of course, I have many snow memories from my childhood. Two particular snowfalls stand out in my memory. The first was in mid-April, 1955 (I'm pretty sure I have that date right) when it snowed so hard that school was called off in the afternoon--the only time school was canceled due to snow during all my years growing up. (Here in Austin the whole city shuts down for a day or two when we get a bit of snow or ice on average every few years.) In January of 1967 I was home for semester break from college when a record snowfall hit. I was taking the bus to the shopping center and the snow got so deep that the driver had to park the bus a block or so from the shopping center because it became impossible to drive further. So I tramped through the snow to purchase the items I needed as the stores were all starting to close up and then walked right down the middle of Orchard Drive to make my way home. Though my husband and I gladly left the Chicago winters behind right after we married in 1968, our native-born Texan son has made his home in Denver.

Sadly, my sister died in 1999 of leukemia. My parents are both still alive (Dad is 90 and Mom is 87) and have lived in Austin since 1984. We really enjoyed learning about the Park Forest House Museum and reminiscing about the years we lived in P.F. My father greatly enjoys surfing the Internet and sending and receiving e-mail and I am hoping that he will write some of his own memories for this website.

Rosalie Cripps,
Austin, TX
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Jane Nicoll note: I told Rosalie that I was still in touch with Leona DeLue who lived near her on Blackhawk and asked if hers was a Parent's Magazine house. The following email ensued. Rosalie: I remember that our house was featured in Parent's Magazine (October 1953). It was a great house for a family. Leona and Ross DeLue and their daughter, Mary, lived two doors down from us. The DeLues were also friends with the Goldman's (my friend Sally's parents). The DeLues had a collie named Lassie that I loved and sometimes they would invite us to swim in their backyard pool. Ah, memories!

JN I was also able to reconnect the family with another set of neighbors who still live in one of the Parent's houses on Blackhawk. Also, in June, Leona DeLue, who was the first resident of 76 Blackhawk, also a Parent's Magazine house, and I drove around the three streets that have those homes, recording the addresses.

Rosalie: I think our address on Fir St. was 203. Our court was smaller than most of them and our unit was on one corner, but I don't recall the court number. In 1984, my husband and then, 6 year old son and I visited our childhood homes. My husband grew up near Orland Park. I hadn't been back to P.F. since 1968 and now haven't been back since 1984. At any rate, we readily found the Fir Str. court and the unit my family lived in. I also was able to visit our house at 72 Blackhawk Drive as our next-door neighbors, the Cribbs, still lived at 74 Blackhawk Drive and she arranged with the current owners of my old home for us to go in and see it. Naturally, there were many changes that had been made since my family had lived there, but I really got a kick out of walking through the house and remembering exactly what it used to look like.

Mr. Turkel, we are still hoping you will send us a memory! JN

And he did! Fond Memories of Park Forest--1953 to 1968, from Leo Turkel, July 14, 2008.

When I graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1941 I accepted a job with a company based in Omaha. The job took me to Des Moines, Iowa for twelve years. In Des Moines I met my wife and we have now been married for sixty five years. Our two daughters were born in Des Moines and started school there. However, in 1953 my company offered me a chance to move to the Chicago area and be the manager of a new branch.

In June of that year we moved into an apartment on Fir street behind the fire station. It was also near a grade school that the girls attended. Several months later I had a chance meeting in the barber shop with Joe Belmont who was involved in the construction of homes in PF. He mentioned that at that time they were building a few homes to be known as the Parents Homes. They were to be featured in an issue of Parents Magazine and were to be offered at about $17,500 as I recall. So we were home owners again.

Many of the friends we made in PF had moved in soon after development started in 1948. We heard stories of unpaved streets and the lack of stores in the beginning. However, by the time we came things were fairly well developed. There was a Jewel, maybe two; the barber shop was just outside of town on Western Ave. but later moved into town.

Some of the businesses I remember are Goldblatts, Fields, Sears, Bramsons, Mickelberrys, the bowling alley, and the hardware store We were also fortunate to have a good number of doctors and dentists, most of whom were young and just starting to build a practice.

I had been an admirer of U.S. Senator Paul Douglas and a few months after we moved to PF he gave a talk at Rich High. I don't recall the occasion but it might have been for the 4th of July. The main thing I remember is that I got lost since I was not familiar with the whole town yet and it took a few minutes to figure out where I was. But I enjoyed listening to the Senator since he was such a knowledgeable person and widely respected.

"The Organization Man" was a book that came out a few years after we moved to Park Forest. It was read by thousands of people since new communities were being built and Park Forest was a model of being able to build a community from the ground up. The one thing I remember in the book was the observation that where the back doors of homes faced each other the families had became closer than they would if the doors did not face. That was true in our case. Four different families occupied the house west of us and we were most friendly with each of them.

Probably the best thing that happened while we were living in the courts, as the apartments were called, was the introduction of the Salk vaccine. This happened during the year we occupied our apartment. A crew came to our court and gave the shots to the kids outdoors. This was a wonderful blessing
not only for the children but also for the parents who no longer had to worry about this terrible disease.

One incident during our PF years involved the schools. Since the great majority of residents were young parents there was a high birth rate for a few years. One September the superintendent announced that the schools would test all youngsters who were old enough for kindergarten. The reason was that not all children were ready for school and there just wasn't enough room for all the prospective kids who wanted to start. Of course every mom and dad thinks their kid is the second Einstein so the superintendent was under the gun. I think some compromises were made and all the children were admitted.

One thing I should mention about the courts. Since the parking was in the center of each group of apartments it was a good place for children and adults to meet and talk. Newcomers were welcomed and noone had to feel alone in this environment. We made many friends in our court.

Park Forest was home to a great percentage of highly educated residents. There were many scientists who worked at the Atomic Energy lab and other places in the Chicago area. Other professions were also represented. As a result the schools had a good number of highly motivated and achieving students. Our library had the highest usage per capita in the state.

Before I close there must be mention of two other things that helped make Park Forest a great place to live.

First, the swimming pool. A few people got the idea to build a pool for the community. If I remember correctly they sold memberships to residents of the community and the response was great. Many children were taught to swim and it was a wonderful place for children and adults to spend as much time as they wished in a healthy environment.

Last but not least was the Civic Music Series. For a very nominal season ticket we were afforded the chance to see and hear nationally and internationally known singers, pianists, violinists and symphonies. Many children attended with their parents and received their first exposure to good music.

Leo Turkel
Apt. A109 4604 S Lamar
Austin, Tx 78745

Memories from Audrey Nordlof Ohlson Smith, an early teacher, 1953-1954. March 18, 2008

Four other beginning teachers and I lived at #1 Hemlock during the school year of 1953-1954. Since there were no apartments in Park Forest then, the school board rented two townhouses which they then rented to new teachers. We called our apartment, "The Teacherage." The five of us taught at Dogwood School. The principal there, as I recall, was a Mr. Lautenschlager. I had applied to teach in Park Forest because of John Moon, a member of the school board. I had worked for him during a summer job at R. R. Donnelley & Sons, Co. in Chicago the summer of 1952.

Of the five of us, two had gone to Northwestern University--my roommate, Rena Hirsten (now Brooks), and I. the other three had gone to Monmouth College.

At that time, the only place you could buy a newspaper was in the liquor store, and the only restaurant was at the local bar--Sexton's. Fortunately, our apartment was very close to what then constituted "town".

The movie theater changed movies two or three times a week, and I saw many of them.

Rena and I were both married the summer of 1954, and we did not return to Park Forest. She taught in Michigan for some years, and I taught in California before joining the staff of the California Teachers Association.
Audrey Nordlof Ohlson Smith.

Memories from Liz Stark, (Elizabeth Stark, Mrs. Robert) May 15, 2008

I could write a small book about EARLY Park Forest, before the pre-1950 museum, but will write more in the near futue. My husband Bob and I moved to Park Forest on October 20, 1948, court E-8 on Western Avenue. The park ing and play area wasn't paved yet and we were among the first 4 courts settled. Phil Klutznick and family moved into the first court, I think, about the time we did. Except for one bachelor (a WWII Veteran like most all the others) was involved in building PF...everyone was young, there were a few children but within 9 months, the children began to arrive. I have a picture of a baby shower for 4 pregnant women, all due at the same time, and we credited that to the same cocktail party! There was lots of laughter and we made lifetime friends, some of us were their kids' godparents and vice versa.

In our immediate group, I am almost 87 and Bob died at 88 New Year's Eve, 2006. Only a few are living. Some of your facts I read are right, others not. Yes, most of the women were stay-at-home mothers. Most men commuted to Chicago on the Illinois Central and it was a few miles to the station. We didn't have a car, yet, but a few people did and gave rides. If you weren't on the same AM/PM train schedule, it was tough. Eventually a bus came from Chicago Heights to return there as well as make a 5:30 p.m. train into the city. I was the only career woman with no children and was advertising manager of the Rau Store for our 3 years there. It was owned by a private group who bought it from Marshall Field and Co. and a most attractive store. I don't even know if it is still there, since we moved to Barrington 11/1/51, and never went back because our PF friends all moved to other suburbs about the same time and like us, eventually to other cities.

In January 1956, with 2 young children we went East to Connecticut and NYC. During those years, all grocery shopping, school attendance, Drs/dentists and hospitals were in Chicago Heights. The then Williams Press printed all my ads in the bi-weekly and very good newspaper. I had ads in Wed. and Fri. issues, a minimum of 3 and a half page complete with copy and artwork. I got a lot of kidding and funny, but envious, comments when I went off to work all dressed up including a hat!!!

That is enough for now, but I would love to write more about the townhouses themselves and mention some of the people. On our 10th Anniversary, I wrote a nostalgic and humorous poem about Ct. E-8, which we sent to everyone. Will have to find a copy.

Jane Nicoll--I responded to Liz with the names of some of the early residents of her court and on May 23, 2008, she wrote back:

I was just delighted to get your prompt reply and especially to find Terri Ruehl and boys mentioned. How well I remember them and I hope you will send her email or slow mail address. Terri and Ed moved in the same time we did and would have most of the same memories. [Terri and Ed have both passed away, but Terri was one of our most loyal docents until a year before she died. For those of you who have the calendar, Terri took our famous, Muddy Kids, photograph. Dan Weiner of Fortune Magazine stayed with the Ruehl's and Terri was one of the women in many of the Fortune Magazine photographs.]

We did all gather for "tot-yard" parties but formed smaller and different groups of life-long friends, some from other courts. The tot yard was meant to confine the children, but when the mothers gathered, they often sat there and let the kids play outside. With adult outside parties -and even inside- no one ever got a sitter; they just went home regularly to check on the sleeping tots. Ruehls had two adorable little boys, Roger about 2 plus and E.J. about 4? [Terri had Roger just after they moved into court E-8. JN] I was checking through old pictures when I found one which I forgot I even had, of the boys on a sofa in their house. I took it! Terri had a great sense of humor and called her boys "The Pots." Terri took a job in our third year there. EJ might have been in Management, and since there were no such things as Day Care Centers, maybe a neighbor took Roger. I don't remember anything about her job.
I mentioned before that I wrote a 10 year anniversary poem, but couldn't find my copy. I did find the ORIGINAL brochure which Bob brought home to the #2 apt. we had in the city, June to August for one, and Sept. to October for #2/3. And sight unseen, we signed up immediately! If you don't have a copy in the museum, I will send you mine, as at 87, there's no point in saving this stuff. The first page has big type, "Park Forest...a new design for better living." It was during our last year there, fall to November 1951, that the first building was built for what was to be the Shopping Center. I can't recall what that was for, [Taradash's Park Forest Liquors] but the funniest part was that management sent every resident a request to the corner stone laying part and asked each family to bring a brick for the building. Men from E-8 all went over to where they were still building townhouses and brought home one of those bricks. Of course, Mgmt knew that would be done. We weren't going to buy one!

I will add news of "original settlers" with whom I am still in touch. My Bob died in 2006 at 88. Jane and Neal Tonks (Neal died about 1979), Jane remarried and lives in Georgia. Helen and Jack McCune, retired from Wis. to Forida and Jack died a few years ago. We saw Jane and Bill Cushing a few years ago...and Neal and Jane before that in Conn. and New Jersey. We also saw Helen McCune after we moved to Wis and she to Florida.

Thank you for helping me to bring back those memories. The AARP bit mentioned "rotary phones". We had 8 party line phones with one letter and 3 numbers, i.e., P-123. Those were to be part of numbers to come with rotary phones. Four families got the rings from 1 to 4 out of 8 parties...if it rang 4, for example, I would know that was for Doris Ferguson and Ruth McCormick was probably calling from their connecting apartment, on our stairway and bathroom side. So I would often get on the line and we would have a 3 way conversation, just for fun. There were only single phones on the first floors. The townhouses were great size, but the sound proofing was terrible. We all used to tell stories about that, some of them really hilarious!!!!!

Thank you for "listening" and I am enjoying talking about it.
Elizabeth (Liz) Stark, Madison, WI

Janet Shell Peterson School Memories and other Memories of Childhood June 2, 2008

My name is Janet Shell Peterson. My mom, dad, sister and I moved to Park Forest in 1952. I was just one year old, so I really have no recollection of that. When it was time for me to go to kindergarten, I was assigned to Room 15 at Lakewood Elementary School. I have forgotten my teacher's name but she was very nice to all us kids. The next year, I got a really mean, horrible teacher and I remember several parents banded together to try to get her fired! Mrs. Stringham in second grade was great! She had a "magpie" row near the window for the kids who talked too much. I ended up there for a while! For third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grades, I went to Dogwood Elementary. My fourth grade teacher was another meanie, and she used to threaten to smack hands with a ruler if you put the word "and" in a number, ie one hundred and sixty two. The legend with my fifth grade teacher was that her husband either fell or drove off of Starved Rock. Maybe, maybe not. My all-time best teacher in the whole world was Miss Betty Schniepp-sixth grade at Dogwood. She made learning come alive for all of us kids. I will never forget her. I understand she passed away recently. Fast-forward through Westwood Junior High School, as I must have been a rebellious young adolescent...spent many an hour in the office in trouble with Mr. Charland!

The most vivid memory was the day President Kennedy was killed. Us kids had gotten wind of what happened during lunchtime. The next period following lunch, I was in art class with Mr. Nuzzo when the principal came on the loud speaker to announce that JFK was dead.
I attended Rich East from 1965-1969. My most memorable teacher there was Mr. Patrick Walsh. He was truly amazing, and he made me believe in myself more than any other teacher in District 163!

I am a 24 year veteran teacher here in Kentucky, and I use the above-mentioned teachers (good and bad) as a guide for my professional life. My sister and I spent many afternoons and evenings at the Aquacenter. As I remember, she used to torture me by making me stay there with her late into the evening although I was freezing cold and really tired. But who could forget how good those ice cream sandwiches tasted after hours of swimming in those wonderful pools?

Going to the Holiday Theatre was a big treat each and every Saturday afternoon. Of course, we would stand in line for our turn in the Karmel Korn first. The line usually snaked down by Bramson's (fancy)clothing store, but when our turn finally came, it was the greatest fun carefully choosing candy for the show. You would get a small brown bag, and could usually get candy, blue-green gumball called Sputniks, chum gum, bulls eyes, those little candy dots on a strip of paper, those waxy red lips or buck teeth, those waxy tubes with juice in them, a box of the saltiest pumpkin seeds ever made, and last but not least, FIREBALLS! My sister like the pixie stix, but they were too sour for me! Now and then, our mom would let us go to the Chuckwagon at Marshall Field's for lunch. I really loved that.

Our summer days were filled with playing house, dress up, Mother May I, and hula hoops with other court children. When school was about to start, we would get a postcard in the mail telling what school and room we were assigned to. My Dad would always walk us and the other neighborhood kids to school to peer into the windows to get a mental head start on our school life for the upcoming year. My sister was assigned to Forest Blvd School, and her third grade classroom was one of the bedrooms of a townhouse there. She loved It! I really loved growing up in Park Forest.

Janet Shell Peterson peterj051551 at

A Little Park Forest History From Gus and Marcia Wiebers submitted January 13, 2008

I just reread a copy I have of "The Spirit," published by the Park Forest Historical Society, v.2, No. 3, Spring, 2007. It reminded me that I have intended to write for some time. The years our family spent living in Park Forest comprised a very special chapter in our lives. My parents, not long out of college (he after time overseas in the European Theater in WWII), bought a house on Cherry St. the spring of 1951. Six years later toward the end of May, 1957, we moved on to Lincoln, Nebraska, where my father took a job with an insurance company, leaving a financial position at the Harris Bank in downtown Chicago. Thus it was 6 years that we spent in Park Forest.

Even though just in their mid-20s when we moved to the "village" and with a young family, both my father and mother, Herman and Helen Wiebers, were active in the community, at Sauk Trail School and Faith United Protestant Church. A couple of years after we arrived my father was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Village Board when Ed Kern resigned, then was elected to a 2-year term on the Board in 1954. During that period he was Chair of Finance, Vice Chair of Public Safety, President pro tem of the Board and City Treasurer for a time. He was good friends with Bob Dinerstein, Village Board President at that time, my parents are still in contact with the Dinersteins.

Now early in 2008 my father is approaching age 83 but still is blessed with a tremendous memory. I have taken it upon myself the past couple of years to audio tape my parents ( I have a substantial interest in family history/genealogy) reminiscing about their pasts, from childhood up through the periods we spent as a family living in various locations. Much time on those tapes was devoted to a discussion regarding Park Forest memories. I did not know how much of a response I would get when our topic turned to Park Forest but both parents, certainly my father, just kept talking and with great detail. He has a phenomenal recollection of names and events, who did and said what, and when. He talks a good deal about those who were "the founding fathers" of the village, Philip Klutznick, Henry Dietch, Mr. Dinerstein, Pastor Gerson Engelmann, those representing the American Community Builders, those on the Village Board, the Homesteaders, and much more.

I do not know if his memories would be of interest to you. The time we lived in Park Forest was relatively short, however he remembers a good deal which is probably of significance from that period and may not have been covered by others. I have copied and my parents and I have read several of the oral histories you have made available. Let me know if there is some way we can make a contribution of some type to this archive.

[The society is interested in oral histories done by others which relate stories about Park Forest. We can accept audiotapes, CDs, DVDs, even videotape if that is how you have it. It is optimal if you have made a transcript, or can convert the older formats to the newer ones before sending them to us. If you write a memoir about your time here, we will also copy it for our paper memoir files. Many people regard their time in Park Forest as the "Golden Time" of their lives. We want to hear about those years--even if you did not find them that special! Where did you live, what did you do, what did your parent's do for a living and what organizations were they in. What was school like? What was your neighborhood like? JN]

Gus Wiebers This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Kindergarten, 1st & 2nd grade at Sauk Trail School
Fall, 1954--Spring, 1957
Now approaching age 59
Lincoln, Nebraska

Jane Nicoll relates a story about Norman Rockwell's painting, "New Kids on the Block." posted, January 8, 2008

This December, Phyllis Monk from Crete Historical Society dropped by the museum with a very special gift. In November, she had been to visit the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachussettes. She saw "New Kids on the Block," which had a label telling how it was painted for the Look Magazine article of May 1967 written by Jack Star on integration in Park Forest. Mrs. Monk was not aware of the history of the painting. She exclaimed to a museum volunteer that she lived near Park Forest. She was introduced to another volunteer, Wray Gunn, who posed, along with his cousin Tracie as the models for the African American "new kids." Mr. Gunn sent a note to the society on a postcard of the painting. For those of you not familiar with the painting or the article, you can see a framed copy, donated by Myrtle Martin, which hangs in the lobby of Village Hall. The postcard can be seen at the museum, near the sign in book, for now.

Bonnie Feldgreber Remembers 1967-1980

Posted July 8, 2007

Hi my name is Bonnie Feldgreber currently living in Indianapolis. I grew up in Park Forest from 1967 to 1980, we then moved to California. Park Forest has always had a special place in my heart and I am happy that I had the opportunity to grow up in such a wonderful community.

We first lived in the co-ops on Birch street and I attended Dogwood school for kindergarten and first grade. Then we moved in the Lincolnwood section of the village on Early St. The Benaroya's and the Beckman's were our neighbors and they still live there even after 25 years. That shows you what a wonderful place Park Forest is.

My memories include going to Illinois School and the wonderful teachers there, Miss Mattucci, Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Mandell, Mrs. Donnelly, and Mrs West. Also Mrs. Davis who taught art, and who instilled in me how much fun it is to do art and how important it is to have art in our lives. Mrs. West taught us to raise chicks, ducks, and monarch butterflies. She has showed us how to make a plastic bubble, that we would go inside and present programs. In the wintertime, there was an indentation in the ground behind the school that they would freeze over and that would be our skating rink. Cold and fun, half for hockey the other half for free skating. Sometimes it never did get cold enough to freeze over the "pond" and sometimes we would make our own in our backyard. These was also a field back there (I think bordering Thomas st.) that we would romp around in and catch tadpoles.

The Park Forest Plaza with it's charity days, sidewalk sales, the annual art festival, animated Christmas pixies, Holiday Theatre all held special memories. The library, Aquacenter, ITC (where I took drama classes) pancake breakfast, parades all these wonderful family events. I remember when Freedom hall was built and taking art classes there, and seeing a production of Hair. Park Forest always had a lot of culture, which I still thrive on today. The 4th of July became a favorite holiday of mine, our family always had a barbeque then later that evening we would go to Central Park and the carnival. It was funny that the same carnival was there every year so you knew what rides to expect. We would then find a place in the grass to sit and watch the fireworks. The show was always amazing, and sort of romantic to my young eyes, it always ended with the American Eagle lite up. That is why still today after all these years the 4th of July is my favorite holiday.

I have not been back to Park Forest for about 10 years and know there is a new downtown, which I would like to see. Although I know they took down the failing Plaza to build it, the history of my time there will always be remembered. I have many more memories, but this could go on forever! Growing up in Park Forest was my "wonder years", and I will always feel connected and cherish those memories.

Bonnie Feldgreber

No trees, or driveway, but Park Forest had everything else.  Ray Shepard, Colliersville, TN

Posted July 1, 2007  Park Forest Memories

Now retired and living in the South, I spend quite a bit of time in my backyard communing with nature. Sometimes, while I am sipping on my margarita, my mind drifts back to the wonderful time growing up in Park Forest.

I remember the day when my father came home from work and said, "We're moving to Park Forest". This became a reality in June of 1952 when we moved to our new home at 229 Mantua. I was 10 years old. Our house was so new that we did not have a driveway yet. There was a two-foot drop from the garage floor to the ground. On our block to the west, the ground was being graded to pour new concrete slabs. To the East, there were rows of houses as far as the eye could see. I remember thinking to myself that everything was so barren; this was a town without grass or trees.

Outside my bedroom window I could see the water tower looming above a few blocks away. I use to find fossil shells in the gravel rocks underneath the tower. In our back yard there were still mountains of dirt. It looked like a battle zone from WW1. My sister and I would have dirtball fights with kids who lived somewhere behind us. They seemed to appear out of nowhere throwing rocks at us. I quess they were protecting their turf not realizing that we were all newcomers.

I would visit all of the new houses as they were being built. The town seemed to be in a continuous state of construction. Houses were being built everywhere; there was always the constant sound of hammering. To this day, I still love the smell of new lumber.

Exploring my environment was new and exciting. Park Forest was a refuge with soft barriers protecting us from the outside world. I remember exploring the woods and winding creeks along Monee Road to the south. To the east of Western Avenue, we would ride our bikes out to the forest preserves and cook lunch in one of the pavilion fireplaces. The wind swept cornfields to the west, adjacent to the small sleepy towns of Richton Park and Matteson, were a nice contrast to the open low land to the north. Years later, this became the Westwood and Lincolnwood sections of Park Forest

The Plaza was in the center of Park Forest. Even though the Holiday Theatre was built a year before I arrived, it still was a very big deal. I remember the Plaza ended where the Jewel grocery store was located next to the clock tower. Marshall Fields and Goldblatt's were not built yet. My favorite places to go on Saturdays were the Sports and Hobby Shop, Kresge's and the Karmel Korn Shop. Also, I have a very vivid memory of seeing Henry X. Dietch political posters taped to the posts while walking through the Plaza. I always wondered: what the "X" stood for.

Just west of the Holiday Theater, a big tent was used to stage the outdoor Playhouse Theater. What I remember most was the mud outside the tent. In the summer, Kiwanis held their Pancake Day in a big tent on the same spot.
In the fall of 1952, I attended 5th grade at Sauk Trail School - the first year it was built. This was my first exposure to progressive education. Even at that age, it was obvious to me that this was an exceptional school that had a special emphasis on modern education techniques. I remember the school was of modern architecture and quite different than the traditional school I had previously attended. Desks were not aligned in a straight row, but organized randomly in semicircles allowing for discussion groups, one section for science, another for math.

During the year, our teacher Mr. Jensen, would take us on nature hikes through the forest preserve pointing out bees nest, bird types, various types of trees and shrubs. Also, we learned social skills of how to dance (the box step and square dance) and took tours though factories in Chicago Heights. Learning became fun and unregimented.

That winter, I remember waiting for the school bus in front of the old ACB building at the corner of Blackhawk and Indianwood. Again, in the distance, there was the constant sound of hammering. They were building more houses on Indianwood toward Monee road. The girls would wait inside a small phone booth to stay out of the frigid cold until the school bus arrived.

Across from the school, homes were under construction on the corner of Orchard & Apple Lane. I remember, in particular, large bails of straw lying on the ground everywhere to prevent erosion.

The highlight of the school year, however, was making the Little League team at spring tryouts, Every morning in the summer 1953, we would ride our bicycles to the little league ballpark to practice. The field was located off of Indianwood, half way between the Plaza and Sauk Trail. Mr. Burghardt, one of the high school coaches, would always be there. We would choose up teams and because there would be only a few of us, he would be the pitcher for both sides. He was a very nice, reserved man. I remember how he would show us all how to bunt correctly. I found out later that he was actually head of the recreational for Park Forest. I think he liked to play baseball as much as we did.

In the summers of '52 and '53 we would ride our bikes to the Illinois Central train station and take the train into Harvey to swim in the public pool located just north of Thornton High School. Not knowing how to swim, I would dive off the board at the deep end and come up and grab the side of the pool. One day, however, I missed the edge went straight down to the bottom. In my panic I reach up and by chance grabbed a girl's ankle. She was a little upset but probably saved my life that day.

I guess my father got wind of my near drowning. He helped with the sale of bonds and served on the committee that originated the Park Forest Aquacenter. When the pool opened up a year or two later, we were members. I still have my picture pass from 1956.

It seemed that the trees grew over night. Within a few years, all of the houses had green lawns and trees. Also, it was just amazing how fast Park Forest developed. Hundreds of homes were built monthly with new schools being built every year. The Plaza expanded when Goldblatt's, Bramson's & Marshall fields were built in 1953. I remember exploring inside during construction. I think Goldblatt's had a large basement. I remember when an elderly Mr. Goldblatt would park his limo on the North parking lot and go inside pretending to be a shopper. He was actually looking for shoplifters.

My wife was originally from Skokie, IL and had always lived in a small apartment. When her family visited relatives in Park Forest who lived in a nice home in the Lincolnwoood section, her dream was someday to live in Park Forest. So naturally, when we met in college and she found out I lived in Park Forest, love soon developed.

I got married in 1969 and we moved to 158 Birch. By then, these rentals had been converted into cooperatives. Our adjustment to court life was very pleasant. Because of the layout design, each court produced it own separate social groups. We became friends with a close-knit group of couples who were very socially active.

Even though we had separate working lives, we all shared many things in common: We were all young, educated, working for corporate America in middle to upper management positions.

This was the time in our life when we attended many social activities. In the court, we played volleyball, had a league softball team, drank beer at the VFW after the games, attended many evening parties, played golf on the weekends, and, of course, had barbecues. We lived there five years before purchasing a home.

As the early Park Forest settlers became more successful in their careers, many chose to stay and put on large additions to their homes instead of moving to more affluent areas. They had strong bonding ties to their neighbors and the town. They liked were they lived. In 1974, we purchased one of these homes at 370 Winona (our first dream house). It was a large, wonderful home. Back then, most of our immediate neighbors were original owners headed toward retirement age.

As the first children of Park Forest, it seems to me that many of us followed in a similar path as the early settlers. As young adults of similar class, we started out in the rentals and eventually purchased a home in the Village while, at the same time, striving to make it up the organization ladder. More importantly, I think very strong bonds were forged in the early years between the town and its residents who shared in the experience of living in this very unique place. I am glad "Park Forest happened to me".

Having spent 27 years living in Park Forest, I can really say that I was a true Park Forester. Even though we moved away from the area 26 years ago and have been back only a few times for class reunions, this place, Park Forest, will always hold a special place for me: We grew up in the best of times, in the best of places. We were all very fortunate to have called Park Forest home.
From: Ray Shepard
1210 Cotton Hill Ln
Collierville, TN 38017
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Memories Deborah Lewis Dougherty Posted 9/15/05

My family moved to Park Forest in the summer of 1956. My father, Paul Lewis was with the Prudential Insurance Company and moved us so that he would be able to make it home for dinner every night. My mother, Doris Lewis, was a stay at home mom, like so many women in those days. We lived at 462 Talala, in a long ranch house that sat on what appeared to me at the time, to be a very high hill. The house had a sunroom instead of a garage, with what looked like leather walls and a beautiful bar. When we stepped out of the side door, there was a red patio in the shape of a round balloon. I thought it was just heaven!

The Dwyers were our next door neighbors and I immediately become best friends with Denise. Unlimited possibilities for fun and excitement were ahead. We lived very close to the woods at Tampa and Monee Road. Denise and I spent many of our summer days hiking in the woods and finding beautiful rocks and often, we would find Indian arrowheads. I used to have quite a collection of arrowheads.

Other summer days were spent at the Aqua Center, which was an all day event. I used to love to buy the ice cream sandwiches at the refreshment stand. I still have one of my picture badges, which of course was the identification to get in to the pools. The children's pool was great and but then we moved up to the adult pool. We had prove that we could swim across some part of the pool in order to make this transition. I thought that the high dive was so high and scary. It was a right of passage to be able to dive off that board.

A quarter for a bus ride also brought us to the Plaza and we did this as early as the age of 7 years old. Those were amazing days-1957. Our parents gave us such freedom because the town was so safe. Marshall Fields, Mayama's book store, Stuarts for clothes, Goldblatts, the Holiday theater, it had everything that we could ever want. In 1960 when Nixon came to town to speak, Denise and I were standing right at the circle drive. The Nixon's walked past us to their car and Pat Nixon took off her corsage and gave it to Denise. We thought that was pretty neat. Possibly the best of the best at the Plaza was the Art Fair that was held every summer. I will never forgot how exciting it was, with people so nicely dressed enjoying the artwork. Does anyone else remember the Jazz concerts that took place on some evenings under the clock tower? Mom used to take me and we stood there and swayed to the music.

Kresge's holds many memories for me. I used to buy my goldfish there, in the back of the store. You could pick out your fish and they would scoop it out and deposit it a plastic bag, with water in it. Then it was placed in a box that looked like Chinese takeout. The lunch counter holds the funniest memory for me. My sister was 11 months older than I was and to say we didn't get along would be an understatement. I was looking at the Evening in Paris blue bottle of cologne in the makeup section and happened to notice my sister at the counter with a girlfriend. In front of her was a great big glass of coke. She turned her head and I jumped in and grabbed her coke and started to drink, knowing the moments were numbered for me when she caught me. Instead she saw me and just kept looking at me. It slowly dawned on me that something was wrong and then she told me it wasn't her Coke, they hadn't cleaned the counter yet from the last person who sat there.I never did that again!

My mother used to shop at the Jewel Food Store at the Indianwood shopping center, which also had a doctor's office (Dr. Alex White) and a pharmacy. Doctors made house calls in those days and I remember being sick, laying on the sofa and having Dr. White taking my temperature.

Sweet memories of a simpler time of life....oh what I would give to live another day there as a young girl and be able to run into the house for dinner and see both of my precious parents (now deceased) sitting at the kitchen table. So many wonderful experiences that I will never forget!

Thank you for letting me share my memories with you....

Deborah Lewis Dougherty

Memories of Park Forest  by Garry Klein Posted 5/9/05

My family moved to Park Forest in 1955 or 1956, shortly after my older sister was born. My grandfather lonaed my folks the down-payment and the rest was worked out with the GI Bill, as my father was a "between the wars" GI who was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood.

My older sister was born while my folks still lived in Chicago. I was the second of three children born at 410 Rutledge St.. My older sister, younger brother and I went to Illinois Elementary School. We lived next to an elderly couple whose last name was Harper who had a collie to whom we gave steak bones to. Across the street was the Roman family who had kids our age ( I remember their daddy was an FBI agent, which we thought was very cool).

My grandparents all lived in South Chicago and would visit us on Sundays. Occasionally we would go into the city to visit relatives. They would always complain that we lived so far away. My grandfather always had a silver dollar that we would compete to get from him. My grandmother would tell us how families used to live together but "thing change."

One memory I have of Park Forest was our house which was a split level with a builte in bar in the basement and thin stairways. I remember it as a fairly dark house because my Mom insisted on keeping the drapes closed to protect the living room furniture.  I remember red berry shrubs in front of the house that invariably I would "pop" and get the juice all over myself and my clothes. I would catch holy heck for that!

The most vivid memory I have is the day that JFK was shot. My mom was ironing in the kitchen and I and my younger brother were eating lunch in front of the TV. I remember my Mom crying and my older sister coming from school early.

We shopped at Shoppers World and went to the McDonalds (when the building had the old candy-striped design). At the end of our block was a field that had black-eyed Susans and "ant plant" what we called Queen Anne's Lace because ants crawled on top of it when it rained.

We lived in Park Forest until 1967 when we moved to Highland Park. We were a nomadic generation that went where the opportunities took us.

Michael Road  by William Hunt Posted 2/8/05

My name is William Hunt and I lived in Park Forest from 1958 until 1961 at 19 Michael Road. My father was in the army and assigned  to Fifth Army in Chicago. I guess I remember most is the clock tower, especially at Christmas with Santa up on it looking like he was coming out of a huge chimney. I also remember the penny candy store in the plaza- what a great place for a kid!!! And who could forget Rudys Supermarket with those neon stars!! I recall wonderful picnics in the Forest Preserve. And we had some great meals at Mickleberrys. I also enjoyed the pancake breakfast in the huge tent on July 4th. I attended the Hickory Hills School and had Miss Young and Mr, Brudnicki. The high point of the year was always hot dog day when we could order hot dogs to eat at school. I also remember doing drills for tornadoes where we had to sit in the hallway. Later on I attended the Stoeger School for grades 6 and part of 7. Another good memory was the visit of Richard Nixon to Park Forest for the 1960 campaign. He spoke from the roof of Goldblatts. There was a traffic jam leaving town that day and my Dad said it was all the Democrats getting out of town! I also remember riding the trains at the 227th St (?) station. Of course I used to love to go to the Museum of Science and Industry.

My father passed away in 1961 and we moved back to New Jersey. I have been a school teacher for 32 years and will retire in June. The last time I was in Park Forest was in 1966. After I retire, I hope to pass your way again for a visit. My very favorite memory of all was getting to ride my bike to go meet my Dad as he got off the bus coming home from work and walking home together. I miss him very much and am thankful that the next time we meet it will be forever.

"More than a Liquor Store: First Retail Store Opens in Park Forest!"

Following is my speech at the 2003 Hall of Fame induction ceremony. by Tom Taradash Posted 7/31/03

Recently, an old friend of my father reminded me of the time in 1949 that he was planning Thanksgiving dinner at his new home in Park Forest. He and his wife wanted to show off their home and their young children playing in their backyard. That afternoon, as his wife prepared the dinner and set the table, they realized that they needed glassware for 15 or 20 people. In addition, they had forgotten the ice, liquor and wine -- and; they did not have enough snacks to go around.  My father's friend would have had to drive to Chicago Heights to get the forgotten items, but all these items were provided by the Park Forest Liquor Store.It was a problem that George Taradash decided to do something about. In 1949 he and his brother Irving, soon before, opened the first retail store in the Park Forest Shopping Center. It was the thought of these needs that they rushed the completion of the Park Forest Liquor Store to open before the Holidays that year. Many retailers tried, but only the liquor store opened. Things were "rugged" in Park Forest at that time - there were no paved streets, other than the main throughfares - no green lawns - no trees, other than the wind brakes planted years before. There were no sidewalks and only "duckboards" would get you in and out of the shopping center.

The name Liquor Store at that time was really a misnomer. The store carried such staples as milk, bread, canned goods, toilet paper and the most precious item - baby food. As we all know, there were a lot of babies in Park Forest after the War. It was by all means, in today's terms a "Convenience Store." But the services that were provided then were way different than the "no" service of today. First and most important, there was FREE home delivery. When a young mother was home - with children and no car - but needed grocery items or baby food, George Taradash and the Park Forest Liquor Store provided free delivery service. When phone lines were at a premium and a message had to get home from a husband downtown at work, the liquor store provided a message service. There was no bank in town then, so when paychecks needed to be cashed, Park Forest Liquors provided that service also. Besides being a shop owner, there was George the community person. Meeting space, for the newly formed clubs and community service organizations was non-existent before the building of restaurants, schools and churches. But again, Park Forest Liquors came to the rescue. An area in the basement of the store was devoted to meet this need. Anytime, day or night, groups would meet and formulate the future of Park Forest. From community service groups to government entities, from school boards to church organizations, all met at space provided free at the Park Forest Liquor Store. Because of his extreme generosity, he sponsored numerous Little League teams, bowling teams, softball teams and about any organized event held in town. The office in the store looked like a museum of pictures and trophies from anything ever held in Park Forest.
Later, Jewel opened, and there was no longer a need for food items. The town was growing rapidly. My father had already built a terrific reserve of "good will." On that "Good Will," he decided to expand and move into a larger space in the Theater Building. He also opened a second store on Blackhawk, as the community expanded. My sister, Gail, and I remember when our family first moved to Park Forest in 1949. And, although our father and mother, Nancy, are no longer with us; we still remember Park Forest fondly.

Thank you for honoring my father, George Taradash, by inducting him into the Park Forest Hall of Fame in April, 2003.
-- Tom Taradash

Childhood Memories of Park Forest by Lee Mannheimer  May 20, 2003

My name is Lee Mannheimer. I was born in February of 1943. My father was at war in the Panama Canal Zone and my earliest memories are those of moving to Park Forest when I was 5 years old in 1948. We lived at 93 Forest Boulevard in a duplex, which to me was very large home. It had three bedrooms and a full basement. Next door our neighbors were the Riordans. John Riordan was with the FBI and would eventually head the Illinois Bureau of Investigation. Joy was a stay at home mom. They had only four children at that time with more to come; Michael was my age as was Steven Doty who lived in the next building. Our home had no sidewalks when we moved in. There were wooden planks that we called duckboards between all the buildings in the court. There was mud everywhere most of the time and in the spring they finally installed the sidewalks and the grass. At that time the Park Forest Fire Department consisted of one jeep with a hose and some fire extinguishers on it. Our telephone number was a Juniper exchange followed by only 4 numbers and we were on an 8 party line. This was troubling because when you tried to make a call and picked up the phone you would hear someone else talking. I began school in a converted multiplex housing unit as the new schools had yet to be built. My first school was the Forest Boulevard School near the not yet completed Shopping Center and I had to carry my lunch. After a year I was moved to the Juniper School another converted multiplex housing unit closer to my own home. From Juniper I could walk home for lunch each day and watch Uncle Johnny Coons and the Our Gang movies as I ate. I went to the Juniper School for a year until Lakewood School was competed. That was a great school. It was brand new and it was very modern. I was in third grade and my teacher was Mrs. Loeb. I also attended fourth grade with Mrs. Huncilman, fifth with Mrs. Reeves and sixth with Mr. Buffey who later became the principal and who drove a blue and white 1954 Ford Fairlane two-door which was really a cool looking car. There was a contest to name the new school newspaper and I was the winner naming it the Lakewood Planet, just like the Daily Planet on Superman, which was on each day in the afternoons on our 12 inch black and white television. After school there were lots of kids to play with but on rainy days we stayed in and watched Hopalong Cassidy, Sky King and Sergeant Preston of the Yukon as well as westerns on Saturdays.

The Holiday Theater was finally completed in the Shopping Center and on Saturdays all the kids would go to the show from 12:30 until almost 6PM for three cartons and three movies, usually old westerns all for a price of 9 cents. This theater was very modern with a crying room for babies to go in that was sound proofed. But the day was mainly pandemonium with Jujubees and flattened popcorn boxes flying in every direction. There was a little candy shop around the corner from the new Jewel that sold waxed lips and dots on paper and stuff like that. The Jewel was supposed to be the biggest one ever built and it was very modern in 1950. The shopping center developed slowly with a Rexall Drug at one corner that had a soda fountain where you could get a Green River or a chocolate coke. One of the last stores was Marshall Field's. One day when playing around the clock tower a long green limousine arrived and we kids had a chance to meet Marshall Field who talked to us for a few minutes.

About 1952 Park Forest had grown considerably and now had a police station and some black Plymouth police cars. I recall that the Chief of Police was Captain Plaza. There were also new fire trucks and this was all very exciting to us boys. By this time I was old enough to ride my bike all over town. We never locked our doors or windows. That year my mom let me take the bus to Chicago Heights alone for the day. I liked Chicago Heights because we use to go there to the theater before the Holiday Theater was built. I saw my first 3-d picture there, Fort Ti and my dad went bowling there where I watched the pin boys set the pins and jump out of the way. The summer of 1952 also saw a great campaign for President. It was Eisenhower versus Stevenson and a lady named Jinks Falkenberg came to town to campaign for one of them down near the Forest Boulevard School but all we kids wanted were the campaign buttons.

As I became older I needed to find a job so I went to Vistain's newspaper agency that had a spot in the mall and got a job delivering papers. My paper route took me about an hour each day after school for which I was paid $2.50 per week. But this time conflicted with Mrs. Perlmutter's Hebrew class, which I never managed to reach at Lakewood school until it was half over. Finally I gave up Hebrew and continued with selling papers. I had a second route on Sunday in the newly developed single-family homes going in near Sauk Trail. Right next to Vistain's Agency was a record store that sold phonographs and televisions. In 1954 they had a Motorola color TV in the store and we all went on Saturday to see Mary Hartline in Super Circus in color that was really exciting although it was not a very clear picture.

At Forest Boulevard and Western Avenue there was a Mobil Gas Station with a big flying horse sign. And on Western a bit north of that was a Deli type place run by a man named Shelly and up from that was a building with a sign "Doctor Fix It and Mr. Make It" where I would hang out and be allowed to use the jig saw. He was a very kind man but I can't recall his name.

One summer I became friends with Jimmy Klutznick. He had lived in a duplex off of Western Avenue but his folks built a really cool house on Monee Road. He lived next door to Tommy Taradash who in turn lived next to Billy Pomerantz. About a block or two away lived Pam Sweet whose father helped Phil Klutznick build Park Forest. Ethel Klutznick was a great lady and she had a 1952 blue Ford woody wagon. There were five kids in the family. The oldest Betty we never saw. Tommy was next and he had an Indian Motorcycle, which we thought was really neat. Then there were two younger kids one we called Skippy. We use to crawl under the house with flashlights and come up in one of the bedrooms. We would play hide and go seek all over the house but we were not allowed in the living room or dining room. In the master bedroom there was a side room that had a steam type cabinet but it was heated with light bulbs and was a good hiding place. There was a huge bed with a wooden bolster that was hollow and the pillows were hidden inside but it was not big enough to get into. There was a hidden bar off the family room that had a secret switch that buzzed the lock and opened the door. This was a pretty good hiding place also. It was a great house and the maid would make us lunch. The Pomerantz house had the kitchen facing the street and the other rooms facing the forest preserve. It was also a friendly house and Mrs. Pomerantz was always making lunch or doing something for us. The Taradash house was in between these two homes and we never were allowed to spend time in there as Mrs. Taradash was not as welcoming of all the kids as the other moms. The Taradash's owned the local liquor store in the shopping center where we would go with Tommy for a soft drink on hot days. His father was a quiet man but always nice to the kids.

In the summer time the ice cream truck would stop in each court of the rental homes and we would by a square ice cream covered with nuts. It was not Good Humor, I think it was a KarmelKorn truck from Chicago Heights. There was also a bakery truck it was a Chevy Panel truck with shelves in the back that would come to each court. One day it turned over on its way back to Chicago Heights on the big dip in the road where you could get your bike up to 50 miles an hour going down hill. After that we didn't see that bakery truck again. My parents would also drive us over to Steger to a special restaurant that served Chicken In the Rough and I would look at the menu that showed all their locations all over the United States. The sign out front had a chicken with a golf club and the food was always good. Then we would all go to the Sauk Trail Drive-In to see a movie. My sister and I would put on our pajamas so when we fell asleep we could be put right to bed when we got home.

Before Lakewood School was built there were trees and swamp in that area. We use to catch salamanders and frogs and build mud damns in the summer. We kids were out all day and it was totally safe. Then they decided to build a very elaborate aqua center. They cleared the swamp and cut the trees. We were all very upset to lose this play area. One summer night we were climbing around the construction and found a sump pump running. Someone unplugged and then rolled a number of large pipefittings into the water, which promptly sank. The next week there was an article in the paper about vandals delaying the centers completion since the plumbing fittings had disappeared. I imagine they are still under the large pool if the aquatic center is still there. The summer always brought the circus. There was always a circus parade down Forest Boulevard and I would get a job working in the popcorn stand or something, it was an exciting time. There were court parties where everyone would bring a dish of food and we would have fun with all the other families. We would sit out on the porch and watch the traffic go up and down Forest Boulevard from our large metal chairs that rocked on their bases. On Saturday I would have to cut the grass with a push mower and I hated the fact that we lived on a corner lot that had so much grass to cut. But in the winter the snow would blow into six and seven foot drifts and I wished for the warm weather as I snapped the cold metal buckles on my rubber boots. But one summer the refinery in Whiting, Indiana exploded and we felt the shock. We could see the fire and the smoke from our back window but it did not stop us from playing.

In the spring of 1955 my father's company was moving and my parents told me that we would be moving at the end of the school year. I cried every night for three days. I had grown up here, all my friends were here. Lanny Walker, Shelley Stromquist, Susan Jeski, Marsha Wood, Linda Van Gurpen, Mike and Dennis Riordan, Steve Doty, Richie Salmon, Ricky Ross, Charlie Rosenberg, Billie Treitler, Gene Mendelsson, Jimmy Klutznick, Billy Pomerantz, Mike and Pat Kirby, Jamie Patterson, Carol Gaussbeck, Janice Surlin, Greg Stephenson, Marianne Chote, Patricia Longerman, Bob Shock, and Allen Sutherland. These people and all the other memories I have of my life in Park Forest from 1948 until 1955 I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Lee Mannheimer


It has been a long time since I lived in Park Forest (1952 - 1967), but I try to make visits to the place I grew up every two to three years. I reminisce about the old times. I was told that in 1946, Matthew Manilow acquired a large number of acres for a future residential development. In 1947, he broke ground on the development and sold his first home in the later part of 1948. I was also told that the first 600 tenants of the original townhouses chose the name "Park Forest" for their town and in 1949, the Village of Park Forest was incorporated. Maybe someone can verify that information for me. Originally, my parents were going to move to Park Forest in 1951 and rent a townhouse in one of the early development areas near the firehouse and shopping center. They changed their minds as they decided to purchase a new house under construction on Niagara Street.

I was seven years old when we moved to Park Forest in 1952. My sister and I attended St. Irenaeus elementary school. I remember my early days in cub scouts and boy scouts with my mom as a den mother and father as a scouting leader. We used to take camping trips to Starved Rock Campgrounds and the winter sledding events of the Klondike Derby at the local forest preserves. And then there were the Saturday trips to Riverview Amusement Park in Chicago and the "Cubbies" baseball games to watch Ernie Banks hit a home run. I remember playing little league baseball for the Chattanooga baseball team and hitting a home run on Saturday afternoon and even getting a small write-up about my home run in the Park Forest Star newspaper. I also remember the only pony league game that I every pitched. I only gave up six hits to the other team, but lost the game by two runs. Luckily, that event was NOT printed in the Star newspaper. When I visit Park Forest, I still go to the baseball fields in Central Park where I used to play little league.

In 1956, we moved to a brand new, larger house on Wilson Court in Park Forest. It was a beautiful split-level house in the middle of the court. When I was in sixth grade at St. Irenaeus, I used to sneak away at lunchtime with some friends and go to the Park Forest Shopping Center right across the street from the school. We would have hot dogs and "cherry cokes" at Kresge's Dime Store, and finish off with a caramel apple at the Karmelkorn store, a local hangout for kids who desired penny candies. I remember going to a hobby shop at the shopping center every Saturday morning for a drawing of names for toys. I remember winning a small toy -- a "Dinky" army truck, and also a shiny white "Hopalong" rifle.

On Sundays my parents would take the family bowling at the Park Forest Lanes where we would bowl for fifteen cents a game. Or we would go to a matinee show at the Holiday Theater. In 1957, signer and actor Pat Boone attended the premiere of one of his films at the Holiday Theater, and I got my very first celebrity autograph. I also remember my dad taking the family to Sun Drugs after Sunday church services for a triple-decker ice cream cone. When I was in eighth grade, I remember working as an ice cream vendor peddling a three wheel bike with a front end ice cooler all around the streets of Park Forest selling ice cream bars and "Dreamsicles."

In 1957, my parents purchased an old Wurlitzer jukebox and we would have weekend dance parties for the neighborhood kids. The boys would wear pink shirts with string ties and white buck shoes, and the girls would wear petticoats and fluffy dresses as we danced to rock-n-roll music...such great times. My sister and I played games like "kick-the-can" and "spud" with the neighborhood kids belonging to the families of Navid, Pizzamenti, Star, Weiss, O'Brien, and Brandt.

In 1958, I went to Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights. I was in the very first graduation class (1962). Our class chose the colors of the school (black and white) although I voted for navy blue and gold, and chose the name "Spartans" for the school. In high school, I met a beautiful blonde named "Pam" who I think still lives in Park Forest today. We met at a Fourth of July celebration at Central Park and we danced to the song, "Wipe Out." During the summer we would meet at the Aquacenter, and during the school year, I would pick her up after school at her school (Rich East) in my mom's "Monza" convertible car and we would drive to Dandy's Restaurant.

I went to Southern Illinois University where I got my bachelor's degree, but would still spend my summer months in Park Forest until 1967. I dreamed of surfing along the coasts of California and enjoying the Beach Boys music, and so in 1967 I moved to southern California where I have lived ever since. I have been a pretty lucky guy...getting my Master's degree in business administration and Doctorate degree in law while living in California and becoming an attorney and judge. I also had some great jobs working for Disney Studios and Warner Brothers in Burbank, California. I even worked as the "Winnie the Pooh" character at Disneyland while going to law school, and worked as a hotel manager for a resort hotel at Disney World in Florida. I really enjoy living in sunny southern California, but I also miss the innocent, peaceful and happy times of my youth living in Park Forest. I probably have bored you long enough.

Thank you for the opportunity to let me drift back in time and remember the good old days, a "BLAST TO THE PAST". If anyone wants to write to me, I can be reached by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Robert Flynn

John Morris Recalls 1950s Park Forest and Ponders the Monolithic Clock Tower March 31, 2002

My family lived at 9 Elm Street circa 1954, when I was about 6, so my memories are limited. On one side of us lived the Koenig family, and on the other, John and Cathy Hart and children (Johnnie was my playmate.) Cathy Dunbar lived across the court. Our family was friendly with a young lady from Germany named Dagmar something who lived down the court. My dad, John Morris, was in the insurance/fire protection business in the City (now lives with wife Jean in SF Bay area). Jean kept house and tended to me and younger sister June. Some distinct memories are of the first movie I ever attended at the local theater, which was an Abbott and Costello feature. Every noon I would race home from school to catch the "Uncle Johnnie Coons" show on the tube - his theme song was "A Walk In the Black Forest" I think it is called.

There were plenty of kids in the court and everywhere. One of them (anyone remember who?) had a basement full of war relics, such as rifles and gas masks, and it was a great pleasure to be invited over to break these out and play war games. One day a neighbor child had somehow gotten some firecrackers and was setting them off when the police arrived and hauled him away. I collected the remaining pyrotechnics, which were promptly confiscated by my mother. I was not a particularly angelic child myself, given to melting crayons on the baseboard heaters in the Lakewood School classroom, and not sleeping during mandatory nap time (we had to bring our own rugs to school for this). I distinctly recall an immigrant (German I think) who periodically drove into the court in an ancient truck, which contained his blade grinding shop (scissors, knives). He would go door to door asking if anyone required anything sharpened. Then there were the Fuller Brush men, etc. Park Forest was the perfect place for a salesman to get a lot of calls with minimal traveling.

The Clock Tower in the shopping center was a wonderfully mysterious monolith to me - I probably thought of it similarly to the way the apes regarded the monolith in the movie "2001- A Space Oddessy." I kept wondering if there was anything particular inside of it!
I now live in the Washington DC area and work for the US government, and sister June lives in Texas and works in health care. I will always remember Park Forest as a great place to be anytime.

I would welcome anyone who remembers our family or our court at that time to email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
John Morris

Lynn Donath Remembers Growing Up in Park Forest October 5, 2001

I have just spent an enjoyable few hours reading about Park Forest - past and present. My family moved to P.F. in 1951. We spent many years on Michael Road, jealously watching the houses going up behind us on Chestnut Street! For a short time we lived on Rocket Circle near the high school, and then to a court on Western Ave. Mostly, I recall the early years of playing outside until dark, loads of kids of all ages everywhere, and the sense of freedom that feeling safe and 'at home' in my community imparted. I can't remember our ever having to lock our doors.

My fondest memories revolve around walking to the shopping center with friends, the Holiday (movie theater), the forest preserve behind my house, the pavillions there, and our 'coming of age' - going with my girlfriends to Mickelberry's for lunch at 12 years old! Despite the fact that my life has taken me far from Park Forest, in fact I have spent the past 30 years raising 5 children on a kibbutz in Israel, Park Forest has had a tremendous influence on me and who I've evolved into! I appreciate your rich website.

Sincerely, Lynn Donath
Kibbutz Sasa ISRAEL

Bill Keese Remembers the Early Years October 2, 2001

My family moved to Park Forest in August, 1954. We lived at 323 Dogwood until October, 1958 when we moved to Houston, Texas. We lived at 323 Dogwood. My four years growing up in Park Forest left a life-long impression on me and were the most influential years of my life. Life was absolutely great in Park Forest. It is a shame every child in America can't experience growing up in a community like Park Forest.
My father, Garland Keese was Vice President of Used Truck Sales for International Harvester Company, headquartered in Chicago. My mother, June Keese was a wife, mother and housewife.

I was in the first class to move in to Hickory Hill School. Before that, all elementary students attended class at Faith United Presbyterian Church. My 1st grade teacher was Miss Royer, who later became the principle at Hickory Hill School. I played Little League baseball in the Southern Division and played on the team named Savannah.

I had an older brother, Paul, who was in high school at the time and was a 1957 graduate of Rich Township High School. During high school, my brother worked as a busboy at Mickleberry's Restaurant. Back then, that was the fanciest place in town.

Many times in my life I have wished my family had remained in Park Forest until I finished high school. The formal education I received in Kindergarten thru part of 4th grade was far superior to the educational system here in Texas. In fact, when I was in my twenties and thirties, serving as a state representative in the Texas House of Representatives, I used this comparison to gain more appropriations for public education in Texas.

Thirty years after we moved from Park Forest, I returned for a visit. I was amazed at how well kept the town was. It was just as neat and attractive as I remember it being in the 1950's. Once I found our old address on Dogwood, I was able to name all our old neighbors who have long since moved away. I was able to find my old schools, ball parks, and favorite places to play. I took a walk through the forest preserve to savor the beauty.

One day I will come back and visit Park Forest. In my 52 years, it is the best place I ever lived.
Bill Keese
Austin, Texas

A Member of the First 4-Year Graduating Class of Rich Township High School Remembers the Beginning of Park Forest and the First Year of Classes by Elaine Umland-Brownlee  September 15, 2001

Born in 1938, I grew up in the area surrounding Park Forest before there was a Park Forest. My family owned 5 acres in what is now the Lincolnwood section of Park Forest. Sauk Trail was a dirt road then with a few farms dotting its skinny shoulders. Lincoln Highway was paved but was only a two-lane road. It was the route to Chicago Heights for shopping and Saturday afternoon movies. Western Avenue was also paved; it led us to the city of Chicago with a frequent stop in Blue Island for White Castle hamburgers. My father and brother hunted pheasants and trapped muskrats for their pelts in the marshy fields and bogs. We raised turkeys and chickens for sale. Cornfields and daisy-strewn prairies were my playgrounds.

When I was 10 years old, I became conscious of the constant sound of heavy-duty building equipment to the south-east of us. People in the surrounding areas were not happy the land had been sold to "the developers." Change is hard to accept. In 1949, my father sold our 5 acres to the Lions' Club International who planned an international headquarters near the Illinois Central Railroad Station at 211th street. Surrounding neighbors did the same. We then moved, first to Monee briefly, and then into the town of Matteson.

In 1952, I was thrilled to find out that I would be attending this new high school called Rich Township High School, and that it would be MY class that would be the first complete 4-year graduating class! That meant that I would not have to ride a bus all the way to Bloom or Thornton high schools. But Rich High School was not ready to open its doors in the autumn of 1952, so we started classes at Faith United Protestant Church in Park Forest. It was my class of 1956 that chose the name of the high schoo'sl athletic teams, "The Rockets," and the school's colors, green and gold. History in the making! It was a joy to meet my "Park Forester" classmates-how nice they were, so bright, witty and vibrant. And the teachers were the cream of the crop.

There was a lunchroom but no cafeteria so we were permitted to leave our Faith U.P. classrooms at lunchtime to have a hot dog or hamburger at Kresge's dime store, or The Park Forest Grill. The shopping center was not yet completed, and I remember navigating muddy wooden platforms instead of sidewalks. Mr. Raymond Janota, Rich Township High School's first biology teacher, sent us on forays into the boggy fields to find frogs to dissect, or wildflowers to examine under a microscope. (We did not have the resources to have our own yearbook that first year, but many of the photos in the Yearbook of 1954 were gleaned from that first school year of 1952-53 when we were freshmen.)

The next autumn, in 1953, Rich High School opened its brand new doors to all classes, and what a high school it was! It was a "model" high school, and, as students, we were always conscious of the many visitors who had come to see what these visionaries in Park Forest had created, both as a remarkable new community and for its high school of academic excellence. Naturally, we sometimes balked that we were "on display" and compelled to be on our "best behavior" often because well-known national dignitaries visited frequently. Their arrival was announced over the public speaker, usually a few moments before they arrived! But we were also consumed with pride, a pride that has endured among all my classmates throughout the years.
Hail to thee Rich High, all hail. We still sing your praise! Happy 50th Anniversary.

Hello from One of Park Forest's Early Residents: Charles Miller

January 6, 2001

My name is Charles Miller. My family and I were among the first 100 families to move into Park Forest in 1949. I was four years old at the time. I remember watching the sidewalks being poured, and the other apartments being built. My mother is Reeva (Ricky) Miller, who at 85 years old, is living in Leisure World in Seal Beach, California. My father, who died in 1990 at the age of 82, was Harry Miller. He occasionally wrote for the Park Forest Star. His columns were Contract Bridge , Grist from the Miller, and Out of my Mind

Our first apartment was at 2716 Western Ave., which was the third unit from the end, facing the entrance to the court. Among the other families living there at the time, I remember Dr. Bourque and his many children, and the Dempsters, the Piggins (Bill, Ruth, Tom, Gail and Joyce), and the Hochbergs.
We moved across Elm Street to 8 Gerstung, and among our neighbors were the Dowies, the Crowleys, and the Johnstons.

Finally, we moved into our newly built house at 102 Walnut where we lived until 1957, when we left Park Forest for Los Angeles, California.
I recall going to school in converted apartments before the actual schools were built. After that I went to Lakewood elementary, and Blackhawk Junior High.

In 1999, my sister Amy and I visited Park Forest with my mother for the first time since we had left in 1957. We were delighted to see how many things had not changed, and still looked as we remembered them. However, we were quite disappointed to see that the shopping center and the clock tower had not survived.

After all these years, I still consider Park Forest to be my hometown, and look back with many fond memories.
I am currently living in Huntington Beach, California with my wife of 23 years, Tillie. If anyone would like to contact me, I can be reached via email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Greetings from Lynn Rotman Ansfield

February 10, 1999

What a joy to find you on the Web! The photo of the clock tower in the shopping center brought back so many memories of my idyllic childhood in Park Forest. I remember the billboard announcing the creation of the village that beckoned my family off our route to a long-awaited vacation in Indiana. We spent the afternoon plodding through muddy lots that we were assured would some day become grassy lawns. As we left the fledgling village, our family voted - vacation or move? Later that summer we moved to our little home on Apple Lane in what the billboard had told us was a "Wonderland for Children." I assure you that for a family trying to flee the tenements of near-Northside Chicago, Park Forest certainly was a wonderland.
Although I have spent more of my life in Madison, Wisconsin, when I'm asked where I'm from, I always say, "Park Forest."

My sisters and I attended Forest Boulevard School before any elementary schools were built. Classes were held in living rooms and bedrooms of the townhouses. We hung our coats on the shower curtain bar and put our boots in the tub. When the library moved to the Lakewood Boulevard address, I took part in the parade of citizens who hand-carried the books to their new home (mid to late 1950s).

Thank you for the opportunity to share memories of our community with my parents and my sisters, who will be receiving the calendars I am ordering.

Lynn Rotman Ansfield

Memories of Park Forest, June 1948 - December 1950 by Julian Roberts  December 13, 1998

My father, Clyde Roberts, had gone ahead of us to start his new position as a designer for Argonne National Laboratories. He had located a home for us, but warned my mother, Alice, that construction was still in progress. He said it might be a few months before we were able to move in.
Flying up on the twin-engine DC-3 in about June of 1948 was an adventure for my brother, Nick, and me, but I don't recall mother and my sister, Judy, being quite as excited about it.

We stayed in hotels in Chicago and a motel in Gary, Indiana. Each week my father would check on progress, but our home was still unfinished. The family moved into Chicago Heights in order to start school. I recall seeing a movie titled "Bill and Coo" which was acted entirely by parakeets, and a miraculous device in a store window called a "Television Set."

Finally our home at 2701 Western Avenue was ready! We were the end row-house of the second quadrangle to be finished. I think the house was brick. As the end house, we had an entry facing Western Avenue, directly into the living room. To the right, as you entered, was a dining room and through that a door into the kitchen. Crossing the living room, you would ascend a flight of stairs with a dog-leg right at the halfway point, which led to the three bedrooms and single bath upstairs. From the kitchen, a flight of stairs led down into the basement. I recall a monstrous coal furnace that dominated the room and a sink for a laundry area. To my mother's dismay, that sink became the repository for a number of amphibians and reptiles I brought home from the nearby Sauk forest.

Tommy Klutznick and I rapidly became friends. The third member of this unholy trinity was named Allen, I believe. We used to play "sock ball" in the mall between the quadrangles whenever we could get enough kids together. I also recall exploring the Sauk Forest (Sauk Trail Woods) on our bicycles. Sometimes we would be drafted by the neighborhood girls to participate in miniature playlets performed on the lawns for the benefit of the community.
Other than that, communal activities were sparse. Most tenants were strangers to the area and quite dissimilar in background. We did have an occasional ice cream party with the traditional "one kid-power" ice cream maker. Tommy Klutznick had a horse at a nearby stable. We used to go there and ride together. One day the herd decided to leave the stables and Tommy and I tried to get them to return. After about two hours of inexpert guidance, the horses found their own way home, and I learned just how sore muscles can get from riding!

Something in my memory insists that Western Avenue was unpaved that first winter. I recall standing in snow waiting for the bus to come and pick us up for the trip into Chicago Heights for school. On occasion the weather would be so bad the mothers would band together and take us in by car. My parents would have an occasional party, and my mother soon became active in the neighborhood. When Chicago Heights decided to recognize the budding community, mother became the reporter of Park Forest activities for the Chicago Heights newspaper, complete with byline. She still has clippings from the period. I became a carrier for the same newspaper. My memories include trying to find my way through ten-foot drifts to get a (often soggy) newspaper to the porch.

The addition of children from Park Forest overburdened the Chicago Heights school system and we attended several schools. On one class transfer, our teacher wanted to impress on us that we were guests at the new school, and needed to behave as perfect ladies and gentlemen. Her concept of "perfect ladies and gentlemen" was that we would remain in the classroom during recess and learn to knit and crochet. Mother would frequently give me a small sum of money for lunch. I recall buying a strawberry tart from a small bakery on the main street of Chicago Heights nearly every day. I still regard a strawberry tart as food fit for the gods.

In about January of 1950, I became ill with acute nephritis. Recovery required several months in the Bob Roberts Children's Hospital. Although I did start seventh grade, my father was advised that my chances for continued survival would be much better if we returned to the milder Southern climates.
We left Park Forest in December of 1950. My father continued to work with nuclear projects and finally retired from Union Carbide in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He died in 1980. My sister, Judy, died of leukemia in 1959. Mother, Nick and I live in the San Francisco Bay area. Nick is a retired stockbroker and I have become an attorney practicing in Sunnyvale, California (

After I stumbled across Park Forest's Historical Society on the internet, sent an e-mail message, and received a very nice email from Elaine Brownlee, I went into the map function of AltaVista and printed out a map of Park Forest. You have certainly grown! Our house was about at the intersection of Elm Street with Western Avenue, across the street. I gather from the blank space on the map that the forest remains, and I hope children still play and ride their bikes through the area. Certainly there is still winter skating on Sauk Pond!

Congratulations on your anniversary and best wishes for your continued prosperity. I thank you for having such excellent representation in the Park Forest Historical Society. Your web page has led me into many pleasant memories.

Warmest regards, Julian Roberts
(Julian writes from the San Francisco Bay Area)

Pleasant Memories from a Happy Childhood in Park Forest  by Robert Long  October 5, 1998

My father, C.B. Long (my mother is Hazel Long now living in Sun City Center, Florida) was a career (45 years) employee of Swift & Co. (edible oils division) and was transferred to Chicago in the spring of 1950. I was nearly 7 years old, my older brother Chip was 9 and my younger brother, Bill, would be born in January, 1951 in a Chicago Heights hospital. We moved directly into an apartment at 161 Park Road. (As I recall, their were no houses for a couple of years thereafter.) In 1954 we bought a new home at 448 Shabbona Dr. and lived there until my father's transfer in the summer of 1960. For me, it was a wonderful place to spend the formative years (between ages 6 and 17 in my case). Kids galore to play with, great schools, happy parents and neighbors and places everywhere for me to play any and every type of ball (whatever was in season). What a place! Chicago was merely a city somewhere close by where my father and three or four other men would take turns driving in their "carpool" during the week and where we kids would go once a year on "field trips", usually to the Museum of Science and Industry. Anyway, I was happy and my appreciation of Rich High (Rich Township H.S.), where I started in 1957, has only increased through the years. I played basketball for Rich and was a starter as a junior in 1960 (I was Rob Long then). We were the only completely average team (13-13) in a general period of athletic excellence being enjoyed by Rich. When we would travel for away games to such places as Evergreen Park, Reavis, Joliet, Wheaton, and Kankakee we all became aware that Park Forest was very special and that Rich High was, perhaps, the best high school anywhere. I still hold to this belief.

In 1994, after an absence of 34 years, I returned to Park Forest, visited both home sites, all four of the schools I attended and went into my beloved high school, which looked completely unchanged (actually looked better) after over three decades. The sign in front now read Rich East High School, Home of the Rockets. On this particular day, totally by coincidence, Rich was having an open house for parents and when I walked in I was actually greeted and welcomed as if I were expected. (The faculty members naturally assumed I was a parent of one of the students). I quickly cleared this up and was given a tour of the school and couldn't believe how sparkling clean and new looking everything appeared. It was a twilight zone experience. It was 1959 all over again. One teacher I met had married a classmate of mine and was able to fill me in with the lives of many schoolmates and friends whom I wondered about through the years. Then she said "Do you remember Don Hanson? He's still here." Don Hanson was one of our coaches who and just graduated from the University of Illinois and had joined the Rich faculty in perhaps, 1956 (the year before I started). Loved by everyone, Don Hanson was and is the embodiment of what was so special about Rich High (and Park Forest). Anyway, I was directed to "Coach Hanson's" office and spent an hour with this hero figure. He pulled out the 1960 Lagoon, found me in the basketball section, and said very convincingly that he remembered me well. Whether true or not, it was good enough for me, as was my entire visit in 1994, and all of my memories of my Park Forest from 1950 to 1960. Park Forest was very good to me!

(Rob writes from Boone, NC)

A Long and Happy Life in Park Forest  by James L. Garretson  March 19, 1998

Elaine and I and our then four children came to Park Forest in November, 1949. I had been in Cook County since early 1949 and had made the acquaintance of one Park Forester, Tony Scariano. Soon after our arrival, he and his good wife had all of us to their house for dinner. We occupied our then new townhouse until May, 1990 -- for over 40 years. I was 49, almost 50, when we moved in and 80 when we moved away. Elaine was three years younger.

Elaine taught piano for nearly 40 years and acted in many plays for Park Forest Playhouse and Chicago Heights Drama Group and she directed many for each. I held every elected office in the village except Village President from 1953 until 1974. I was never defeated. I also served on the Park Forest Public Library Board for many years. What a wonderful, gratifying experience it was for us to live in the beautiful village of Park Forest.

(James writes from Dallas, TX)

Park Forest--Dreams Past and a Dream Reborn  by Alan Fried  December 29, 1997

When you walked through certain neighborhoods in Park Forest, the air would grow breathlessly still and the sunlight would shimmer in a strange and almost magical way. Almost magical, because Park Forest is not a product of fantasy but of science fiction. And I always thought of those quiet places as a doorway into another dimension, what Robert Heinlein called the door into summer. When I was growing up there in the 1950s, I thought it was the Village of Tomorrow, I remember I was getting a free cookie in the Park Forest Bakery, located across from Wayne Howorth's music store, when I first heard about Sputnik being launched. For the rest of America, the launch of Sputnik meant American kids would begin getting an education in science and math. But not for Park Forest schoolkids like me. We were already getting a great education.

Our parents, the middle managers from Armour Star and the bird colonels from Fifth Army, were seeing to it that we would learn in modern classrooms, that our teachers would be well-trained and that we would have plenty of books. We were a model community and we were studied like a sociological prototype. Social scientists came to examine the curves in our streets and the rhomboid designs on our storefronts and predicted social trends based on our behavior. After I went away to college, I was amazed to learn that other kids had not taken a battery of sociological and psychological tests as part of their elementary school work. For kids growing up in Park Forest, that was the norm. We received plenty of publicity. The Organization Man was written about us, Look Magazine studied our attitudes about racial discrimination and the village was designated an All-American town.

The next decade, the 1960s, would be hard for America. War, assasination, the bared fangs of racial intolerance would reveal the cold, mechanical side of scientific thinking. Suddenly, progress had a downside and Park Foresters did more than watch it, from afar, on our new color television sets. We became involved, and perhaps, we became a little disenchanted. Like most of my friends, when I graduated from that great and good education in Park Forest high schools, I left for Chicago and then the world beyond.

Now I have a super-scientific link to my old hometown. I read The Star on the Internet and I hear from schoolmates who have looked up my e-mail address. I look at the new plans for downtown Park Forest with a pang of nostalgia but also with a smile. It may not be exactly my dream, but for some smart, science (and science fiction) loving kids back in Rich Township, the door into summer is re-emerging from the mist and the dream is being reborn.

The Early Days of Park Forest  by Judge Henry X. Dietch (Retired) December 10, 1997

When I came back from serving overseas in World War II, there was, in fact, no place we could rent to start up our civilian life again. My wife was living with her parents and our small amount of furniture was in storage. Thus, when Park Forest townhouses became available to war veterans, we eagerly applied and were fortunate to rent a two-bedroom apartment. Several years later, we built our present home where we continue to live today even though our children are all grown up and have children of their own. Our house is really too big for two people. However, I continue to be a "big frog" in a "small pond." In addition, Park Forest represents our life for almost 50 years and we continue to enjoy the company of old friends and Park Forest's wonderful conveniences.

It's pleasant to recall my service on the first Village Board as trustee, then as village president, and later, village attorney. We were living a "Camelot" life, building a village from the ground up, and we built well. I am most proud of our clean, non-partisan government, outstanding library, schools that produce Ivy League college graduates, and the maintenance of high grade municipal services. What more could one want than to be a participant in such an undertaking? We are all the beneficiaries of what we wrought in the halcyon days of Park Forest. As a founder and first president of the Park Forest Historical Society, I have tried to preserve the events of those days.


Memories of Park Forest - 1953 to 1964

by Ruth (Klinger) Cisowski February 7, 2010

My parents moved from Chicago to our house at 360 Oswego Street in 1953. There were no sidewalks only wood planks that led from the street up to our house. My mom planted two small evergreen trees out front of the house that were about 2 feet tall. My brother returned to Park Forest in the 1990's and told me they were about 15 feet over the house and that one had to be cut in half so they could get through the doorway and later was removed.

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