Forrest is a small farming community in north central Illinois, in the
heart of the prairies. Two hundred years ago this was grassland as
far as the eye could see, with prairie grass often growing 8 or 10
feet high. It is flat country, with vision limited mostly by the
curvature of the earth. It makes fabulous farm country, with topsoil
being several feet thick in most places. Now, however very little
prairie grass can be found, except in a few scattered sections left
undisturbed. In Naperville (a Chicago suburb), the largest plot of
prairie grass is being cultivated in the center of a the Argonne
National Laboratories nuclear accelerator (a giant ring buried
underground). Logical enough place to make the old merge with the
new, I guess!  Another patch lies just outside of Weston, Illinois
along the TP&W tracks.

Forrest has about 1,000 residents;  a figure that has stayed pretty
much the same for the last 100 years.  There is a small "uptown"
section (about a block and a half long), the old train station and a
gas stations. You can walk from one end of town to the other in less
than 30 minutes, or ride your bike the same distance in 10 .  Many
residents past and present have very strong memories of a happy
childhood in Forrest. The seasonal changes: the smell of burning
leaves in the fall, the warmth of the spring sun, and the thrill of
winter's first "covering" snowfall all create different fond emotions.

Forrest is a very small, parochial town; many of the people who grow
up there stay and raise their families in or near Forrest.  Growing up
in a small midwest town in America has lots of advantages and
relatively few disadvantages.  Small towns provide an opportunity
for kids to establish a strong sense of community, and are  relatively
safe and secure.  -
Jim Shaddle-