Wake up, Illinois! Ag, the State, and Peotone Airport

Foreword: this post is half-rant and may have some inaccuracies. Please let me know of any and I will do my best to research and correct the information.

I’m on my spring break right now. I’m sitting in Kansas City, enjoying the sights and sounds of a fairly large city. The town I grew up in is nothing like Kansas City, though. The town I grew up in, Momence, Illinois, has a population somewhere between three and four thousand. The high school graduating classes are right around 100, and that’s including kids that are bused in from outlying neighborhoods and villages. In warm spring and summer, the town is framed by a lush carpet of pastures, and fields. Corn, soybeans, wheat. On a warm summer day, when the wind blows just right, you can smell the herb fields west of town where basil and oregano help stimulate the local economy. The Kankakee River, which runs right through historic downtown Momence, has a great reputation for big pike and large populations of bluegill.

We all know each other. We all take care of each other. It’s a pretty magical place to have grown up. While my mailing address is no longer in Momence, it’s still in a way home. The memories, the people, the places…they’re all near and dear to my heart. Nowadays, though, the State of Illinois isn’t helping rural community. Continue reading