I found these letters and couldn’t believe my luck. They were all very brief and centered on Forest Park.
Dear Roos building: Can’t wait to meet you. All the Best, The Wrecking Ball.
Dear video game industry: Thanks for giving the grass a break. Sincerely, the Playing Fields and Parks of Forest Park.
Dear heroin users: Could you find another place to sample purchases? Best Regards, Concerned Gas Station Owner.
Dear Forest Park politicians: Next election, how about a ban on campaign signs? Sincerely yours, the Forest Park Front Lawn Association. PS: Those tiny holes really hurt.
Dear man-made climate change: No matter how freaky you make our weather, Conservatives say I’m writing to an imaginary friend. Sincerely, Going Green in Forest Park.
Dear deep tunnel: Finished yet? Your Friends, the Flooded Basements of Forest Park.
Dear cemetery dog walkers: Thanks for visiting, but, please, remember headstones aren’t hydrants. Very Truly Yours, the Dead People of Forest Park.
Dear 2011: You mean, Forest Park still has dive bars like the ones I used to stumble out of? Sincerely, 1945.
Dear Madison Street motorists: Thanks for speeding up my heart-rate. Sincerely, Pedestrian in Crosswalk.
Dear criminals and drunks of Forest Park: Your missteps make my Review section a must-read. Thanks, “Crime.”
Dear ignorant jaywalking pedestrians: We appreciate you saving us wear and tear but really you shouldn’t. Best Regards, Public Sidewalks of Forest Park.
Dear mortgage lender: If you think my two-bedroom on Thomas is still worth $300,000, it’s all yours, Sincerely, Submerged.
Dear Forest Park restaurants: Thanks for giving us discounts on select meals and hiring English majors to serve them. Best Regards, Philosophy Majors of Forest Park.
Dear economy: Never thought I’d retire at 38. Thanks, Full-time Jobseeker.
Dear corner bench: Hanging with my homeys has never been more comfortable, Sincerely, Shiftless Youth.
Dear park district: Your 4th of July Fireworks blew our minds, Best Regards, Car Alarms of Forest Park.
Dear utility contractors: Why exactly are you digging huge holes in us? Just asking, United Parkways of Forest Park.
Dear email forwarder: Thanks for wacky concept and examples I could steal. Sincerely, Anonymous Columnist.
John Rice is a columnist/private detective, who has seen his business and family thrive in Forest Park. He thoroughly enjoys life in the village and still gets a thrill smelling Red Hots, watching softball and strolling through cemeteries.