The Forest Park Review has a new lead reporter, Maria Maxham. She has been living in town for nearly two decades and has made friendships through the soccer field sidelines, annual block parties, local politics, Cub Scouts, St. Bernardine, Betsy Ross, Field Stevenson, FPMS, and Proviso Math and Science Academy. She understands the small-town charm that makes one a Forest Parker.

A keen reader of the Review once suggested that we take the parlor game popularized by French writer Marcel Proust, whose questionnaire can be found in Vanity Fair and is said to reveal one’s true nature.

So I asked our new editor to take part in the Proust questionnaire and she obliged with the following:


Q: What is your idea of perfect happiness? 

A: A big fire, a good drink, and fun conversation.

Q: What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

A: Docility and meekness. They will get you nowhere.

Q: Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

A: It’s not a spoken response, but I roll my eyes a lot at things that annoy me. And swear words. I definitely overuse those.

Q: Which talent would you most like to have?

A: I would love to be fluent in Spanish and a black belt in pretty much anything.

Q: What or who is the greatest love of your life? 

A: My husband and kids. And my parents and siblings. I am really and truly the luckiest person in the world when it comes to family.

Q: What is your most treasured possession? 

A: The family farm in Wisconsin. It’s abandoned and falling apart and beautiful and peaceful.

Q: What do you most value in your friends?

A: Loyalty and honesty. I have thick skin, so I want people to tell me the truth, no matter what.

Q: What is your motto?

A: “Let’s agree to disagree.” I don’t care if someone has a different opinion than I do. I love discussing issues and can get in heated debates, but it’s never personal. And at the end of the day, if there is mutual respect, I don’t need to agree with my friends on every topic.

Q: What is your most marked characteristic?

A: My face says a lot more than my words. Also, I laugh a lot.

Q: What is your greatest extravagance?

A: Good shoes and good wine. 

Q: What is it that you most dislike?

A: Lazy portmanteaus [new words created by combining existing words]. And a growing trend away from the use of the Oxford comma.


Every so often the “sky is falling” in Forest Park, so before it does, be sure to introduce yourself to Maria walking to school, hanging out on her front porch, in Ed’s Way, or at Mexican Republic. The local news is all about local people, businesses, places, and now, the Oxford comma. When you say “hello,” just try to avoid obscene couplings like discussageddon, unless you want an eyeroll. 

Maria can be reached at the Review by calling 630-926-4327 or by email: