A recent New York Times Travel section article about David Foster Wallace mentions Champaign-Urbana and the ways in which this particular part of the Midwest influenced the writer’s work. In the article, author Lynn Freehill-Maye roadtripped to C-U and visited a few local spots, including Urbana’s Blair Park:
For Wallace, life was unstructured. I stopped at placid Blair Park, where he and a high school teammate, John Flygare, taught tennis for five summers. They’d collect cash for the lessons, order pizza out of the proceeds, then turn over whatever was left in the cash box to the Urbana Park District every couple of weeks, Mr. Flygare told me. No one monitored. “I see my kids almost assuming their lives are going to stay structured,” he said. “When we were among ourselves, we were just free.” There were no children in the park that morning, a school day. Soccer nets were up now, signs of an organized sport new to Illinois. An older man walked his dogs alone.
It’s a nice article about the peace one can find in Central Illinois. You can read the entire article here.
Photo by Jessica Hammie.