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What a difference 37 years makes...Bolingbrook, Illinois

I moved to Bolingbrook, Illinois in April, 1971. I was 5. I consider it my hometown, and we still own property in town, right down the street from my old neighbor, Mayor Roger Claar.

When I was a kid, we didn't really want to admit we lived in Bolingbrook. It had a cheap tract home reputation and everyone thought it was in the middle of nowhere. And I suppose it was. And it was also known for the world's first indoor amusement park and shopping mall, Old Chicago. The concept in its execution was ill-conceived, but in theory it was a great idea, and you now see larger, grander versions of this idea all over the world. We had good (year-round!) schools and teachers, nice parks, friendly neighbors, clean streets and pink flamingos! (That last one's an inside joke for old timers.)

How things change. The village matured, and thanks in large part imo to Mayor Claar, Bolingbrook is #32 in Money Magazine's Best Places to Live 2008. The village beat out Wheaton, Aurora and Orland Park in the top 100, and was surpassed by our neighbor, Naperville, which was #3 in the survey. And it's a great place too.

So cheers to my hometown. I was there last week and visit frequently. There's great shopping, excellent recreational facilities, good infrastructure -- all in all, it's a pretty nice place to live. They try to keep a small town flavor in spite of a population of 70,000. Just because you hear about certain people in the news does not make it a bad place, and Money confirmed that.