(Excerpt from The Commuters by Leslie Doyle)
Welcome to Smithbrook, a quaint, well-manicured, bedroom community with a population just over 10,000. The prevailing opinion of the residents is that there is no better place to raise a family. The lack of ‘big business’ in Smithbrook forces many people to commute to Chicago for work. However, a positive by-product of that is the peace and quiet enjoyed by citizens of all ages.
Most of the downtown shops are owned and operated by local folks, handed down from generation to generation. No teenager makes it out of Smithbrook without doing dishes in one of the local eateries. And although there are a couple of well-known fast food restaurants, the townspeople still prefer to eat at the Lunch Counter or the Steamer Cafe for the best cheese burgers and double-dip ice cream cones in the whole world.
Strolling the streets is a cherished event, especially during the Christmas season. There are as many trees as there are parking places, more churches than police cars. Each shop window is meticulously decorated with the detail and thoughtfulness put into the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. As long as anyone can remember, every water tower has celebrated the local teams’ achievements. And it would be uncharacteristic for a morning to go by without the usual crowd of septuagenarians sitting on the benches in front of the drug store, discussing the latest news-worthy event that didn’t make the news.
Everything in Smithbrook moves at a speed that works best for raising families. It’s just a home-grown, clean-cut, close-knit, Midwest community. Even if you don't live here, it's going to feel like home.