Five miles north of the town of White Heath, Illinois, some houses have clustered close enough together to be called a neighborhood. Each is set on no less than two acres; most have five or more. Blacktop roads dip and curve through the land, bubbling with tar in the summer, buckling into washboards after the breaking cold of winter. Here, twenty-five miles west of Champaign, a few shallow hills wrinkle the land, which stretches out flat on every side in one-mile grids of corn and soybeans.
March 2, 2011 Dispatches