PARK FOREST, IL
Pictures by Roman & Lori Jirasek
It was a blast and a half! Much more than I could have imagined.
My wife Lori and I drove to Park Forest Friday morning in the middle of an ice storm from Milton Ontario.
After 11 hours we pulled into the Country & Inn Suites in Matteson, 3 miles West of
Park Forest. Now I appreciate my 4x4 Yukon even more.
An hour later we went to
the Baymont Inn to meet Rob Wesel and his friend Dave. Rob had a great ~80 gram
specimen of the Park Forest meteorite he bought from a local dude, cheep! He also
had several small fragments he found earlier to show us.
After that, the 4 of us met Steve Witt & sister, Gregory Wilson & Rob Elliott at the now
famous meteorite restaurant, Applebee's. We ate, took pictures, looked at slices of the meteorite, and shot the shit.
Saturday morning we went hunting. I met meteorite hunter Dan Cooper, and bought
my first P.F. meteorite, a nice ~12g fresh crusted half individual. He had another 21g
individual he wouldn't sell. But he did get a case of meteorite calendars from me as part trade.
Above photo: Steve Witt & sister, Rob Elliott, Gregory Wilson, Rob Wesel & Lori Jirasek
We then met Jason Phillips & wife, Jason's brother, and hunted together. After 5
hours of no luck, we decided to go for a late lunch. But before we left we met Marvin
Killgore and Robert Haag in a parking lot. I got both of their new books, thanks guys -
very nice, Bob even threw in one of his "Meteorite Recovery Team" shirts. They just
arrived and were ready to hunt the hood. Steve Arnold (Chicago) was also there, he and Jason did some trades.
Me and ' Meteorite Man' - Second photo: Jason Phillips, Marvin Killgore, Steve Arnold (Chicago), Roman Jirasek, Robert Haag
After lunch I dropped Lori off at the hotel and went searching for a few more hours.
I met Dan again and got the 21g specimen by trading some cash and a large NWA
I brought with me. Now I was happy, but it was just beginning.
That Saturday night was like no other. We ALL met at Applebee's for dinner and drinks.
Bob Haag, Marvin Killgore, Rob Elliott, Al Lang, Mike Farmer, Jack & Devin Schrader, John Sinclair, Greg Hupe, Steve Arnold (IMB), Geoff Notkin, Rob Wesel & friend Dave, Steve Witt, Gregory Wilson, Tim (with 2 little daughters), Terry Boudreaux with son and a Huge NWA with lots of black crust, & Lori and I. Digital cameras, cell phones and a few digital scales were part of the table decor, not to mention the Park Forest specimens being past around.
And the Margaritas! Man, I think there were more than at the Tucson birthday bash
I went to 3 years ago. We closed the place, it was a blast! P.S. I picked up a nice 14.5g slice
from Steve Witt that evening, which was cut by Al Mitterling (nice job).
Sunday was my score! Lori and I went to Steger to search the streets. After about 1/2 an
hour I picked up my first ever meteorite find! 8.2 gram fragment. Then 1 minute later,
across the street, a 14.6 gram fragment with 25% black crust. This I could not believe.
It was a nice neighborhood with a few friendly people out that I talked to. After another half
hour I met my wife and showed her my finds. I then found a 3rd one when we walked together, it was 5 grams on the nose. She was happy for me, after all it was my birthday on April 6th.
I got the GPS coordinates and street names for the record. These were
fragments just rotting in the street gutters. If we didn't have to drive back that moment,
we would have stayed to find more for sure.