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In Print: On News Stands Now


by Tumbleweed Smith

Forrest Green is a former state legislator who lives on a ranch near the small community of Emhouse not far from Corsicana. Although he grew up in the city of Arlington, he preferred country life. He moved with his family from the small town of Kirvin to Arlington when he was five months old. During summer months he returned to Kirvin to visit his grandparents.

During his growing up years, Forrest’s dad was a car dealer. “Back then, kids didn’t have cars,” says Forrest. “They were lucky to have a bicycle. I wanted a bicycle a long time before I got it. My dad got me a Model A when I was a teenager and I’ve been a Model A man ever since. I’ve got a barn full now, a few of them just about like Henry Ford made them. Seven of them are up to snuff and I’m working on three more.”

Forrest, a member of the Dallas Model A club, has driven his vehicles in parades. The Model A was made from 1928 to 1931 and cost between 400 and 600 dollars new. “Now it’s hard to find one for less than $15,000. I’ve got one that I wouldn’t take $25,000 for.”

Forrest, named for the famous Confederate General Bedford Forrest, realized he was too small for athletics but loved the outdoors. He got involved in scouting and became an Eagle Scout at age 16. He attended the World Scouting Jamboree in Holland in 1937 and toured Europe on that trip.

He flew fighter planes in China during World War Two. His military

career took him completely around the globe. “Didn’t cost me a penny. It was a rare experience.” During his war years he bought a 160-acre ranch near Arlington for $75 dollars an acre. His grandparents gave him some cattle to get started. When the Fort Worth Tollway was built, it went right through 23 acres of Forrest’s land. The money from that gave him enough to make a down payment on the place where he lives now.

Forrest had a 13-year career with the post office, first as a clerk, later as a postal inspector. He worked in St. Louis and Des Moines and couldn’t stand the cold, icy winters. One year when he saw ducks and geese flying south he thought to himself, “I’ve got as much sense as those birds.” He mailed in his resignation and came home to Texas to develop a superior herd of Hereford cattle.

While he was up north with the post office, big things were happening in Arlington. He found his ranch surrounded by houses, a country club and a shopping mall. “I was paying more in taxes than I did for the land. By the time it was over, I was selling that land by the foot. I feel blessed and not from any talent of my own.”

When Forrest learned that the state representative for Ellis and Navarro counties was not going to seek re-election in 1972, he filed as a candidate along with five other people. He served four terms, running unopposed only once. Forrest never married. “I was too busy with my Model A’s,” he says with a smile.

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