Our Home Town - Mayville, North Dakota - Advantages, Conformity, Culture

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As part of KCCM's Our Home Town series, this program is a sound portrait of Mayville, North Dakota. Highlights discussion with residents on the advantages/disadvantages, problem of conformity, and cultural life of town. About Our Home Town series: KCCM Radio in Moorhead, in conjunction with the North Dakota Committee for the Humanities and Public Issues, produced a series of twenty-six half-hour programs that documented attitudes and character of life in five North Dakota communities (Strasburg, Belcourt, Mayville, Mott, and Dunn Center). The programs were produced as sound portraits with free-flowing sounds, voices and music, all indigenous.

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Naval officer Hometown, you know. Yeah, it's his true that by Hank. He's no use to try to find a better town is just as good as any of Mayville North Dakota population 2554 our hometown. One in a series of programs exploring the values and character of life in small towns produced by Minnesota Public Radio station kccm with funds provided by the North Dakota committee for the Humanities and public issues. Holidays program you'll hear the residents of Mayville. Tell why they like living there the advantages and disadvantages the problem of Conformity that a discussion of cultural life. The interviewer is John ydstie. It's a very should I say clean community and everything is well kept the people take pride in their homes and the business people take pride in their premises. They keep them up to keep them painted and not type of thinking. I think this is attractive to the ordinary person. And I know this is the only place I want to live well, Say there's anything special about it? you got to live someplace for us it what they are because there are What's coming and going in? just being at the small college town little choice of going to colleges and I ended up and maybe with a football scholarship and green out to take care of him. That's how I came in the Mayville and after I graduated from college my Then I thought that there's nobody better in the world in a nurse that work for Doc little here. So I kind of stuck around the corner that one nice thing about Mabel is that you can leave your keys in the car overnight. You don't have to lock it up. leave your guns in your tools and stuff in the car and it's always there in the morning and Largest cities you can't do that. I've been a business manager here now her 30th year and Juggernaut sister anybody's interested in seeing things girl, and I liked it. And it's kind of nice to meet you in Fargo. winners are Jennifer oxidized and I don't know how hot summers don't bother me. I could take them or leave them and shoveling snow getting cold in on disc, but freezing in the winter. I can like that just gives you a good feeling happiness and love those two ingredients, right? There's really no made me plant my feet in this town and and you know when I'm older and awake possibly someplace always consider me with my home cuz it's a nice place. People who live in a city say while I couldn't live there because there's not enough privacy. How do you react to that kind of a statement business nap, but I feel if you live your life accordingly. You're not going to talk so much about you, but I'll tell you one thing. After losing a father-in-law and a father, I never realized the multitude of friends that we had until we were in trouble and needed help the real friends the people in town were so great to us. You just can't imagine I had my dad's brother came in from California and he said, you know, some of us could lay dead for days is nobody there work are worried or even check our home. He said I didn't realize or I had forgotten how great the real people can be. He said surely out there. Nobody would ever Harley come to a funeral or come to your door and acknowledge. And I guess this is how we have just recently experienced. We always knew you know that the people were very very great in our area. But when you're in trouble you really find out what a multitude of friends and how great your people are tornado hit one mile north of Mayville. Sunday would have believed it. The electric saws when all night long are early morning the National Guard with we have the military police here. I don't know how many trucks they had and everybody from the area Portland and farmers who ever had a truck a pickup great big lifters from the equipment companies here small pickups northern states power and anybody even your neighbors came over to help you saw it up to put it on the boulevard, you know what to be picked up later. I've never seen such a beautiful thing to me. That was really amazing how everybody jumped in can I help you? You know, if you have any trouble in your yard, they would come and look. I know they didn't my yard and though but to me that was marvellous. I think the people in Naval are more concerned because it is small. Everybody knows everybody else. They want their children to to be good to become educated. It's a very educated Community Education is very important to them. Even though most of them probably might end up in a farming or in the farming 62 farming situation education to them is extremely important. I think that the students you're extremely open and warm and probably the difference lies in the fact that we aren't supposed to severe problems. Although drugs are available. I'm sure anytime because of a College Community because of two large cities Fargo in Grand Forks surrounding us and yet I feel that they're very the students attend and young people are very educated about things and and I think Ur are very good basically and and resist a great deal of The Temptations today. They're very warm like their parents cousin died. Just last Saturday night in And every day since then we've had calls and let people asking how you know telling us how they feel their story for us when we got people bringing food and things over right now. I mean where he knows we can still cook and everything, but they just brought it over just to show that they care. And that's how you know people just care around here and it's a good deal. I really like that people at the community. EC have just rallied around us and I have brought us things and have sent his cards and have just you know, comforted us and taking care of us in would do anything in the world for a swell and I just don't think you can find that in a less personal place and if you are if you object to the To the involvement of other people in your life to the point where they do know what you're doing, then you're going to have to give up. That's very comforting feeling that if if you're really in a pickle, there are at least a dozen people you could call to bail you out. And I think this is I think this would be very difficult for me right now to To get along with without knowing that I had just really literally dozens of people who would help me out if I really if I really just ask them to do anything. I mean, that's a very comforting feeling. You know what that is in chips and there's metal little that. You can do in a town like this without having other people knowing about it. Should I use a pressure to kind of conform in to be what people want you to be to think that it's a small communities demand a special to use all there is no question about that. The one who does not conform to the Orthodox our lifestyle as it is in a small town like this will not stick out like a sore thumb and become a pariah in the community depending upon how much he deviates. I don't mind people knowing what I'm doing. and if I'm ashamed of in them knowing what I'm doing what I probably shouldn't be doing it in the first place privacy to me is nonexistent. I mean it I don't see any need for it. Really. I mean a person can live his own life in the view of others. And it's just I feel unnecessary to want to make restrictions on on who is interested in your life and who is not because they're interested. They're obviously a friend of yours and if they're interested just been gossip with them talk the thing about privacy in a small town you find that there's a lot of gossip and I know how you feel about gossip, but I don't really put too much. You know, I don't put too much weight on Gossip in the I think a lot of people sometimes get bothered by something like a super like did you hear about song So in someone else say no and finally the story gets built up by the time it goes through about four hands. No, I think everyone has their privacy there's places in Mayville we can get away and be alone and you don't have to you know, you can you can get your privacy. And as far as far as I'm concerned, I really don't care too much about Gospel they say something about me. I I know it's true and everyone else that knows me knows. What's true. And I think this holds true for most everybody's I know personally I don't particularly care what? Other people do or if there's a party at somebody else's house. I don't care who's there. Maybe some people do and maybe this becomes significant. I don't know and this is like the kids to go to college here. We have a small College comparatively and these kids to go uptown. They sale LG that that businessman. Call me by my first name. And that's quite important to some kids wear as if they were in the town of 50,000 and 100000 are going to undo a clothing store. They wouldn't know where they were going from Fargo. They wouldn't know where they was at Concordia Moorhead State or NDSU or Joseph hairdressing and it really wouldn't make any difference because they'd be just another individual. I think this is probably the biggest advantage and and sometimes just maybe create some problems. Maybe they get to know people too. Well, I don't know how many people say small town demands would people be too much alike that it doesn't allow for individual differences. I tried to live my life accordingly and our family as well. And I think that we all have so much to offer in there so many interesting people when I think of our friends that we have each one is in a different business or occupied. And that's what makes life. So interesting and sometimes I think of the city area a lot of people associate like the lawyers are the doctors are such associated with each other where we in our open little area. We have such a multitude of different occupations and different variety of friends. We all have so much to give to each other can make you conform to me living in a small town is the ultimate test of your individuality. If you can remain an individual while everybody else is conforming lie to me that's that you've accomplished something and and me living in a small town affords you that opportunity to prove yourself as an individual. Rather than making you can form. I can't see how anyone could make a strong individual can form small towns. Sometimes don't accept different kinds of Lifestyles do feel that maybe you know restricts like, you know, what you do and what you let people see you do and what people think whether you like it or not in a small town. It does matter because you can think what you want and you can do what you want. But I think that like people are always watching you and your business is everybody else's business and something you have to get used to and some people don't care and some people do care myself. I think you know public opinion is important, but I still do what I like to do it doesn't you don't prohibit me from you know, my ideas and what I want in life, but it does make a difference in a small town tradition. is one of the toughest thing to do is to to change you know you Play put on your pants with your left in your left leg first. It's tough to change to the to the right and you know, I think that this is true of the many areas in which we in which we operate and I think we've probably seen the greatest amount of change in the past 10 years that we've seen in a while as long as I can remember, you know, there's been a different feeling about upon people in another we're just going to philosophy of nonconformity and I'm sure that it is difficult for many people to accept this and in some instances. I know it's been difficult for me to do except this but I know I've had to change and sometime tonight. I didn't like to change well method or mode of dress, for example, the length of hair and all this has been a change in soompi. Can accept that as I say I had a difficulty in accepting it in athletics not with the idea that this was going to make a ball player better or worse. It was just that we weren't used to this type of thing. Say the thing that I think of first and it's probably something that young guy just wants to all over the place but like long hair, for example, that's a topic that when I was in high school is pretty controversial to start but finally it takes awhile, you know, people take a while to adjust to you know, younger people growing up, but after a while I think it was specially here. I think they get used to it and realize it well. How things are different now than then they were 30 40 years ago, and we're going to have to learn to accept it cuz I'm young kids today or stubborn enough not to change but like I saying about the long hair thing in high school when I was a sophomore it was over the urine off the collar when it was Junior. You could wear it almost on the N1. You got to be a senior then it really didn't matter anymore. My family is a sportsman the family and I don't they really did, you know, because my older brothers were always good in sports and that's why I'm having trouble getting out of sports cuz everybody thinks why are you going out for football at 7? No wonder why is that and it's just a problem and all your family is so, you know, like if your family if you have a brother did really something good for somebody else say all that family must really be a nice family. And you know if he does something bad like you smoke pot or something. It's the whole family is affected by any but it's a family is a real close here or family or my family has seen a really important to me and I think I've done a lot of things, you know during the years. I've grown up I've done him because you don't like my parents are brothers or sisters wanted me to you. No, not really because I wanted to I know I've done a lot of things that I just you know, I didn't want to do but I did because he wanted me to but now I'm going to I plan to start doing some things that I want to do, but I I think my parents, you know, they won't want me to do it and you know, I'm sure there's going to be a hassle but it's got nothing to do with my family and our team members Sia. College member doing something they immediately try to emulate what he is doing and I think the same thing and just dress or personal appearance or in fans, whatever you called if they're brought into the college, they eventually carry over into the high school you was because the association is very close. but I don't think we're alarmists when something real different takes place where we might be more concerned at the time as to what direction is going to take 22 years. I've been here. I've seen a little more tolerance and in some people who are different people now who are accepted you are quite different who would not have been 20 years ago. M people's problems for example the alcoholics I accepted in the community and the community is more concerned with them in a positive way. Then it would have been a generation ago. They pretty much just rejected them and that isn't quite as true. Anyway, the person who has the fewest and Ambitions probably suffers the most as I said, they're there more taller than some ways, but I think that's it. There is still a certain. They look askance at it at a person who is two different. More so than it was in the city the most part most of my doing it not as an expression of how they feel but they get some attention. They're so eager to have somebody give them some attention that they're willing to do these odd things in order to get that attention. Why don't think in a small town that they need to because they get attention from somebody that got some friends that got some group with whom they accepted to think I'm a small-town suffers from lack of Culture and Humanities programs. I don't think we suffer so much here because anybody who really wants to they're not so far from Fargo where there are three colleges putting on. Dramatic Productions and musical Productions and one thing and another from Grand Forks with their lyceum circuit, even from if you want to go to the Guthrie, it's not that far if you're so inclined. I think those of us who have children of of this High School age are too busy with their activities really to even worry about whether we're culturally deprived or not. Because in the winter time at least for a. Of time from the 1st of December. Until the End almost of February There are four athletic events most weeks. Well, if you got four nights a week taking up with athletic events, and you got another three nights taken up with meetings. You aren't worrying about whether you're going to get to the Guthrie Theater. Our own College also has some really nice things available to us that some of us can't even take advantage of again because of of time that paint, you know, I don't know that they paint using where else whatever and nobody really cares. I mean, I don't have to take things, you know, the bigger towns and over for the exhibits and stuff persons School who's artistically inclined to kind of out of it. Isn't used for me. But these not all of it just cuz he's can draw and now it's just fine. You know it if you want to succeed one of your exes even just as long as you're not getting weird while you're doing I mean if you're out of it to know as far as knowing what's going on and everything doesn't matter what you succeeding and you know, he's going to accept you anyways, because you Know if you're a jock or something, then I can accept you just cuz you were Jack. You have to be you know a little in Reno. I can't who writes that poetry mate. That's loaded money. Who sings it isn't accepted yet? I guess I don't. Is there isn't anybody that likes to read poetry that I know of but I just took it for instance if somebody did write poetry and got it published in the magazine. Would you say oh that's really neat and go up and Shake. No problem. If I'm if I liked the only people I ever knew that wrote poetry are weird football players are stupid. I mean if the guys know. the guys alright Anonymous report to find but I haven't met one yet. So I don't know we do tend to stereotype people who live in a community that is more diverse than ours so that they have an opportunity to observe more kinds of behavior than one are probably less likely to stereotype. Then we are where we supposed to know what we think about people besides from what our experiences have been. You know, maybe this small town. Does you a disservice as a young person because we don't provide you in a small town with the diversity. That perhaps you need to be. Amateur open-minded kind of person with what it has to offer is probably the greatest place. I could ever come to to bring up my kids coming back to your own home town does have some disadvantages but I think you'll find that are the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages perhaps for example in our educational system here in Mayville. I don't mean to be critical of it, but it is just not large enough student wise to say staff a faculty with people that could perhaps be teaching two or three different foreign languages say in high school. And I know that here in Mayville my children as much as I do love me if it will perhaps never be able to have the opportunity to take three foreign languages, for example Then there are other cultural things perhaps there's not the the plays stage Productions. There's probably not the big National athletic events that go on or the national musical events that go on but still with our Communications in our newspaper and perhaps someday the ability to travel to these areas and see some of these things there are advantages to be found in sports music many of the cultural things in that more children can participate and take part in these activities and we are blessed and maybe with A high degree of cultural activities so to speak as well as those on the athletic side. I think that Mabel is a little bit unusual in this respect possibly because we have a college year 2 for a community of this size. We have a populist that is quite well educated much higher than the average standard for the country is a whole. Almost all the finished high school and very very good percentage have college degrees and even Advanced degrees probably fall behind somewhat because maybe because people don't see the value in it. And I think now with the trends and communication mass communication of any kind that people are starting to realize that drama and speech and any Humanity form is extremely important and it's really building when I first came here for a boy that we tend to be athletic was in speech and drama. It was very rare, but now they're doing both and they don't feel bad about it. They don't feel that it's that much or that inferior to sport something they feel that it's going to help him and lights on 97% of our kids are taking speech on their own without it being required now, I think it's changing but it was our whole education system Oliver North Dakota where Sports is number one, but I think slowly it's changing that other things are becoming relevant to our hometown one in a series of sound self-portraits illustrating the values and character of life in small towns produced by Minnesota Public Radio station kccm with funds provided by the North Dakota committee for the Humanities and public issues producers of the series are John ydstie Dennis Hamilton and Bill Sebring. You may purchase a cassette copy of this program by contacting kccm, Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota 56560.

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Digitization made possible by the State of Minnesota Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, approved by voters in 2008.

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