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 economy, importance of sports in community, views on work and leisure, and future plans of young people. 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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I think the town was named after an Arnold girl with a name May and that's how the town got its name because she was the first child born here 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 the funds provided by the North Dakota committee for the Humanities and public issues.I'm today's program. You will hear from Mayville businessmen and farmers use of the importance of sports in the community future plans of young people and some views on work and Leisure with a look at the way. It was when Andrew vecan was young is now 89. The interviewer is John ydstie, I think as an economist I have to say it's a typical economically because of its 3000 population one would normally think that would not be a center of Agriculture but due to the very prosperous land and the agriculture supporting is county is really one of the most wealthiest in the state as far as per capita income. It is one of the oldest by age many people retire here leave number of persons 55 and over is very high one of the highest percentages in the state and in the country, so there's something attracting retired people back to the area as well as keeping young and families here economically.I think if you look at it economically, it's very prosperous compared to the average town of three thousand and it between the North Dakota and Texas. If you look at many of them their dilapidated that some of them are, you know, who lost their attraction to the young people but this town has it and that's quite an exciting you place to live there. And this is evidenced by you fact that we have really a Main Street business, which is found in many cases by young young men and women in their early 30s rather than a kind of a grandfather operations there they're changing it. So young town in the sense in this is quite attractive as my wife and I were impressed moving here a year ago, but I think maybe I'll shoot you another small towns is probably a little brighter because of the not so much economic.Problems of the city about the social problems political problems crime kids can't play on the street that will force more people back to middle-sized towns than anything that I can honestly I can't think it's too much different than the rest of the nation. Although this agrarian areas. Like this are prospering and will prosper as long as food demand worldwide protein shortage for the big farmers and stuff like that. They got a lots of land and in the good thing about a community this community is is that they are in their money here and they spend their money here and that is very important Source Farmers, you know that there's got to beIf not, a lot of money than there is money invested in land and that's where the things to you. You should be able to make it fair living in a small town like this. I feel in my particular business. I know almost all of the customers that come into my store. I am in a small town. I need to depend on repeat business. So therefore I must treat my customers as if they are the most important people in the world in which they are really to me honesty is very very important in a in a small town business. I don't care what you are in or what you were doing honesty is is very very important. For example, you get to know everyone over the years and consequently everyone gets to know you.And believe me if you ever crossed someone in a small town, it spreads very very rapidly. And when you need to depend on people coming back to you, it's very very important that you are honest and treat everyone fairly. Like an old-time the saying a manager living in a small community is that you know? who's check is good to check isn't a news wife or husband didn't either and actually don't spend yours or about the same today that in a big city or advertising budget will have to be much higher than it would be in a smaller City because I can go up there and have coffee in the winter time. Run into three for farmers and do some business up in the cafe. But in a large city that can't be done first places. You wouldn't even know their potential customers and the second thing is that you have to spend advertising money to try and get him into your place and everybody does the same thing in the largest city. You don't have to give the service that you do in a small community small community. your clientele customers is based considerably more on service and friendship and possibly credit greater than the business in the big cities is 0 in smaller cities. What's 60% of our sales are Mark charge pay scales or low if you were unemployed worker, I think for the people who own their own businesses. There is there isn't much of a sacrifice because the volume is here. It's very dependent upon the farmer and what's happening in the fields and all the businessmen are dependent upon that but the workers get phenomenally low wages. A family man can have a take-home pay of $78 a week and with food going up as it is, there's no way. Remember this town some years ago. All the people around here, you know you had for hotels Sunday everything you pull two food halls for restaurants. No, they've got up their Main Street nothing. Not even a fool all anymore. And full of people around all the time. That weather is open Saturday night. You couldn't hardly walk on him cuz walk on the street Saturday night just like Fargo. Working people course, you know, it was horses. And then Basin every farmer had to have about four guys, you know, now the farm three times more Landon do it all himself makes a difference being a farmer and all you really get to I mean the land is your life you have to Care furton and the weather has a lot to do with it. There isn't anything you can do about the weather. But you know, the rains usually come in and all this and that. Without the landing at work, but would you be you know, what's so flat and everything here a lot of people I know, you know, if they come out from east or west, you know where it's rolling and everything is little different and wherever you go then they probably thinking what a bore it would be live here. But you know, what's truly great, you know, you look out over the highway and stuff and you see all these fields you known right down the tractors and stuff. I really like, you know, the mountains and everything, but I don't know right here, you know, you can see all around, you know, everything that's going on or I think the fertility the ability to grow good crafts big crops year after year the thing that it takes me and the longer your farm at the longer utility or more aware of the capabilities and hopefully you can turn you to add to its productivity. You're bound to be attached to the Earth here. livelihood depends upon your ability to take care of your family needs depends upon it. I think we Cuz we see other areas de spoiled and abused way. I think there is much more of a and awareness of what we have to do to preserve this Earth to preserve the productivity. I think we're more and more where this every day when you got in the spring and sinker plower, whatever into the ground. Could you give me the feeling that you think well, I think you think about what it's going to grow up what the Hopefully what the hell you can achieve and translated into money and do what kind of returns you can get from this effort. It's a lot, of course a huge expenditure nowadays and money and labor and naturally you're thinking in terms of returns, but two I think it goes deeper than that to their you want to preserve it and enhance it. I just love the farm wife. And I think it's really fine. I'd love to be out of the farm myself, but I guess no no young person can just go out start farming or nobody really can you have two? Get into it through a family way of some sort or another I wouldn't like to see anybody come in and start ruining the land. But I don't know if they could get some good out of the land and still leave at the same as what it was before they came in. It wouldn't be too bad. Yeah, but if you wait too long so much of the best of goes down and then you don't get it you lose that might as well take a look on the green side, and I'm going to get a section off it and suck up the heads after they fall to the ground about getting that. Can I get those free donut? the home team Red River Valley All-Stars Barry Hanson center field Paul eisenbeis second base Scott Johnson left field Brian Akin pitcher Dave Nelson shortstop Tom Weber right field Kevin Tabor catcher John Fogelberg Third Base Greg sandvig first base right now. We're out here watching a state Babe Ruth tournament. And I think this is very significant because there are some teams here. For example, the team from our area is known as the Red River Valley All-Stars. They're made up of the players from about five different towns Hillsborough Thompson a Mayville Portland North would happen about five or six towns and hear these kids are out there playing together and I think they find out that kids from other towns aren't too bad as people would like to make them out, you know, and I think this is important people take great pride in athletic teams. And of course if you're a winner or they'll always support you. I know this spring when we won the in college, we won the conference baseball championship. Then we had to go to Billings Montana to play and you don't go to Billings and stay there 3 or 4 days and come back on a dollar 98 Cent and many of the people were very gracious and I went out and just a very short. Of time and raised between 800 and $1,000 to pay the expenses for our team to go to Billings right now. So we got a good Down You're Something I Don't Know. Got our school is real good in sports for the first couple years after two towns Consolidated Schools because it kind of brought the time to closer together, but it's kind of overdone. I mean, it's like when is the only thing it seems like not even thinking of going out for Sports in college because it's just too much of a hassle latest winning all the time not having any fun cuz last chance had to have fun playing football and I didn't play it hardly at all. Really. No fun is sports heads. No. I'm really up on Sports. I think it's physicalness and all that stuff with sports to get to be rivalry between the towels during the season. You're almost afraid to go to the next door town unless you have a gang in a long to take care of yourself. But I think you know if you reduce the robbery so you can get no friendship between two towns that would help a lot to Hillsborough NC and a lot of people just hate his room because they're our rivals. Do you know what to get to talk to those guys are really pretty guys, you know, and I think a lot of us have found that out once you start times and we're flexible enough to change your mind. So we're not we don't hate them. They're just as good as any other human being now, I like this time and I really like a lot but I think it has its faults to I got for instance. Probably the biggest one that means the most to me right now is I'm a football captain this year and I think our Town's reputation very greatly rides on the success of our High School athletics. And you know, that's it's a game. It's not a business seems like our town is, you know, gotten its name and everything through Athletics least. That's what it seems to me to feel pressure. Yeah. Definitely. I mean, it's just it's winter just don't do it at all either win or nothing. And I like, you know, I like to play football and everything or I wouldn't do it. But I like to play it as a game not as a business, you know, I don't want to go out there and kill myself, but I'm going to let you know give it everything I got but I'm going to enjoy it to the reputation of town does ride too much on the sports. We've always had a great, you know team going to State and music and things and we got a debate state champion and everything in it and you never hear about them really always hear about how great we are sports, but we also got a lot of things and like in our school a lot of other departments are very lacking because of our Athletic program has all the latest equipment the coaches. I'm sure you know, they want to have a good reputation. That's their own personal. You know doing they want to have a good record and everything. Then the townspeople. I ain't put little too much pressure on them to I think that it's the you know really too important in and there's tell him you know, if you're a good athlete will then you got made you don't you know, I can always be flunking out and doesn't matter. I don't think that's right. I just couldn't see spending all of my time and I like 24 hours a day thinking about unthought couple hours on Friday night, you know when you can beat somebody's brains in or something. I think it's a good thing. but I think it's probably overdone and well, you know what? Somebody says starter on the basketball team or something like if he'd miss practice or something, you know everybody and tell him that would hear about it, but just gas been thinking you're not well and he's really letting down the town and I think that's carrying it a little bit too far and another thing and seems like our teaching staff is more centered around Athletics then Banner on teaching. I mean, you never hear somebody say who's going to be the English teacher next year, you know, you just hear him say who's going to be the basketball coach or who is going to be the football coach and at 3 years ago only one class B basketball and state, you know, we got back and great big car lineup waiting for a Swale play Cooper Center Findlay. And we had bank reserve I want us over for a meal or something it on and these past two years and I didn't do as well as you know, there's nothing at all. So it's like they have more fire than some of the kids do fire coaching and maybe all in Portland start beating us. That's a while if we have new basketballs for practice, you know, we can beat that team. Well, then the people in town by in a basketballs and they expect you to be them. So all the pressure that's on there. I think coach has brought on themselves Sports should be fun and Coaches start take a little fun out of the game. My pet peeve is the term football coaches use when they say well my people can do this in my people can do that. And you know, there's nothing wrong with the term. Can you start the categories of individuals as people most coaches have gone to the word, you know, my people can do this in my people can do that. And I think that's an indication of a change in an attitude toward their players and that might have resulted from the pressure. That was the community's have put on Sports is really a big thing around here. That's the main Center in a won the high school and every sport is really important and everybody goes so it's really in a lot of fun and there's always people there when we combined schools with Portland, then we really got active and before it wasn't you know, so sad when you're not winning all the time, but when you win everything then it just really starts to become an important thing. It's that kind of bothers me when you know people can't take losing to sports. Yeah, sometimes I do and like I've noticed and other organizations like in my FHA organization, it's gone down and my church organizations to because Sports have become so important. I don't think sports are bad, you know, cuz I'm I'm always involved in it, but I think it's bad to a point that when it starts to reflect another things like band and chorus to you know, I just important as that used to be but it is prestigious to be an athlete. It is not prestigious in our school to be a student. Why is that am I supposed to know cuz you are a student and you are an athlete also, and it is a far more self-satisfying to you in terms of. I'll Prestige and Status the athletic part of it whether you get a 4.0 average every time or not. That doesn't bother me too much for you to four point cuz I don't have to work to get something an athletic Siri. That's a lot of work. You know, I ain't ya appreciate it when you get it. You feel that there's too much emphasis on Sports to the exclusion of something that you feel might be more important if it's really hurting anything else, but there's a lot of emphasis on Sports Ocean really have in our blood. Now we should never be able to have them funny on Sports what time said of always having to worry about how we're going to be rated and everything, you know, or do you think the pressure comes when the adults as fans or from the students as fans who don't hear it from? You know, what? There are some people high up in like on a school board. Really? Hello, really after. something you supposed it's not the fault necessarily bar Community, but rather of hiring our system where this is about the only way there school achieves. Fame notoriety because this puts the whole town on the map when you are number one in basketball or you are number one in whatever gets on the maps cuz that's the only reason that you ever get your name in the paper or anything like that is because of sports we guess it makes it important perhaps people will say, you know, if you say oh well, I'm from Maineville OH, you know, you have that really good such a football team or basketball team or whatever, you know, it's the sense of Pride that comes with this but you do think it puts too much pressure on them on the student-athlete. I know it's not an idiot, you know, the athletes aren't the ones Go around talking about teens. The people that have nothing to do with it off on everybody. And I got a couple kids but of course, they won't stay in North Dakota. At least me all alone here. I spent spend some money on my kids get medication and then they up and leave. Well, I can get more money somewhere else so you can't. Hold'em who wish to come back here and this surprises me young people who have come to school here and whose parents live here and who are young single people and our town really does not have a whole lot to offer young single people that these young people come back. They come back here and farm to come back here and teach to come back here and go into business. You know that sort of thing. So evidently we're doing something right if it's desirable enough for them to want to return to it as young adults married and have a family and stuff to live in a town like Mayville, but me and well, I think I'll probably travel around little bit. Well, like for the first year to a college I plan on going here, but after that that I don't know where I'll go, but I know I'm going to leave here just to get away and you know, it's impossible to make a choice of what you're going to have if you've only seen one thing so I just want to get around look around but I don't know why I really like the way that I've been brought up in this town the way that the town's treated me. And so I think I should try to get about the same for my kids. I probably choose another town similar to this if I can get into a business or something like this. I'd love to stay in this area. But I don't think I would ever really move to a real large city either. I don't think I like that kind of life. I must take some kind of satisfaction in them in the work that I am doing my I like to solve problems and more. So I like to solve complicated problems and these type of problems don't present themselves in the small community like this. I need a little excitement. So I need a little less stimulation not just professionally but socially Recreationally not saying you don't get it here. But you know what, you're getting some matter of kind. I mean you just get a different kind of that measure of an area then you do it here. We will put him very long hours sitting and then Harvest and then of course we have periods when employment is flag, and we have a long period in the winter. It rises and Falls. We put in a lot of 16-18 hour days and harvesting beets are in example. Grand Harvest is a long drag. go to Minnesota and then to the Colorado and I ride horse bit horse is now. Things like that. I think this is simply the Puritan work ethic that work is good of itself. And I feel this way very much big teenage kids sitting for an 8 hour day in front of the television set. There's a lot of losing time with people, you know, they take the time. I think that's good. I cannot see people just working themselves to death because it doesn't seem what what you know, what is used to know if you work 14 hours a day and then you go right back to sleep and then get up and work another 14. I don't see any point in that people around here aren't like that. He got the opportunity to do things. There's enough things to do here in which people can do take leave time and they make you sick. Scandinavian sword notably Reticent reserved quite Dependable, I think the older generation many of them when they retire from their work there the lost they say they don't know what to do. Cuz only thing they've they've done is work many of them are interested enough in their work. So that was the only thing that really cared to do, but then when they retire that thing which may be sustained them and doing good work becomes almost a handicap because They don't know what to do. Now that they walk up and down the street like lost souls. I do. What did you do as a boy growing up out in this area when you're young boy? How did you keep busy working all the time trying to make a living about a team and done some hauling grading? something like Trucking now in High hard water pressure steam engines in the fall But my team had $7 a day even talked to her was pretty good to Bridges. Always working trying to make the living. What did you do for fun? Did you have fun? Not very much. You are still Donut Corner and talk to people. Never had that I'm from. The Malaysian Wherever by this state of the human. Toke interest in the home or how they go out in the evenings Channel. Don't come home until probably 1:00 them that you have to get home before it got dark. Thank you over and days for the battered onion taste. You had to stay home and work and more. No, they haven't got a new horses or cattle or nothing yesterday tractors and no chores in the morning in the evening and How many come home from the field and all you know, they stepped off the tractor and going and have supper and wash up and then they take the car and go out. tongue and it bleeds thought you had to stay home when the olden days. I think that was just as good to think the people around maybe I'll have changed. Well, I kind of think so they're more. Up and coming now. They got a lot of money. Mayville North Dakota 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