As part of KCCM's Our Home Town series, this program is a sound portrait of Mayville, North Dakota. Highlights discussion with residents on social structure, value of roots, growing up and family life. 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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In the past. I think it's been the city has been romanticized is being the place of Adventure and intriguing. And the place where you go to find yourself well. Tamia I couldn't be able to find myself in a place that's confusing. You know, I need a more simple at environment to find myself and I think I've done it in Mayville 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. On today's program residents of Mayville discuss the social structure the value of roots how it is to grow up there and the importance of family life. The interviewer is John ydstie feel like a community is opening up more than it it hadn't in the past in terms of acceptance of people acceptance of different ideas is very difficult to be accepted socially inmate and as I say, I'm I don't know that for personal fact because I married into the community. I have heard younger people say that they find it very difficult in Mayville to get into a social group. And what I like about me though is that there are many different kinds of groups. There's the group of friends that you have for example to the church and then there's another group of friends that you have to your work and then there's another group of friends that you have. That you've been friends through the year. I mean you started as young married couples and all of your children are the same age and the sort of thing and then there are the professional groups that you belong to and all of these groups offer different people. That is the overlap. But not completely so so that you have opportunities to be in contact with many different kinds of people and I think this is this is great and I should see many different kinds of people. There aren't many different kinds of people here, but I mean different personality types. I guess that's what I'm saying. There's a difference in the way young couples socialize hear the men tend to get together a lot more and leave the women at home to do. Their thing, you know the housekeeping and childcare which is their role in life and in a couple years, I guess women's live will hit Mayville on and things are going to be different but this is the biggest adjustment I had to make cuz I wasn't prepared for this at all. Cuz my husband remembers when you know, which was when he was back in college in the way his parents did things and they were always at home cuz they were farmers and and didn't go out at night. But a lot of the socializing is done at night in your joints and there are a lot of women that unhappy with it, but I guess they don't speak up or I wouldn't have the guts to say. Well this is it, you know. And I guess no reason might be a little stubborn, you know, if you said shape up or ship out they ship out rather than you know admit that they were wrong but I think gradually it will change by probably by Outsiders coming in and saying hey this isn't the way it we did it they are but I think they're in a rut they used to this. This is the way it's always been done. And if you can come up with a better idea it will change. Maybe I'll of course is a farming community in the Red River Valley. Well this in itself brings people together. Everybody is more or less employed in the same kind of kind of thing. So there isn't the same kind of fragmentation music for The College Community to stand apart. From the Mayville Community itself, but this is not really too or just doesn't happen here. The College Community is part of the Maysville community and vice versa. If you want to go that far some people say small towns are clicky and I would I would have to agree they are and you find probably in younger groups. If you if you find a click well, then it seems like everyone's the same in that click and there are groups of people that they went through high school together and they're about you know, there been out of high school for 10 years and they're still together which is okay I guess but they haven't really gotten out and you know found themselves and express themselves the way they possibly could have that you could fall into a wreck like that if you let yourself go but I mean, yeah, I think it stems back to your home life too. No matter where you are that will determine your individuality a very sheltered when you live in a small town and we don't realize that what's going The rest of the world like Smog and pollution things like that Industrial Development isn't as big around here. It's growing but we don't realize what crime and things are like either killing and mugging and things like that cuz it's just we don't have any part of it at all and around here. It's peaceful and you just you don't realize what it's like to be in a large city educational opportunities for my youngsters. We're equal. I think two most small towns in in the area. Although we've had our problems in our local public schools. They have had a good record of turning out pretty fair students also. Other opportunities for the youngsters which probably more than anything. Gives you an opportunity to guide your youngster somewhat better than you might have in a larger area. So maybe you can describe that is wanting to keep your youngster somewhat sheltered, but some are either they seem to develop pretty well with family that there is in the western part of the state know maybe I'm all wrong but just watching people I have felt this way and observing teachers sometimes in the way. They've handled our youngsters in our community for our area. I should say compared to the way they handle them out in the western part of the state. I think things are more open and free. where we are little more sheltered and I don't know if I should take altered or not. But I feel that we try to protect our kids more in this area than they do want in Western by this day. I think so very much. I think that has been proven that your Scandinavians are very very protective. They like to shelter and I think that they like the closeness of family and I think Well, the Scandinavian people sometimes do not want to always show their affections, but yet they're always there. What do you mean? Maybe I need? Liberal don't accept the things that go on around their protected shelter community. Very much. So many of the people that live here are North Dakota people in North Dakota people want to be protected the Family Life security. I suppose if we didn't have this type of protection. We have to find another form of it if we lived another place. Probably all the bunch of chicken. I don't know much about being detected but then because you know, you know people and Purity and the famine in the neighborhood everybody knows each other and can help each other out while I spent like 2 Days in Chicago and I couldn't stand not trusting everybody. I mean forget your keys in the car for a week here, you know, your car is going to be where you left it. I mean it's it's just that type of security that I can't stand not being able to say hi to somebody I think that's the type of security or protection that that I appreciate that and I put the security to that you're able to stay high and and to greet anybody you meet on the street because you know, there's Ben Franklin person or there's a person or something, you know from one of the stores. What is the value of appreciate? small things simple things ordinary things which after all are very important part of I'd life even though they may not be dramatic or significant a lot of life isn't dramatic and significant. It's ordinary and if you have Some appreciation of the ordinary things in the little things in this I think then life becomes more meaningful to you. Yeah, I have a deep roots here. I guess I I don't know. First of all, I have you know, like trouble meeting new people thinks, you know, cuz I have all my friends are here and I friends in other towns and stuff, but I don't know. I think this is really great town. And even when I just leave like for a week or something, you know, I come back to this town. It is really refreshing. My family is always been here and I've Yeah, I kind of feel loyal to the old hotel. You're not you know that I'd like to go out and see the world in a while and go to Los Angeles and all those Big Town's. You don't see how everything is but that like to come right back here and settle down. You know, I'd like to see put up a business here. Maybe it won't fit in all fails at fails, but you got to try something to make maybe I'll your thing and that be my life right there people that you know, you just kind of know they're outside. That's you know, you can't really You don't get into it with them. But you know your real friends back home. You just free, you know, do whatever you want and there's no really great pressures or anyting there many families here grandfathers and grandchildren who are now perhaps getting into their own business and farming that I would say, is it classic definition of having roads. Friend of our family car to you and family south of town is probably a good example. I don't think clarkwood - but that his grandfather homesteaded this area in the late 1800s father farmed. They had a very tough struggling early existence. So now Clark does very prosperous farming south of town are in the original Homestead house at least slightly removed, but I know it's been in the family for about close to a hundred years. So it's kind of a that's Roots. I think I believe that attitude and improved it. It'll be hard to live any place else. What things do you value most in life? You know to see your children grow and learn Maya. Who is the most gratifying? As far as our values are concerned. panda Take a lot of pride in being able to. provide for them anything they need Man gets a lot of satisfaction out of that roots go deeply into the ground, but the tall trees them from the Ritz. They're naturally of course many of the populace and especially younger people have left the community over the years. Many have returned many of those of have left. Fila as a few years. Goodbye a yearning to come back and see their town the town has created an impression upon them and giving them something that they feel. Well to put it in simple words something they can fall back on the roots. And then maybe I'll have been here six years are starting to go down now. there's one thing interesting about the idea of roots are very important to people the younger generation of today has been criticized for leaving the town as soon as I graduate from high school or graduate from college and going off to the big city or going off someplace else. Well, I have a theory about that and that is that this is typical of Youth they want to get away and see something of the world and get away from the community in which they were brought up. Now. I've noticed another thing that after about 10 or 15 years. These people all star come back at is not all of them but some of them and it may be that the people that are coming back or fugitives from another Community. They won't go back to the homecoming on a date but they will go back to a similar community of the same size and the same kind of ethnic noticed that they experienced as young as young people and this is what's Happening Here. You walk down the street in the morning. You're going to Cafe. Everybody says good morning. And it's the morning wasn't so good before long. It's a good morning and a smaller community. I think we're a little bit more prone to help her neighbor that the neighbor across the street gets sick or something way. Or if he's going on vacation and his grass gets along like somebody will go over and look for him and things like that or if you somebody gets stuck while you pull him out if you see a guy, Iowa. Walking down the street in the morning or somebody walking to school and you're going that way you stop and give him a ride. They're not afraid to take the right in the bigger city. You wouldn't stop and neither would they get in the morning? Okay, let's see it. manual roll you are cooking and did you? for coffee and I don't know what she does sitting with your nephew. I think. Philadelphia Please talk to my Norwegian in English. So yeah. DNA that was last night. My dog is this I got this couple is in Norwegian. And basically a small community like this you operate under a on a one-to-one basis with somebody. It's not cold and impersonal and clinical as it would be in a large urban area in babies. Now, they're going up and I'm laying their babies. So you follow the families and the It's getting to be kind of a joke. I hadn't realized how old I was until they come in and say what you remember so-and-so people come back to visit that used to live here. They say they always like to come back to me before they die. So they come in they say while I saw him so still living and and you see like a Pioneer then but I mean, it's that thing that ties you in with the past and present to What do you call from growing up in this area? For example, both my parents worked? In a small town on a young boy young girl can can grow up by himself without the external pressures that you have enlarged City. I think that's the big thing like important. I remember we used to get you know, 10:15 boys together and we congregate this one yarn. We just take off into the woods and it was only about a half mile away in play whatever you play in the woods and be there for a couple hours in the afternoon and come on home. And that's kind of took up your Dan kids and City miss this. I think there's not enough open space in the city when you're growing up in a small town you're surrounded by other people in the same boat. No one comes and tells you that you're you've been slighted. But I think that's a definite Advantage. I think that's the advantage of small towns is that there is always someone there if for example your parents can't watch you all the time and if you happen to do something then You need reassurance with her what they want to talk to somebody about the communities are close enough that you can you know get that feedback or whatever you whatever it is from someone else off people that do meanwhile don't attempt. Oh Sing Sing larger town you get to know a lot of people and you have a lot of friends because everybody knows everybody and you're pretty well free to go anywhere you want you have to worry about going out at night or anything like that. It's nice. A lot of the time is spent just running around with, you know, other kids your own age growing up with spin like in the Dairy Queen or in the bowling alley or something. A lot of it is talking and after games and stuff just getting together goofing around walking bike riding things like that. I like school a lot especially High School. I really had a good time and in the small community, you can really be active you can be and everything you can you know, like it's not so much just Being in one organization like in a larger place. You can belong to many organizations and you can do well if you want to and so that keeps you really busy in the school year. Everybody's just been running around all the time. What do you think you've gained from growing up in a small town that someone in the city? Wouldn't have I think you'll appreciate you know, the people around you and especially the scenery in the land like having yard, you know, having a lot of place to go being able to just just walk by yourself. If you want to we know not having to have somebody with you cuz you're afraid you're going to get hurt be able to take off in a car and not worry about traffic things like that. I think you appreciate the things around you more I couldn't live in a large city where it's just building. I can't stand it if there isn't grass and I don't know it's just it's being able to relax to even though you're really busy. I like to live here. What's a great about it? What's the best thing that you can do in Mayville? Sports like if you're in 5th and 6th grade and go it for how much is 4 then when you're in 6th or 7th and 8th football and what do you do all day long? How do you like to live in Hillsboro? What's Anita Baker Mayfield? What's good about it? Family's been very much an important part in this community. And if you noticed that when you go out in an evening to basketball game or football game or something at the college biggest percent of the time with family. They do a lot of things together and they try to keep their youngsters with him. I think of our son being 17 18 years old and still was very willing to go along with Mom and Dad. It's one of the little real assets as far as I'm concerned. I think of our kitties saying that I don't know what we'd have done without you and Dad. All that you have taught us already and I think it's pretty great when your children will come up and tell you that at the age. They're at sometimes they have to be in their late 20s early 30s was before they all say, thanks, Mom and Dad. At my family my dad mom set very high standards and ideals and like my folks said all I can give you is a proper bringing up and this is what we have tried to do to our children and the farm has been a great asset for us with our son that he could go out and be with his father and work with him, but many children don't have that opportunity and I just feel they need responsibility. They need to be needed for a generation gap in Mayville. There's a few people that don't see eye-to-eye in the family. But usually it's brought together some way or other they either go to their church and Heather are Pastor help him out with her or something. So I think that it's not the the big struggle that they having a city's to you closer and it helps a lot of thing to keep in a family unit to unit separated as I see it the family unit to join the basis of a life here because like Oh, there's not much to to do at night. Other than be home by like parents are home a lot more. I think you're then I go to other towns and I think you see a lot more adults out late at night in other towns. And you do here. I think that just shows you know that I spend more time at home together as a family when you work with your family all day long. I mean you get to know him. It's not be like in a bigger city or something. They take off for the office. You see him eight cycling back 5 and mean I really get to know what they're like, but here, you know folks are right Uptown off their working go in there and a lot of people it's a family-owned stores in kids work right on right along with a parent. I talked to quite a few people in Mayville who say that their families are very important to them and that's a very important consideration in the life. How do you feel about that? My family is really important to me, especially my parents because we both respect each other and they are very fair with me and we get along real. Well, I could tell my parents anything if I ever needed anything or wanted anything. They're always there my brothers and sisters are the same way and like if you don't tell your parents what you doing, eventually, they're going to find out so I think in a way it kind of them strengthens the bond because you can end up telling the more I think, you know, the type of person you are starts with your family and if you get along and even if things go bad for you, you know somewhere else you can always turns your family. I don't think that's something that will ever you don't go out of style mom and dad did the most that they could for us kids and I think my husband's family was the same way and I just feel that I have in such a short short time that I want the very best for them and I can dedicate all my time to the most of my time. I shouldn't say all my time and I like to work with youth groups in the church work and I think you'll find that in our little town of Mayville church is very important to most of our families and I think this is what makes a true close family. I think people tolerate, you know, children children can be very annoying and if they get lost kid, I know but here people want to listen to what they have to say. well, I have the four young children and I guess that's what it's all about. That's what the we're working so hard. They'll be able to learn and grow. panda I would hope enjoy. Some kind of success is like a like we're enjoying now agriculture has experienced a tremendous Boom. At least one of them would be a farmer would join me in my business. Nothing would make me happier than if I could turn this Enterprise. Over to him in such a manner that he could earn a good living and join me in the business. I think it when you have a large enough percentage of young people and young families with which follows young population in young children. There are quite attentive effort to where it's economically feasible to provide things. And I think maybe I was one of those cases to what they have a relatively do elementary school and high school going up even though it's a very old population statistically wise there enough young families and support for you that a new moon. High School is not an obstacle to a small town like that's enough. So that's encouraging. I see parents who I think maybe Are sacrificing too much for things that aren't that important than the lives of their children. And maybe the children appreciate it. Maybe they don't I think to the fact that this is a small college town makes the people of the community more aware of some of the youth problems. I don't know that they do more about them. But they're I think more about than I think sacrificed anything and if you're going to call at sacrifice, so you have to remember that the past generation sacrificed for us. If you want to call it sacrifice. In fact, they've sacrificed a great deal more perhaps not in dollars and sense. But then when you think of how much money they had certainly percentage-wise they sacrificed a great deal more than we do today and our young people I certainly worth every bit of it North Dakota our hometown one in a series of sound self-portraits illustrating the values and character of life in small-town 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 did Steve Dennis Hamilton and Bill Sebring. You may purchase a cassette copy of this program by contacting kccm, Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota 56560.