Our Home Town: Strasburg, North Dakota - Family, Privacy, Town's future

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As part of KCCM's Our Home Town series, this program is a sound portrait of Strasburg, North Dakota. Highlights discussion on family life, privacy and the future of the 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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Darkness of the family isn't like it was years ago, but I think we maintained it here as well as anywhere else and they and they all feel too even. Catholics as well as we do that. Some of this has been lost but they do feel at the home instead of just need Center of them. Well, if everything you lose a family life home life, and then you really lost her. You've lost something. So I would say here and that the family life is. Is as good as you'll find anywhere. I'm sure that Strasburg North Dakota population 643 hour Hometown one in a series of programs exploring the values and character of life in small towns. Produced by Minnesota Public Radio Station k c c m with funds provided by the North Dakota to MIDI for the Humanities and public issues on today's sound portrait. You'll hear attitudes about family privacy helpfulness and mayor Leo Mattern tells about the growth of the town. You also hear a portion of a council meeting and look to the future of Strasburg. The interviewer is John ydstie buddy. A good parents. You can't find one parent that isn't a good painting around you and I think this is what they hold in high esteem C. I mean is there their family How would you describe a good parent? And I don't think you could be too harsh on your children yet. You can just let him run loose whenever you want to know. That's the advantage of small town now my kids I don't have to worry about it and like we're working down here a lot. But then go to the swimming pool thing right out the rodeo grounds. We've got home at this one. I don't have to worry about them getting mugged or raped or you know, I just don't you don't have to worry about this. and one kid or get into trouble driving too fast, baby or something like that, but that's about the limit to what they now that's good. Then just a small town in a big city or kid leaves. You don't know what he did. Snyder's house one and count up to I just had a friend like me. from the time I came into now a woman's role has Life Style has changed because there wasn't too many women working other than teaching when I got here, but then that nursing home opened and that employed a lot of women there and I some go to Linton go to work. And so there are very few women that aren't working in the town right now. Ostracism herb do people like us can to eat when you worked. I had worked all my life. So this wasn't a different lifestyle to me. So I just kept at my same pattern and I had before. Women in Strasburg maybe to a certain extent extent because we do have a lady on our city council now, so I'm a Jinn you would classify that is the woman's movement and when was live because I'm sure 10 years ago. No woman would have wanted to get out and run for a city office. Well, I suppose didn't think too much of a day older people there in middle age in the other ones did that fall into Put all their backing with us and but it was all the people that thought the woman should stay at home. But most of them like my petitions they all signed at the old command to Isis. I had no trouble signing and they had a little off but they signed it. Anyway a woman that is free to be what she wants to be in a small town. Are there certain limits about like I said again, if you let other people bother you, yes, then your limits are set by just what you just go out and if you think it's right to it, and if not, if you don't feel like like you said go on working if cuz people won't see anything, but if she let it they will for a while, you know, why does she have to work wise and she stay home with two kids and but after awhile they kind of Does Jimmy you almost have to work, you know two of you around here neatness is you know, like say your house isn't needing you have a extra job or something right away. Yeah, you know house is flopping there. She goes out where she was and she stay home if that's one thing they look for and The way you're like your need to sell the house in the way you keep it up and like the yard itself. And I think one thing is the first a good housewife and then secondary, you know, it is around here for sure. Good housewife. Anything else comes second then Cuz I keep up my work. I figure. He doesn't like he's supposed to tell me what what's important that's always what you're worried about, you know what to say, you know. Be careful where you are at the right time. I think a lot of more would come back but the opportunities in employment are so limited. I think they found out that this confusion in the cities and this just being a number and I think the dullness yet. It looks glamorous to them at first when they get into these areas, but they're going to work it. It seems to be a daily routine just like in a smaller area and after the sclera is worn off. They're ready to settle down to some area where there's more stability and so on. Do you think you're any your children will come back here and then make a living here? He's now in the service, but he would never come back to North Dakota. Why not? The their life that he just did wouldn't like it. Anyway everything about everybody else. So that's why he would never come back. How do you feel about that? Whatever you're doing interfere with your whatever you're doing. So that's one thing that's good about City because they don't know each other that well as to do in in a little town like Strasburg. Everybody else knows everybody else's make a big issue about everything. How about the concern and help on this. Don't you get that too in a small town are very much. Is everybody has to care of themselves and don't get much help from anybody else. I think we have these little petty things that I think you have to kind of overlooked living in a small town are people seem to know what everybody else's business is. I think you find it. You would find it largest cities to but people don't know you're there but as soon as a person is probably a successful to some extent people get a little envious and now we have this petty stuff. I suppose if they had more to do Babe, they wouldn't be looking for some of these things. But this this is one thing I suppose that you probably could get by with doing a lot less and some other areas and you doing a community such as this because you would get lost in the crowd. We're in a smaller Community everybody seems to know what everybody else is doing and I feel sometimes that they would be better off to mind their own business. This is part of a any small community. I think you have how about the notion that people are concerned about each other help each other. It's getting to be a hot doggy dog world even in small communities as we having a large payment as I think it there would still be more concerned for the simple reason. There's more families you go to New York City. You probably don't have any relatives or something like that there but you live in a smaller community at least within the radius you probably have relatives and so on so that respect is still Help each other out there are times when they show great though. Charitable Ways by Princess of some guy gets sick in the spring of the year that help put out his crop and so on but overall, I think we're pretty well getting to be like they are in the largest cities were pretty well on their own and you fight for survival. And I think this is one thing that we in education sometimes fail to realize just a minute these kids. So we want to paint it as a Cinderella world and it isn't and this business all about everything being fun. When you get out the world you do what you want to it doesn't work. Have you ever thought about living anywhere else? in a small town I would never want to go to a big town. I like the little towns much better. I can leave my doors open here. And I can come and go as I feel I trust people here, but the minute I get in Bismarck. I locked my doors. There's some Notions about small towns people have a thick one of them would be the you don't have privacy. Someone always knows your Affair is knows what you're up to that may be true. And yet that's really understands. Not all together around bad either in a sentence. Sometimes it can be good to that that were in each other's business it it might even help us a little bit to talk to. Shape Up and examine our own Christian Life. Well, how are we living for the People season ends? Maybe maybe they're right. So there might be a disadvantage in that though. You can't be an advantage. I would say that. I want other people to know what we're doing if we're doing those kind of things that we want to be off somewhere. So that people can't tell what we're doing. Well, then I think we're doing things we shouldn't be doing because we shouldn't care if anybody knows whether we're going here or going there. 1 advantages if people know what you're doing. When you go to the hospital everybody's there to come and see you that's one great Advantage wherever you're going to city and you get sick. You probably aren't going to have too many visitors. But when anybody hears it anybody sick you're loaded with cards you're visited. And perhaps when you come home, they'll help take care of your family. And well, there's just a great advantage to that lifestyle that they pretty much live by. But it seems it as I would see it in Strasburg here. They they're pretty much all in agreement with so I'd say the same lifestyle. Would they accept someone who came in who? And maybe wanted to live a different way to say I really even know what to say on that. I would rather say they would I would think anyone living coming in with a new lifestyle I think would would fit in because I don't think it would be that many complications really cuz I would say it. No, I think this party wouldn't want to be so different. He naturally just conform to that to their way and fall right into it, but you don't do nothing but neighbors don't know about the neighbors children. Don't do nothing your children don't know about Sometimes it's not so good. But sometimes it is good because I I feel they stay within their boundaries and live up to the laws of the marriage laws in the church laws in the laws of the state and so on where they know somebody wouldn't know that the neighbors are knowing about it. They would probably go on and do a lot of things that they found the neighbors know about we can't do this. It's a normal phone in a small town like Strasburg than other places. Do they are helpful to each other in a time of need. AAA around here. Like I've had a lady friend that passed away of cancer and all the different ladies in her Homemakers club and in her church group come in and help the family with the washing in the house cleaning and fixing meals fixing food and taking it over for the family. And even though I know that her husband he still alone with the two children and he gets a lot of help then again to I have another lady friend that's in the hospital had surgery now and they were saying that as soon as she's able to come home, we'll have to get together and help her straighten up her house again and Dustin help her along with the things until she's well enough again. She's Alone lost her husband her children all gone. She's younger woman, but still is alone in the home and she's had surgery and it's quite serious soul. She already made arrangements for this. At times of accidents and so on. I know in our Homemakers Club one of the ladies they lost a little girl in the farm accident all are Homemakers ladies pitched in and prepared food and help her along with her getting things ready for the funeral getting clothes ready for the family to go to the funeral because they have quite large family soon. And it was a strain on the mother to lose this little girl so suddenly and unexpectedly and the Homemakers Club just pitched in and brought food and hot dishes and at the funeral lunch also, they had a lunch at the time of the funeral in the relation come in so that there's food prepared. So it wasn't all on the mother and father. I think they do an awful lot to help a lot more better yet. He married to a dye shirt. I asked somebody I forget who it was. I said how the hell is that? You're worn out any move to West at the move the house to Westfield. Somebody told me I couldn't say nice shop. I want to buy that man A Nice Kicks shop. I think it was. How do I assess? Strasburg design picture right now. Would you say it then growing town or static dying? I think it's very much growing. Since I've been here eight years now, we've added some 20 new houses. Intown fact just five went up to this year in 74. and in the last census Federal census we are the only town that increased in population below 10,000. And I'm quite sure we're not dying out then it is on the upswing or at least holding its own. Why is it different? Why is it bucking the trend? Well, it's a German community in. And the Germans are they want to show off I think. They like to show the next guy that they can do things and thereby. It's always somebody that tries to bring some business into town just to show off the other guy that he can do it at a time like this. Industry definitely industry to keep the younger people here. And if you keep your younger generation here your towns Will Survive life. Do older people sooner or later? We'll have to die. And if they are not replaced then pretty soon the time will be that industry is definitely a big factor in the smaller towns. Do you think Strasburg is going to be getting into any kind of interested? Yes. I'm in. I have one in the making right now. Hey by next spring. I should be in full production. It's the concrete fence post. That I will be manufacturing here in this town. No, I have no idea how big it will get there. How many people that will employ this is something that I have to wait and see if the demand will go on. I hope you have enough. I don't want to mention any figure, but I hope they employ some people someday. Have you ever wanted to live anywhere else? Well, not necessarily because I had the opportunity to move he might dreams when I come back in this little town bought this business place. I thought this town could grow could be twice the size as our neighbor tunnel in which the County city courthouse and I'm always telling them that don't mean nothing cuz it's been proven fact. but then, you know minutes you got the ball rolling something turns up and then it Apple car turns like that. The bottom are on their house mayor for 8 years ago. Let me put curb and gutter in this town was just quite an improvement. We feel up all the old basements for opening the 1930s at people and packed up and moved out, you know dryers. Backfield and put a bag and grass cutting down all the old buildings surprised. You hadn't seen that 8 years ago. Ho Oakley Icon look and go today either very something fun and I'll be a few more yet to got to be taken out. And then Monday at the curb and got in the even my dad worked against it was so mad spending the taxpayers money, which was the best movie made then they pushed me off me and the whole bar. Well, my name is Eliza last four years. Nothing was done, but you should had a well 2 years ago already and would have got federal aid to help with you in line of emergency. Didn't bill in it. So they said well I better on again. That's who I'll didn't want me in the first place or should I run now by one by far? I got a well done. We made for Progress. We got to be by Santana City. We worked hard with some of my board members help which you notice the part goes pretty well long what I say. And we got there all new stop signs now up-to-date sign supposed to come. Then we got the chase East, they're going to put up the Avenue signs. Which we won 50/50 matching dollar with them. So that's for projects. They're clicking now. We're going on a flagpole a flagpole. And I started building switch our next move now by the way our flag pole. Is there. Where are we going to put that flag pole? Urban things that doesn't work on there Why can we see the middle of the street? But that man holds there wouldn't be a bad idea to feed. What flower flowers in the middle at least people would notice it be so much nicer than any other place La can eat sign. It's right in the middle where it doesn't interfere with your lights and nothing. What do you think, babe by 5ft square? I mean diameter. Or make a diamond shape so that if they hit their clients off. How dare you come through that he could help him notice it. My two feet higher on it. I think we should put that in the emotion and get this job. I should be why should we get the feeling of the people? It's our duty. That's what we would nominate for the job thing that makes your tongue grow. I feel we're trying to make our town girl and we have waves Strasburg has Has an increased its population from the 1962 the 1970 census. Wava. Built-in new nursing home here. We have a big cheese plant. This bank and itself is growing. You might say tremendously in the since 1968 since I've been here. I don't know way. We've got it. I think we've got a clean town. And this is what we work for. I don't know if you've noticed or not, but I our Main Street what we have I think it's clean. And this is probably helped us a lot. You know people take little bit of pride in their buildings and so forth. And this this is something that way we all have to have an effort in otherwise your town probably backs up and you don't even know it. We've got a few towns around here that have backed up. and the trend for four people leaving Strasburg isn't I don't think it's been as great because there's always people that want to come back. North Dakota as a whole has lost a lot of young people Which I think if there wasn't more of an opportunity and went right now, I'll wait. We're in a tight money pinch. I know kids room around here that have left that would like to come back and just Farm. And the opportunity just isn't there anymore. There's got to be a better life somewhere else something different. Don't never know where. Find find a job that I like country that I like stay there. You're happy. You're happy. And round here, I think maybe the older people like it, you know just a nice little town to retire in your own. What's the gossip are you going to go? weather for now Strasburg North Dakota, our hometown one in a series of sound self-portraits illustrating the attitudes 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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