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Neighbors: Reader reflects on good old days in small-town ND

It's always a kick for anyone who grew up in a small Midwest town some years ago to look back on those days. Nancy (Leedahl) Hanson is one of those people. Today, at Neighbors' request, she sends along her memories. Nancy now lives in Kindred, N....

Nancy (Leedahl) Hanson at her high school prom in 1961. Special to The Forum
Nancy (Leedahl) Hanson at her high school prom in 1961. Special to The Forum

It's always a kick for anyone who grew up in a small Midwest town some years ago to look back on those days.

Nancy (Leedahl) Hanson is one of those people. Today, at Neighbors' request, she sends along her memories.

Nancy now lives in Kindred, N.D., but she grew up in Hoople, N.D., in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

"I was in high school at that time," she writes. "We were known as the Hoople Spuds.

"It was such a wholesome and innocent time in our history," she says. "But I didn't fully appreciate that until I was quite a bit older.

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"Life moved a little slower then. I don't remember the urgency and chaos that families struggle with now. It felt like we took the time to enjoy each day.

"The old adage 'it takes a village to raise a child' certainly applies to me," Nancy says.

"Our town had about 350 residents. Everybody knew everybody else and could call their dogs by name!

"It was like having a whole support group all around you, except for one elderly lady. She felt obligated to call our parents if she saw any of us doing something inappropriate in public!

"Our community was quite wealthy during those years. Yet, folks usually did their business locally instead of driving to faraway Grand Forks or Fargo.

"We had a grocery store, bank, gas and fuel companies, hardware store and a mini department store. Most of our daily needs could be purchased at home.

"We also had a Chevrolet dealership. I remember the farmers being quite modest driving six-cylinder Chevy pickups. Their wives, however, drove great big Buicks!

"As for suits and ties - they were mandatory every Sunday morning for church and other formal affairs. Otherwise, it was jeans, or what we called 'work pants.' They were sort of an everyday pair of khakis. Then there were the older guys who usually wore their comfy bib overalls.

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"We were what we were and didn't pretend to be anything else," Nancy says.

"We generally were content with our lives.

"We shared joys and sorrows and helped each other when needed.

"Most of us," she concludes, "were very happy being just where we were."

Neighbors believes many of you have similar memories of growing up in a small town. Neighbors would love to read about them.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 701-241-5487 or email blind@forumcomm.com .

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