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Family leaves North Dakota after moving for cash and free land

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Stitch, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100216/ap_on_re_us/us_saving_hazelton_3

    I feel a bit sorry for them, but you if you tick off one person in a small town, you can be an outcast fairly quickly.
     
  2. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    I feel sorry for all 240 who are still there freezing their asses off.
     
  3. RagingCanuck

    RagingCanuck Guest

    I come from one of those little prairie dots on the map and boy does everything in this story ring true. No one does petty jealousy like a tiny, tiny town.
     
  4. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    And then those 240 will wonder why their town is dying. Gee, maybe if you act all cliquish, people won't want to move there.
     
  5. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    Rural towns in the Midwest are unlike anything I've ever seen. I never lived in one full-time but I did part-time during summer months when I was in high school.

    They gossip like hell, and because of that, everyone knows everything about everyone, and whether it's completely true or not doesn't matter much.

    They are deathly afraid of change of any sort, so the fact that there towns are dying is one thing, but to welcome new people from the outside is just as terrifying.

    The poor teenagers spend their weekend nights driving up and down the main drag and maybe hanging out in front of the gas station. There is nothing else to do. Except maybe get a hold of some whiskey and have A LOT of teenage sex.

    But then again, everyone will know about any promiscuity in a matter of days and then it's all over.

    It's like the worst-case scenario from your high school. But it lasts your entire life.
     
  6. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    I still can't help but wonder if there is more to this story that we haven't heard about yet.
     
  7. D-3 Fan

    D-3 Fan Active Member

    Sadly, I have second Raging here with it, growing up in Iowa. Jealousy is a bitch, especially if you are coming from someplace completely different like Florida or California and you move to a small town. Small-town folks are not keen to having "out-of-towners" invading their space, giving out suggestions, or being "better" than they are.
     
  8. KJIM

    KJIM Well-Known Member

    While I agree with the small-town mentality and cliquishness, the story seemed fairly one-sided. They tried to start a coffee shop, but that's really not an attempt at integration, and the statistic of failing restaurant businesses are staggering.

    Did they join the PTA, volunteer at the library, get involved in a church group, join in checkers at the corner? Maybe the "drug dealer" impression was based more on just the car and flashy jewelry. We don't know; no one else was really quoted commenting on this particular case.

    My question is how the heck did a family from Miami move to a tiny town without knowing it would be a culture and weather shock. Or did they not look past the "free?"

    It seems the writer -- and AP does this all the time -- got wind of a trend and tried to people-fy using a story that's probably not representative of the trend. We don't know for sure because it focused on just the family's side of the story.
     
  9. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    That's exactly my take on it, KJIM.
     
  10. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    I'm going to guess the Miami people had their own stereotypes of the North Dakotans, which they couldn't shake, and that added to the North Dakotans stereotypes of them.

    Anyway, I can see why so few people took the deal of free land. Unless you're, say, raising cattle on it, getting free land should tell you that this is place that people are fleeing.
     
  11. Small Town Guy

    Small Town Guy Well-Known Member

    I think you're being a little harsh, Shaggy. You make it sound like having a lot of teenage sex is a bad thing.

    I do think this story was a bit odd, especially since it basically ends with them admitting they're leaving to take care of her elderly parents.

    I left a small town for bigger ones and ultimately NYC, but I could definitely move back. My wife, on the other hand, as a city girl her whole life, could never live there, though she likes my little hometown ("it's cute.")

    It's not for everyone certainly. I briefly moved to another small town and lived with people who were extremely religious (I am not). It took them about 5 minutes to completely welcome me, the outsider, and accept me and I remain very good friends with several people from there. But maybe I found it easier to mesh because I grew up in that environment.

    I was talking with a native New Yorker a few weeks ago about how big city folks think they're so tough, but I know more lifetime small towners who could and have adapted to a big city than big city people who could adapt to small towns (obviously this has more to do with the fact that, duh, living in a big city does offer more.)

    Growing up, a family from Cambodia moved to town. I became good friends with the boy in my class (they came in second grade). They had to put up with bullying and some taunting and it was difficult to watch and there was definitely racism. But there were also some kids who moved from different states who were welcomed with open arms.

    I mean, there are crazy shop owners on my Manhattan block. That's not necessarily a unique thing to small town people who hate outsiders.

    My parents talk every once in awhile about moving. My mom doesn't want to, as they're an hour from the Twin Cities and 15 minutes from a decent-sized city. Talked to her recently and she said my dad has never really felt at home in this town, which they've now lived in for 41 frickin' years and has 1,800 people. What? First I heard of that. Guess he feels like an outsider, struggling with that small town mentality. His dream destination, where he wants to settle down for good?

    The town he grew up in, population 1,100.
     
  12. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    Interesting article, but I agree it was a bit one-sided. Yes, small towns CAN BE cliquish and unwelcome to newcomers, but the newcomers need to meet the lifers halfway.

    You need to get involved with activities outside of work, such as church groups, youth sports, school events (yes, having kids certainly helps to meet people). If you're willing to show that you will get invested in the town, residents will be more welcoming to you.

    And you can't hang onto pre-determined notions, such as thinking all hunters are anti-environmental rednecks. Newcomers can stereotype people just as easily as the "natives" can.
     
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