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The town where I live…


…as opposed to the one I might prefer.

It’s exceptionally odd to have lived in one place for so many years. I arrived in the F-M community in August 1971, terrified of the job I had recently accepted, because nothing had prepared me to do it. And the only story I’d ever heard about North Dakota came from my Great-uncle Adam. But that’s another tale.

Technically speaking, Fargo was established a hundred years earlier, 1871, as two ramshackle settlements: Fargo-in-the-Timber and Fargo-on-the-Prairie. Each of them consisted entirely of tents, if early visitors can be believed. Of course I had no idea that an “anniversary” was in progress, or ought to have been, but didn’t seem to be. Four years later, in 1975, we put on our dungarees, grew scruffy bears to look like Grandpa Walton or Gabby Hayes, and broke out the fireworks. There were some longer-lasting products of those months, several of them on my library shelves. I didn’t grow a beard.

Well, a lot of calendar pages have been torn off and drifted to the floor. I’m in my 100th “semester” (if you convert the quarter system we once used at NDSU). Well, now I seem to have survived from what “ought to” have been the Fargo Centennial (in my view) until the year that (again, I think) ought to be our Sesqui-Centennial — damn, I love that word. I have a good idea what Agincourt would do in this circumstance. Fargo is another thing altogether.

Maybe it’s not going to be a thing. I’ll get back to you.

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