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Old 02-15-2010, 11:28 PM
 
350 posts, read 470,695 times
Reputation: 156

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Ok, was browsing Yahoo news when I found this article (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100216/ap_on_re_us/us_saving_hazelton - broken link) about a family from Florida who is leaving ND after moving here on the promise of cash and free land. Residents in Hazelton practically drove them from town after they picked up and moved 1800 miles cross-country to start a new life here.

How pathetic is this for North Dakotans?

The article got me thinking, however. After reading comments from people who have recently moved to our state and hearing their sometimes downright depressing first impressions, are North Dakotans really less friendly than we thought? In my experience, the answer is no - but then again, I am from here.

What do you all think? Do we need to improve?

 
Old 02-15-2010, 11:52 PM
 
Location: Hopefully Montana soon. But Prescott, AZ for now.......
13 posts, read 57,555 times
Reputation: 17
Sad to say, on my many fact finding trips to North Dakota and Montana, this is the attitude that has turned me away.

In fact, this very town, Hazelton, was the scene of an incident which helped turn me off.

We got off the highway and found a little diner. Sat down and ordered coffee. The waitress seemed friendly enough. There were a few locals sitting in the place as well. Bear in mind we aren't the Rolex and Lexus types like this guy in the article. I drive a Nissan.

She went off and talked to them for a little bit, and never came back to our table. When I finally made eye contact with her and got her attention, she came over and laid down a check for the coffee. Didn't say a word. Didn't take our order. Nothing.

My brother said "Well, I guess that means we're done". I went over and paid for the coffee. All while being stared down by the locals. Got back on the highway and never looked back.

Too bad. It appeared to be a nice little town. But, I can assure you. There is no love for outsiders.

There were other incidents throughout the trips. Now, we just don't bother.

Sad, but this is just the sort of thing that will kill these towns.

Last edited by BassPlayer; 02-15-2010 at 11:53 PM.. Reason: Spelling error...
 
Old 02-16-2010, 01:06 AM
 
Location: Acworth
1,352 posts, read 3,770,258 times
Reputation: 466
that is unfortunate. let them die alone in the middle of nowhere.

remember folks, towns don't die because they lack people. they die because no people want to live there.

i would love to know who that anonymous donor was though. things like that amazingly, are kept secret how?
 
Old 02-16-2010, 02:44 AM
 
Location: H-town, TX.
3,398 posts, read 5,461,822 times
Reputation: 2104
Don't feel too bad, most any small town where everyone grows up knowing the same bunch of people is like that.

I moved from Houston the day my junior year of high school ended...I made it a point not to barge into cliques (made enough friends even that way, funny enough) for my last year and even then that was not enough to keep from being bothered by them.

Saw that article then saw this thread on the home page here...and you only thought those small town folks got wowed by different surroundings.
 
Old 02-16-2010, 03:40 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
85 posts, read 157,389 times
Reputation: 97
Saw the article on Yahoo.

The locals here are nothing more than a bunch of rednecks with a terminal case of "stupid". Why in the world would anyone want to move to this awful place where you have 50 degree below zero wind chills and snow up to your eyeballs? Hope the family finds happiness in their move back to Florida. At least the weather will be better and the people can't be any worse.
 
Old 02-16-2010, 07:22 AM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
19,865 posts, read 18,312,135 times
Reputation: 7955
I just read that story on Yahoo, too. Sure, it probably did not help that they dressed up the way they did, gold chains are not appreciated in many places around the world.
But I don't think it would have been much different if they had dressed up like locals. There are such small towns here too, where the same old people sit around all day, staring at everyone passing by, uninterested in the world around their little holes. Maybe it is a hierarchy thing, those people are not flexible in their minds, everybody has their fixed place in those closed mini-societies, and strangers are considered people who might disturb the routine, maybe even challenge the power balance.

Maybe the town has something to hide, like a joint murder

Are there an people of color in that town?

Last edited by Neuling; 02-16-2010 at 07:31 AM..
 
Old 02-16-2010, 07:53 AM
 
2,538 posts, read 3,885,344 times
Reputation: 3312
This article really disturbed me as I was considering a similar move. I was looking at towns slighly larger, but I'm still worried about this kind of reception. I'm a German decent northern so maybe I wouldn't stick out as much, but I don't want to move some place where people would actually threaten you. While I could care less if they were super friendly, I wouldn't want open hostility. I think Neuling hit it on the head. In most cases the question isn't fear or dislike of outsiders, it is more a desire to maintain the status quo. A lot of these little towns are self contained theifdoms. Any outsider, especially if they have money, are a threat to social hiearchy. People would rather doom their town than see their power dimished.
 
Old 02-16-2010, 08:21 AM
 
9,807 posts, read 12,899,825 times
Reputation: 8127
The town was offering free land and free money to get someone to move there.

Surprised that the guy who needed everything free as an enticement to move there arrived driving a Lexus, decked out in gold necklaces, and wearing a Rolex.

Also, his wife opening a coffee shop in a tiny town that already had one wasn't too smart. Seems both of them are now closed.

These stories draw media attention, but I always believe there are 2 sides to every story and the truth is somewhere in the middle.
 
Old 02-16-2010, 08:26 AM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
19,865 posts, read 18,312,135 times
Reputation: 7955
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velvet Jones View Post
This article really disturbed me as I was considering a similar move. I was looking at towns slighly larger, but I'm still worried about this kind of reception. I'm a German decent northern so maybe I wouldn't stick out as much, but I don't want to move some place where people would actually threaten you. While I could care less if they were super friendly, I wouldn't want open hostility. I think Neuling hit it on the head. In most cases the question isn't fear or dislike of outsiders, it is more a desire to maintain the status quo. A lot of these little towns are self contained theifdoms. Any outsider, especially if they have money, are a threat to social hiearchy. People would rather doom their town than see their power dimished.
Hey fellow person of German descent Looking German I stand out a lot, I remember eating at a little restaurant in a rural place, people were literally watching me eat
I will never again move to a place under say 25,000 people. Even if they treat me nice, I feel like I need to see new faces from time to time. When a place is so small that everybody seems to know everybody else, it is definitely not for me. I just looked up that town on CD, median age 49 years, 99% white, 0 people born abroad... I guess I would feel stifled there.
 
Old 02-16-2010, 08:30 AM
 
2,538 posts, read 3,885,344 times
Reputation: 3312
Default Coffee shop

Yeah, the coffee shop plan seemed odd to me. If you're moving to a really small town(less than 300 people), how do you expect to make it when you already have a competing business? Even if 10% of the towns population came in every day you would likely still struggle. Divide that by two and it seems very unlikely. Which in this case is exactly what happened. Having two shops probably cut the other guys business to the point that he also went under. If you're going to opened a new business in a small town pick something unique or buy an existing business.
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