A young man from 56572 drove to Southern Otter Tail County yesterday to buy a truck from a private party. When he told the seller where he was from the seller said "We used to stop and get out of the car when we drove through Pelican. We don't do that anymore. We just drive through."
Last evening many 56572 residents gathered at the school to hear The Worner Report which says, in part, that one the causes of the school district's malaise is open enrollment, that people have a mistaken image of the school and the town that is not based on the reality as he sees it and that the solution is a stepped up public relations campaign by both.
I have new neighbors here in town. They bought the house of my neighbor of thirty years. We don't speak each other's language very well. I speak about as much of their language as they do of mine. Still we are neighbors who communicate by sharing food once in a while and recognizing one another if only by waving. They have kept the property up very well, in a way that the previous owner would be pleased with. I try to do the same. There is no fear factor or intimidation.
When one starts to fear one's neighbors it's you who has the problem, not your neighbor. Residents of Otter Tail County need not fear their neighbors in Pelican Rapids no matter what language we speak, what we wear or how different we look. The streets of Pelican Rapids are no more dangerous than those of Perham or Parkers Prairie, nor are the hallways of PRHS. It's just that the people using those sidewalks and hallways may be a bit different than those you are used to.
With the high price of gas may I suggest you take a day trip to Pelican Rapids? Start out at Historic City Hall, stop by an antique, gift, ice cream or coffee shop, walk in to Las Monarcas Supermarket or the Gar Gar Shop on West Mill, stop by the library, stay in town for lunch or dinner, maybe a soccer or a baseball game. Make a point of coming to the International Friendship Festival June 20-21.
You won't be crossing any borders, leave your passport at home. Just decide to do it, come here, find a place to park and get out of your car.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008