RAMifications: Pride for a small town with big ambitions

Posted June 28, 2013 at 3:12 pm

I grew up on a farm southwest of Wessington, went to school there, and when I had a chance to go to college I swore I would NEVER live in a small town again. I hated the small town gossip and pettiness, and I still do.

Over the years, I’ve lived in several locations, all bigger than Wessington or Miller. There were certain features about each of those places I liked, and some people I still really miss.


Ruth A. Moller

It’s obvious I loved Crookston, Minnesota. It has a population of about 8,000, not counting the college. It was still small enough to know a lot of people, and our little “Woods Addition” was close-knit.

Rapid City of course gave me the Hills, which I love. But I also found a good many people who shared my interests, and there are a lot of cultural outlets.

Of all the places I’ve lived, those two places are “home.”

I moved to Miller because it offered a job in journalism. I was born here (in Miller, delivered by Dr. Pangburn, on the second floor of the “Opera House”) but Dad seldom came here except to buy license plates and the like. Most of the time, the “big city” was Huron. So I really never knew much about Miller.

After the several years I’ve lived here, I see Miller in a new light, in some respects, and advantages it offers.

It is nice to not worry about leaving your door or car unlocked; it’s great to be able to ask a neighbor to help you unload a chair; it’s wonderful to go into a place of business and be called by your first name. It’s interesting to have a person you don’t know all that well recognize your voice over the phone. I enjoy seeing kids roam around town with little concern regarding “bad” guys. Living where I do, I even enjoy hearing the occasional “moo” not far off. Those are some of the plusses for small town living.

I’ve heard that one should not say “I’m proud of…,” but rather “I’m proud for,” as “I” had nothing to do with the reason for pride.

As we near the Fourth of July celebration, I’m proud for several things going on in our community.

I’m so very proud for the great strides the hospital/clinic has made. I attended their donor unveiling ceremony…and how beautiful that wall is. Even more beautiful is the support and dedication that brought the hospital to this point. The facility is a huge plus for a small-town community, coupled with the citizens’ belief in their hospital and clinic and services. I’m truly in awe of the support manifested.

Then there is that “edifice” that has grown over the last several months, just to the north of me. I’m informed it is an elementary school. I’m just so proud for the people who brought this project to fruition. Small town or not, we have kids who deserve the best education under the best circumstances we can get. (And if you remember, Miller is the seventh top high school in South Dakota, according to US News and World Report).

Other signs of growth include more veterinarians, a new grain terminal just west of Miller, ag business expansions, etc. The main street is attractive. It’s all so positive.

Way back when the first Miller paper came out in February 1882, everything was about moving ahead, taking a chance, and growing the town.

All these years later, the same choir is singing. And that’s great. Keep singing.

Let’s just cut down on the gossip.

Pride for a small
town with big ambitions