Monthly Archives: August 2016
Them: “Where’s Regan??” or “I know where Regent is!”
Me: That’s R-e-g-a-n not R-e-g-e-n-t
Most of us from very small towns have heard similar. For the first installment of “Kate’s 8” I will use my little town of Regan.
(and we don’t even live ‘in town’!)
I know most people will say, “But there’s nothing there!” This post will show there is much more than meets the eye.
Let’s start with History. Regan was officially formed in 1912 and named for Austin Regan, though the town was platted in 1910. It is about 40 miles NW of Bismarck. The first business was Tolchinsky’s Cream Station and was the only building on the site for some time. In the early years there were 300+ people living in Regan. There was quite the assortment of businesses too. Billiards halls to markets, banks to an auto dealer and blacksmith, opera hall and bar and a lumberyard and so much more. From 1914 to 1941 the town fielded a baseball team every year. if you were looking for a job in Regan, one of the first questions asked was “Can you play ball?”.
Just outside of Regan city proper is the old Jewish cemetery dating back to the early 1900’s. It is listed on the state historic register.
Regan also boasts one of the last surviving stone jails in the state. (photo-op! come take your picture IN the jail)
We celebrated our 100th centennial with a fabulous community party!
Cuisine Though there is no café or bar there now, you can still get fabulous home cooked Ukrainian and German foods at any get together. I’ve had my share.
Architecture Several different styles of architecture are to be found in Regan. The old Regan telephone switchboard office is made from all rocks. The two room jail house is made from stone. The old schoolhouse is there as well as the ‘newer’ school. The big Denver Square on Blueberry hill was built in the late 1900s. Along with the old, are a several newer ranch style homes .
The old school is set up on the main floor as a local museum. It has the school room, kitchen, nursery and living areas. The gym is still used for dances and family reunions. In fact… Come to this years Halloween dance!
Customs Regan was settled by predominately Germans and Norwegians, who for many, many years held onto their old world customs. They spoke native tongues in the home and danced and dressed traditionally for special occasions. Regular church socials and Homemakers club are still part of the local customs.
Art /Culture For years there was a nice lady (???-I’m having a brain freeze!) that painted the local scenery and sold it from her house. There are some amazing older paintings on display along with photography and crafts and textiles in the school house which also doubles as the local museum
People Nearly everyone in Regan and surrounding is from ‘original stock’. Uhde’s, Strands, Backmans and Aune’s are some of the founding families still very active in the community. Regan may not have many people today, but we care about our town and encourage others to come and look. Visiting and front porch sitting or coffee with neighbors, is usually part of the daily routine.
Commerce Up until the 1940’s there was a wide assortment of businesses in Regan. Two markets, a dry goods, auto dealer, bar, two banks, a doctors office, drug store, opera house and more. The last store and the bar closed in the 1980’s.
Today there is JI Fabrication and welding to anchor the town and an auto upholstery business and paint booth.
The old school is available for weddings and dances and reunions and such for a nominal fee.
Geography Regan is surrounded by sweeping prairies and farm land and is only minutes away from new Johns Lake. Also a large local landmark is what’s known as the Regan Rocks. Please don’t ask me the technical name for the formation, because I have no idea! If you go to the Regan School house there pictures of many picnics, class photos and hikers on those rocks!
Keep watching for the next town! You never know where I may be.
*I am a rural/small town and small business advocate. I also write and speak on this. For more information on myself or Annette Tait you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The “Shop Local” movement is wonderful. It has done so much and brought tons of awareness and added sales for so many businesses and communities, especially small & rural towns.
Having lived and traveled all over this great big United States, I have spent much time in very small towns. Over the years- long before “shop local” and “shop small” became catch phrases, I noticed that a considerable amount of shop owners seem to think they are entitled to your business.
As a business owner, in any size community, it is your prerogative to ignore customers, treat them badly or carry shoddy merchandise. You have choices. But when you do choose to treat your customers badly you have no right to expect them to patronize your business.
Did you know it only takes a customer 7 seconds to form an opinion of your business??
Do not make the mistake that just because you may be the only such-and-such in xyz town, that the good folks have to shop with you.
~Nothing could be further from the truth~
UPS, FedX, USPS are our friends along with Amazon, EBay & Etsy and a whole host of other options that are Not YOU. There are neighboring towns or we may just chose to save our purchase for the next trip to the city and spend ALL of our dollars there.
People are not obligated to shop with you just because you have a business. You have to earn it.
But if you are friendly and helpful, even when you don’t have what we need, we will remember and patronize you regularly.
Try to remember that even in a small town, the people who live there do not owe you a living. It’s up to you to make us want to shop there. You have to earn it. And it will repay you ten-fold.
Okay- it’s really more like the Kansas Sampler, but that doesn’t have the same ring as ‘Kate the Great’ does it?
“Kate’s 8” will actually be a regular feature on the towns I visit and what I see as their “8”
According to the Kansas Sampler Foundation, there are eight things every community has. No matter their size, large or small, they can all drum up their eight with a little creativity.
Once you identify your eight, begin building on them and see how many ways you get people to come to your town!
The eight are:
Art, Architecture, Geography, Commerce, People, History, Customs & Cuisine
How do YOU define each in your community?? Is your Art murals? Is it sculpture? Is it the garden layed out in the design of the Queen of England? -Use your imagination
Even if it’s only the Avon lady… it’s still commerce! And it counts. It’s a start. And obviously somebody believes.
What is your history? Do you have a museum? The only stone jail in the state? When was your community settled? A long tradition of ‘old school’ music? Find your own version of history and use it.
Cuisine is everything from Sunday church picnics to that fabulous smoked ham the neighbor makes. Maybe someone makes the best pies this side of the Mississippi. Maybe you have the BBQ joint.
People are everyone. You have people. That’s a start! Tell stories about them. Celebrate them!
Customs can be anything from the yearly Church Social to the community Christmas Tree. It can be past customs. (that way it can also double up as history) Did your town used to have something? Do you celebrate Ukrainian Easter or other ethnic holidays? What do you have?
Architecture– I love architecture. All Kinds! Old buildings (especially with vintage or art deco designs or signs… Oh, hey! That’s also Art!! Bonus!) , new buildings, churches, schools, barns, out houses etc… What do YOU have?
Geography is everything from the sweeping vistas of the prairies to the woodlands and in between. Every place has geography. Rivers, lakes, mountains and so on.
So, go on! Be creative. Involve everyone. Ask around. You’ll be amazed at how differently each person views ‘the eight’
“Kate’s 8” will be ongoing features of the “K-8” that I find in the towns I visit.
What’s in your town?
Need a speaker? Call us! We give talks on rural and small communities and business and how they can grow using just what is at hand as well as showcasing fabulous ideas that other towns have embraced and turned into huge wins. www.taitandkate.com We can also show you ways to get the C.A.V.E (citizens against virtually everything) people on board too.
My little Focaccia buns are a snap to make! NO KNEADING required.
“Foo-Kah” bread as we all still call it (the Boyz couldn’t say Focaccia when they were little) has it’s origins in Ancient Rome. Panis focasius was a flat bread baked on a hearth. Over the years as cooking style have evolved, it has become the focaccia of today.
All you need is few simple ingredients and then whatever you want on top.
3Cups flour 1 1/2 Cups warm water 2 1/4 tsp yeast (or 1 package)
2+ TBS Olive Oil (or canola or whatever you have) 2 TBS minced rosemary
1tsp salt 1TBS sugar
~That’s it! Those are the basic ingredients.~
In large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, salt , yeast and rosemary. Add the water and
olive oil and mix with spoon. Dough will be very sticky. Divide up into greased muffin tins (or just use cupcake papers) Cover and let rise about 20-30 minutes. *I make a dozen with this recipe, but it will stretch to 18 for smaller buns*
Heat oven to 375 gather up whatever you want on top. We like tomatoes, and seasonings and cheese, olives, onions and stuff. Dice up whatever you are using into little pieces and brush buns with some olive oil and put your toppings on.
(we like to add extra diced tomatoes right into the dough itself.)
Bake for about 15 minutes. You’ll know. They will be firm on top.
Gobble up. Dip in sauces, olive oil, gravies or just east them as is.
If you like a sweeter or a dessert bread : skip the rosemary and use like candied fruits or raisins or dates and sprinkle with sugar. Focaccia dolce or sweet focaccia.
*Boyz tips* diced pepperoni, bacon, mushrooms, Feta cheese, olives.. all great toppings! For seasonings just use generic Italian seasoning, or herb or whatever is in your cupboard. Rosemary is Not a must. we just like it. and Yes- this will still turn out if you have no measuring cups or spoons… a coffee cup, soup spoon and teaspoon will work for measuring. Poor boy style 😉 yes.. you can used canned tomatoes. ***If you don’t have muffin pans, grease your cookie sheet and press out the dough onto it all the way to the corners. use your finger and poke ‘indents’ all around. Let rise… finish as above***
There are a multitude of reasons WHY a community should have teenagers participating on the boards and councils. ~ But I will limit my self to just a few!
1) According to a University of Nebraska national survey of rural youths, 50% (that’s right folks! FIFTY PERCENT) WANT to return to their communities in the future.
That’s a fabulous number! Now what are YOU going to do with that information?
What is your community to have to offer these returning ‘youngsters’ down the road?
Jobs? Things to do? Places to hang out? Wi-Fi hot spots? Entertainment for new families? Buildings to start businesses in?
I would bet if you asked these youngsters what they would want to have, you would be surprised by their answers. If you let them, they will help you carve a new future for your community.
I met two extraordinary young men at the RuralX conference in Aberdeen a couple weeks ago. They were the youngest attendees at 16 & 17 years old. Both want to “come home” to Miller SD when they are done with school. Both want to open businesses. Both want to be able to express their ideas now to council and desire to be a part later. They want to listen us and for us to listen to them. Luckily, they live in a rural community that embraces young and old alike!
2) A vested interest in the community makes a difference. Most of the time it seems that my father’s generation is the last to truly be a vested part of a community at a young age. Really think about that. For hundreds of years, people were expected to shoulder adult responsibilities and participate in community events at a young age.
When and Why did we stop expecting our children to be a part??
When these youth feel valued and a part of the community, they are more likely to participate and volunteer. They will readily step up and lead the charge for whatever task is at hand.
(I could name a number of communities where the youth are put on ignore. It doesn’t bode well for those particular towns future.)
You could coordinate with the school so these youth get credit for attending meetings and so on.
I believe this is doubly important in rural communities. Without a large population to draw from, we need to build from within. Let them participate, share ideas and be a part.
3) Trust ~ Pretty simple, huh?
Let me give you an example; You trust the local teenagers to be LIFEGUARDS at the pool, responsible for your children. You have faith in their judgement that they will save a drowning child.
So why would you not trust their opinions or ideas?
Sure! Some of their ideas may be far fetched to us. But I am sure some of ours were just as far fetched to our ‘elders’. But without the dreams and forward thinking and enthusiasim, rural communities will wither away.
So put a little trust in these kids and give them a seat at the big table.
Together we can make our communities better for all.