Monday, April 5, 2010

Meet Lisa - a hometown girl

Lisa W.

 Photography by Julie Saari

Lisa W.
Back Alley Downtown Bemidji
February 2009

What if someone never leaves their hometown? Do you consider them stuck? Or are they blessed to have been born into the town they were meant to live in?

Lisa W. is one of the first people I see on my days in town. A quick stop into Harmony Co-op for my Certified Organic Free Trade $1 cup of coffee serves more as a recharge of the spirit than a hot beverage. Seeing Lisa there stocking the fruits and vegetables is a kind of comfort to me. The contentment of her face made me want to know her story, maybe you will find it interesting also. Do you think she got stuck?

This is Lisa:

Bemidji’s my hometown. I was born in the nursing home right off Bemidji Avenue which used to be the area’s main hospital. I graduated from Bemidji Middle School, Bemidji High School and Bemidji State University, got married (and divorced, and married again, ahem) in the Bemidji courthouse, had a baby in the “new” Bemidji Hospital, and landed a job in downtown Bemidji at a our only community owned grocery store. You get the gist. I’m one of those: a local. Not a seventh-generation indigenous local or a third generation Scandinavian-settler local, but the kind of local that was simply born here and feels Bemidji in her blood.

The question most hometown people get, from my experience, is ‘why didn’t you ever leave? Or ‘what made you stay?’ ..........

To read the rest: follow this link.
Be sure to view the slide show posted at the bottom of Lisa's story too.


Ellie said...

I appreciate the knowing your town feeling... and I think that more people are returning to their roots. Travelling, yes, but being reassured by the knowledge that they have a cave to which they can return.

Deb said...

Wow! Great Stuff Jules!

Will Burke said...

I know a lot of people (like me) who leave and come back. It├Ęs hard to shake the yearning for home!