Growing up, I used to tell strangers that we lived in the suburbs of Fillmore. At that time, there was a thriving population of about 10 people, and we lived just a mile away. I was such a proud kid when my dad was the president of the township board, the closest thing we had to a city council. I told people that he was the mayor of Fillmore.
boxes of bees each spring. The door was never locked and the individual mailboxes were always set to open. Every once in a while a kid would twirl all the dials and chaos ensued because no one knew their codes.
On the store side of the trailer, there were a few shelves, a refrigerator, and a counter. On the counter rested a notepad and a pen for customers to write down what items they'd taken so they could be billed each month. More importantly, the counter was also home to a bin of Tootsie Rolls. And I love Tootsie Rolls.
Back in its heyday, the town hall was home to basketball games between Fillmore and other tiny-opolises like Esmond. My neighbor, who went by the name Georgie then, and I would meet to shoot hoops with the deflated basketballs that were left there once upon a time. It was the first place I ever pretended to be athletic. Perhaps if those balls had actually been filled with air I would have joined a team and led it to victory. Or maybe I would have lost interest after 10 minutes as I did then.
|Pete's Bar (left) - Photo courtesy of GhostsofNorthDakota.com|
It was a psychological shift for everyone when we lost our zip code in the '90s (yes, that happens). The sign indicating Fillmore's elevation disappeared around then, too. Suddenly we all received addresses with street names in the thousands, and a 911 system was implemented. I'd barely graduated from high school, but I was experiencing an identity crisis. One day I'm from Fillmore, the next I'm from... Esmond?
Looking back, I can't imagine that this experience is replicable and I find myself nostalgic. Sure, progress has its perks, but my childhood wasn't half bad.