There are quite a few abandoned towns in central North Dakota; I was raised near one of them called Kongsberg. The road that leads from the highway to the community is called the “Kongsberg Road.” The town site sits along the Soo Line Railroad tracks at the base of an incline called the “Kongsberg hill.” There is a church nearby called the “Kongsberg Lutheran Church.” The place may be called “Kongsberg,” but to the many children like myself, who grew up along the Kongsberg Road and have since moved away as adults, it’s still known as “Home.”
Sue took this picture a few years ago and it has been shared among those of us that call Kongsberg home. My sister Peggie shared it again this morning and simply looking at it rekindled some powerful emotions deep inside of me. When I was running this afternoon, John Mellencamp’s “Small Town” came onto my play list and the lyrics brought some of those emotions to the surface.
“No I cannot forget where it is that I come from
I cannot forget the people who love me
Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town
And people let me be just what I want to be”