Tiny towns, big hearts: Families, community keep smallest towns going

VOSS, N.D.—A jet-black cat named Panther stretches half in and half out the open aspect door to the Voss Grain Co. Sunning himself within the heat breeze, he does not appear to be in a lot of a rush to get out of the best way.

He is discovered a great spot and would simply as quickly keep there if not bothered. And his proprietor, Luke Lutovsky, just about feels the identical method.

“He by no means goes anyplace, so he thinks the entire world is flat,” son Scott Lutovsky says with amusing.

That is not all true, however each males are proud to say they selected to boost their households on this tiny city 5 miles straight west of the metropolis of Minto.

Since 1923 and for 3 generations, the Lutovsky household has managed the elevator now recognized far and vast for delivery superb flaxseed to California and Pennsylvania—and all elements unknown in between.

“Half the time when the vans are available right here, we do not know the place they are going,” Luke says. “We simply give it to the large boys, they usually ship it out to whoever.”

Most of it results in animal and pet meals, he says. It is huge enterprise, and it is just about the one enterprise on the town.

At one time, Voss sprouted a grocery retailer, bar, faculty and financial institution, plus had a “crackerjack” mechanic, Woodsmen Corridor, 4 extra elevators and 4 potato warehouses.

All that’s gone now, and fewer than 25 can name Voss residence—and that is provided that you rely the 2 canine, two cats and lone rabbit.

“In an enormous city, you in all probability know your neighbor two, three homes down, and that is it. Right here, you realize everybody,” Luke says.

In fact, it helps a bit when your neighbors are also household.

“We have been right here so long as anyone. I stay within the suburbs simply west of the elevator,” Luke says.

The suburb is a plot of three homes simply footsteps away. Luke lives within the first home, Scott within the second, and Scott’s son, Taylor, within the third.

Different relations have labored on the elevator by means of the years. And lots of now assist run the household’s most up-to-date enterprise—a 7-acre pumpkin patch and haunted barn they open to guests every September.

The shut-knit Lutovsky household is emblematic of many tiny cities. It appears if there’s one household, there’s virtually all the time extra mailboxes bearing the identical identify—brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts and cousins.

These are the individuals who discovered a method to make a house and a dwelling in a city brief on conveniences others take without any consideration.

Good neighbors

The Jelinek household of Pisek, N.D., has been serving to neighbors since 1946. That is the yr they opened the J Mart nook grocery, the place the espresso’s all the time…

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