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The generators of Buxton

It can take a little bit extra to live in a small town such as Buxton, N.D. But most of the people who live there couldn't imagine being anywhere else, and they know how to keep themselves entertained.

It can take a little bit extra to live in a small town such as Buxton, N.D. But most of the people who live there couldn't imagine being anywhere else, and they know how to keep themselves entertained.

"The happiest in small towns are generators," Pastor Doug Norquist said. He explained that people need to come up with things to do by themselves when living in a smaller community.

"A cultural consumer is someone who always has to find a place where things are happening. But if you're a cultural generator, you can create what's interesting for yourself," he said.

In Buxton, people of all ages seem to be generators. They are good at finding something to do: the options and opportunities are really not as few as you might think.

Amanda Kirkeby, 17, and Emily Newcomb,18, known as The Greely St. Girls, had only good things to say about growing up in Buxton. They used to play both store and hotel. In the winter, they could play in the snow that Emily's grandpa would pile in front of the house.


As for the other end of the spectrum, the senior citizens gather at the Town and Country Center every Monday for their meeting and a chat about what is going on in town. They even have their own bingo every third Monday.

Other places that people gather are either in the Triple VVV Lounge or at the Buxton Café. The Buxton Café is where a group of guys meet every afternoon at 3 p.m. to share their stories over a cup of coffee. The group is well known in Buxton. People say that the best place to be if you want to know what is going on in town is these guys' table.

Bobbi Hepper Olson has found her own way of keeping herself busy. She has taken up the task of renovating the old bank building as part of a project called Buxton in Bloom. "I'm interested in historical renovations," Bobbi said. She explained that renovating the bank is her hobby, just as other people have hobbies such as painting.

Pastor Doug Norquist's hobbies are bird watching and music. Paul Marchell at the First State Bank likes hunting. Rhea Benneng and Laminda Murach, whom I met at the Triple VVV Lounge, enjoy playing bingo on Thursday nights. They have different hobbies, but they have in common that they are all generators: they go out there to find things they like to do.

In addition to bingo, there are also other events going on in town. The annual potato dinner at the Immanuel Lutheran Church is one of these things. The dinner not only gives people from Buxton something to do, but it even attracts people from out of town. Ruby and Norman Sieg are two of these outsiders who took the trip to Buxton to be a part of the event.

"I have always liked this kind of stuff," Norman said as he talked about how much he enjoys the special potato dish that is served.

The potato dinner was run by Nancy Newcomb, with the assistance of other women from the community, as well as their daughters. This is another group whose members know how to keep themselves busy with things that they enjoy doing.

"I think Buxton is a wonderful place to grow up," "it's kind of a warm, fuzzy town" and "a great place to live, work and raise a family" are things that the people living there have said about Buxton. The residents really like their town. Yet it is they who have made it into such a likable place.


Gary Fuglesten, of the Central Valley Bean Cooperative, put it this way. "There are friendly people here. They look out for each other and welcome new people to the community."

Doug Norquist also knew how to describe the people in Buxton. "We've got some really cool people here," he said, adding that it's a pleasure to be the minister in town.

Buxton may be a small community, but there's always something going on for those who wish to look for it. All it takes is for someone to be a generator, and this town sure has a lot of them.

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