Crossing Lake Sakakawea

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Leaving New Town, we had to drive the booth over a very narrow bridge to cross Lake Sakakawea, a lake that was created by a damn in the Missouri River, built in the 1950s by the Army Corps of Engineers. A newer, wider bridge has just finished being constructed next to this one, so we will be one of the last to make the somewhat treacherous crossing.

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  • I lived in New Town, ND from 1957 to 1965. We lived next door to the town doctor and their family. What a vast difference between the two households. They, living as a family in every sense of the definition. We, living poor in near squalor. Several events shaped my life while there: the legacy myself absorbed, physically and verbally abusive, neglectful parent’s behavior shaped, the self-reliance I learned, and the fire I started causing our house to almost be burned down. That particular defining event rescued our family and became a wake-up call for two parents who had clearly abandoned their then seven children ranging from age one year to 13 years of age both emotionally and financially until the community of New Town rallied. The inertia lifted us out from an abyss. We packed what was salvagable and we moved. We started a new, better life without the stigma of who we were. I see that photo and remember riding across that bridge in the big moving truck, seeing my mom driving the family car ahead of my father and me packed with arms and legs and eyes as we drove out of town.

    Comment from Mouse (Deanna) Wells on November 20, 2011 at 3:26 pm - Reply to this Comment

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