Scattered throughout North Dakota’s countryside one finds many abandoned schools, churches, farms, and even towns. The original homesteads were 160 acres, but modern farmers have about 3000 acres. That means that there is a single family where 20 were before. With no motorized transportation, everything had to be in walking distance, about 4-5 miles. The small schools and churches were the centers of community life, where we people came to celebrate, mourn, solve problems, and experience the closeness that is so important in desolate places like North Dakota. I don’t romanticize the hardships that were part of the lives of yesteryear, but I think America has lost something priceless with it small towns.