Monday, May 19, 2008

Will the Last One to Leave Please Turn out the Lights?

Picked up by the AP, it got reported as far away as Boston:

This high school grad is all class

Opheim High School, Opheim, Montana, some 45 miles West of my hometown, Scobey, aka "Lake Wobegon", graduates a class of one. And the Governor shows up to give the commencement address.

Congratulations, Jeff. I know you got one heck of an education.


Sean said...

A fun story!

There was a photo essay in National Geographic last year about the ghost towns of North Dakota. There were several haunting shots of schools that were abandoned, their last lessons still written on the black board.

FrGregACCA said...

I remember seeing that article, Sean. Residents of NE Montana don't like to think about it, but in many ways, they're more North Dakota than Montana, even if telling North Dakota jokes is a major passtime in Eastern Montana. Twelve miles to the East of Scobey, the community of Flaxville was seriously divided a couple of years ago over the closure of its school, to the point where the courts got involved, something pretty rare in that culture. There are now two high schools left in Daniels County, and probably sooner or later, there will be only one. Opheim, which is just outside Daniels County, probably won't have a school much longer either.

The population sparsity is amazing. Daniels County, approximately the size of Rhode Island in land area, has a population of around 2,000, over half of whom live in Scobey.

Anyway, maybe large scale development of wind power, as is now in the works, will revitalize at least some of these communities. There's plenty of wind out there, that's for sure.