How Minnesotans call their kids: an extra

After reading my comment on how differently Minnesotans and New Yorkers call their kids, P. wrote to say, “You may be right about Minnesota nowadays, but in the late forties my mom called to me down the block in south Minneapolis. Other moms did the same thing.”

But sometime in the fifties, he writes, “a seismic shift  occurred, and the practice suddenly vanished. I like to think that Minneapolis was more like a big small town before then, and many houses in the neighborhood were owned by people who were fresh off the farm and spoke in heavy Scandinavian accents, now nostalgically recalled by Garrison Keillor and parodied by the Coen brothers. They used to call their children as if they were calling them across eighty acres of corn. They also mostly drove Chevies, while my Father drove Frazers, which they stopped making in 1952. Then Minnesotans decided they needed to become respectable and they elected Eisenhower. The shouting is gone now, and they switched to Buicks.”

10 thoughts on “How Minnesotans call their kids: an extra

  1. This is great. I heard a bit of that Midwestern accent in Michigan, but not as defined as in the work of the Coen brothers. I saw their stuff as more homage than parody. But still…with respect. ☺

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  2. I like to think that Minneapolis was more like a big small town

    More like a series of small towns, each with their own accents, customs and character.

    Back then, the first question a realtor asked was, “What church do you go to?” It told him, and it was always a him, what your race, religion, ethnicity and income was. He then placed you with a similar tribe.

    The advantages for living in a closely knit tribe were many: safety, tight-social cohesion, a sense of place and civic engagement. The disadvantages were……well, we have been living that history for the last three-quarters of a century.

    It is my fondest wish that someday soon, urban parents will again, fling open a window or door and yell with everything they got, “It’s supper time, and I mean NOW!!”

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  3. I originate from the North and there was most definitely a huge sense of community. Parents did shout for the kids to come in and we were usually found playing close by but mostly outside. It wasn’t unusual for several kids to end up back at ours for tea, or dinner as we say in the south. There’d be parties in the street and there was always someone there if help was required. I’ve noticed it’s not the same here and wasn’t the same when I lived in Hampshire. Times have changed. Kids are sat in front of computers or huddled in places, doing stuff that they probably ought not to be doing. Aye would definitely be used in Yorkshire. ‘Aye, lad or lass.’

    Liked by 1 person

      • We went out first thing and came in when it was dark. Our cheeks were rosy red and I don’t think any of us had a Vit D deficiency. I spent most of my time working on a farm from a very early age. I went to bed tired, I got up refreshed and eager to do it all over again. I didn’t have a computer or any other distractions. Happy as a pig in muck.

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