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Gathering Our Voice: Pitching in to make Rock Island work

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Born in 1927, longtime Rock Island mayor Whitey Evenhus said he “learned about the value of a dollar” growing up in a family of 10 on a grain and cattle farm in Esmond, N.D.

“There was no money,” he recalled, “so you raised most of your food.” His family had milking cows, raised chickens and butchered its own meats. “That was comin’ up the hard way,” he told me when I interviewed him in 2012. “But it didn’t hurt me a darn bit — I just didn’t want to do it for life!” Excerpts from that interview transcribed by Marlena LaPaz follow.

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