The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, July 24, 1972, Image 1

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MONDAY. JULY 24, 1972
NO. 8
f x'i
PDP hopes
A University program to encourage
high school students to go on to higher
education has become so successful, its
participants believe, that other colleges
should begin similar programs.
When it was started in 1965, the
Personality Development Project (PDP),
sponsored by the Nebraska Human
Resources Research Foundation, has
encouraged high school students to
pursue higher education by giving them
one-to-one exposure to college students,
according to Cindy Lambert, project
PDP was started as a research project,
but its success has been apparent to its
participants. Joseph Wettstein of the
Kansas City regional office of the
Department of Health Education and
Welfare visited PDP last week for an
initial view of the program with an eye
toward establishing it at other colleges
and universities.
PDP selects sophomores from Lincoln
High and Northeast who would need
financial aid to pursue post-high school
The small town struaale trouble in paradise
C.U. J M.I. T1 ! I A .L. n t .
By Michael Nelson
NU School of Journalism
People are not afraid to walk the
streets alone at night, men and women
greet each other on the way to work and
most have seen riots and smog only on
It is the small town, and to the
millions living in America's largest cities it
might sound like heaven.
But there is trouble in paradise.
Inadequate public services, housing and
job opportunities are strangling thousands
of Midwest communities.
Nebraska alone could lose more than
300 small towns within the next 20 years,
according to Alan Booth director of the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL)
Bureau of Sociological Research. Most of
these communities have fewer than 500
residents, he said.
The 1970 census figures show that
such communities have lost more than
2,000 people since 1960, Booth said.
"These towns have served as local
service centers," he said. "Now with the
automobile, people can go to the cities to
get the same services they could once get
in their own communities. The small
towns can't compete."
He said many businesses in these
communities are dying because they can't
offer the same range of services and
competitive prices. When businesses close,
he said, fewer jobs are available to the
town's young people, so they leave for
the cities to find work.
"They get caught in this syndrome,"
he said. "Fewer people means fewer
goods sold, fewer sales means less profit,
less profit means fewer businesses. It goes
on until these towns are just a snot on the
"A spot on the road" could describe
Morse Bluff Neb. Located in northern
Saunders County, about 50 miles north
of Lincoln, the village is showing signs of
Many of its houses stand vacant.
Windows of former businesses are
boarded up, and weeds grow in the cracks
in the sidewalks. An occasional car drives
down the street, but for the most part it
is quiet as a cemetery.
According to long-time residents, the
town was once a bustling farm market
and a stop-over for traveling salesmen.
"This was once a good sized town,"
said Adolph Hsvelk, 71. "We had dozens
of businesses. We had two lumber yards,
two banks and the best damn hotel in
miles. All the salesmen used to stop here.
L. J.i
T.f.' .
POP students and their college counselors take time
a picnic on an excursion to Canada.
success will
education, who have the ability for more
education based o,i recommendations of
junior high guidance counselors and
whose parents have not been to college.
PDP counselors are specially-selected
University work-study students, Miss
Lambert said, so the financial aid need
for PDP participants is based on
work-study criteria.
PDP staff members meet with the
families of students recommended for the
project to introduce it to them.
"Most of the parents have been very
receptive," Miss Lambert said. "Lots of
times, more receptive than their kids."
From those who are interested in
participating, eight boys and eight girls
are randomly selected for PDP and the
rest make up a control group for further
Lincpln High Principal William Bogar
estimates that 80 per cent of the PDP
students have gone on to post -high school
education, while less than 20 oer cent of
the control group has continued.
'The counselees all come from a
Then came hard times - the Depression
According to U.S. Census figures, the
town of 117 persons was almost twice
that large in 1920. The community lost
nearly a fifth of its residents within the
next 10 years.
Farmer Raymond Racek, 61,
attributed the final collapse of the
business district to a loss of community
spirit. He said the Depression "was
exactly that." The people were
"depressed both economically and
"When we had community spirit we
could have done anything," he said. 'The
young people knew how much fun it was
to live here. But when the spirit was gone
we didn't have anything to offer that
they couldn't find in the city."
Eugene Hynek, 36, a livestock feeder,
said he believes most firms which have
gone out of business might have been
saved if the young people would have
'The young people could have kept
the town going, he said. 'They could
have bought out the owners when they
retired. Instead, when a man got too old
to work he just closed up shop."
Another resident said the only way to
solve the small town's economic problems
is by solving farm problems.
He said the merchants could have
stayed in business if the farmer's trade
had continued.
"Used to be the farmer could make a
living on 80 acres," he said, "but now it
takes a thousand. Everytime one of us
couldn't make it, the businessmen lost
another customer. The farmer has really
been put through the mill."
But Racek said the farmer's job is
tougher than that. "You could farm the
whole United States and still not make
any money," he said.
The government, he claimed, wants
small towns to die.
"My grand-daddy and my great-uncle
both told me never to vote for a
conservative because they don't care
about the farmer," he said. "I should
have listened. All they're worried about is
big business and big business is worried
about the cities. They don't care about
towns like Morse Blufl."
He said the government is keeping
money tight and making it hard for the
small town businessman to get a loan.
"You go in for a loan and they ask
you how you're doing. They ask how
many people buy from you. What the hell
you p.oing to tell them? Nobody wants to
sf ? r mil it r'i.'iiii
...1';.; ti . . .
out for
background where going to college ' has
never been promoted in their home,"
Miss Lambert said, "but now, they have
college friends. We hope that by exposing
them to the stimulation of college, they
will realize the value of higher
Miss Lambert said the philosophy of
the program is to encourage the high
school students to develop then
potential, "whatever it may be."
The high school counselees and their
college student counselors participate in
monthly group activities - a camping trip
to Mind en this month - and group
activities by class, which have includ'd
roller skating parties, bike hikes, concei ts,
and even a discussion with Lincoln Mayor
Sam Schwartzkopf.
Last year, the group traveled to
Winnipeg, Man., with money raised
during the year by counselees.
Each high school and college student
pair also meets regularly for individual
loan money to a businessman in a town
of 117 people."
"All the small
hell," one resident
changing too fast."
towns are going to
said. 'The' times are
Randolph, Iowa, is a carbon copy of
Morse Bluff. The town of 216 persons lies
in the valley of the West Nishnabotna
River in Fremont County. The village, 70
miles southeast of Omaha, is part of a
federally defined "poverty pocket."
According to Mayor Jack Estes, 77,
the town is almost beyond hope and on
the verge of economic collapse.
"When I moved here in 1918," the
retired railroad agent said, "this was the
best little town in the county. We had 42
businesses. Now we have less than half a
dozen. The young people can't find work.
They have to leave and go to the cities."
According to the 1920 census,
Randolph had more than 400 residents. It
has lost 50 per cent of them in the last 50
years. The census figures show the town
lost 16 per cent of its residents between
1960 and 1970.
Adolph Haveik blamed the Depression
for many of Morse Bluffs problems, and
Estes said the same is true in Randolph's
case. Estes also claimed that the
consolidation and mechanization of farms
added to the town's decline.
"It was an accumulation of things," he
said. 'The Depression hurt us and so did
the bank's failure in 1930. But when the
farms grew larger we were out of luck.
Fewer farms meant inci lamilies to
buy from the businessmen. They bought
machinery to help them do their work."
He said the farmers laid off their hired
hand, who used to live with families in
town, and the loss of the additional
income from rent hurt the town even
"The farmers also stopped having such
large families," he said. "Instead they
bought tractors. That didn't help either.
Tractors don't have kids, you know."
Despite its problems, Estes believes
there is still some hope for Randolph.
Interstate 29 is being built not far awsy,
and he said he hopes the town might
become a "bedroom community" from
which people could commute to work in
To prepare for this possibility, the
town is going to build a new sewer
system, he said.
"If we get new folks," he is id, "they'll
want services. We don't think we'll have a
big development, but we expect at least a
few new homes. But nobody is going to
International delegates
to study river systems
An international group of engineers,
geologists, ecologists and government
agency planner will study environmental
and planning aspects of river systems at a
workshop sponsored by the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln civil engineering
About 20 persons from the United
States, Canada, Democratic Republic of
Congo and Venezuela are participating in
the two-week course.
Two field trips on the Missouri River
will provide background for three
workshop projects, according to
workshop director Ralph Marlette,
associate professor of civil engineering.
On one field trip the group will study
river navigation channels from the Louis
UNL professor named
to history society
Dr. William L. Sherman, associate
professor of history at the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), has been named
to an international society of geographers
and historians, an honor given to few
The organization, Sociedad de
Geografia E Historia, includes some 75
scholars in the western hemisphere and
Europe. About 15 Americans have been
elected to the society since it was
established 50 years ago.
Membership is based on the person's
research and publications about Central
America. Anthropologists and linguists
also are members of the society. The
group meets occasionally, but the
primary means of communication is an
annual technical journal.
move here if we don't have a sewer."
He said a recent survey showed 80 per
cent of the residents favor the new sewer
system. The town has enough money to
pay for the system without a bond issue
or a tax increase, he said.
"We have one of the lowest mill levies
in this part of the state," Estes said.
"With taxes going up all over, we think
we have something to offer."
Another community that thinks it has
something to offer is Valparaiso, Neb.
Valparaiso is more fortunate than
Randolph - it is only 20 miles from
Lincoln and is showing signs of becoming
a bedroom community.
In 1920 the town had 599 residents,
according to the Census Bureau. In 1950
it only had 392 - a 33 per cent decrease.
and Clark Reservoir downstream to Sioux
A second project will be developing a
metropolitan river front plan for Omaha.
"This is really a natioal problem,"
Marlette said. "Every river town has a
junky section along the river front, and of
course the older the town is, the worse
the problems are. No one has yet found a
cheap solution to the urban renewal
needs in these deteriorated areas."
A third project will be the
development of wildlife refuges along
rivers. The group will visit the U.S.
Wildlife Refuge at DeSoto Bend.
Marlette said he is particularly
interested in meeting with the
representative from the Congo to find out
more about a wildlife refuge program
started there recently. An 18-million-acre
At his formal acceptance into the
organization last month in Guatemala,
Sherman presented a paper on he abuse
of Indians in Central America during the
early 17th century. More than 50 scholars
and mambcrs of the diplomatic corps
attended the ceremonies.
Sherman is the rccipeint of a Woods
Faculty Fellowship for his studies of
slavery in Spanish Middle America during
the 1 6th century.
He holds a master ot arts degree from
the University of the Americas in Mexico
City and a Ph. D. from the University of
New Mexico. He joined the UNL history
faculty in 1968 and has been active in the
University's Institute of International
Morse Bluff . . . one of hundreds of small Nebraska
struggling to stay alive.
However, in I960 things began to change.
For the first time in 40 years,
Valparaiso's population had not declined.
The 1970 figures show a five per cent
population increase.
Joe Kubik, 48, said the town "seems
to be growing." He said the growth is
noticeable but "not enough to make any
real difference." He said the new
residents are welcome, but their arrival
hasn't solved some of the town's
"Not enough of the trade is Maying
here," the restaurant owner laid. "It's
difficult to make ends meet."
According to Kuhik, it is not
surprising, people move to smaller towns
from the cities.
"People want to pel away from it all,"
he said. "(Jut here they can he freer.
tract has been set aside as a wildlife
preserve, he said.
River systems studies are ot particular
concern to developing nations which
must rely on them for industrial power
and transportation, Marlette said.
The river systems workshop is being
supported by the U.S. Geological Survey,
U.S. Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, U.S.
Bureau of Reclamation, the Army Corps
of Engineers and the Fontenelle Forest
This Week
Final data for submitting doctoral
dinartationt and filing applications for oral
Stradivari String Quartet Dialogue Concert,
9 a.m., Westbrook Music Building.
Administrators National Conference, 9 a.m.
to noon, Sal leek Quadrangle.
Repertory Theater, "Guys and Dolls," 8:30
p.m., Howell Theater.
Final date for submitting drops for courses
without labs.
Summer Film Series, "Gold Diggers of
1935," 7 p.m., Nebraska Union.
Administrators National Conference, 9 a.m.
to noon, Selleck Quadrangle.
Repertory Theater, "The House of Blue
Leaves," 8:30 p.m., Howell Theater.
Administretors National Conference 9am
to noon, Selleck Quadrangle.
Repertory Theater, "The House of Blue
Leaves," 8:30 p.m. Howell Theater.
Repertory Theater, "Guys and Dolls" 8.30
p.m., Howell Theater.
Repertory Theater, "The House of Blue
Leaves," 8:30 p.m., Howell Theater.
Repertory Theater, "Guys and Dolls,"
p.m., Howell Theater.
People are more friendly. Besides, it's not
such a rat race."
Escaping the "rat race" is what
brought John Gerdes and his family to
"I came here to find peace and quiet,"
the 39-year-old hardware store owner
said. "If a little gossip doesn't bother
you, there is nothing wrong with this
town. Sure we could use some new homes
and a few more jobs, but most of us are
pretty happy."
He said he had been a fireman in
Lincoln but wanted out of the city.
"I've always thought a flower in the
country is prettier than a flower in the
city," he said. "This is the kind of plate
where you want to bring up your
(Continued on page 4.)