My name is Colm Macnab and I’m a senior at the University of Minnesota, Morris. I’m a History major and will (hopefully/probably?) be graduating this semester with a bachelor of the arts as well as a minor in English. The town I live in, Morris, is incredibly small. In fact, the only two stoplights in the entire county are located here and they’re right after one another. We have a liquor store and three bars, which I suppose is something. Everything closes after 11 except for the 24/7 Casey’s down the road. It’s simple here. You know pretty much everyone by name and they know everything you’ve done in your time here. Not much has changed in the last 100 years, except for 24/7 pizza.
The midwest is a fascinating place to live. The plentiful land, space, and food our section of the country has to offer is by no means insignificant or unworthy of academic interest. True, the midwest is often referred to as the “armpit of America” and more commonly referenced in social media as a place to escape before your mid-twenties. Thus, some may find the social and geographic composition of the midwest to be suffocating. However, these are the characteristics I find so endearing when I think of the sea of grass currently rinsed with snowfall. The close communal ties here have long been a Minnesotan tradition, and that is what I aim to illuminate throughout the course of this project. My aim is to showcase how West-Central Minnesotans perceived their role in the war through diaries and the things they carried. I’m sure it’ll be a wild ride.