Where E Sampson Avenue and S Broadway Street meet in Linton, North Dakota, a family lived some of its most cherished moments.
By Peyton Bagley
Before the fireworks fill up the night sky in the small town of Linton, North Dakota, there is a Fourth of July parade. I have been to every single one since the summer of 2003. Watching the parade each year has brought me so many memories, but when I look back, there is one memory that stands out the most.
I was standing outside, plastic grocery bag in hand, waiting for the rest of my family to shuffle out of the house so we could leave for the parade. When everyone was accounted for, we began to walk down the alley behind my grandma’s house. As we walked, my aunts and uncles caught up on everything they had missed in Linton while they were gone. I however, had only one thing on my mind: candy.
When we got to our corner, I impatiently sat on the curb. It wasn’t until later that I noticed that one of my uncles had a cooler. However, being only nine years old, I paid no mind to the cooler and went back to collecting candy from the parade. Then I saw it, a water balloon sailing through the air on its way to hit one of my uncles. The balloon had come from the other side of the street where my extended family, the Kuntzes, were camped. After an ambush the previous year, my uncles were ready for war! Before I knew it, our cooler was open, and we were launching water balloons back and forth across the street. (Or in my case, onto the street because I was not big enough to throw a balloon past the curb!) By the end of our water balloon fight we were all soaked, but the memories made, and time spent together, was all worth it. I couldn’t wait to do it again the next year.
Things change as time goes on; people grow up and each other’s company becomes more important than the parade itself.
For a few years, throwing water balloons at the parade was a Horner and Kuntz family tradition. But things change as time goes on; people grow up and each other’s company becomes more important than the parade itself, especially as my grandpa grew older. He passed away in 2013, but he loved the parade more than anyone in my family. During his last few parades, it was all about being together. During these years, Kuntzes and Horners alike would sit on the curb, visiting and laughing as the parade rolled by. You could always find me standing next to my grandpa, listening as he played his golden harmonica, sitting in a lawn chair on the sidewalk. I wouldn’t trade the time spent at that corner listening to my grandpa for anything.
The corner of E Sampson Avenue and S Broadway Street holds a special place in my heart. The corner has been dubbed “Horner Corner.” It’s a place where my cousins grew up and my aunts and uncles get to be kids again. The corner is in the center of town and therefore, the center of my memories. Every time I remember the corner, other memories come flooding back to me until my brain is filled with beautiful moments spent with family.
If you compare our family pictures from each parade, the only thing that remains the same is the place and the fact that I am surrounded by the ones I love. They may not be the same members every time, but my family is always there. The corner is a rallying point for my family. It’s a place of joy, laughter, and memories that will never fade. A place that no matter what changes in our lives, we will be surrounded by each other. In a big world, it’s our small corner: the “Horner Corner.”
Photo: Linton, North Dakota by Andrew Filer on Flickr