Back home: Edgeley native travels long way for 125th celebrationEDGELEY, N.D. — Fond memories of growing up here in Edgeley remain with 64-year-old Hudson Washburn today.
By: Brian Willhide, The Jamestown Sun
EDGELEY, N.D. — Fond memories of growing up here in Edgeley remain with 64-year-old Hudson Washburn today.
Whether it’s stories passed down about his great-grandfather, who homesteaded in the area as early as the 1880s, or reminiscing on time spent with his father at the butcher shop he owned in town, Washburn has never forgotten his Edgeley roots.
On the weekend when this small town in LaMoure County celebrated 125 years of existence, Washburn made the 1,700-mile plus trek from his current home in Santa Clara, Calif., back to the town in which he spent the first 18 years of his life
“For an area like this, celebrating 125 years is a big deal,” said Washburn, who now works as an engineer in fiber optics out in the Silicon Valley area. He lives out there with his wife, Chris, whom he has been married to for 34 years.
And while Hudson now resides all the way over on the West Coast, he said he’s still proud of his hometown and the way Edgeley has survived over the years.
“After all this time, it’s still a vibrant area,” he said. “During the 1980s and 90s, I had heard things were down here and I was beginning to get a little worried that things weren’t going too well and there wasn’t really going to be an Edgeley anymore, but the town has really come back and picked up nicely.”
Hudson graduated from Edgeley High School in 1965. In addition to serving as the editor on the school newspaper, he was a standout in athletics.
“Our high school class was really good. The great thing about going to a smaller high school in this sort of community is that if you wanted to participate in something, the opportunity to do so was right there,” he said.
Hudson played basketball, football as well as track and field, for which he was recognized as an all-state javelin thrower.
“It’s funny — I set the then-conference record for longest javelin throw as a freshman. My next three years though I never could beat it,” he said.
Hudson was drafted into the U.S. Army and he served two years during the Vietnam War. He earned his bachelors and masters degrees at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, before getting his doctorate at Colorado State University.
While he fell in love with the California area after being stationed on assignment with the Army, Hudson said he still enjoys coming back to Edgeley.
“To me, this is still an excellent town,” he said. “There’s such a strong community spirit here and I honestly think you can get just as good of an education here as you can most anywhere.”
Hudson said he had come back intermittently over the years to visit his mother, who recently passed away, as well as family who are still living in Edgeley.
Also, his grandniece and her daughters now live in the building that was originally owned and operated as a butcher shop by Hudson’s father and has since been passed down to Hudson.
“I still really enjoy coming back and seeing a lot of great people,” he said.
As for the 125th celebration itself, Hudson and Chris took part in Saturday’s 5K Run-Walk at City Park and were enjoying all the festivities.
“There’s so many events spread out over the course of these four days, it should make for a wonderful time,” Hudson said.
Sun reporter Brian Willhide can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org