Living in a small town

You may have noticed Becky Jacobs around town. Particularly in the New England Herald office, where she’s worked about a year;

Submitted photo Becky Jacobs of New England, formerly of Louisiana, tells  Santa that she doesn’t want anything for Christmas once she moved to North Dakota.
Submitted photo
Becky Jacobs of New England, formerly of Louisiana, tells Santa that she doesn’t want anything for Christmas once she moved to North Dakota.

Published December 13, 2013

The Herald

You may have noticed Becky Jacobs around town. Particularly in the New England Herald office, where she’s worked about a year; or when she’s at work at the “What Not Shop,” which she recently opened at 823 Main St. in New England with her husband Kelly.

She’s easy to spot – a fiery redhead with a Louisiana accent (not too many of those around New England.)

At the Herald, everyone does everything, so it’s hard to pin down an exact job title. Jacobs works at sales, book keeping and pagination. “Whatever needs to be done,” she says.

Editor Kevin Schaefer claims she’s the “techie” at the Herald but Jacobs doesn’t exactly jump at that job description. She does admit to having an Associates Degree in Computer Science from College of America in Colorado though.

“I like computers,” Jacobs said. “I worked with them at LSU in the 80’s before there were even PC’s.”

But what she really enjoys about her job at the Herald is dealing with people.

“I really enjoy my job,” she says. “I get to know more about the town and about the people that live here.

“I’m a people person, I like sales because I get to meet a lot of the local people.”

Jacobs admits her favorite job at the Herald is writing up the short stories about people or events around town.

It’s clear she loves learning though. “Mom always said I should be a professional student,” she said. “I just always wanted to learn everything. The same with my husband Kelly, he has five Associated degrees.”

Jacobs father died when she was young. When she was 37, her mother died. It seemed like time for a change for Jacobs.

“A friend I knew said ‘Why not move up here to Colorado?’” Jacobs said. “My sister was mad that I was moving, so it ended up my sister, her two kids and I moved to Castle Rock, Colorado.

“We had to buy an Atlas to get a map, I’d never been there before.”

While in Colorado, Jacobs met and married her husband Kelly. They moved to New England last year.

“We wanted to spend more time with my father in law, Leroy Jacobs,” she said. “So we moved to New England. Kelly owns his own construction company (Grand River Construction) and the economy seemed right so we just moved.

“I didn’t even know about the oil boom when we moved back here.”

Jacobs and her husband like to camp when there’s time.

“We do a lot of camping and ATV’ing,” she said. “We go to the mountains in South Dakota a lot, and want to go to the bighorns.”

She is also a member of the Library Board, belongs to the New England Women’s Club, with her husband is a youth director at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Dickinson and also teaches Sunday School there.

But if you think that’s “enough” for someone, then you don’t know Becky yet.

The “What Not Shop” is a thrift shop that just recently opened.

“I buy some of the merchandise from people, but most of it is donations,” she said. “Lots of people want to clean out old, good stuff but don’t want the hassle of a garage sale.

“It’s a way I can help the community. A lot of people are moving into New England, a lot of people just find they need things but can’t afford to buy a lot of new things.”

When the Jacob’s bought the building that houses the “What Not Shop” they also got four apartments and a three-bedroom house right next to it. There’s a lot of work to be done, but they hope to open those up soon for rent.

“They’re going to be ‘affordable housing,’” Jacobs said. “Rents are too high, many people can’t afford to rent a house or apartment the way prices are today.”

It’s clear to see what Jacobs priorities are – helping people; whether at the New England Herald, the What Not Shop, or planning affordable housing for people.

And she’s very happy living “up north,” although she says she hasn’t gotten used to the cold yet.

“I could do without the winter’s here,” she said. “But in Louisiana we get hurricanes and floods.”

Born in Baton Rouge, LA, but raised in a small town named Walker, Jacob sees a lot of similarities between Louisiana and North Dakota.

“In Denver you make acquaintances,” she said. “But here you make friends. It’s the same kind of culture I came from. Same culture – different weather.”

 

 

 

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