Jim worked for the North Dakota Credit Union League for several years. A highlight of those years was when the League partnered with an NGO out of Uganda. A group of people came over from Uganda to observe credit union operations in rural America, attempting to learn how to set up credit unions back home. The group toured North Dakota with Jim hosting them on several jaunts to local credit unions.
I had a brief opportunity to meet the group. The most striking thing about them was their blackness. As a Jamestown kid who hadn’t traveled much, these men were absolutely exotic. Perhaps they were to Jim as well. The clue was the name he gave to his new home, specifically the newly finished basement with a pool table. Dar Es Salaam.
In the letter Jim describes how the house was actually a sort of “mother-in-law” apartment for the place next door. That actually was a problem when it was time to sell the house. That’s a story for another day. For now, let’s just say it’s complicated.
The house at 910 2nd PL NE was built in 1952 for Fredricks Koepplen who was the mother of Ida Krein, her husband Lloyd was the owner of Lloyds Motors, Jamestown. Kreins lived next door to the west. There was a connecting sidewalk between the two. Mrs. Koepplen lived by herself in the house until late 1969. When she could no longer care for herself her daughter and son-on-law moved her into their home and put her house up for sale. When I first looked at the house and the interior I knew it was pretty much what I had been looking for.