Amy Enderle: "I feel like when I drive an hour and a half, you know, maybe it's just 70 miles, but it's also like two generations."
Amy Enderle is a professor at the University of Missouri and has lived in Missouri her entire life. She’s raised her children in Columbia, but she grew up 70 miles from the city.
As a Missouri native, she says the state is more diverse and has more to offer than one might think.
She spoke with the Missouri on Mic team at this year's True/False Festival held in Stephen's Lake Park about her experience living and raising children in the Show-Me State.
Missouri On Mic is an oral history and journalism project documenting stories from around the state in its 200th year.
Amy Enderle: We often hear of Missouri is like the flyover state. Someone from the United States who lives on the coast might have a hard time finding Missouri on the map, right?
They just know that it's in the middle, one of those "M" states, but I do think that the idea of, you know, being a flyover state is a little bit of a misperception.
I grew up in farming community. So, the first thing that comes to mind are just like wide open spaces, you know, acres and acres of rich farm ground and fields.
I can really picture old fence rows and sunsets and just people working hard in those fields.
"When you think back of who the earliest Missourians are, these are people who for the most part were not born to privilege, but it's through their own dedication to their family and their community and their hard work that really helped them develop both themselves and their local businesses and their local church and their local communities."
Sometimes I feel like when I drive the hour and a half, you know, maybe it's just 70 miles, but it's also like two generations. It's almost from a different a different point in time.
So [there are] a lot of great, hard-working people, but not a lot of people who have experiences with people who look and think and believe differently from themselves.
So, what I've loved about living in Columbia is raising my children in a place where they're able to firsthand make friends with folks who might have first spoken a different language or have a different set of beliefs or, you know, [practice] different holidays.
I've just really appreciated... I feel like it's it's been a larger exposure to the world for my kids to go to school and grow up here.
As a state, the more we can learn to not be scared of differences, but to see the strength in those differences, the the better we are.
I think [Missouri is] a state that offers a lot of, like, rural and then more urban diversity, you know, that there are some farming communities that are probably as small as any communities that you can find, and then you don't have to drive very far, you're in more of a city.
So, I think what it gives us is, it's an array of people with different experiences and different encounters.
I think that the history – when you think back of who the earliest Missourians are, these are people who for the most part were not born to privilege, but it's through their own dedication to their family and their community and their hard work that really helped them develop both themselves and their local businesses and their local church and their local communities.
I think there's like a spirit of the place that is so connected to like the hard-working folk who recognize that things take time to develop, but it's worth the investment.