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Millennial Generation/Gen Y (1981-1996)
Date of Interview
West 7th, Saint Paul, 1981
Oral History | Psychology
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: John Ward is a Caucasian male born on November 14, 1981. He lived with his mother, father, and older sister in the West 7th neighborhood growing up. Ward's father worked at a cable company. His mother was a teacher. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Ward shares memories of his immediate and extended family. He talks about the regular Saturday breakfast at his paternal grandmother’s house. He talks about Kelly and Shamrock, two dogs that he had. He goes on to talk about how chores were distributed in his household. He mentions his older sister and the significant age gap. Next, Ward reflects on the fluctuations in his family's economic status during his childhood, highlighting difficulties during periods of unemployment faced by his parents. He goes on to talk about how in adulthood, these experiences significantly shaped his spending habits, as he identified himself as frugal and cautious. In speaking on religion Ward shares his exposure to religion through Catholic school. His immediate family wasn’t particularly religious, but his grandparents offered to cover the expense of his private Catholic education. He shares more religious practices of his extended family. In sharing about his neighborhood Ward describes a tight-knit community where residents looked out for each other. He fondly remembers the ease of access to parks and amenities, but also noted a shift in community caution after the kidnapping of Jacob Wetterling. In talking about the values of his family and community he mentions hard work, family reliance, and kindness. He mentions his father’s strong views against bullies and bullying. Ward shares what he would do for leisure. He talks about the sports he played, swimming at the local pool, and going downtown or the Mall of America. He also mentions board games with the family and camping trips that they took. He shares some of the toys he played with, shows he watched, and some of the alternative and classic rock bands he listened to. Going into his educational history, Ward highlighted his 13-year experience in private Catholic schooling. He acknowledges the high-quality education he received but expresses some regrets wishing he'd experienced public school for some social aspects. He talks about notable achievement from his school years was winning three different bees: spelling, geography, and religion. Lastly speaking on local and global issues, Ward mentions issues around public safety. He talks about the changes in the community after the kidnapping of Jacob Wetterling. Globally, Ward remembered the fall of the Berlin Wall and the early '90s economic downturn which had direct impacts on his community. Ward also talks about the importance of inclusion taught by his family, school, and community.
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Luker, Julie M., "John Ward" (2023). Saint Paul and Surrounding Area. 72.