Strange Lands: New York and America

  • "I juxtapose some documents from two domains [entertainment, geo-politics], and the human sensorium does the rest. If a correspondence exists, the feeling occurs as an event" (Gregory Ulmer, Electronic Monuments 147).

Maris in and on New York:

"How come Maris never smiles? He is having the season of his life and he looks like a zombie out there.""Maybe I am not a New York kinda guy. Maybe I'm just some dumb redneck from North Dakota." (61*)
"I never wanted all this hoopla. All I wanted is to be a good ball player and hit twenty-five or thirty homers, drive in a hundred runs, hit .280 and help my team win pennants. I just wanted to be one of the guys, an average player having a good season." (Roger Maris Museum)

"Roger was never a New York kind of guy. He was Fargo, North Dakota, through and through. The son of a railroad worker." (Kubek and Pluto, Sixty-One 11).

"In 1960 a writer for New Yorker described Roger, the new Yankee, 'as garrulous as Calvin Coolidge.' Roger told the correspondent of his desire to return to Fargo after his career because 'I don't much like big cities.'" (Rosenfeld, Roger Maris* 49)

Sudanese in and on America:

"We can't just throw them out there and hope they sort out all the complications of this society. I feel we owe something special to these guys because of their background, what they have been through.""If anybody had survived that holocaust, then why not you survive in America?" (Lost Boys Video)
"I hope the United States government can bring peace in Sudan. Coming to America will not ease all my burdens. Only peace in Sudan can do that for me and all Sudanese children." Daniel Garang.

"My life here in Houston is very hard." Lost Boys of the Sudan trailer.

"'The weather here is not good, but the friendliness of people makes it bearable' [said Akol Maker.] They [Sudanese in Fargo] spoke of loneliness and homesickness, of juggling two jobs and the scary prospect of paying off student loans." "Lost and Found." Fargo Forum April 11, 2007 (archives only). Read more from Akol.

The Roger Maris Museum is a monument to Fargo's most famous citizen, but it is also a monument to community and family and to the quality of life beyond the Center and in the margins. The re-settled Sudanese love their country, their villages, their families; they want to go home again.