After 15 years living in the Atlanta, Ga., area, Gayla Meier is happy to be back home in Rugby.
“It’s a completely different culture here,” Meier said of Rugby, her birthplace.
“When I was moving back here and entered North Dakota, I could just feel I was home. I could feel it in my bones,” Meier recalled with a laugh.
“I moved back because my mom is going to be 92 in November,” Meier said. “I have two kids here, one in Kindred and one in West Fargo. Out of the eight grandkids I have, I have four younger ones here in Rugby. It was time to come back to my roots.”
Meier is settling in at her new temporary residence on Parkland Drive, where her brother, Gary Kirchofner of Rugby Homes, has property.
When Meier rolled into town in her 26-foot yellow Penske moving truck, she looked at the unloading task ahead of her and knew she needed help – lots of it.
Meier said she called her friend, Jill McClintock.
“Jill suggested that I call the high school and see if I could get any high school kids. I called Marilyn (Yoder), the high school secretary, and she said, ‘Maybe the football team will.’ She got ahold of the coach, and he said, ‘Sure, I’ll run the idea by the boys.’
“I said, ‘cool.’ I told (Coach Travis Risovi) I could pay the football club or individually,” she said.
“When he called me back, he said the boys wanted to be paid individually. I said I’d pay them $15 an hour. It ended up that five boys showed up. Their names were J.D. Matehs, Micah Musser, Ethan Brandt, Gavin Schepp and William Lundberg.
They did such an awesome job, I paid them $20 an hour,” Meier said.
“They were just the nicest boys. It was so nice being back here and talking to kids that were raised the same as I raised my kids. They were so respectful. Gosh, I’ve missed that,” Meier added.
Meier said after the teens moved Meier’s belongings into her new home, “I had to take some stuff to my mom. They were willing to help. They reloaded up that truck and went over to my mom’s and unloaded it and came back. They each walked away with $80.”
“I just want them recognized,” Meier said of the youth. “They just did such a great job.”
“Since we don’t have amenities (such as moving companies) like Minot and Fargo, it’s nice to know that somebody can recommend these boys and their team.”
“Travis said a lot of the boys aren’t working because of practice,” Meier said. “So, this will give them gas money.”
“I also got a lawn caretaker out of those five boys,” Meier added. “William does yard work on the side.”
“I want to thank their coach, too, for mentioning this to the boys to see if they wanted to do it or not. He wasn’t there, but he basically lined it up,” Meier said.
As the team loaded buses to travel out of town for an away game, the teens said they were glad to help.
“We love to help out the community any way we can,” Matehs said. “We want to help new people come in, too, and build it. It’s an awesome thing to see the town grow.”