When I was a kid, I lived in a small town with a population of approximately 1,800 people. The town prospered, mostly because it was the business hub of a thriving Minnesota rural community, and it was the county seat.
It seemed to me that the people in our town were the only kind of people that existed. Later, in geography classes, I learned there were other kinds of people, but these other kinds of people lived in faraway lands. The reality of other races didn't sink in. It seemed to me, when I was a kid, that the basic human being was white: Norwegian, Swedish, German, and the exotic French, living in a small town ten miles away, to the north.
An exception were Mexican migrant workers employed to weed the sugar beet fields. Some farmers contracted for single men. They traveled from Mexico in the backs of large farm trucks covered with tarps stretched over high hoops, allowing the men to stand. Some farmers brought in the same families back year after year and housed them in tiny houses next to the fields. One could see the children as they grew up, playing in the dirt while the parents and older siblings weeded with hoes and on hands and knees.
When I was a kid, it seemed that every possible religion was represented by churches in our town: Methodist, Catholic, Mission Covenant, a church known as The Holy Rollers, and three Lutheran churches: Norwegian Lutheran, Swedish Lutheran, and German Lutheran. Other, smaller churches, serving farm families, dotted the countryside, but little by little they fell into disrepair and eventually disappeared, as the farm families began to join churches in town.
When I was a kid, life in my town was simple. Behavioral expectations were clear cut. Freedom to wander and roam at will was afforded to almost every child. School attendance was required, church and Sunday school attendance was expected, and crime was almost nonexistent.
That's the way it was for me, when I was a kid.