Jim briefly left Morris, but his heart stayed. Welcome back!

Jim Mahoney, Bank of the West, Morrison

In 2008, when Jim Mahoney and his wife Beth left Morris, moving to Worthington and eventually the Twin Cities, people back home probably expected them to return. After all, Jim’s family roots ran deep in Morris.

So chances are locals weren’t too surprised when, nine years later, Jim and Beth returned home.

And no one is more thankful than they are. Why?

“I think we missed the human connection part,” Jim says of the difference between small town and the city life. “It was hard to get to know many people (in the Cities). It’s easier to get to know one another here and it was an easy transition because we knew so many people.” Not to mention grandkids and parents.

Then he smiles. “And I like that we talk here about driving in minutes, not miles. I don’t miss the traffic, that’s for sure. Things like going to a movie are quick and easy.”

We call that trading in the rush hour for a rush minute, but you get the idea.

Jim’s family tree has deep roots in Morris, especially considering that four generations of his family graduated from the University of Minnesota-Morris. “You don’t realize how nice it is to have a university in your town until you move away,” he says. “There’s great concerts, classes, speakers and events there all the time.”

Since he has worked in finance his whole life, Jim feels fortunate to land a job back in Morris as branch manager for Bank of the West. And he reflects back on his time in the Twin Cities when asked about his “Live Wide Open” thoughts.

“When I think of Live Wide Open, I think of being away from all the crowds, away from the traffic. We aren’t built on top of one another. Some of [the crowds] are okay, but I don’t care for it all the time.”

Steve Henning