I grew up in 80s/90s Langdon, ND and now live in the Los Angeles area. Thank you for your beautifully rendered piece.
Your work has me revisiting paradoxical tropes of my home — “North Dakota Nice” and “The Cold Keeps Riffraff Out,” (reading this piece also coincided with watching Prince describe Minneapolis’s cold keeping the bad people out during an interview with Oprah). For me at least, I cherish my youth and the people of rural North Dakota, but try not to have illusions about the limitations of where/when I grew up. In my experience, living in my small railroad outpost, people were kind and loving, but many embraced their indifference to the outside world — there are few things colder in this world than the stares at an 0ut-of-towner walking into a rural North Dakota bar. I digress.
Again, thank you, thank you, thank you, from one country mouse living in a megalopolis to another. I’m not sure anyone else has/could recreate this oeuvre of a relatively rare temporal American experience. As your article suggests, the possibility of this kind of life is evaporating with so many other unique pre-internet existences.