Monday, February 04, 2008

Don't Mess with North Dakota

While I love Texas’ “Don’t mess with Texas” slogan for their long term anti-littering campaign, I now think that North Dakota should take up the slogan. Last month, National Geographic magazine featured a story on the abandoned towns of the state. I thought that the piece was very one-sided against ND and said so on their website. However, my message is lost among the several hundred there with over 90% solidly against the story. North Dakotans are obviously very passionate about their home state.

Here’s what I wrote:

In the past three years I’ve been invited to tour over 300 towns in 44 states as a result of my book on small towns, BoomtownUSA, including about a dozen in North Dakota. I found the people of the state incredibly friendly, innovative and focused upon the future. You missed some great stories like the citizens of Wimbledon rescuing their grocery store; the growing technology business of lasers in Crosby; the world-wide reach of a quilt store in Hettinger; entrepreneurial education at DSU and NDS; or the many other wonderful economic successes emanating from the plains of the state.

I was very disappointed in your one-sided view of the state of North Dakota. Some of my favorite memories are of the trips that I’ve had there from my home in Illinois.

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