Plains Folk

Plains Folk, a commentary devoted to life on the great plains of North America, is now a special weekly feature on Main Street. Written by Tom Isern of West Fargo, North Dakota, and read in newspapers across the region for years, Plains Folk venerates fall suppers and barn dances and reminds us that “more important to our thoughts than lines on a map are the essential characteristics of the region–the things that tell what the plains are, not just where they are.” You can hear Plains Folk once a week during Main Street, weekdays at 3 pm CT with a repeat at 7 pm CT.

To read more Plains Folk commentaries, click on the “archives” link.

Recent Shows

  • The Bakken

    Since commencement of the Bakken Boom, we people of the northern plains have been bombarded with images of the oil patch. These portrayals range from the pollyanna-esque (everything about to the petroleum boom is wonderful, and if you don’t think so, you are unpatriotic) to the critically alarmist (everything about the petroleum boom is terrible, […]

  • Killers in the Osage Oilpatch

    There exists in the public mind a sense that petroleum booms are invariably accompanied by crime and corruption. Which they are–but the question remains, is it an inordinate amount of crime and corruption, or just what you would expect with a sudden increase in population and revenues? Also, how much is grounded fact, and how […]

  • The Plantsman

    Let me try to help you fellows who have trouble buying gifts for your significant others. Find yourself a gal who loves books, and in addition to the many other benefits of such a relationship, it will solve your dilemma as to gifting. So here is my current triumph: a first edition of Plants of […]

  • Painting Zeeland Hall

    An anonymous donor bought the yellow-cream paint applied to the historic Zeeland Hall this fall. I think the donor wished to remain anonymous because a public act of charity might diminish his reputation as a curmudgeon. I asked him why he wrote the check for the paint, and he said, “I just wanted to do […]

  • A Fresh Approach

    One of the best descriptions of the character of the people of North Dakota comes from the historian Catherine McNicol Stock, in her book, Main Street in Crisis: The Great Depression and the Old Middle Class on the Northern Plains. Catherine describes us as a “producerist” people, inclined to practicality, industrious in habits, not cordial […]

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