Plains Folk, a commentary devoted to life on the great plains of North America, is now a special weekly feature on Hear It Now. 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 Hear It Now, weekdays at 3 pm CT with a repeat at 7 pm CT.
To read more Plains Folk commentaries, click on the “archives” link.
Larry Woiwode is the stimulus package for North Dakota. Since the regional economy is going gangbusters, we don’t really need any economic help. Nor is the problem one of territorial disadvantage, climate and dependency and all that, as our historians traditionally have told us. No, our sickness comes from within, a softness born of lax [...]
The occupation of shooting oil wells—stimulating the flow of oil by detonating torpedoes of nitroglycerine in them—was the stuff of legend. The legendary status of shooters, the guys who transported, handled, and dropped the charges, was established on the southern and central plains already a century ago. Early treatments of shooters in the popular [...]
These days we hear a great deal about the hazards of hydraulic fracturing in the oil patch. Let me tell you a story about hazardous drilling operations. One day in March of 1916, a teamster named Harry Hill was nearing the end of a fifty-mile journey to a point in the countryside near Cleveland, [...]
The petroleum industry is transforming the landscape, again, up and down the Great Plains. I say “again” because this is hardly a new thing. On the southern plains, where the Mississippi Lime shale play is heating up, and on the central plains, where the Niobrara shale play is a bit more established now, the processes [...]
Sometimes I admire single-minded people capable of sustained focus. They seem to accomplish a lot by sticking to an agenda, methodically ticking things off. I do admire these people. And I hate them. Maybe hate is too strong a word. Maybe not. For the rest of us, there is another way of bumbling our way [...]
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