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Posted 9/01/10 (Wed)


Scott is from Mississippi. Not many of you have ever met him. I guess we are the lucky ones. Scott is one of the thousands of people who came to North Dakota to find work in the oil fields. And he landed here with us.
He is a young man who graduated from Mississippi last spring. We all hear about recession. We all hear about job loss. We all hear about the struggling economy. But to us in North Dakota, life goes on pretty good.
Everyone who wants a job can find one. Cattle prices are pretty good. Wages are pretty good. The hay crop was pretty good. The wheat harvest looks pretty good. So, pretty quick, you decide life is pretty good.
Scott helped us realize that it is more than “pretty good.” Life here is wonderful.
Scott graduated from Mississippi last spring with a degree in construction management. He applied for a job in over 20 companies. Not one call back. Not one.
Our nephew, Dane Hanna, who lives in Mississippi, told him to come to North Dakota, so he did. He found a job immediately. But no place to live. So, he moved in with us.
It’s funny how sometimes it takes a stranger to open your eyes. The first day he was here, he mentioned the beauty of the state. He walked out in waving wheat fields and simply stood. He would get up on a ridge, park his pickup, and watch the sunrise or sunset. He told of how this being able to see for miles was such a treat to his senses. He loved our cool mornings. He loved the wind and the thundershowers. He loved it all.
And Scott was a southern gentleman. Shirley was never just Shirley. She was always Miss Shirley. And there was Miss Tess. And Miss Rose. I was Mister Dean. There was Mister Will and Mister Bob.
If you left Scott with the grandkids, when you got back, the kitchen was cleaned and the dishes were done. He would be sitting on the couch reading a book to the boys. He cut hay on weekends and took the garbage out in the morning.
I would have liked to meet his parents. He never said much about them, but I tell you what, they had to be good people. They raised a hard working, considerate son.
Scott went with me on a hotshot run last Sunday to Cheyenne, Wyo.He felt that as long as he was this close, he had just as well see Wyoming. And he drove the 550 miles home in the dark, because he wanted to do his share.
But after Scott was here a month, he was contacted by a drilling company from Louisiana and headed south to work. He felt it was a company that he would have a chance to advance in. Not just work for.
But I will guarantee you one thing. When he left, he had a tear in his eye. And I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that we will see him back some day. At least, I hope so.
Oh, yeah, and he always brought beer home at night!