Thank A Hick (09/09/2008 06:54)

Bare with me, I have a little story to tell…I do prefer to keep my blog as positive as possible, but sometimes a little story that might feel a little negative may be needed to help prove how positive our state is. I have seen cases however, of where we support our troops so much, that they forget a few things…like who it is that they are working for. They are no better than any other United States citizen.

This past weekend, after a long but glorious day of photographing an amazing wedding in the great state of ND, I stopped in at an establishment on my way home to relax and visit with a few friends before finishing the trip home. Upon walking into the building, I encountered a young woman standing in the middle of a group of men doing their best to ignore her.
This young woman was ranting and raving about the “Hicks of North Dakota”.

Now, I want to state this before I continue. I support our troops…I hate politics and I realize that our troops are subject to the political waves coming from the powers that be, but I do support the people.

Her personal opinion of people of ND were that we are all uneducated, backwards people with no drive, ambition, or knowledge of the outside world. She went on to explain loudly how, she with a military job and a 4 year degree was much more likely to succeed in her life while North Dakotans are quite content to remain uneducated, working menial jobs, and reproducing because, of course, all North Dakotan women are JUST housewives in her mind. Now, she went on for 45 minutes while I was there, explaining in depth and with a vast array of language suitable for a locker room why she was so much better than North Dakotan “Hicks”, and she had been going on when I had walked in and joined this particular group of gentlemen so who knows how long she had been explaining her viewpoints of our rural world.

Now, having observed this and unfortunately having to listen to it as I was trying to relax and wind down, I looked around the room and noticed that with the exception of this woman and her husband, there were no others in there EXCEPT for…North Dakota farmers, ranchers, and business owners and other hard working individuals whom I personally did not have a real knowledge of their background, but in general, very nice and hard working people; Most of which who were trying quite hard to ignore the very loud and by this time, very rude and insulting commentary all were being forced to listen to.

Apparently, this young woman did not realize that being a farmer or a rancher in ND means that you are a business owner; you have to make a living at it to keep being a farmer or a rancher. Apparently, this young woman does not realize that the food that graces the table of the mess hall she eats at on the base and even those restaurants AND her own refrigerator, actually comes from these farmers and ranchers she was looking down her very educated nose at. Obviously, she just has not had time to make the connection between ranchers and the steak or hamburger that she ate at lunch time. And, as she put her bio-fuel into her little foreign car, she just didn’t realize that it was raised by a good ol’ AMERICAN farmer. She also forgot to consider the carpenters who built the buildings she works in and lives, the plumbers that make her life so convenient, the people in the stores who bag her groceries. The receptionists behind the desks at any office building she works at, and the Civilian employees at the the base who keep that place running smooth while the military practices their war games and are deployed…leaving THEIR housewives and husbands to hold down the forts and raise the children by themselves. Chances are, those housewives and house husbands have to have a cilvilian job off base to help pay the bills that a lot of military personal rack up dispite the free housing, free healthcare and lower priced shopping on base. And of course, there is the fact that her 4 year degree was undoubtedly paid for by some version of the Military’s GI Bill…which is funded 100 percent by the civilian “hick” population.

Of course, she just didn’t have time in her fast paced non-ND way of thinking to realize that a “house wife” who educates military children in a full time job probably drove a combine, a tractor, a hay bine or delivered a beef calf that she consumed in her life as well. It must have been that high powered education that over looked that part as well. And she probably didn’t realize that it was some “uneducated” individual SHE was handing HER money to as she purchased another beverage for herself. Apparently, she had overlooked that many young North Dakota “hicks” are recruited as teachers, doctors, nurses, lawyers and so much more outside the state of North Dakota because of the great education and work ethic that they learn here.

Now, as a small town girl, I grew up on a horse ranch, was raised as the daughter of a rancher, a farm hand, and a teacher, and was taught the value of a good education. I got good grades, and even joined the US military and served in two branches before choosing to get out and have a family. And, when I joined the military, I never forgot who it was that was paying the taxes that paid my very steady paycheck, my military health care, my free base housing, my clothing allowance, who put the food into the commissary where I paid special low prices that civilians did not have access to. I never forgot when I went off base, that those people, no matter what their jobs were in the civilian world, were the ones paying my paycheck and keeping a roof over my head. I never went off base and thought myself better than any civilian I came across.

I found it ironic as I looked down at the table before me as she went on about how much money she and her 4 year degree made, that a friendly dice game was being played…for more than she and her husband both make in a pay period. I also found it ironic thinking that most military people look at my wedding packages and scoot backwards because they can’t afford them, but most of my clients are actually…Oh My Gosh…farmers and ranchers!

I know that very few military employees feel this way about civilians here in ND or anywhere for that matter. They KNOW who pays their paycheck…who they are supposed to be serving for. They know that even a 4 year degree doesn’t get you anywhere unless you’re willing to roll their sleeves up and work their butt off no matter what that degree is in. They also know, that a degree is not a necessary thing to have to be successful and well to do. I also know that it only takes a few bad apples to create a bad opinion…who do you remember? The bad run in you have with a member of a group or such, right?

I think, that…if her opinion of the people of ND is so low, that she is more than welcome to live on base, shop on base, and socialize on base. The base is, after all, set up to accomidate people who don’t like the environment off of the base. Heck, she doesn’t even have to leave the base to get her health care!

My own thoughts are that everyone should thank a “North Dakota Hick”. Without them, we would not have teachers to educate our children, people to work on our oil wells, beef to put on our table, grain for our bread, corn for our microwave popcorn, cooks to cook our food in our restaurants…or money for taxes to pay military paychecks.

Now, I know I’ve said some pretty silly things and I’ve done even sillier things, but, I don’t think I’ve ever said things quite so “uneducated’ as she did that evening … and, I won’t even begin to bring up the rest of her behavior that late evening but … I’m pretty sure this young woman came to God’s graces before the night was through, and realized just how lucky she really is to be living among us North Dakota Hicks.

Thanks to all North Dakota Hicks! My hat’s off to every one of you!


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