The Sons Of Dickinson, North Dakota

I do not dislike the Sons of Dickinson. In this blog post I am not going to make fun of them. I am merely going to describe them and point out who they are.

The Sons of Dickinson are the boys who were born between 1970 to 1990. Between these years, these boys’ childhood experiences were not completely shaped by either the second oil boom or the third oil boom.

At the end of the second oil boom in Dickinson in 1983, economic conditions in Dickinson were poor and most of the people were poor, just like they had been for most of Dickinson’s history. The boys who grew up in Dickinson during this time were not spoiled, their families did not have a lot, and their families were not arrogant. In school, kids did not have expensive clothes, and the girls were not wearing yoga pants or short shorts. Though the families were poor, the children had a “normal” growing up. Material possessions, having things, and making a lot of money were not the primary focus of the families.

The Sons of Dickinson range in age now from 26 to 46 years old. They are characterized by being nonaggressive, nonjudgmental, nonargumentative, quiet, and mild mannered. They hold ordinary jobs in Dickinson, which they perform dutifully and without complaining. One of the “giveaways” or “tells” that they are a Son of Dickinson, is that many of them have a nice newer $40,000 truck that would typically be beyond the reach of someone with an ordinary job.

Though the Sons of Dickinson grew up poor, with mothers and fathers who both had to work to provide for their families, once 2007 rolled around, and the third oil boom in Dickinson occurred, many of these working class families benefitted. Through owning a small business, being an experienced trades person, owning a little bit of property, or owning a farm with an oil well on it or next to it, many working class families in Dickinson benefitted. The Sons of Dickinson were not business owners, entrepreneurs, or land owners, they were nonaggressive, mild mannered people, who were employed in ordinary jobs. It was their parents who owned a small business, practiced a skilled trade, owned a little bit of family property, or owned a family farm with an oil well on it or next to it.

This is why you will see and meet in Dickinson, men between the ages of 26 to 46 years old that are very mild mannered, nonaggressive, who work at a low paying job, yet drive a $40,000 truck. They are nice, you won’t dislike them, you will just be unable to figure out how they do it:

A one bedroom apartment in Dickinson is $1,500 per month, plus $200 per month utilities, that’s $20,000 per year on housing.

If you are working in Dickinson, it is easy to spend $20 per day on food, and $50 per week on gas, that’s $9,000 per year on food and gas.

Whether it’s medical, dental, car insurance, new car tires, new laptop computer, or traveling somewhere, you spend another $2,000.

So, before taxes you need to make close to $40,000 per year in Dickinson, even if you are not married.

Given the above cost of living, how can someone in Dickinson who makes less than $40,000 per year, afford an extra $8,000 per year on truck payments?

The answer is, Mom and Dad. In some cases, 26 to 46 year old males in Dickinson still live at home with Mom and Dad. This is not unusual in Dickinson. You have got to remember that there is a shortage of women in Dickinson, and a lack of attractive women, many men in Dickinson never have a girlfriend or a wife, so they just continue living at home. A second scenario is that a Son of Dickinson lives in a home or trailer owned by Mom and Dad, or another family member, and their rent is free or at a reduced rate. The third scenario is that there is oil revenue money, or property revenue money coming to Mom and Dad, and they disperse some of this money to their adult children.

I have lived in Dickinson for 3-1/2 years now, and I have seen all three of the scenarios above. It does not bother me, because most of the Sons of Dickinson are not arrogant, pushy, or aggressive, they just work at their job, they don’t complain, in fact they are even friendly in a reserved way. I do not see anything wrong with Mom and Dad helping out their adult sons, when their sons are not jerks or troublemakers.

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