In Watford City, there is a 32 year old woman named Jessie Veeder, who has recorded about four albums. She writes songs, takes nature photographs, writes weekly newspaper articles, and sometimes is a guest on Prairie Public Radio.
If I remember correctly, she might have recorded her first album when she was 16 years old. She was performing then. When she was several years older, she began touring and playing at small venues. Her music is described as folk and country. According to Jessie, her music, writing, and photography, are all about the beauty of rural Western North Dakota.
You can go look at her website titled, “Meanwhile back at the ranch…”. On her website, Jessie has several hundred photographs of rural Western North Dakota. The subject matter of her photographs are horses, flowers, dogs, fields, old barns. You can also read about her music.
In this post, I will acknowledge that Jessie worked hard as a music artist. She wrote her own songs, recorded albums, toured, and performed. Somewhere along the way she got a degree in communications and public relations from North Dakota State University.
It is good that Watford City has someone to be proud of, and someone that writes positively about Western North Dakota in the newspaper, and speaks positively about it on Prairie Public Radio.
I don’t want to be too mean about it, but I do want to be mean about it, Western North Dakota has been like being in prison for the vast majority of people for the past eight years. And before that, it was a cold, barren, desolate, impoverished area.
Jessie, why don’t you take some photographs of the friends of mine from North Dakota whose teeth are rotting out because they never could afford dental care living here in North Dakota, because they were so poor? Why didn’t you take photographs of all the people living in their cars? Why didn’t you take pictures of the workers who got burned up on the oil rigs, who got burned up welding tanks, who got electrocuted at a drill site, who died opening an oil tank, who got their hands cut off, their fingers cut off? Western North Dakota has been a shit-hole hell for the past eight years. And before that it was poor, cold, barren, and desolate.
Jessie, why don’t you go to the new apartments in Watford City or Dickinson, and talk to the wives who live there. Ask them how they like paying $2,000 per month for a two bedroom apartment, being on a lease and being scared that their husband is going to lose his job. How they like having to stay inside their two bedroom apartment October through April, because it is so cold outside and there is no where to go.
Let me point out, that describing a life living on a parent’s farm, not having to pay rent, not having to worry about being evicted, not having to go to a job every day, could make Texas, Tennessee, Idaho, anywhere, seem like a nice place to live. In Western North Dakota, the vast majority of people are living in overpriced rental housing, are struggling financially, and are in danger of losing their job and their housing. You should write about how things really are.