I like Dan Porter. Dan Porter is my favorite person in Dickinson, North Dakota. He is not my favorite person just because he owns and operates a very nice Toyota, Scion, Honda dealership, that has a good service department, that is fair, and does not overcharge, this is just a small part of why I like Dan Porter.
Dan Porter is likeable because he does not go around Dickinson acting arrogant, pompous, elitist, greedy, or mean. He goes to the West River Community Center just like everybody else, acts the same as everybody else while he is there, and avoids me just like everybody else. He goes to the bars and talks to everybody, and acts the same as everybody else. He drives a tiny, tiny mini-car that I don’t like, which is comical and amusing to everyone. He could just as easily have a new Toyota Landcruiser, Porsche, or Ferrari. This tiny mini-car is so funny, because he keeps driving it like it’s the best thing that money can buy.
All these things that I just described are reason enough to like Dan Porter, but there are other things that most people don’t know about Dan Porter, or they did know and have forgotten. I want to tell everybody, and remind everybody.
Some of the nicest things in the small town of Dickinson are the Theodore Roosevelt Airport, the West River Community Center, the West River Ice Skating Rink, the Biesiot Activities Center, and the St. Alexius Hospital. We all take it for granted that just south of town there is an airport that will allow you to fly out of Dickinson to get to anywhere in the World. We all take it for granted that in the Winter when it is below zero, we can go swimming, walk the track, and play tennis inside the West River Community Center.
Most people, especially the people from out of state, just assume that all of these facilities that I mentioned above, were built with government money. No they weren’t, they were built with Dan Porter’s money.
After I had lived in Dickinson for a year, I first heard it once from an old knowledgeable local person, and then I heard it from many more older local people, that the majority of people in Dickinson did not have an interest in the Theodore Roosevelt Airport, the West River Community Center, or the West River Ice Skating Rink. For the Airport, it was primarily a group of private investors that spent the money to make it a viable commercial airport. For the West River Community Center, again it was a group of private investors that had to build it. For the West River Ice Skating Rink, same thing, it was a group of private investors that built it. Several wealthy business owners told me that Dan Porter was one of the main promoters, organizer, and investor in building all these facilities in Dickinson that people mistakenly assume were built with government money.
If you look on the walls in the Biesiot Activities Center or the St. Alexius Hospital, you will see Dan Porter’s name on the wall as a donor. In just about all the places that you see Dan Porter’s name as a donor, you will see DJ Charbonneau’s name. After having to take my vehicles to Dan Porter Toyota and DJ Charbonneau Dodge, and after having met Dan Porter and DJ Charbonneau, I thought that these two guys were a lot alike. I never saw or heard about either of them mistreating anyone, talking down to anyone, taking advantage of anyone, or doing anything in a greedy way. I never met anyone that had anything bad to say about Dan Porter or DJ Charbonneau. When I did have a positive image of Dickinson in my head, it was because of things like the West River Community Center, and business owners like Dan Porter and DJ Charbonneau.
I have wanted to write this blog post for about six months, but it is very difficult to get much information about Dan Porter, and he probably wants it this way. Besides him being a lead organizer and large investor in many of the nicest facilities in Dickinson used by the public, Dan Porter has contributed to many other things in the community, such as Alive @ 5. If the price of oil had not fallen so far in 2015, Dan Porter probably would have been one of the biggest sponsors to build a large indoor concert event center in Dickinson. Though Dan Porter has remained mostly anonymous in spending a tremendous amount of his own money to make Dickinson a much better place to live for everybody, I thought that I should tell everybody that didn’t know, and remind everybody that forgot.