The People In Dickinson Don’t Know What They Are Going To Experience

Since moving to downtown Dickinson a couple of months ago, I have been able to ride my bicycle more than when I was living outside of town north of Dickinson.  Now, it is easy for me to ride my bicycle to the Post Office, grocery store, hardware store, and restaurants.

While zigzagging my way through the old downtown neighborhoods in Dickinson on my bicycle, I had a chance to pay more attention to the houses than when I was driving.  I was sorry that I hadn’t noticed before how many interesting old houses there are in downtown Dickinson.

I wanted to take photographs of some of the old homes in downtown Dickinson.  I thought that it would be easier and safer for me to do this on a bicycle ride, rather than driving one of my vehicles.  I was aware that it would probably upset a homeowner if they saw someone taking a photograph of their home, and that no amount of explaining would make it O.K. with them.  I tried to think of the best time for me to photograph without upsetting anyone, but there really was no best time.

On this past Sunday afternoon when I went on a bicycle ride in order to take photographs, I found that the inhabitants of the old downtown neighborhoods in Dickinson didn’t even like me riding through their neighborhoods.  They were watching me with suspicion even before I came to a stop and took out my camera.  From the way that they were behaving, I sensed that photographing someone’s home half a block away from them would have caused some of these residents to go berserk.  I had to pass by many nice homes without being able to photograph them.

I tried to look at it from their point of view.  There have been a lot of thefts from garages and vehicles in downtown Dickinson.  The thefts are probably committed by scraggly meth addicts on foot and on bicycles.  I can understand this, I have felt the same way about passersby in the places that I have lived.

There was really nothing that I could say or do to not make these homeowners uncomfortable.  They would have been just as suspicious or even more suspicious if they saw me come to a stop in front of their house in a vehicle, take photographs, and then drive off.  I understand that they are concerned about their house, their possessions, and what is going on.

Later on Sunday, I went on another bike ride for exercise and for something to do.  This time I rode through the blue collar worker, lower middle class neighborhoods just beyond the oldest downtown neighborhoods.  The residents of these blue collar neighborhoods acted suspicious of me too, and as if they didn’t like me riding through their neighborhoods.  It seemed like these blue collar workers were probably just as concerned about their new expensive vehicles, as they were about their homes and other belongings.

In the old downtown neighborhoods, and in the blue collar neighborhoods, I got the impression that the homeowners are proud of what they have, protective of what they have, and fearful of losing any of what they have.  So much so, that even a person riding by on a bicycle is a threat to them.

I believe that these homeowners don’t know what is going to happen in Dickinson.  From my reading and learning about what happened in Dickinson during the oil boom of the 1950s, and the oil boom of the late 1970s, these two previous oil booms each lasted about eight years, and after they were over, there were massive job losses, jobs were scarce, jobs were low wage, housing prices dropped by 60%, and people walked away from their houses because they owed so much more than their houses were worth.

In Dickinson, the retirees and the people who were planning on retiring, to live off a combination of savings, investments, social security, and pensions, these people will be O.K.   The non-retired homeowners with mortgages and expensive vehicle payments, they will not be O.K.  These people will have a difficult time making their monthly payments because they may lose their job, or their wages will become lower and lower.  At the same time they are having difficulty making their monthly payments, they will find that they still owe $140,000 on their house, and it is now worth $100,000.

House payments of $1,100 to $1,600 per month on a house that is worth way less than you owe, truck payments of $900 to $1,100 per month on a truck that is worth less than you owe.  And the best job you can get, if you are lucky, take home pay is $2,500 per month.  I don’t think that the people in Dickinson know what is going to happen.


6 thoughts on “The People In Dickinson Don’t Know What They Are Going To Experience

  1. Many are saying “Things are picking up!” I hope that is true, as I like most of the people here and hope they do well. However, I would not buy anything here right now, unless it were the smoking-hot deal of the decade. If I had something to sell here, I’d be cutting the price to rock-bottom, even losing a little bit if it’d help the deal get done. I don’t believe one should throw good money after bad. Maybe you paid too much and in your heart you KNOW it isn’t going to sell now for that. Hopefully you put so much down (or paid cash outright, people DO do that) you have the FREEDOM to cut your losses and get your place sold. I am in the habit of watching realtor dot com, something I’ve done wherever we’ve lived. Many, many houses have been on the market for years. They sometimes get pulled around November, to reappear in the Spring. I remember the prices (and often you can track the price history on the Internet) and man…..they’re not slashing them. Sit. Sit. Sit, these properties. A few of them really make me sad, imagining if we’d gotten ourselves in such a pickle (and we have made less than great decisions at times, but try to learn to avoid ’em). Some of these places, only a miracle’s going to get the sale done, they’re very expensive and their target buyer is somebody with plenty of money. That demographic is not relocating to Dickinson at this time (and you know it). There ARE people who could afford those places, but they didn’t get ahead by being stupid. They are waiting for the day these places slash their prices to something that makes any kind of dam* sense OR the places wind up bank-owned. : (


    1. I believe that I saw the “big yellow house downtown that is for sale” today. It is about one block north of Charbonneau Dodge. I would have liked to have taken a picture of it, but the hedge was in the way. It is more difficult to take pictures from a vehicle, I found today. I saw that this home is listed with a Real Estate Agency that has many listings downtown, and outside of town. I believe that this Real Estate Agency must be advising home owners to hold their ground, things will pick up, because I have looked at this Real Estate Agency’s publication of home listings, and the prices seem to reflect that there is an oil boom still happening.


      1. The old house I mentioned doesn’t have a hedge around it, if memory serves me. It might be more ivory, maybe tan in color, though I described it as yellow. I agree about the prices.


      2. On the west side of Charbonneau Dodge, go approximately one block north. On the left, west side of the street, there is a large yellow two to three story house for sale, behind hedges. The real estate sign is on the side street, also behind hedges.

        If you had a tour inside the home, you would probably be amazed at how many rooms there were, how tall the ceilings are, the wood floors, all the trim work. But you had better look into if the plumbing, heating, and electrical is up to date.


  2. Also, I would be suspicious of anybody taking photos of my place, too. C’mon. The houses you featured are nice houses, but unless they’re for sale, I’d have misgivings about posting them. I’d probably freak out if somebody randomly shared a photo of my home. Cheers.


    1. Just about everything that I write is not liked by many people. The expression, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” is not going to work for a blog website that is trying to tell the truth about Dickinson.

      I want for everyone in Dickinson, and everyone who is thinking about moving to Dickinson, to get a clear, accurate, truthful understanding of what it is like and what is going on. The Dickinson Press newspaper has to sell advertising space to all of the business owners, and sell newspapers to all of the residents, who would all like for the Dickinson Press newspaper to write about economic growth, job growth, strong economy, friendly helpful residents, vast recreational and entertainment opportunities, the best University, excellent hospital, mild climate,…. so that they can sell their businesses and homes and get out of here. The Chamber of Commerce has the job of emphasizing anything positive to the maximum extent, and not mentioning and squashing anything negative, though it may be very important for people to know.

      I can tell the truth, because I am not trying to make money or be popular by writing what most people want, or trying to be sensational, or trying to create controversy, or trying to attack someone who is not liked, etcetera.

      WordPress does not censor, nor cooperate with censoring any blog post writer, except in cases where there is an imminent threat to a person or the public. If it is not illegal to take a picture of someone’s house, post it, and make non-libelous comments about the home’s appearance, I will probably do it, and WordPress will not cooperate with anyone’s attempt to get it removed.


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