Back in August of 2017, I wrote a blog post article titled “Elks Lodge Calamity In Dickinson, North Dakota”. At that time, I had been informed by a life-long Dickinson resident, that the Elks Lodge would be vacating the upstairs of their own building, in order to move into the basement of their own building.
This was upsetting to me, because I thought that the Elks Lodge in Dickinson had a nice bar, restaurant, ball room, and kitchen facilities on the main upstairs level. Why in the world would they ever, ever even consider giving up, the upstairs to their building? Financial reasons? How could this be, Dickinson just experienced the biggest economic boom of anywhere in the United States from 2007 through 2014 during the oil boom?
I was told that the rumor was, a Church would be occupying the upstairs to the Elks Lodge building. This was all a shock to me, I couldn’t believe this. I wandered away, and I found another long time Dickinson resident, and I explained to him what I had just heard. This second person said to me, “Yes, I know, I was talking to Luke Simons, whose father is the pastor at the New Life Pentecostal Church, and they are supposedly going to take over the upstairs of the Elks Lodge building.”
I don’t want to express any more outrage and anger about this at this time, I already did this in my blog posts article “Elks Lodge Calamity In Dickinson, North Dakota.”
Today, this “Elks Lodge Calamity” article that I wrote back in August, received over 100 views in about a six hour period. I wondered what was going on. I looked through the Dickinson Elks Lodge Facebook page, and I saw a post from November 16, December 14, and January 2, that stated the upstairs of the Elks Lodge building was being vacated, and that the Elks Lodge would re-open in the basement in 2018.
I drove to the Elks Lodge building in Dickinson this evening, and I saw several work vans and equipment trailers belonging to Simons Homes Siding & Windows parked beside the upstairs of the building, because renovation work was being done to the upstairs.
I can not say for certain that Pastor Simons’ New Life Pentecostal Church will begin occupying the upstairs of the Elks Lodge Building, but this appears to be what is happening. It does seem certain that the Elks Lodge will now operate out of the basement of their own building.
I am sad about all of this, and I am not even a member of the Elks Lodge. I had had respect for the Elks Lodge, and I thought that they serve a good purpose.
I am not talking about the charity work of the Elks Lodge, I am talking about the successful people in the community having a place to gather and socialize, without disruption from riff-raff and naer-do-wells.
In any town, I believe that the successful business owners, insurance agents, real estate agents, car dealers, doctors, dentists, lawyers, and professional people, should have a place to go for lunch or dinner, with their wives and children, and be able to socialize amicably, and be able to relax with the certain knowledge that no one will be accosted inappropriately.
With admittance being restricted to members only, or invited guests of members, this was a way to ensure that everyone was going to be on good behavior. There was to be no foul, offensive, vulgar, crude, or inappropriate language. There was to be no fighting, threats, harassment, or intimidation. No out of control drunkeness, and no inappropriate behavior. The method of enforcement would be, loss of membership, and refusal of entry to those who violated the rules.
In my opinion, once this Elks Lodge in Dickinson began admitting non-members, this place was doomed. Why even be a member, why join, why pay dues? I would no longer look forward to dining at the Elks Lodge any more than I would Applebees, Perkins, Country Kitchen, or the King Buffet.
I don’t know why the Elks Lodge could not understand the following. If you are 55 years old, and you own a car dealership, or a large company, and you wish to take your wife and children out to dinner after a long day of work, you do not want you and your family to be seated beside oil field workers who have been drinking, who take enjoyment in becoming more and more inappropriate and obnoxious, in order to make local business owners and their families more and more uncomfortable at dinner.
Why should a life long resident of Dickinson, and a successful business owner, have to sit and eat dinner beside the lowest, most uneducated, ignorant white trash that you could find? The answer is, they don’t have to, they just will no longer come to the Elks Lodge, which is what I think happened.
I have heard from several people, that the Elks Lodge in Dickinson believed that they needed to bring in a younger crowd. Their belief was, that bringing in younger people, would increase membership overall.
Once you get over 40 years old, one of the most irritating things that there is, is young people. Young people are ignorant, they don’t know that they don’t know anything, they think that they know everything.
The successful business people that are over 40 years old, have probably paid off their primary home, purchased a vacation home, and are interested in making other investments in businesses, real estate, and stocks. 25 year olds, are probably still living at their mom and dad’s house, wearing baggy jeans that are sagging off their ass, and driving a lowered Honda Civic with a belled-out exhaust. Why would you think that these older successful people with money would want to be anywhere near hoodlum kids?
If there was a drop in membership at the Elks Lodge in Dickinson, it was probably due to admitting non-members and seeking to attract younger people.