For about one year, I have been reading in the Dickinson Press newspaper and elsewhere, about plans and proposals for building a Theodore Roosevelt Library and Museum in Dickinson, North Dakota.
In Dickinson, a group of people with backgrounds in business, politics, academia, marketing, and fundraising, appeared to me to be the ones who came up with this idea for the Library and Museum in the first place. In order to proceed in the best, most organized manner possible, this group of people who came up with this idea in the first place, created an exploratory committee, a board of directors for the foundation, and hired a marketing company to perform market research and handle public relations.
In an effort to be above board, hear different people’s opinions, and have a broader reach for support, donations, and fundraising, the original group of people in Dickinson sought to include people from elsewhere in the foundation and exploratory committee. However, this approach backfired, as the members with no connection to Dickinson, in effect committed a coup, hijacking, or a mutiny.
This coup, this hijacking or mutiny, didn’t occur in just one step. Unbeknownst to the original planners of the Library and Museum in Dickinson, there were some people of great influence in North Dakota, that became involved in the project through surrogates, who planned to never, never, ever allow a Theodore Roosevelt Library and Museum to be constructed in Dickinson.
If the truth be known, the influential people behind the coup or hijacking, do not care about the success of the eventual location of the Theodore Roosevelt Library and Museum, nor do they care if the Library and Museum never get built at all. They were determined to not allow the Library and Museum to be built in Dickinson, in order to not take visitors away from Medora.
The first step of the coup, was to promote discussion and receive input on the best location for the Library and Museum. Then, when it was established that there was some difference of opinion on the location, surrogates started to advocate the possibility of the whole thing being built in Medora. There was a lot that went on, and many more things happened, but phase one of the coup achieved the result that the Museum would be built in Medora. The coup or the hijacking was half way complete at this point, which was approximately January 2018.
Today, May 15, I read in the Dickinson Press newspaper that the Theodore Roosevelt Library and Museum committee has suddenly dumped Dickinson as the location for the Library, after already taking the Museum location away from Dickinson, and moving it to Medora.
These were some of my initial thoughts, which were too narrow a view of what actually was occurring:
My reaction was, Fuck Them!
From now on, those fuckers can fly into the airport in Medora for their meetings, oh wait, there is no airport in Medora, the closest commercial airport is in Dickinson, one hour away, when the roads are clear. In the winter with snow, it’s more like a two hour drive from Medora to the Dickinson airport.
Tell all of the committee people, all of the board members, all of the benefactors, everyone involved, to go conduct all of their business in Medora from now on. If you force them to do this, they will realize and understand, what they apparently didn’t know, that Medora has a population of less than 200 people, and there is nothing in Medora!
There is a reason why Medora has a population of less than 200 people. Medora is isolated, it is out in the middle of nowhere, there is nothing there, it is an hour drive on the interstate from Dickinson when the roads are clear, and it shuts down in the Winter!!!
Medora is about 1/2 mile long by 300 feet wide. There is one gas station, that has two gas pumps. There is no grocery store. There is hardly anything in Medora. Common things that a person might need while conducting a business meeting in Medora, such as a package of copy paper, a box of paper clips, a stapler, a printer ink cartridge, envelopes, you can’t buy in Medora, the closest place would be SBM or WalMart in Dickinson.
Staying in Medora to conduct business, anything that you forgot, ran out of, and now need, like socks, underwear, a pair of walking shorts, a winter jacket, foot powder, Q-tips, eye drops, over the counter medications, prescription medications, or non-restaurant food items, you will have to drive to Dickinson.
If your car breaks down in Medora, the closest repair facilities are in Dickinson. If you need to rent a car, the closest car rental places are in Dickinson. If you are sick or get hurt, the closest medical facilities are in Dickinson.
There are only about three small restaurants in Medora, one being a cafe, and the others are more like bar restaurants. Only one restaurant in Medora stays open in the Winter. Most of the motels in Medora close in the Winter.
Dickinson should just wash its hands of any involvement with the Theodore Roosevelt Library and Museum. No one in Dickinson should waste any more time, energy, money, or thought on it. Just let the state of North Dakota and donors from elsewhere spend as much money as they want, and do whatever they want down in Medora.
I am sure that whatever they build will be very nice, and impressive. But it will also be vacant, outside of a couple of months in the Summer when the Medora Musical is open.
What I didn’t think about, or completely understand right at the moment when I read the latest Dickinson Press newspaper article, was that the people behind the coup or hijacking to take the Theodore Roosevelt Library and Museum away from Dickinson and move it to Medora, they don’t care about attendance numbers and success of the Library and Museum, they don’t care if it gets built at all, their goal was just to make sure that it did not get built in Dickinson.
The people in Dickinson who came up with the idea for the Library and Museum in the first place, they thought that this would increase the prestige and importance of Dickinson, which it would have. They thought that this would have benefited the reputation and stature of Dickinson State University, which it would have. That it would have increased the number of people visiting Dickinson, flying into the airport, renting cars, staying in hotels, eating in restaurants, and spending money all over town.
A Dickinson location would have allowed easy, safe, and convenient year round access to the Theodore Roosevelt Library and Museum.
How could it make any sense to locate the Library and Museum in Medora, which shuts down in the Winter, and has terrible accessibility in the Winter?