Tag Archives: renting in Dickinson

How I Live In Dickinson, North Dakota

The purpose of this blog is for me to tell people from out-of-state what it is like living in Dickinson, North Dakota.  Also, if people who live in Dickinson, North Dakota, should happen to read this blog, I want them to see what I see, and know what I have experienced.

I want to be able to tell the truth, so I don’t publish my name, and I try to be vague about the details of my life, so that no one can figure out it is me, and make me stop.

In particular, I did not want the owner of the house where I live, to find out that I write this blog.  I have lived in this house for two years now, and the owner of this house and me, we have had a lot of arguments.  The owner of the house where I live is in his fifties, he is from Dickinson, and he graduated from Dickinson State University.  If he became aware that I was writing so many negative things about Dickinson, he would probably say, “You need to get that shit off of there right now!”

I didn’t start out planning to write so many negative things about Dickinson, I just try to write truthfully, and I don’t want to censor myself on this blog. I have to mostly keep my mouth shut when I am out in Dickinson in order to not have problems.

There are some good points and some bad points about the person who owns the house where I live.  I have gotten a lot of information from him about the history of Dickinson, and things that have gone on in Dickinson.  The rent is not too high.  I have been allowed to keep construction equipment on the property without complaint.

I want to tell about some of the bad things, so that people can know what it is like when you have to live with somebody else due to the very high cost of housing in Dickinson.

Though the owner of the house has lived in Dickinson his whole life, he does not have any friends.  This is not uncommon in Dickinson, because the local people are not friendly to each other.  He has never been married, and he has not had a girlfriend for a long time.  This is also not uncommon in Dickinson, because there is a shortage of women.  Not having any friends or a girlfriend, has led to some quirky behavior, annoying behavior, gross behavior, which I am exposed to and have to deal with.

If you have ever seen the television show from the 1970s, “Sanford & Son”,  about an African-American junk dealer in Los Angeles living with his son Lamont, the inside of the house where I live is exactly the same, and I am kind of like Lamont.  The house has junk throughout the house, there has never been a girlfriend or a concerned friend that has helped the owner to see and understand that this had gotten out of hand.  I have had a couple of my friends come by the house, who I knew could take it, and they thought it was kind of funny.  But I know that I can never invite a woman over here, because they would freak out in a number of ways.  They would be scared of the carpet, the furniture, the bathroom, they would probably not want to have anything to do with me either after seeing where I live.

There would be several additional problems with me inviting a woman over to the house where I live.  The owner of the house is always here, he does not have anything to do or anywhere to go, which is a common problem for everybody in Dickinson.  He has not had a girlfriend for a long time, and there is a scarcity of women in Dickinson, so if I brought an attractive woman home, he would be unable to take his attention off her.  As it is, he stays in the living room all the time, even if he should fall asleep at 6 pm, 8 pm, 10 pm, midnight, he just stays in his Lazy Boy chair in the living room, as if he is guarding the living room, as if he is scared that he is going to miss out on something by going to his own bedroom.

When the owner of the house is in the living room, whether I am in the living room, or my bedroom, he talks to himself.  He sometimes mutters,” I did the best I could…bla, bla, bla”, or cries out, “I’m sorry!…bla, bla, bla”  Sometimes when I am in my bedroom, he goes on a long angry rant talking to himself out in the living room, when I am trying to fall asleep, and I feel like yelling, “Shut the fuck up, you fat fuck, shut up!”  I can only imagine what a fiasco it would be me having some woman in my bed, trying to have sex with her, and she would say, “Stop, stop, what the fuck is that?  Is that your room-mate out in the living room talking to himself?  This is too creepy, I’m getting out of here!”  Yup, can’t bring any women over to my house.

Unfriendliness In Dickinson, North Dakota

Several months ago, I loaned my truck to a neighbor for a couple of days because his truck had broken down.  I hate to let people borrow my truck because they think it is an old truck, and they can abuse it.  Even though their vehicle has broken down, mine is somehow running.  My truck is running because I have replaced the radiator, power steering pump, water pump, timing chain and gear, fuel pump, drive shaft universal joint, front drive universal joints and seals on each side, installed overload rear leaf springs, and bought four new tires.  All this cost me about $4,000 over the years that I have owned this truck, so it is not just my good luck that my old truck is running.

About two months ago, I asked the neighbor who I had loaned my truck to, if I could shoot my 9mm pistol on his vacant thirty acres, if I placed my target against the vacant one hundred acres behind it.  I explained that I had to take and pass a qualifying exam.  My neighbor said no, and that he did not want to allow me to shoot on his other 160 acre piece of property either.  I then had to drive seventy miles one way to get to a piece of public land that I knew that I could shoot on.  There are two shooting ranges that are about thirty miles away, but you have to go to the shooting club once a month meeting, apply for membership, and pay a $40 membership fee, which is what I eventually did.

About one month ago, I thought that I might have to move to an apartment in town.  I have an extra truck and a utility trailer that I don’t think that I could park in town if I were renting an apartment.  I drove to someone’s property that I have met before, his property is about 1/2 mile wide by 1/2 mile long.  He has several vehicles, several trailers, farm equipment, and other things on his property.  I asked him if I could pay him $75 per month to park my extra truck and utility trailer on his property.  He said no.

I then went to one of my neighbors who is about thirty-five years old, who has an older house on about one acre, with about eight cars, and four trailers on his property.  I told him that I might have to move in to town, that I didn’t think that I would have a place to put my extra truck and utility trailer, could I pay him $75 per month to park them on his property?  He said no.

I kind of understand, and I kind of don’t understand.  I own a house on five acres in a different state.  If one of my neighbors asked to park a vehicle and a utility trailer on my property because they had to move to an apartment in town, I would ask them for how long did they need to park it.  I would say that if it was just for a month or two, go park it way down on the north end, just off the dirt road.  I believe that if you do not collect any money from an individual, and that if they step in a hole on your property and break their leg, your homeowner’s insurance will cover their injury.  This type of thing can happen when anyone walks onto your property to go knock on your front door, this risk is always there.  If you receive payment from someone to use your property, you should probably talk to your insurance company about commercial or renter’s insurance or something.  If someone was offering me $75 per month to park a vehicle and a utility trailer on my property for more than a couple of months, I would find out what additional insurance I needed, because $75 per month is $900 per year.

Outside of Dickinson, there is more vacant land than I have seen just about anywhere else.  There is no shortage of vacant land, there is an abundance of vacant land.  There are farms where people once lived, but no longer live there.  I asked neighbors adjacent to the abandoned farms who owned the abandoned farms, I would like to find out about renting it, the neighbors replied,”Oh, that is so and so, they live down the road there, people have asked them before to rent it, they won’t rent it out.”

Up until about 1980, there were very few people who wanted to visit or move to North Dakota.  It is very cold and barren.  There isn’t a lot to do for recreation or entertainment, there hadn’t been very many things to do for employment.  The first oil boom in this area came in about 1980 and then went away.  During the first oil boom, property prices rapidly went up to a high peak, then went back down to a low price after the oil boom.  I don’t know if there is still some anger over this in and around Dickinson, I think that there is.  Some people sold their land at the right time, got rich, then were able to buy back equal or better land after the prices went back down.  Some people didn’t sell their land, remained poor, and later wished they would have sold their land. 

I think that there is a lot of anger, resentment, hatred, jealousy, and greed stirred up in these local people.  They have a hard time dealing with the amount of people that have moved here.  They have resentment and jealousy that some of their neighbors have sold their land and made money, or that some of their neighbors are getting oil revenue money.  They have resentment, jealousy, and anger that these people from out-of-state can come here and get jobs making anywhere from $15 per hour to $30 per hour, when they have lived here their whole lives and never made that kind of money, that aint right, that aint fair.  I think that this hatred shows up in the local people’s refusal to allow out-of-state people to rent or use the huge amount of vacant land outside of Dickinson.