Tuesday, October 7, 2014

ND Dispatch #3: This Ain't the Chron, Sister

*** third in a series of posts from while writing THE MISSING PLACE ***

Thursday, January 10, 2013

So I picked up a copy of the Bismarck Tribune this morning, having read the Williston paper yesterday. I gave it a good peruse over my diner breakfast.  It didn't take me long at all to conclude that this is a very different paper than we read in the Bay Area. I mean, I get that any newspaper at all is an anachronism at this point, that I hold history in my hands - crumbling, soon, to forgotten dust - but it was still a bit jarring.

Here are just a few things I don't think you'd find in the SF Chronicle:

1. The headline "U.S. Tax Code Longer Than Bible"

2. A sidebar on "Winter Survival Kit Basics" that includes this item:
"Food, such as hard candy, jelly beans, raisins, nuts, candy bars, dehydrated fruit and jerky." Emphasis mine, of course. But jaysus, I can only imagine walking into the Oakland Whole Foods with this list in hand...

3. A *full-page* ad congratulating Miss North Dakota. Way to go, Rosie, and it's sort of sweet that you've got the local folks so solidly behind you.



4. Three of the six obituaries with editorial content mention horses.

5. Classified ads. With pictures. Like, before craigslist, remember? You can buy an antique tackle box, wedding dresses, tires, 1950s license plates...

(People, I'm writing this in the Williston Public Library and there is a guy at the next table with *chaw*. I swear it. His chewing noises are very rhythmic, so there's that; I'll just pretend it's waves crashing on a beach or something. But....wow.)

Also, here's a snap of a Williston librarian performing a service that I don't think are required of her Oakland colleagues.

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