STAY HOME ANDY ROONEY
Commentator Andy Rooney concluded “60 Minutes” on Sunday, October 29, 2006 with a commentary on the names of towns and places across America. He concluded with the statement, “I only like to go to cities I’ve been to before so I’ll probably never get to Fargo, North Dakota.
I spent 2001 living on the side of a mountain between Ouray and Ridgway, Colorado. Prior to that I lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota for most of my adult life with a two-year stint in Chicago. The time in Colorado fulfilled a dream and when it was finished, I packed up my jeep and trailer and headed East. I decided I would stay in Fargo for a while as I had no where I had to be.
Initially I had the typical stereotype of Fargo: the end of the world, nothing to do, cold and lonely, and the people talk funny. I didn't know if I would like it here. It turned out that I love it here: the air is clean, the sunsets big, crime is minimal, the people nice, and a traffic jam means it takes you five minutes longer to get to your destination. I have cable television and high speed internet. I saw Springsteen here and hope the Fargo Dome will get another concert one of these days. I work as a consultant and some of the best leaders I've ever met are in Fargo. I am a day from Yellowstone and just east of me is Minnesota lakes country. I also rediscovered Northern League baseball from my youth and am a big fan of the Fargo/Moorhead Red Hawks; they are winners. In a time of voluntary simplicity, I cannot ask for more.
I've now been here for four years. The first blindness of romance has worn off, and I've seen some of the dark side of Fargo: the Scandinavians are tight with a dollar, can be hard to get a reaction from, and they really make a big deal of high school graduations in this part of the world. Graduation gives everyone an excuse to fix up the house periodically as the kids grow up. When one of your kids graduates, you plan on eating the left-over shredded pork for many months.
After being in Fargo for a while I told a brother about it and he said, "You sound like the Chamber of Commerce." I realized that I really liked it here. He said, "Too bad you have such cold winters." I replied, "It keeps the California 'riff-raff' out of here (he is from Carmel, California).
Besides with global warming, Fargo will become the next hot real estate market.I decided to stay, got married, and we live across the Red River and about 100 yards from Fargo in south Moorhead, Minnesota. Our home is along the river in a natural setting within the city. Wild turkeys are regular visitors.
Stay away Andy Rooney; help us keep our secret.