Thursday, July 5, 2012

This is dedicated to North Dakota.

So... I'm sitting at SLC INT...   I missed my 6:00 AM flight, which is super lame, because being the 5th of July, everything else is totally full, and I have to be on standby for both of my flights.Who knows when I'll finally get back to the land of Scandinavians and endless green rolling hills.

Let's sit down and talk. By the way, thanks for reading this. You are a wonderful person.

I'm going to miss North Dakota. I might just be the first and only person you ever hear saying this, but I love North Dakota.  It has truly changed my life in ways that might be difficult to put into words.

I went up there about 8 months ago, partly to try to start a business, partly to run away from heartbreak, and partly just to say I did it.  I've made some money working there, lost a lot of money working there, and have had some crazy experiences along the way.

It's not just the scenery that I'm going to miss (although, that is definitely part of it).
Mostly, I'm going to miss the people that I associate with the very thought of this out of the way, forgotten place.

I might just give credit to those whom I think will actually read and appreciate this little blog of mine.

I've spent most of my time up there in a little town called Tioga. I've been renting a little shack in a town called Minot, but because of work, Tioga has been more like home to me up there.

When I got up there initially in November, the only places I had heard of were Williston (because of the oil boom) and Bismarck (the state capital).

Now, I'll talk about some of the awesome people I've met and have come to love, respect, and admire.

Rex Short.

Rex is a crazy red neck Texan who refers to Texas as "his country". He worked in Iraq for 7.5 years as a logistics manager of sorts for KBR.  Basically, he was in charge of 1500 people who built cities in the desert for the US armed forces.  When he was there, he had some long nasty hair to go along with his gnarly goatee. Imagine lieutenant Dan. In fact, he showed me a picture of him with Gary Sinise, who was there visiting soldiers and touring around with USO.  It was a very ironic photograph.

Well, after doing some heavy duty logistics in the Middle East, dispatching frac fuel for Western Petroleum is just a walk in the park for him.  While other dispatchers are constantly flipping out and losing their minds trying to make everything fit together, Rex just sits back and takes the calls, sets up the fuel transports, and talks to his wife on the phone.  All the while, we BS all night with the drivers and other people that work with us. We have a great time.

From Rex, I've learned to not sweat the small stuff. Everything gets taken care of, and his most quotable saying, "You can only do what you can with the resources you're given."

I've translated this attitude into pretty much every part of my life.

This guy is making peanuts compared to what he should get paid. He performs logistics miracles on a nightly basis, without ever breaking a sweat or losing his composure.  It's unreal.  I'm proud to say he's one of my all time heroes.

Jason Watts.

Jason is General Manager of the WP terminal in Tioga.  He arrived sometime in March, as the old GM was being transferred to Canton, Ohio.

Jason is a straight up cowboy from Colorado.  He has a hot head, and can get really worked up when people don't do their jobs, but he's done some awesome things with the terminal, as far as I can tell.

What I'll remember him saying most, and it was quoted in an earlier post,

"There are good days, and there are bad days."

What I take from this, is basically that you take things as they come.  You work through the hard times and make the best of it.  I've seen him deal with some pretty messed up situations in a very cool way.

Even when he chewed my ass hardcore for screwing around too much at night, he quickly talked to me again and explained why he had been so hard on me. He built up my confidence in a great way.   He is an awesome manager.

Andriana Pucciani.

Her last name is spelled Puchany, although it should be Pucciani. Apparently, back in the day, someone changed that. The Italian spelling is much cooler.

She's an Italian/German girl with dark olive skin and pretty green eyes. She was born and raised in Tioga.

I met Andi a 8 days ago. Let me rephrase that. I actually met her a month or two back, when she started working for the summer as a daytime dispatch assistant/administrative assistant.

9 days ago, she agreed to get some breakfast with me, which turned into her making me breakfast at her house.  We didn't know each other from a hole in the ground, but we became fast friends.

She made me an awesome dinner the next night, before I had to make the long haul back to Utah.

I call her Bambina. She has an awesome outlook on life, and a very positive attitude. I love that about her. I think I found the coolest person in Tioga. We talk about...everything and nothing. I'm going to help her with her piano/guitar skills, and she's going to help me with my fishing skills, or lack thereof.

Ramanda and Micheal Nash (and Madse, Mae Mae, Mikey, Ashley, Halley, and Han Solo).

I love these people. They live in Glenburn, just north of Minot. I'm related to them by marriage, but I consider them close family. They let us crash in their basement the first week we were in ND.  Every time we went up there it felt like home.  Ramanda is an excellent cook! She's like another big sis, and Mike is like a big bro I never had.

Gary Conlee

Gary is a Chicago native who ended up in ND with the air force; he found a girl in Tioga and married her. He's been there ever since, and he is a fellow "logistics manager" at WP. We really rag on each other pretty much all the time while we're working. It's great fun, and we're pretty good buddies. He tells me all his crazy air force travel stories, and gives cool insights on life as well.

He's convinced that I'll end up stuck in Tioga for the rest of my life.  He keeps telling me that some girl will get me to stay there forever. I keep telling him he's full of crap, but he doesn't ever let down. It's so funny.

Mark, Skyler, Ethan, and the Jimmy John's crew.

These guys. These guys are crazy. They live in my house in Minot, and take care of it while I'm gone (which is always).

I love these guys.  They are so hilarious.  We have great times when I'm home, and they welcome me every time with a sort of party.

We get into all sorts of mischief together. It's a party.

Lucas Medelez

Lucas is a recent convert to the church, has a huge heart, and is pretty much just hard core awesome.  He's always there when you need him with a smile and a good attitude.  Pretty much a brother from another mother.  He's another gun toting air force dude who's good to have on your side.  Pretty sure he's one of the best guys I've ever met.

I will miss the sunrises, the sunsets, the crazy oilfield traffic, and the bright lights of all the drilling rigs dotting the landscape at night.

I'll miss the great friends I made up there, and the good (and hard) times we had up there.

North Dakota has made me a better person. I love more, laugh more, smile more, and live more because of this forgotten wonderful place.

Here's to you, North Dakota.

The Oilfield Romantic

1 comment:

  1. I got teary eyed readig this! ND has been an all too short chapter in your adventurous life and I am blessed to be in it's pages. Love you like a brother.