{ North Dakota is known as a place }

North Dakota is known as a place to be depressed. Theodore Roosevelt went there after his wife died. Late January is a horrible time. Cabin fever has attacked too many people to mention.

Individuals can't make it in North Dakota. Surviving a winter one needs companionship ­ and the lack of choices for companionship forces everyone to be tolerant of each other. Communities can feel the waves of even the smallest feud.

Everyone knows everyone ­ if not by name, then by trial. Making it through the harshest winter in the continental 48 binds the people together ­ without words, without the satisfaction of sharing the accomplishment. Only with the pain of fighting nature from October to March, year after year.