"Awestruck by the Beauty"

“You know,” Marshall says, “I’ve lived here all my life. I have traveled with the Department of Agriculture and traveled every back road in northern North Dakota.

“If you can’t be absolutely awestruck by the beauty of this country up here, there’s something wrong with you. And I don’t care if it’s spring, summer, winter, or fall—there are times you simply stop and appreciate what’s there. You have to. You just look around and say, ‘My God, it’s a gorgeous day! Thank You for letting me be out here on such a beautiful day!’ A lot of people take it for granted where they live. But this happens to be a very beautiful place. It can be a cemetery, it can be a field, you-name-it. It could be anything. Take a few minutes and just absorb it.

“If you’re coming down Highway 50 south of Kenmare about five o’clock in the afternoon, look east toward Coulee and Donnybrook. From that elevation you can see 25, 30 miles. In about two weeks, when the canola turns bright yellow and the flax fields are bright blue and the fields of small grains, an unbelievable Irish green, it almost pulsates, it’s such a beautiful color. I’ve done that many times. I pull over on the side of the road. Just get out and drink it in. It’s just awesome! Vibrant! You can see clear to Minot; you can see clear to the Canadian border from that elevation. You’re looking at a humongous area, and it’s just beautiful! It’s home, that’s the main thing. That’s the drawing card. It’s always home.”

A separate story: “I’ve got lots of friends who are definitely not wealthy. They struggle sometimes, and yet they’re just good people, doesn’t matter. I’ve got good friends who are very wealthy and scattered all over the world, but the good people are the ones that you stick to. The good people are the ones that you never forget and they’re the ones that you might not see ’em for 10 years when you bump into ’em some place, and it’s just like you saw ’em yesterday, never changes. Now, that’s something to me!”

Interview: June 22, 2014