An open letter to Joel Stein

I just emailed this to Time contributor Joel Stein because I felt the need to. I miss his column after not renewing my subscription.

The Awesome Column made my day and was a great companion to my frozen waffles.

Maybe if a few more people tell him how great Jamestown and the rest of North Dakota is we can finally get some of the national attention we deserve. Let me know if you are interested and I’ll send you his email.

Hey Joel,

My name is Ben Rodgers and I am a reporter for a daily newspaper in Jamestown, North Dakota. I write this letter because I feel I need to express my disdain with Time magazine and no one there will listen to me. Also I have a challenge for you.
Our small town got featured online for having the World’s Largest Buffalo, which greets visitors from Interstate 94, except the editors got the state wrong. We are in fact a state and have been since 1889.
I was charged with notifying Time because I subscribed and had to sort the matter out. I then realized there is no number you can call to simply contact Time. After numerous phone calls to Florida and New York I was assured the error would be fixed. Like all reporters I wanted assurance that it was taken care of and never received a call back.
This and the featuring of certain politicians on the cover were among the reasons I never renewed my subscription this year.
But alas, I am going through withdrawals not having your column to read when I eat my breakfast. (I am a firm believer in print media, not much online)
So I have a challenge for you Mr. Stein. I have a back issue of Time on my desk from July 6, 2009 that features the robust economy of Bismarck, N.D., a mere 100 miles from here. (Yes in North Dakota 100 miles is considered a brief jaunt down the highway) It was the last real look and how good as a state North Dakota is doing.
I challenge you to come visit us here in Jamestown and consider it for “The Awesome Column.”
Here are some reasons why we in Jamestown have it going on:
We actually have jobs and a low unemployment rate. For November it was 3.3 percent.
We have a budget surplus, the next Legislative session we have to decide how to spend money, not slash it.
Tourism in Jamestown is on the rise (thanks in part are due to the World’s Largest Buffalo).
Companies are looking at developing just outside of Jamestown, including a cellulosic ethanol plant and a cattle farm for Korea, not to mention a greenhouse to bring fresh produce to our local markets.
Come meet some real Americans, who work hard, love the snow and cold, all while making this the friendliest state in the union, according to a recent study by Cambridge University.
Finally, I will buy you dinner at the finest restaurant in town, come eat our buffalo.
I call this an open letter because I will put it on my blog (which can be found at
We may not have a huge population but the people here make this one great place to live. Come visit and find out for yourself, preferably in the winter.

Let’s do this people!

3 thoughts on “An open letter to Joel Stein

  1. Did you see Joel’s article on ‘The Year of the Leaks’ in the Dec. 20, 2010 issue of Time? He makes a reference to one’s “Dakotas”. I don’t know for sure what he’s referring to but maybe he’s trying to give you the plug you wanted!? LOL!

    “Man, did we ever leak. We couldn’t control the leaking, as if we were all sneezing women who’d just had a baby and we’d just drunk a bottomless cup of coffee and that baby were sitting on our bladder. It was as if the nation took a picture of itself naked, e-mailed it to our boyfriend and suddenly every member of the U.N. got a copy of us with our Dakotas hanging out.”

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