September 21

Autumn is here, but it’s still construction season, and that’s okay with me. The longer cold weather holds off, the more work will get done, and that includes striping the newly-laid blacktop on Highway 83 between Bismarck and Wilton.

This stretch of highway is estimated to be approaching 75,000 vehicles a day, so it takes a beating.  The final step of the summer’s work on the highway was to stripe the lanes.  It’s a warm day, but you can’t tell it by the operator of the sprayer.  Bundled up heavily.  Imagine the neck strain and body aches that comes from sitting in this position all day, especially in breezy less-than-warm weather.

August 18

United Way at Buckstop Junction

What a day. It was all about United Way.

I was completely honored and thrilled to spend the day shooting the United Way Day of Caring for the United Way Missouri Slope Area.  Hundreds of volunteers turned out to take on fix-up clean-up projects around Bismarck and Mandan.  These college and career-aged folks painted at Buckstop Junction, the historic village east of Bismarck.

In Mandan, volunteers at the Mandan Sr. Center helped distribute meals on wheels.  Another group at the center donned their car washing duds and washed the cars of some of the area’s senior citizens.  The same volunteer work happened in Bismarck, too where volunteers washed vehicles at the Senior Center. Fortunately, the day’s weather was perfect for such volunteer action outdoors.

Meanwhile, indoors, groups donned their painting duds to freshen up non-profit community support homes and offices.  I stayed busy through the day moving from site to site to shoot the volunteers.  It was a privilege and I’d love to do it again.  I had no idea what I was in for.  My years in TV news I guess came in handy, to be able to walk on to a site and see what is happening, shoot the images and pack up gear to head to the next spot.  Volunteers worked at more than 2-dozen locations. They came from area businesses and corporations that support United Way.

My last stop, at the end of the day was the Bismarck Zoo where I found the Day of Caring organizers and team leaders walking back from one of the projects at the Zoo.  As hard of work as it was for all, it was also a time of making and building friendships while improving the community.  I love it when people roll up their sleeves and pitch in, rather than shrug their shoulders and say, “Not my job.”

Rob, Dana, Jena, Dean