Mr. John Sandy of Northport, Alabama, wrote a letter yesterday regarding Michele Anderson’s recent op-ed in the New York Times claims that it doesn’t “paint [the] ‘true’ Fergus Falls.” In my opinion, Mr. Sandy would benefit by listening more and talking less.

Anderson’s op-ed in the NYT was thoughtful, vulnerable, and reflected the conflicted feelings many of us have about our roots in small towns. Mr. Sandy’s letter did not contain anything as nuanced. His ideas were puzzling and jumbled, including the assertion that the University of Wyoming promoting cowboys is an example of “acceptance and diversity” that Fergus Falls can learn from. While cowboys are lovely, he missed Anderson’s point entirely. Her op-ed charted rich feelings beyond simple boosterism or dull naysaying. Mr. Sandy’s letter, on the other hand, somehow managed to embody both of these traits.

If Mr. Sandy doubts Anderson’s vision for making Fergus Falls a better place, he may be surprised to know that she recently increased its population by one.

Michele gave birth to a lovely baby boy on March 18. Congratulations to her and her husband Spencer. We need more young people like them committed to our rural communities, and less men who feel entitled to share unsolicited opinions whenever a bold woman speaks up for herself.

Nik Nerburn

Duluth

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