The honor system

Knowing how much my fellow Upper Midwesterners love to hear how others see us, I’m bound to pass along this photograph from my friend, Steve North, a longtime journalist best known in our circles for having a picture of himself and whatever famous person just died. He gets around with the best of them.

Over the weekend he journeyed from his native New York to the enchanted land of western Wisconsin. He was smitten by the red barns and tall, round things that stand next to them.

But before departing back to the comforting arms of New York, he was momentarily taken aback by this.

Steve North

These things have sprouted everywhere, he noticed. But something is missing: People.

You just put your money in the milk can, which as you can see, is chained down to two cinder blocks. Because while we might be Midwestern, we’re not that Midwestern here in the Midwest.

Steve North

“The thought really did cross my mind, ‘This is a trap’,” he says.

“What a lovely tribute to the residents of the communities where that is common,” he observed. “I daresay that around here, not only the produce, but the table, tent, boxes and sign would all disappear within 30 minutes.”