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In North Dakota, hard to tell an oil millionaire from regular Joe

•, By David Bailey
 Take Robert Western, a farmer who was dressed in rumpled overalls and a baseball cap as he sipped coffee and discussed the oil boom that has transformed this once sleepy town. 

"Some of the younger people buy a lot more - machinery, vehicles, things like that," said the 75-year-old Western. "The rest of us, I guess it doesn't alter our lifestyle a great deal. I don't have a lot of needs."

  After he left, his friend Earl Rogstad remarked to a visitor: "It's too bad Robert didn't have his airplane ready... He offered last summer to fly me over and see (the oil wells) from the air." 
Western did not mention that he is co-owner of a Piper single engine propeller plane, according to FAA records. He did admit to receiving oil royalties from wells on his farm but locals said he is far from the richest man in town. It is not clear whether Western is a millionaire or merely wealthy.
"You can't tell the average Joe farmer from the average Joe millionaire," said Ward Heidbreder, Stanley city coordinator.

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