Some Moves Are Meant to Be

Some Moves Are Meant to Be

When I was a kid, my mom moved us around – a lot. For the first 13 years of my life, I probably lived in at least twenty different apartments, maybe more. In my memory, they roll by like one of those film strips they used to play in an elementary school gymnasium, all of the apartments blending together.

Every move meant a new school. When I was about nine or ten years old, one of these schools in St. Paul – I can’t remember which one – took us on a field trip on the Amtrak up to Duluth to visit the Depot train museum. It was so cool to see all those trains up close, especially for somebody like me who loved engines. There was some kind of photo shoot going on at the Depot that day. It had nothing to do with us kids on the field trip. But one of the photographers asked my teacher if they could use me in the picture. She said sure. (These days, you’d have to get all kinds of permission slips signed – but that was the late 1970s – you didn’t need permission for anything.) They gave me a sailor’s cap and took a photo of me coming off the train. The Depot ended up making a postcard with that image, and it was on sale at the Depot for decades. (It’s kind of funny, because I’m wearing a Minnesota Vikings jacket, and there’s a woman sitting on the bench in a Victorian dress.)

As an adult, I continued the trend of moving around a lot. Fast forward forty years, and guess who moves to Duluth?

My wife and I came last May. It’s a big deal to me. There’s so much here I didn’t know I would like so much. I didn’t realize how much I would like going down to Canal Park and watching the ships come in. Visual art has never been a major thing for me, but the local artists, especially Indigenous artists Jonathan Thunder and Sam Zimmerman, have really captured my attention. I feel really lucky to have some of their pieces hanging in our home. I love what Duluth and the North Shore offer for hiking trails. Before I came, I didn’t understand what the Superior Hiking Trail was all about. Now that I’m here and I get it, I just love it. I want to do all of it. I’ve done a fair amount already, all the way from Jay Cooke State Park to the Canadian border, in bits and pieces. I love the fighter jets flying over the city. I hear them and always stop and look up to find them.

Of all the moves I’ve made in life, this one to Duluth has been one of the best. I’m constantly surprised by just how much I like it here and how much there is to this town. When you come as a visitor, you don’t get to see everything. You really got to spend some time here to get a sense of it. 

I'm really glad that kid in the sailor hat stepped off the train at the Duluth Depot all those years ago.

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