Distinctive Duluthians


Part 1
by Sandra Thompson

There are great people everywhere you go, this is true. But the specialness of a place does bring out the special qualities of the people who choose to live there. Like a distinctive brandy, Duluth is definitely VSOP.

I’ve spent a little time talking with some kinda sorta famous Duluthians about why they love this place. (I’d like to think that, because we live in Duluth, we’re all kinda sorta famous!) We all have a unique story of what brought us to Duluth, and what makes it dear to our hearts. Here are a couple of folks who have eloquently told me what they think about living here.

Best place to raise a family

If you’re a fan of local beer, you probably know about Dave Hoops, master brewer at Fitger’s Brewhouse. Dave moved to Duluth 15 years ago. His wife is a Duluth native, and they decided that Duluth was the best place to raise a family:

“After we had our first child out in San Francisco, we started thinking about standards of living to raise our kids. That is the reason our family lives here. I don’t know what it would be like living here without children, but for that I couldn’t recommend a place more highly. Duluth is an amazing place to raise children.

“There’s no traffic, there’s really no crime, our water is unbelievable right out of the tap, it’s really easy to live here, the hassle factor is almost nil compared to living in New York or San Francisco. And the beauty and solitude and unbelievably high quality of living here is amazing.”

Watch a video of Dave Hoops describing how the water in Duluth makes for great beer. Go to http://bit.ly/16KTCmp

Generous spirit

Christine Gradl Seitz, executive and artistic director of the Duluth Playhouse, moved here 13 years ago. Her husband is a native Duluthian. Previously, Christine lived in New York City for 16 years. Here’s what she found when she moved to Duluth:

“I didn’t know anyone at all. I was alone for a good deal of time and finding my way. Part of my job at the Playhouse is to connect with the community and develop relationships with businesses for the support that we need. Honestly, the Duluth business community is so generous; they genuinely care and want to help. I’m not blowing smoke; I mean that. I was so impressed that I could call the president of the bank and either he answered the phone himself or called me back, usually within minutes. That’s not a common result in many communities.

“That’s just remarkable, and it had not been my experience before moving to Duluth. Generosity would be a word I would use if someone asked what’s Duluth like. Generosity in so many ways -- with our environment, with our opportunities to get involved, with the art scene, with the people-to-people generosity. You feel it when you move here; you experience it.”

This is a taste of what people who have moved to Duluth find here. I myself moved here 14 years ago, and have experienced these qualities. So many fascinating and enthusiastic people make Duluth their home. I hope to introduce you to many of them, and perhaps one day you’ll call them friend or neighbor ….

The Duluth Playhouse celebrates its centennial season in 2014. Watch an interview from WDSE ‘The Playlist” program, “Theater Talk with Christine Seitz & Duluth Playhouse” http://youtu.be/_lm-e3UA3OE

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