I got an e-mail from the Don asking if I’d like to meet. Nobody says “no” to the Don.
In actuality, Mayor Don Ness is much more kind and neighborly than Cosa Nostra. From every account I’ve heard, he’s held in high regard around these parts, which was illustrated by his recent unopposed run for a second term as mayor. He’s young, works very hard, and seems to have brought a lot of new energy to the city.
Speaking of which, I met him at Tycoons at a rock show a few weeks back, mostly by accident. We talked Duluth for a bit and over the course of the conversation, I was thoroughly impressed — he’s as sharp as he is comfortable. A good combination.
Today, we sat down in his office and chewed through a wide range of topics. A bulk of the conversation wasn’t recorded, but I’ll most likely be connecting with him again on the last day of January. In our next conversation, there will definitely be opportunity for probing Duluth questions.
The section of the conversation that we recorded today dealt with some relatively non-mayoral parts of life — growing up in Duluth, and raising his family here. First, a short and wonderful piece where Mayor Ness shares the right way to chase a ball down the hill and how the technique hasn’t changed:
A slightly longer chunk of our conversation, touching on Don’s personality growing up, coming out of his shell, being a parent, and his parenting philosophy:
Children growing up in Duluth with a tacit understanding of nature’s immensity and wonder — a beautiful place to finish. Then, Don let me be mayor for the rest of the day:
Not really. Although, the view from his office made me a little jealous.