After being born and raised here in LA (Lansing Area) and living away for 30 years, my wife Brenda and I decided to move back home. To be more precise, it’s me who’s coming back home. Brenda (like John Mellencamp) grew up in a small town in Indiana. Moving to LA was not really coming home for her, although she’s happy to now be a Michigander. We all know Michigan has been taking it on the chin from a PR perspective; a little of the criticism is warranted, but a lot of it is not. I remember when I told my Indiana friends I was moving back to Michigan, they would give me a look like I said I wanted to stick my finger into a light socket. You see Lansing, Michigan is my home, and always has been. Coming back to Lansing to spend holidays with my family, a summer vacation up north or going to an MSU football game, were times we always looked forward to. Heck, I even proposed to Brenda on the scoreboard during an MSU vs. IU football game. I know what you’re wondering; yes, MSU won in overtime. I love that I can watch a Tigers game in real time and that I can go to Beggar’s Banquet more than once a year (although I do miss the chili hotness ratings on the chalkboard). I don’t love when I read or hear someone throwing down on what I (we) call home. It’s easy for someone to find what can be “fixed” in our city or state; it’s even easier to find what’s really special about our state as well. In fact, Sleeping Bear Dunes was just named the “most beautiful place in America.” Hello, McFly! And to think we have many more spots around this beautiful state that could claim that distinction as well. I grew up in Haslett and when I was asked, uh, I mean ready to move out of my parent’s home, I found a third floor apartment on the corner of Albert and Abbot. The basement nightclub was called Lizards, Dooley’s was across the street and the State Theatre’s ceiling was falling down on people during a showing of Apocalypse Now. It was also from this third floor vantage point that I looked down on thousands of MSU fans celebrating after MSU won the 1978 National Championship. This was before the tradition of burning couches and other household furniture became the norm. Home sweet home! So, when someone says you can’t go home again, don’t believe it. I didn’t and I’m in a better place for it.
Pete Ruffing is the Sales Director at M3 Group in downtown Lansing. He and his wife of 14 years Brenda live in Okemos.