Does Rick Steves have a beef with Duluth? While I was doing a searching for something Duluth related, I discovered a PDD post from Nov. 22 titled “Rick Steves offends his Duluth friends.” Which surprised me, as I had just recently noticed yet another slight from Rick Steves regarding Duluth.
From his blog for Rick Steves’ Europe, there’s a post from Jan. 14. “Thoughts About My Immigrant Heritage.” He visited Ellis Island and looked up one of his Norwegian relatives and noted:
According to a ship’s register, exactly a hundred years ago John Romstad landed with a buddy, bound for Duluth, with $20 in their pockets. Anyone considering Duluth the Promised Land (with a net worth of $20) must have come from a pretty hopeless place.
I’m sure others here could explain the history in much better detail than I, but Duluth 100 years ago was a highly prosperous place and would have been a fine destination for his ancestor to seek his fortune. Unless he meant $20 dollars wasn’t enough for such a happening place, but I doubt it. $20 dollars in 1917 would be worth about $360 today. Still not a lot, but would likely have been more than enough to start a new life back then.
I still like him and enjoy his show, but what I do want to know is, what did Duluth do to Rick Steves? What did it do to deserve two slights tossed at it in just a couple of month’s time? Did he have a bad stay years ago, perhaps in that phase between eras of industrial giant to tourist destination? Did he have a bad meal? Stay in the wrong motel? Does he have a estranged relative from here that he doesn’t get along with? Did a dog bite him here? I keep on wondering.
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