Making connections. Even small, brief ones.

A lot of people say today’s college students are indifferent and want nothing to do with the older generation. I disagree!

Last year my wife and I were vacationing in Duluth. We had gone to Sammy’s Lakeside to pick up a pizza and take it back to our hotel. For some reason, Sammy’s wasn’t delivering that night. We went inside to wait for our pizza. While we were waiting a group of college students came in, ordered, and sat down at the table next to us. Soon our pizza was ready, we picked it up and started to leave. On the way out I noticed a debit card on the floor next to the table of college students. I asked one of them if it was his and pointed to it. He said “Oh my gosh, yes, thank you!” and picked it up. We left and got into our car. Before we could pull out, he comes running out to thank me again and hands me a $5 bill. I said, “No big deal, you keep it,” but he insisted so I took it. He went back inside to be with his friends. My wife and I looked at each other like, did that just happen? I wish I would have asked him his name, where he was going to college, what he was studying, you know. It is still one of my favorite memories from Duluth.

We own a small business in Ames, Iowa and last month a group came in on a Saturday — two parents and three college-age kids. The boy had a UMD hat on, so I struck up a conversation with him. Turns out his older sister went to UMD, he liked Duluth so much that he went to UMD also. His younger sister attends Iowa State here in Ames so they were in town visiting her. Mom and Dad are from the Twin Cities. We had fun talking about our favorite places in Duluth! We told them Duluth is like our second home. I love making those connections with college students!

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