Duluth Local Show's Mike Novitzki says farewell for now...

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Duluth Local Show host Mike Novitzki
Mike Novitzki, host of the Duluth Local Show on The Current. (via Facebook)

In March of 2015, my brother had been living and working in Venezuela for two years when I finally went to visit him — a plan everyone, save me, seemed to think was a terrible idea. The country was in the early stages of the socioeconomic collapse it appears to be at the rock bottom of today. The government's approval rating was at an all-time-low, inflation was accelerating at an incalculable rate, and the per-capita murder rate was the highest on the planet. I was young. I still am.

We met just off the coast, on the small Dutch island of Curaçao, where my brother had gone to renew his 90-day visa. While on the island, the Venezuelan government tightened its American immigration protocol — overnight — in retaliation to sanctions placed on some of its top officials by the Obama administration as diplomatic relations broke down between our two countries. Upon arriving at the Caracas airport, we were refused entry and sent back, thus ending my brother's love affair with his adopted home.

After an impromptu reshuffle, he found himself bored stiff working as a salesman in south Florida — a job he had been at for two years when he called me last spring to say life back stateside wasn't doing it for him, and he was thinking of moving. The conversation went something like this:

"I'm coming home for some weddings in September, then I want to move somewhere. I'm not sure where you're at, but would you want to come with me?"

"Where?"

"South America."

"For how long?"

"I don't know."

I'm going on my twelfth year in Duluth. I've never been married, had kids, or owned a home. I'm not even on a lease. I have a 2008 Chevy Cobalt, a fishing pole I never use, and some clothes. That's about it. On top of that, I had just quit one of my two part-time jobs to avoid becoming the burned-out cranky bartender we all know and hate. This all had me feeling a bit like a broken compass, and I realized I had no excuse to turn down my brother's proposal.

"Can I think about it?"

Six months later, I'm about to put into action what is sure to be either the best — or worst — idea I've ever had. Come November, my only sibling and I will be getting in my little red Chevy with as little as possible and heading south. That's as detailed as the plan gets for now.

I think the saying goes, "At the end of your life, you regret the things you didn't do, not the things you did." Sometimes that sounds like profound wisdom. Other times, it may as well be, "Hold my beer and watch this." Either way, I think we've all seen examples of how quickly, "I'd like to do that someday," can become, "I wish I would've done that."

This impulsive adventure has no definite end date. So after 100+ episodes of hosting the Duluth Local Show, I have made the difficult decision to vacate my position at The Current, the best employer in radio. As a lifelong music fan, It's difficult to grasp just how lucky I've been to grow up in Minnesota, where the ubiquity of musical talent is outweighed only by its fan base. A station like The Current would probably not work in most other states. So I'd like to thank you, the listener, for providing a truly unique and very hard-to-come-by opportunity for me — and some of the finest folks I ever did meet — to spend our days doing what we'd be doing anyway: listening to and talking about music. I'd also like to thank Brian Oake, for making radio sound like a fun, easy, and realistic career path for as long as I can remember; and the city of Duluth for helping me appreciate simplicity.

The good news is, my job is one of a kind and someone else now gets to try it on for size. Whoever you are, I'm envious.

This next chapter will be heavily improvised, so if you'd like to watch the chaos unfold, find me on Facebook or on Instagram @stillapozer.

Hang in there.

Mike

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  • Duluth Local Show host Mike Novitzki
    Mike Novitzki, host of the Duluth Local Show on The Current. (via Facebook)

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