By David Gallianetti
As I write this, I’m listening to jazz by a group that will perform at Paradigm Coffee & Music in downtown Sheboygan. That’s just one of the many reasons I love Sheboygan County, and one of the many reasons this place feels like home.
I moved to Sheboygan in August of 1993 from my native Illinois (I’ve heard all the jokes) after being hired as a sportswriter at The Sheboygan Press. It was my second job out of college, and truly the first time I had moved away from home. In 2000, I joined the staff at Lakeland University, the best decision of my professional life. Go Muskies!!
Today’s Sheboygan County feels a lot different than the one I moved to 23 years ago. It’s not like 1993 Sheboygan County was bad, but the 2016 version keeps giving me so many reasons to be happy the Press brought me here.
Here are just a few of those many reasons Sheboygan County keeps a transplant like me growing strong, deep roots:
The food – I’m a foodie, and Sheboygan County takes a backseat to nowhere in the food game. There is such a great variety of locally owned places, from corner pubs to five-diamond restaurants. I love the Della Nonna pasta at Trattoria Stefano, and if he’s serving wild boar, I’ll crawl on my hands and knees to get there! The pork loin sandwich and side of cornbread at the Brown Baer in Elkhart Lake are as comforting as it gets! In the mood for pizza? So many fabulous options, and DeO’Malley’s in Plymouth is near the top of my list. And the pancake of the month at Judi’s Place in Oostburg? Count me in!
The music – The Weill Center, the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, the Levitt AMP Summer concert series, the aforementioned Paradigm and the Brown Baer – just a few of the venues and groups that offer an amazing, wide range of original and familiar music that will satisfy any taste. I’m also a vinyl collector, and I love stopping by The Music Boxx in downtown Sheboygan to see what treasures John has gathered.
The history – I’m a history lover, and this county has such incredible history. The things that have happened in the Sheboygan Armory (fingers crossed that we get that Bucks D-league team!) and the people who have excelled there are part of county lore. I’m proud to be on the board at the Sheboygan County Historical Research Center in Sheboygan Falls, which has the state’s largest private collection of photos and documents. If you’ve lived here or owned a business here for any period of time, the Research Center has something about you.
Last, but most important, are the people. Between my work roles at the Press and Lakeland, and my almost 15 years as a member of the Sheboygan Area School District Board of Education, I’ve built relationships with so many amazing people. Innovative, creative, hard-working, thoughtful, fun loving, selfless, passionate – those are some of the words I’d use to describe the hundreds of people who live here that have impacted my life.
I’m still a Chicago Cubs, Bears and Bulls fan – sorry, that’s not changing. But other than that, a lot of who I am today is because of this place (so, it’s your fault!). I feel fortunate to be here, and I have thoroughly enjoyed, in whatever small way, being given the opportunity to help make this someplace better.