JT left the cities and once again sees stars in the night sky

JT Thaden, Lake Park hobby farm

Geoffrey “JT” Thaden easily recites the reasons he loves living in west central Minnesota: fresh air, quiet, no traffic, the lakes, things to do. And then he pauses and adds one more.

“The stars,” he says. “You can see the stars. You forget they exist when you live in the Twin Cities.”

Like other high school graduates, JT took off from Grand Forks in 2002 and chose to attend the University of Minnesota where he eventually earned a communications degree. And like many others, he also longed to move closer to home.

So he started his journey back with a job in radio and eventually left the Twin Cities, taking a position with a Fargo station. For about 10 years, JT’s hard work and talent helped him climb the career ladder. He also found love and was married…which, as it turns out, opened the door of possibilities.

“My wife Siri grew up on a family hobby farm near Lake Park, so although we lived in Fargo, we spent a lot of time in the lakes area,” JT said. “I always wanted to live around the lakes.” So when Siri’s folks invited them to live on the farm, they left Fargo – which JT says was still a little too big for him – and took up residence.

It’s a country life now. “We enjoy the nature, getting up in the morning, feeding chickens, collecting eggs. We garden, have a few cattle, horses and I drive the tractor. It’s fun!”

Early in 2018, JT took a management position with Leighton Broadcasting out of Detroit Lakes, so Lake Park is a perfect location. He gets up for a short commute east and his wife, a health coach for Sanford, heads west.

To JT, Live Wide Open means wide open spaces, with plenty of things to do and places to go. His list grows: great restaurants, running into friends you know, keeping active in the parks, fat tire biking at Detroit Mountain, fishing, hiking and more.

Plus the stars. As one who knows the city’s dark night sky, you can’t forget the stars.

Steve Henning