Meet Bill Paige! Born in Gary, raised in Merrillville, Bill now resides in Michigan City with his wife, Sharon, and their herd of cats. He is a lifelong citizen of Northwest Indiana, or affectionately known as “The Region”. On a professional level, Bill is an author, freelance writer, researcher, and marketing consultant. For more than a decade and a half he is providing a host of content, communications, and information for a spectrum of business sectors as well as being a journalist writing for newspapers, magazines, and websites on topics ranging from the outdoors and sporting events to industrial and technical pieces. Looking a little further back in his career, Bill has experience in management, operations, and sales in a variety of markets with a concentration in steel and manufacturing. For 15 years and counting, Bill is the host of a weekly Blues music show, the Blues Drive, on the Valparaiso, Indiana community radio station WVLP 103.1 FM.
What brought you to the dunes? I have always lived in Northwest Indiana. I was born in Gary and grew up in Merrillville living in Hammond and Munster as an adult only stepping away for four years while hanging out in Bloomington attending Indiana University. Going to the dunes and Lake Michigan was always a treat and a bit of a small trip. When I was looking to move in 2006 from Munster, I chose Michigan City so that I could be closer to the dunes and the lakefront and attempt to enjoy these each day, which I still try to accomplish.
How Long have you lived here? I have lived in Michigan City since the fall of 2006. As I mentioned, I have lived in Northwest Indiana my entire life.
What is your favorite thing to do in the area? Any time of the year I like to walk somewhere near the water. The dunes provide world class hiking and some of the best views of Lake Michigan.
Tell us a secret about the dunes. There are rattle snakes (eastern massasauga) in the dunes. They are native to the area. Rest easy, the massasauga is a fairly docile species of snake and will avoid you more than you will want to avoid them. It would almost be a miracle to come upon one of these rattlers. They are out there.
Give us your top three “hidden treasures” (restaurant, shop, trail, beach, event….really anything!)
McGinnis Pub – A real comfortable “Irish” pub with good food, an engaging bar, and a great outdoor patio with a fireplace. A convenient location in Michigan City to just about anything including shopping, the art district, the beach, and close to the dunes. Families are welcome in the restaurant and on the patio.
WashingtonPark Zoo – A zoo really exists in Michigan City right near the lake, part of Washing Park. A gem of an attraction since 1928 with a nice variety of animals for people of all ages. Climb the 92 steps of the 70-foot high observation tower and experience the best view around.
Burn‘Em Brewing– In the meteoric craft beer market, this small brewery on the east side of Michigan City, is emerging as an Indiana brewing leader in quality, creativity, and outright damn good tasting brews in just over five short years. Burn ‘Em is a huge supporter of music providing weekly live events with local performers (during the warmer months) including a couple of festival sized shows each year. Their Tuesday “Vinyl Night” hosted by local musician, Robert Rolfe Feddersen, has become legendary where there is nothing but albums spinning all evening.
What would you like to teach people about the dunes? We have an amazing network of ecosystems right here in our own backyard. The dunes and Lake Michigan provides some of the most beautiful, captivating, and amazing natural places to visit and things to do. People are always in such a rush to go visit somewhere else when we have so much to experience in these natural resources. I do not think local residents take advantage enough of the nature we are blessed with.
Anything else? I can live just about anywhere that I want, I choose to live here. I love what Northwest Indiana has to offer. I like to share some of my experiences and affection for the area through the many articles I have written for local publications and newspapers, some of which have highlighted the dunes, Lake Michigan, and local wildlife. I just recently published my first book titled “The MidStep” (available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon and at the Indiana Welcome Center) where I share some of my thoughts and observations on a positive and active outlook on middle age. For 15 years and counting I host a two-hour Blues music radio program every Wednesday (8-10 pm) on the Valparaiso station 103.1 FM WVLP. Visit the following websites to learn more about some of my writing (www.scribesource.net), new book (www.themidstep.com), and radio show (www.bluesdrive.com).
You can read about more of your neigbors, right here!