“I’ve always believed that you live in the present not in the past. You do things and then you move on,” noted Former Michigan State House Representative Steve Lindberg. “Am I enjoying retirement? Absolutely.”
Although he’s retired now, Steve Lindberg has been anything but lazy during his storied career.
The Carlshend Michigan native represented the 109th district for six years before reaching his term limit, and was widely lauded for his work in Lansing.
Aside from chairing the Labor Committee, Lindberg received a lifetime rating of 100 from the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest federation of unions, and the same perfect score from the League of Conservation Voters for his efforts to preserve the U.P.’s natural beauty.
“I am a Yooper. But, I think on a day like today you look around and you know why I want to live here. I mean, I really believe this, I think I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world,” Lindberg said. “My wife and I owned a travel agency for 27 years, so I go to travel a little bit. I never found anywhere that I liked better than here.”
But now that he’s got a little more free time, Steve can take his best friend Max out to the scenic spots he helped protect and partake in a craft he’s longed to develop.
“You know, I’ve always kind of been interested in photography, but I kind of didn’t take pictures for a while when I was in Lansing,” he explained. “When I retired I bought a better Canon single-lens reflex camera. Really, what I planned to do was, I bought for the video part. I had this plan that I was going to go out and videotape what I called ‘U.P. Classics.'”
Men and women who ran townships and communities across the U.P., acting as guardians for stories that would be otherwise lost in the annals of time.
“What happened is, four of them died in my last year in office,” Lindberg said. “One of the other guys that I wanted to get on tape was my treasurer for my campaign, Waino Liuha. And Waino died at Christmas time. I decided, ‘I better stop thinking about people I want to videotape because they’re all dying on me.’ I just lost my interest in doing it, but I had the camera.”
Then on a whim, Steve started 2013 with a new year’s resolution that’s held true for the past 16 months.
Everyday he’d shoot a picture and post it on Facebook.
“I went back to Northern. I took a class in photography last semester. I’m taking one this semester. It’s something I enjoy doing. It’s a hobby that gets me out in this great, beautiful Upper Peninsula,” Lindberg said smiling.
And Lindberg’s no stranger to the classroom.
He taught at both Northern Michigan University and in the Marquette Area Public School system.
“I used to tell my students this when I was a counselor, ‘We never stop learning.’ Especially in today’s society, I mean, things are evolving so quickly.”
“Learning is an enjoyable experience, you know? I hope I never stop until the day that I kick over in the snow bank here some day on a walk. And I enjoy being around young people,” he added.
Just by looking at some of his work, you can tell he’s a fast learner, mostly due to his undying thirst for knowledge – a trait that’s only grown in retirement.
“Every day is a weekend. I get to come out here everyday. This winter there’s been a couple days when it’s been a little bit of a challenge, but overall it’s a great place to live”,” Lindberg said laughing. “Even though I’ve lived here my whole life, I discover something new every day.”
And with his new Canon SLR, he’ll be sure to share the experience.