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Getting to know: Geri McCaleb

• Sep 3, 2016 at 3:00 PM

This is part of a regular feature, which will normally run on Saturdays, and will appear on the pages of the Grand Haven Tribune and online at grandhaventribune.com. We’ll sit down with a local personality and ask them several questions.

This week, we’re featuring Geri McCaleb.

What’s your current job? Mayor, City of Grand Haven

Readers would be surprised to learn that: Being born in the Netherlands, I've also lived in Chicago, New Jersey, Minnesota, Tennessee, as well as Michigan.

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would you pick and why? Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John II. They were courageous people who changed the world.

What’s the coolest place you’ve ever visited? Two years ago, on the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion, I was able to visit the Normandy beaches. It was an amazing experience.

What are your hobbies? Gardening, photography, hiking, sewing; there are more things to do than time to do them.

What’s your favorite restaurant? Don't really have a favorite. Depends on the mood.

Favorite book? Alexander Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago taught me about some of the most important things in life.

What class was the most beneficial to you? American History and Geology were my favorites in college, but the first class that really opened my eyes to a lot of things was World Geography in high school. I learned how your location on the planet affected what you wear, what you do, what kind of a house you live in, what you eat, etc. Things I had never thought much about before.

Have you ever met any celebrities? If you mean actors, no, but at this years Coast Guard Festival I welcomed the Coast Guard Commandant, was able to talk with a former Astronaut, ate dinner with a man awarded the Harmon Trophy as the outstanding aviator in the world, and met a Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman. All people of great accomplishment.

What’s your can’t-live-without piece of technology? My phone. It has my calendar, keeps me in touch with my kids, helps me to find my way on the road, tells me the weather. It's amazing.

What’s your favorite app? Accuweather. I love to watch the radar.

If you weren’t in your current position, what would you like to do? I won't know until I get there.

If you could travel back in time to any certain era or event, when/where would you pick and why? I would travel back to the founding of America. The men and women who founded this nation were amazing people of great courage.

Who was the biggest influence on your life? Jesus Christ because He gave me purpose for living and guidance to live by.

What’s your favorite movie or TV show? “I Love Lucy” — No matter how many times I watch the Ricardos and the Mertzes, they make me laugh.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? There are at least two sides to every story. Try not to make up your mind until you have heard them all.

What do you love about West Michigan? I've lived in quite a few places, but the water always drew me back here. The water, the dunes, the forests, the four seasons — this is just a beautiful area.

Do you have any pets? I have a nine year old Golden, a parrot, and a really cute little one year old grand dog living with us for the time being.

What’s at the top of your bucket list? I have already had the opportunity to do a lot of cool stuff, but one thing I would love to do is visit Israel.

What’s your pet peeve? People who preach tolerance, yet are themselves very intolerant of anyone who disagrees with them.

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