Being a small town guy myself, one of the best things about living in Sioux Falls is having a lot of great smaller communities close by to visit. And one of those is just across the border, in my old stomping grounds of Minnesota.

Welcome to Luverne.

4,745 friendly folks (2010 census, I trust a bunch more now) call Luverne home, and while I never have, I can say I've had many great times in the town. From going there with my folks as a kid (anyone remember Creegers? Got a Sunday suit or two there) to watching movies at the Verne Drive-In (still there, bring the family for a weekend double feature!) to Class Reunions (fantastic time swapping lies with classmates at the Country Club) to performing my one-man play 'Confessions Of An Ordinary Man' at the Historic Palace Theater.

It was back in the 1860's that Luverne began as a...horse stable. Yep, 'tis true and you can read about it here. Suffice to say the town has come a whole long way since then. By the way, it was 1888 that Luverne High School had their first graduating class...2 students.

But you know, the city's website says it best, and it's something I can confirm:

The City of Luverne is a place where today’s modern opportunities meet with yesterday’s valued traditions. With an excellent education system, a strong medical network and a variety of arts and recreational opportunities, Luverne is also a charming and genuine community that people take pride in calling home.

And while I've never officially called Luverne 'home', I've had (and still have) relatives and friends that do and believe me...they wouldn't live anywhere else.

So while the folks in Luverne may think it's advantageous to have a bigger city like Sioux Falls as a neighbor, I for one think one of the huge advantages of living in a great city like Sioux Falls is having a community like Luverne as a 'Next Door Neighbor'.