There's just no accounting for that pull to come back home!
PL: When did you return to Paducah?
Dane Blythe: I moved back in June of this year. Prior to that I was in Lexington for school for five years and Nashville working for six years.
Catherine Blthye DuPerrieu: I moved back in December 2012. Prior to that I was at UK for four years studying and then Nashville working for a year and a half.
D: She’s following me.
C: Everywhere! Even the place we went to work in Nashville!
D: Although this is the most time we’ve spent together in twelve years because we never saw each other in Nashville or Lexington. So that’s good.
PL: Did you always plan on coming back?
D: I liked Paducah when I lived here growing up, but like many people, wanted to experience what the world had to offer. Living in different cities you realize Paducah does have a lot to offer. I kind of had the feeling the last few years I was living in Nashville that I’d like to move home and I’m happy I did.
C: I ALWAYS knew I wanted to come home! It just secured the deal when I found a guy from Paducah who also wanted to come back.
D: My wife grew up in Hopkinsville. When I met her at UK, she said she would never move to Paducah because she didn’t know anything about it. But once she visited a few times, she ended up being more eager than I was to move back home.
PL: How do you see Paducah differently as adults?
D: I can name a few things that have improved that I really enjoy. We like to spend time outdoors so the Greenway Trail, the dog park, the Frisbee golf park, and of course downtown is just A LOT better than it was. It’s great and then the Carson Center – lots of things. We’re excited about the new river front park they may be in our future.
C: Dane is six years older than me and so much of what he’s describing started happening when I was still in high school. So, I saw some of the positivity that was coming in to Paducah. But Midtown Market?!? I’ve talked to several people and it’s like the opening of that has secured our generation’s happiness! Because we moved to these big cities and you have Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods and all this stuff and it’s nice to have a speciality store that offers some of the perks of life that we enjoyed in the big city! Plus, as an adult, I REALLY love the lack of traffic. Even just living in Nashville for a year and a half, I wanted to come home and cry several times. I would find myself picking one thing to do after work because it took so much time to get around! You can go see family. You can go see friends. You can go to a movie! It’s great.
PL: How is it moving home and working all together as a family?
D: It’s an adjustment. Really you just have to leave personal life at home once you walk in. You do your business here and when you’re outside of these walls you try not to talk about it.
C: It’s definitely a challenge. We’ve started the 8 o’clock rule. Our parents will fine us if we talk about work after 8 o’clock at night! They had already started the rule with each other and I kept bringing up stuff so they included me in the fine system! But, I have always had a lot of pride in our family business. Our parents have worked really hard and seeing what they’ve made of this company has always made me so proud. So, I was really excited to come home and be a part of that pride and hope to contribute to the business’s continued success.
PL: What advice would you give someone moving home to Paducah?
C: Make sure that they have had that time away. Andrew and I both asked before we came home, “Have we had enough time away?” We decided we had been gone long enough but you have to know you’ve experienced something else because it can really make you appreciate Paducah.
D: Expect that level of comfort you have being around familiar faces and places but know that everything has improved and a lot of aspects of living in this city are a lot better than they used to be, so be excited. Also, I just feel like I’m enjoying my life more now that I’ve moved back home. I don’t know it’s kind of an intangible feeling.
C: You should use that! It’s really good. He’s a hard nut to crack and getting one profound statement is a lot!