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Warmer Home: Michigan native finds Pike County with nice weather and community members

As Patrick Boyle is settling his new home in Pike County, he is discovering the joys of the South.

Boyle is a retired teacher from Alpena, Michigan, a town he described as a bit smaller than Troy, but much, much colder.

“Up there it’s cold and snowing all the time,” Boyle said. “I’m tired of shoveling my driveway, of cutting and chopping wood. I like the weather here. It’s so much nicer”

Boyle came to Pike County just before Thanksgiving, but the weather is not the only perk he has found in his new environment.

“I like the town, the people seem very friendly and polite,” he said. “People here seem warmer than they are up North.”

When the Dart found Boyle this weekend, he was working on a remodel of his new house. With his neighbor’s help, Boyle is slowly working through a series of projects, starting with the bathroom.

“We remodeled the whole bathroom from the floor up, and also did the plumbing and skirting,” Boyle said. “After this, we have to work on the porch and landscaping, putting some flower and garden here. Little by little, hopefully it will be done by the summer.”

Before retiring, Boyle taught in both the public schools and a state prison in Michigan.

“I liked working in the prison better,” Boyle said. “I like working with guys who wanted to change, to get out of prison and get a job. It was nice to see them trying. But I also worked the ones who were difficult, making my job so much harder.”

Boyle taught inmates to help them pass the General Educational Development test. Ex-criminals can get an education to make their life better, he said.

“A lot of them don’t have any skills, they don’t read and write very well so they can’t fill in a job application,” he said. “That’s a reason why many of them come back to prison.”

Boyle not only taught but also set up testing programs and helped rehabilitate inmates to adjust to society when they were released.

According to Boyle, he originally decided to be a teacher because he enjoyed learning new things and working with young people.

“I want to show them how important and practical it is to exercise their minds to think about problems and to look at issues from different perspectives,” he said.

During his retirement in Pike County, he said he looked forward to learning new things about the community.

“I am planning to visit the library and the university to see what the area has to offer,” Boyle said.