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FACES AND PLACES: John Reitmeier -- Man of the world

CROOKSTON -- John Reitmeier can watch the world go by from his office. Outside the window of Blue Marble Technology, the company he runs from his home near Crookston, Reitmeier can see a steady stream of farmers or equipment putting in and taking...

John Reitmeier
John Reitmeier, owner of Blue Marble Technology, an Internet technical support company, conducts business from his home office on his farmstead near Crookston. Reitmeier is also known for his morning "Cool Site Pic of the Day" broadcast on KNOX AM Radio with Jim Bollman. Herald photo by Jackie Lorentz

CROOKSTON -- John Reitmeier can watch the world go by from his office.

Outside the window of Blue Marble Technology, the company he runs from his home near Crookston, Reitmeier can see a steady stream of farmers or equipment putting in and taking off crops and spraying or cultivating depending on the season.

"There's a lot of action, people coming and going and things to be done," said Reitmeier.

The same goes for inside his office walls. Reitmeier is in contact with people from across the world via four computers that sit in front of him. Blue Marble Technology contracts with companies that offer cable television and Internet service to provide help for customers experiencing technical problems. A half dozen Blue Marble Technology employees assist Reitmeier, who started the business to help Internet service providers, 15 years ago.

"Now with technology you can be anywhere in the world and work from home or another office," Reitmeier said. "We answer the phone and try to solve their problems... If I travel I can take a phone with me."

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Reitmeier returned to Crookston in 1994 after working in the radio and music industries in the United States and Canada for about 25 years. A 1972 graduate of the University of Minnesota Crookston, Reitmeier headed to Winnipeg to work for Yamaha after receiving double majors in ag business finance and marketing management. He worked for Yamaha until 1976 when he returned to Crookston to run a record store for a couple of years.

Radio

In 1978 Reitmeier moved to the Twin Cities and attended Brown Institute, a technical school, where he learned radio broadcasting and engineering. After he got his degree from Brown Institute he moved to the Grand Forks area and worked in radio for about a year before moving again, this time to the West Coast,

"I had the travel bug so I went out to California." In California he learned about an opening at a Las Vegas radio station and worked there for several years before returning in the 1980s to Grand Forks to work in the radio broadcasting business.

"Then I got out of radio and went into marketing," Reitmeier said. He moved back to California and worked for the Fisher Pen company until 1990 when he and a friend moved to Franklin, Tenn., and opened a bed and breakfast. In 1994 he returned home to the farm to start his help desk business. He has no desire to move again.

"This is my home and I love it," Reitmeier said.

He also loves to travel. Reitmeier regularly combines radio work and traveling, two of his favorite hobbies, so he drives or flies to tourist attractions around the world.

Listeners of "John's Cool Site Pic of the Day," heard Monday through Friday on 1310-KNOX AM Radio have heard him broadcasting from countries across the world from Germany, to Turkey, to Israel. He's also done remote broadcasts in more than 25 states including, Maine, California and Tennessee.

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"Radio is just for fun. It allows me to do things in the world I've never done before."

Area ambassador

Besides traveling around the world, during the past 15 years Reitmeier has also brought people from across the globe to his home, hosting seven different foreign high school exchange students. Now a German college student who is attending the University of Minnesota Crookston is Reitmeier's guest.

Hosting foreign exchange students allows Reitmeier to be both an ambassador and tourist guide.

"It lets me kind of share what I think is the goodness of America. I think we've got something great going here...

"I have been blessed that I can travel the world and make a good living and be on a farm my great-grandfather bought for his grandfather and his new family."

Bailey writes for special features sections. Reach her at (701) 787-6753; (800) 477-6572, ext. 753; or send e-mail to abailey@gfherald.com .

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