Page 1




On the water

All it takes is a little bit of teamwork

Home away from home Tour the cozy Hickory Hills Campground


VOL. 1 NO. 2

VOL. 1 NO. 2

secret ingredients for the perfect summer steak SUMMER 2013


Live, Work & Play

In the Land Between the Lakes FIND IT IN FREEBORN COUNTY! 3rd of July Parade

4th of July Fireworks, Car Show

April Sorensen Memorial Half Marathon Wind Down Wednesday Summer Market & Music Festival ACT Theatre

“Happy Days, A New Musical”

“The Visit” Freeborn Co. Historial Museum

“Echoes From the Past” A Journey into History Cruise to the Cove

Freeborn County Fair Relay for Life

6th Annual Big Island Bar-B-Que Twin City Powerboat Races

Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce • 2580 Bridge Ave • (507) 373-3938 • Albert Lea Convention and Visitors Bureau • 102 W. Clark St. • (507) 373-2316 • Albert Lea Economic Development Agency • 2610 Y.H. Hanson Ave • (507) 373-3930 •


My hometown is something special “Home is the nicest word there is.” Wise words from one of my favorite childhood writers — Laura Ingalls Wilder. Often I would re-read the “Little House on the Prairie” series during the summer. Or I would drag my mom to the Albert Lea Public Library so I could check out enough books to get me through the week until we made another visit. Not everyone is a bookworm like me, so for our Summer issue we wanted to highlight some of the events and attractions that make summers in Albert Lea so great. That’s how we came up with the theme of “Hometown Tourism.” There’s a lot to see and do in Albert Lea, especially during the summer. While my family liked to take summer car trips to other states, a lot of the fun we had was right here in Freeborn County. Thankfully there are lots of lakes to choose from, and those are free family fun. When we were younger my parents would take my sisters and me to picnic and swim at Beaver Lake and St. Olaf Lake, both north of our home in Manchester. Then there were always car shows that Dad would go to, and I would tag along sometimes. I was probably more of a nuisance to him because cars didn’t interest me then and still don’t to this day. The car shows usually coincided with Eddie Cochran Weekend or town festivals in Hayward and Glenville, so there were always other attractions I wanted to see more than the cars he would inspect. But we would always head home with a bag of cotton candy, something every member of our family enjoyed. And some of the activities I liked as a child 2 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

are still fun today, like the Third of July Parade and fireworks on Independence Day. Read on for a calendar of events that highlights some of the fantastic attractions in the area. Albert Lea Magazine staffers wanted to feature some local places and activities that both tourists and Albert Leans might enjoy. One diamond in the rough is Hickory Hills Campground near Twin Lakes. This wonderful place has camping, swimming and fun, themed events. Oh, and be sure to catch our s’mores makeovers. The ginger and caramel s’mores were my absolute favorite, and Sarah Stultz, Brandi Hagen and I had a ton of fun making those so we could have photos showing their deliciousness. On our cover are Ike and Kristin Dulas, two of many members of the Bayside Ski Team. If you haven’t seen one of their shows, then you are missing out! Read more about the team and find Kelli Lageson, Editor a schedule of shows inside. Albert Lea Magazine’s Summer issue is chockfull of places to see, things to buy, recipes to try and more. So read on to find just a few reasons why Albert Lea is one of the nicest hometowns there is.

Publishers Scott Schmeltzer Crystal Miller Editorial Editor Kelli Lageson Contributing Writers Micah Bader Angie Barker Tim Engstrom Michelle Haacke Brandi Hagen Jennifer Vogt-Erickson Jennifer Levisen Amy Pleimling Sarah Stultz Contributing Photographers Brandi Hagen Ramon Moreno Art Art Director/Story Layout Kathy Johnson Graphic Designers Kristin Overland Colby Hansen Susan Downey Sales & Promotion Sales Representatives Clay Culbertson Angie Eggum Renee Citsay Catherine Buboltz Michelle Haacke SUMMER 2013 Volume 1, Number 2 Editorial correspondence: Editor, Albert Lea Magazine, 808 W. Front St. Albert Lea, MN 56007. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or reproduced without written permission. For comments, suggestions or story ideas call 507-379-3439. To purchase advertising, call 507-379-3427. To subscribe, call 507-379-3422.

We want to hear what you think!

Call Editor Kelli Lageson at 507-379-3439 or email her at kelli.lageson@albertleatribune. com. Write us a letter about what you like and don’t like about what you read. And be sure to like our page on Facebook for behind the scenes information and chances to win prizes. Thanks for reading!

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Visit albertleamagazine


What’s inside on the cover 40 A club with camaraderie

Ike and Kristin Dulas said the Bayside Ski Team works well together.

departments SEEN

6 ‘i do’ weddings

and engagements

See the smiling faces of couples from across the region.

10 Albert Lea prom

Students at Albert Lea High School take part in the promenade.

16 Tiger Trot

Families from the area run and walk in the annual Tiger Trot.

features SAVOR

28 mint mania

30 the next best thing

A cornbread salad recipe that’s to die for.

32 2 secret ingredients CREATE

Rustic yet glamorous items for decorating your home.

38 Apps you’ll love

21 western wear for the city girl

39 build-your-own mini garden

Country chic styles found at Unbridled Boutique at Northbridge Mall.


27 suits for everybody

Find four swimsuits at Herberger’s that work for all kinds of body types.

50 a home away from home

See Hickory Hills Campground near Twin Lakes and find our new and improved s’mores recipes.

Making your own steak rub is a breeze.

18 How-to hairstyle

Nine simple steps for creating a waterfall braid.

Photographer Julie Bronson captures beautiful old barns and buildings.

Find a refreshing summer drink recipe.

36 you didn’t know you wanted this DAZZLE

45 a barn-lover for sure

Find nine apps for your smartphone or tablet that you won’t want to live without.

Hill’s Gardens advises how to make your own combination planter.



Scenes of locals enjoying outdoor activities in summers past.


62 area and regional events

There’s a lot to do in and around Albert Lea this summer!

extras 34 dietitian’s digest:

working for balance


Growing the perfect rose

58 book review:

“the great gatsby”

60 final word:

exploring the blazing star trail

4 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

SEEN | Area Weddings & Engagements







7 6 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013




10 (1) Katy Slater and Kevin Zogg (2) Alissa Abrams and Mitchell Jenson (3) Katie Kjos and Mike Clare (4) Allison Arnold and Ryan Kuhlman (5) Alison Sabinish and Andrew Hertges (6) Angela Jensen and Caleb Triplett (7) Katie Brackey and Derek Lenz (8) Erica Ash and Erik Bryson (9) Kathryn Gavin and Casey Reeder (10) Angie Beloate and Tim Tappe (11) Kelsey McGowan and Derek Kvenvold








19 (12) Kari Rubsam and Alex Paul (13) Hannah Feist and Nathan Goette (14) Sydney Geppert and Garrett Davis (15) Beth Hajek and Derek Nelson (16) Erica Sorenson and Nicholas Baird (17) Katie Rossum and Timothy Waalkens (18) McKinzey Christian and Timothy Stoneking (19) Karissa Olson and Andrew Studier (20) Elizabeth Harmon and Adam Sorum (21) Kristin Colby and James Golgart Jr.


21 Summer 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 7

Your Destination for

Shopping, Dining and Entertainment • Over 25 stores & businesses • specialty shops • food court • restaurants • movie theater • much, much more!

I-90 & Bridge Avenue, Albert Lea, MN Exit 157

Join us on Facebook

507-377-3185 8 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

Shopping Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10-9 • Sat. 10-6 • Sun. 12-5 Some Business and Holiday Hours Vary

Pack Your Bags June 7-9 Windsurfing Regatta July 12-13 International Festival August 8-11 Nobles County Fair September 13-14 King Turkey Day

SEEN | Prom

Albert Lea




and Schultz

Alex Jah

The Albert Lea High School Prom was held April 27. The theme was “Japanese Garden.� There were 137 couples in attendance. In the afternoon the students walked across the auditorium stage to give friends and family a chance to see them looking their best.


Devon M

Ryan McLaughlin

and Megan Gilber


and Chad



Natalie Peek and Co

Tori Helgeso n 10 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

and Matt Ch


dy Olson

n En Lexi Gordon and Be

Larissa Hack


Bryn Woodsi

Kelli Sanderson an

de and Andre

er and Van Z


w Thompson

d Jacob Chiado

Cali Cantu and Ce

sar Herrera

Maria Garcia, Jackie Lopez , Alejandra G alvan Summer 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 11

SEEN | Prom

Lawrence Lindsay Reim and

Annika Peder


Holly Thom

Fallon Nelson and

pson and Dak

ota Wangsnes

son and J.D.



Michael Thofson

Katie Callahan and

Cierra Maras 12 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

and Matt Lo


Ethan Dahl

Jackson The Perfect Day Trip or Weekend Getaway!

Only 90 minutes west of Albert Lea off I-90! AmericInn 507-874-2444

Make Your Reservations Today!

Budget Host Prairie Winds Motel 507-874-2020

Earth Inn 507-847-5603

Econo Lodge 507-847-3110

Super 8 507-874-3498

Railroad Inn 507-874-5348

Email Us At: • •

SEEN | Prom

Tate Justice Steven and

Ajay Oman an


d Auston Lar


Beth Graham , Haakon Joh nson and Cassandra N elson

Sara Sanderson an

d Gabe Minear

Samantha Smith an

Morgan Mer 14 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

rill and Matt


d Taylor Holler


Northbridge Mall

Albert Lea


Subject to Change

New Summer Hours

Sunday & Monday: Closed Tuesday & Wednesday: 11am-6pm Thursday & Friday: 11am-7pm Saturday: 10am-4pm

Photo by Melissa Baus

Summer 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 15

SEEN | Tiger Trot On April 20, Southwest Middle School’s seventh annual Tiger Trot and the Albert Lea Family Y’s 35th annual Fountain Lake 5 honored victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. About 500 green ribbons were made available for both races by Susie Hulst, the Family Y’s fitness director.


4 3




7 (1) Start of the seventh annual Tiger Trot. (2) Maddie and John Schneider. (3) Wendy Lunning, Keith Grzybowski and Mandy Grzybowski. (4) Tom Tylutki and David Behling. (5) Steve Wiese and Noah Wiese. (6) Jens Lange and Solveig Lange. (7) Jacob, Brad and Jack Skinness. (8) Jessica Sosebee, Sarah Niebuhr, Brad Niebuhr and Kathy Niebuhr. (9) Ryleigh Bure, Danielle Bure, Justin Bolinger and Gavin Bolinger.

8 16 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013


Spencer Brackey, Funeral Director Intern

Judy Popp-Anderson, Aftercare Coordinator

308 7th Avenue • Ellendale, MN • (507) 684-2881 2210 East Main St. • Albert Lea, MN • (507) 373-2461 217 West Division St. • New Richland, MN • (507) 465-8015

Summer 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 17

DAZZLE | How-to hairstyle

Photos and story by Brandi Hagen Before

Waterfall braid in 9 steps There are many ways to make this braid, and like all braids, as long as there’s a pattern there is no wrong way. The waterfall is an easy way to do a braid using just two strands of hair. This hairstyle is suitable for most hair lengths.

2 Take a section of hair on either side of your head and part it into two. The thickness depends on how thick you want your braid to be.



Prep damp hair with Wella’s Extra Volume Mousse or Wella’s Enrich Straight Leave In Cream depending on the desired style. Blow dry hair until completely dry and curl hair with Redken’s Hot Sets or flat iron hair with Wella’s Thermal Image, a thermal protectant spray. This step is done first to avoid pulling the braid pieces after it’s finished.

3 Cross the two strands once, and then cross them once more.



This is where a third strand is brought into the braid to give the waterfall effect. Take a piece of loose hair from the top side of the braid and hold with your middle finger.

Now place the third strand between the two strands you started with. Let it fall loose between them. As you continue around the head, the sections may become larger.





Cross the original two strands across each other once to secure the third strand.

Continue working straight across or at an angle around the head or as far as you choose. A good place to stop braiding is about two inches behind the ear. By stopping behind the ear it gives the appearance that there is the same amount of hair around the face on both sides.

When you’re finished, secure the braid with a transparent rubber band or bobby pins. With a bobby pin, the hair can be attached flush with the rest of the loose hair. By using a rubber band, the hair will be slightly separated from the loose hair.

Stylist: Kristin Larson Model: Kaitlynn Larson 18 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

If necessary, carefully re-curl or straighten any strands of hair. To add volume in the front of the braid, carefully lift up on the hair with a comb. To add volume in the back of the braid, carefully pull on hairs with your fingers. Spray with Kenra 25 hairspray to keep hair

in place.

Voted Albert Lea’s Best Golf Course 2004-2012!

• 18-hole public course • Pro shop • Relaxing 19th Hole Jerry’s Bar Join us for

DINNER Tues-Fri 5-9pm Regular menu & evening specials

BREAKFAST Sat, Sun, Holidays LUNCH DAILY Banquets, parties & receptions 101 Richway Dr, Albert Lea • 507-373-1061 •

Summer 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 19

18322 US Highway 69 Albert Lea (507) 377-0201

20 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

Styling by Kelli Lageson and Crystal Miller Photos by Ramon Moreno

DAZZLE | Country Chic

Western wear for the city girl

Model Lauren Sorenson dons some bedazzled jeans and adds more sparkle with bracelets and a great bag.

A little bit country, a little bit chic and a whole lot stylish was the idea behind this summer fashion spread. These trendy items were found at Unbridled Boutique and prove that you can be outdoorsy and ultra chic at the same time. Because owner Ann Herman only buys a few of each item, new merchandise is constantly being ordered. Our models were found after Minneapolis modeling agency Arquette & Associates teamed up with Albert Lea’s Unbridled Boutique and Studio 22 Salon to give two lucky girls their own fashion spread in Albert Lea Magazine. Amy Bohlen and Lauren Sorenson were found during a model search at Northbridge Mall. Studio 22 stylists helped get the girls ready before the photo shoot. Amy’s hair was done by Sarah Ball and makeup was by Jenny Sather. Lauren’s hair was done by Marisa Jensen and makeup was by April Thompson. Minneapolis-based photographer Ramon Moreno, assisted by Larry Hunt, photographed the models. Curt and Betty Honsey, of rural Emmons, graciously lent their farm for the shoot.

Here model Amy Bohlen is wearing capri jeans and a soft blue top with lace accents. Jewelry and flip flops can also be found at Unbridled Boutique.

22 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

Meet our models

Lauren Sorenso n, 16, attends Albert Lea Hig School. She liv h es in Albert Le a with parents Sandi. She is th , D an and e youngest of th ree, and her si are Allyssa and bl in gs Cole. Lauren en joys drawing an always been in d has terested in tryi n g her hand at m She’s also intere odeling. sted in cosmet ology.

Amy Bohlen, 21 , lives in Alber t Lea with her Elaine. Amy al mom, so has an older si ster, Holly. Am cosmetologist y is a at Expressions Salon & Spa. Sh trained at La Ja e was mes College of Cosmetology in City, Iowa, and Mason also is a 2010 graduate of Alb High School. H er t Lea er hobbies incl ude running ar Fountain Lake ound and playing te nnis.

Summer 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 23

Here Lauren wears a teal dress over black leggings. Teal and gold accessories finish out the outfit. But if you’re going for country chic you can’t forget the cowboy hat!

24 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

Nothing says fun and flirty like this great peach dress. A tan belt was added, along with a sparkly bracelet and necklace.

Summer 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 25

Coupon good through 8/18/13

405 E. Main St., Blooming Prairie, MN 55917 • (507) 583-2141 1170 East Frontage Rd, Owatonna, MN 55060 • (507) 455-1000 3110 Wellner Drive NE, Rochester, MN 55906 • (507) 536-7700 132 N. Broadway, New Richland, MN 56072 • (507) 463-0502

507-373-8535 877-373-8535


Find us at our new location

2020 Pioneer Trail Albert Lea, MN 56007 1-800-222-6232

26 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

: W E N ection lS



By Kelli Lageson

Suits for everybody

MOVE | Swimwear

It can be tough finding that perfect suit for your body type, but there are many options out there and help isn’t hard to find. Jodi Johannsen, selling supervisor at Herberger’s, picked out these four looks and is always willing to help people find their perfect swimsuit.

Since Beach Culture

Malibu Dream Girl

Top: $38 Bikini bottom: $38

Top $38 Bikini bottom: $38

Kenneth Cole New York

Top: $63 Skirt bottom: $69

Caribbean Joe Swimwear

Top: $59 Bikini bottom: $38

Summer 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 27

SAVOR | Summer cocktail

Mint Mania By Kelli Lageson Photo by Brandi Hagen

Nothing says fresh and summery quite like mint leaves. Here is a great recipe that will quickly quench your thirst.

Citrus Spritzer Ingredients 2 Tablespoons fresh mint leaves 2 Tablespoons agave syrup 3 Tablespoons gin 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1/2 cup seltzer crushed ice zest of a lemon, lime and orange Directions Add mint and agave syrup to a short glass and muddle gently. Stir in gin and lemon juice. Stir in seltzer and fill with ice. Garnish with zest strips.

Voted Best Liquor Store!

1617 W. Main St. Albert Lea 507-379-2364 28 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

Gifts & Home Accents

seasonal • Tableware • baby items wine accessories • drink mixes

Party Goods

plates, cups & silverware specialty Napkin imprinting Balloons • Cards

Wedding Invitations

over 15 wedding invitation albums

Come in our back door!


122 S. Broadway Ave • Albert Lea



M-F 9:30am - 5:30pm | Thurs ‘til 7pm | Sat 9:30am - 3pm

Summer Home Decorating Sale

20% Off entire order

Offer good thru August 30, 2013

PLUS FREE Top-Down/ Bottom-Up Cordless on all Honeycomb Shades - All Brands Installation with trusted local installer Jeff Fjelstad.

Call Susan at 507-330-0960 for your appointment! Susan Batchelder, Consultant by Michael Esch Summer 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 29

SAVOR | Cornbread Salad

Recipe by Jennifer Levisen Photo by Kelli Lageson

The next best thing to whatever comes off your grill Nothing says summer like a hot grill, an icy beverage and a backyard full of family friends to enjoy it with. Whether you prefer to grill ribs, burgers or kabobs, I found the perfect accompanying salad. A little sweet, a lot crunchy and a zesty kick from the fresh cilantro, make this a visually appealing layered salad that is sure to be a hit!

Cornbread Salad • 4 plum tomatoes, chopped • 1 green bell pepper, chopped • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro • Kosher salt • 1/4 cup mayonnaise • 2 scallions, chopped • Juice of 1/2 lime

• 1/4 teaspoon chili powder • 2 cups crumbled cornbread • 2 15-ounce cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed • 1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican-blend cheese

Tip: Chop the ingredients while your cornbread is baking to save time and make assembling the salad a snap!

Toss the tomatoes, bell pepper, cilantro and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Whisk the sour cream, mayonnaise, scallions, lime juice, chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. To assemble the salad, Sprinkle half of the cornbread in a glass bowl or trifle dish. Top with half each of the black-eyed peas, corn and the tomato-pepper mixture, then half each of the sour cream mixture and cheese. Repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients, ending with cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight. Serves six people. — Adapted from Food Network Magazine

30 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

Albert Lea Community Theatre


July 10, 11, 12, 13, 14(M) 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 Directed by Steve Finnley Written by Garry Marshall, Paul Williams and John McDaniel


Tickets available 24/7 at our call center (877-730-3144), online at, and at our box office. Box Office open every Thursday from 4pm-6pm and regular hours during the performance schedule.

Marion Ross Performing Arts Center 147 N. Broadway • Albert Lea • 377-4371


The family is one of nature’s masterpieces. - George Santayana

At St. John’s, we cherish this masterpiece. 901 Luther Place Albert Lea, MN 56007

507-373-8226 Summer 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 31

SAVOR | Steak rub


secret ingredients for the perfect steak

Secret Ingredient No. 1: Coffee Coffee is not only the best part of waking up, it’s also the best part of a steak rub. It’s an effortless way to add steakhouse flavor. Even if you don’t like coffee or only enjoy coffee laden with cream, you’ll love these rich flavors. The seasonings can be applied to the steak right before grilling. If you have a little extra time, the flavor is better if you rub the spices on the steak, then refrigerate for several hours. While there seems to be some controversy about letting meat sit out, I do prefer to apply the rub one hour before, cover and let sit at room temperature before grilling. Pick out two well-marbled, ribeye steaks at least a 1/2 pound each. Generously apply rub. If time provides, let steaks sit with rub for one hour at room temperature before grilling. Grill steaks for 3 to 4 minutes per side on a charcoal grill or medium-high gas grill. Let the steaks rest on a foil-covered plate for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Secret ingredient No. 2: Aged balsamic vinegar Top each cooked steak with a healthy drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Balsamic vinegar is dark, complex and slightly sweeter than other vinegar so it adds a zippy tang.

Ribeye steak rub 3 Tablespoons ground coffee 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt (always, always Kosher salt, never use table salt) 1 Tablespoon finely chopped dried portobello mushrooms 1 Teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce 2 Teaspoons of ground black pepper blend 2 or 3 cloves finely chopped garlic Aged balsamic vinegar

32 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

Recipe by Crystal Miller Photo by Brandi Hagen

The place to go for gently used clothing • Designer brands • Men’s, women’s & children’s • Household misc and decor • Constantly changing inventory 123 North Broadway 507-373-0388

Dresses for any occassion! Military Galas, Weddings, Reunions & Cruises

• Wide selection- over 200 to choose from • Starting at $10 • New section of everyday plus size clothing



106 West Clark 507-373-7911

Summer 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 33


Learning to balance food choices I am constantly working on balancing time as a mother of three, a wife and a dietitian. Balance is a good thing, that comes into play in many facets of our lives. We hear about balance when it comes to eating right. With nutrition, balance is one of my top recommendations. Having just attended a nutrition conference, I’m inspired to share some of the information I learned. I attended a seminar that addressed the balance on American dinner plates. I was inspired by the message of balance in our diets in a different way. When I talk about balance with my clients, I am mainly referring to eating from various food groups so we can get the best nutrition. Or we talk about the balance of calories consumed versus calories burned. But what about the balance of attitudes and understandings about farming techniques and where food comes from? At Hy-Vee, I see customers interested in where their food is coming from and how food is processed. People ask me about genetically modified foods (often called GMOs) and have expressed their concerns. Others are concerned about conventionally grown or raised foods and are thinking about organic products. Still others like the idea of shopping organic but don’t want a higher grocery bill. And more customers are expressing interest in buying locally raised products. The conversation about food and how and where it is produced is a national issue. The two sides — conventional or organic/non-GMO raised foods — are battling back and forth, and the basics of nutrition are taking a backseat. Remembering the importance of nutrient density (or the health of foods), calorie balance and daily exercise get lost. But cost and taste are the major factors in why

people choose foods. The conversation about farming and food production appears to be looking for the one right answer — right or wrong, black or white. So many factors and variables come into play. We need to consider there might be a way to find a balance in attitudes about food production. Some facts to consider: • Organic foods are nutritious and absent of genetic modification, synthetic fertilizers, hormones, etc. But at this point there is no proven significant nutritional difference between conventional and organic crops and livestock with regard to vitamin and mineral content. An analysis of 237 studies comparing organic and conventionally grown food found little evidence that organic foods are more nutritious. • Organic farms are labor-intensive, and that product costs more and can’t possibly meet consumer demand. I want everyone to have food that is valuable and healthy for our families and for the world. As I seek out answers for my customers, and for my family, I realize these issues are very complex. One example is the issue of sweet potatoes in Tanzania. They were inedible because of weevil infestation. In that area of the world, these sweet potatoes are a staple. Biotechnology produced a sweet potato that is resistant to this insect, which makes it possible to produce this vegetable and provide economical nutrition. There are challenges in food production and many variables that go into the products we see in our markets. It isn’t a black-or-white issue. There might be room for all these practices to coexist. It’s great that consumers are more interested in their food and where it comes from. But as always, things are more complicated than they seem, and a balanced approach to your food choices is my reigning recommendation.

Amy Pleimling is the dietitian for the Hy-Vee grocery store in Albert Lea. 34 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

Friends like


Because he loved me,

He did the dishes, Rubbed my feet, Surprised me with tulips, Took me to musicals even though he didn’t like them, Carried my bags while I did the shopping, Held my hand.

He died of cancer four years ago.

Because he loved me,

I can stay in our home. I can be here for our children. I can afford to pay for their college education. I can worry about the other things in life besides money.

He still loves me. And he still shows it.

Albert Lea Magazine will continue to reward our Facebook friends with lavish gifts. Be sure to look for our Facebook page and click LIKE. Thanks for your comments on our wall.

Nancy Vanderwaerdt, Agent, LUTCF, FSS 505 Bridge Avenue, Albert Lea 377-0227 Summer 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 35

DAZZLE | Staff Picks


You Didn’t Know

You Wanted

Retro and rustic on the rise

Whether you are decorating your first home or finally finding the time to redecorate, you’ll appreciate these retro and rustic local finds to be the focal point of your newly decorated room.

Give your space character Create a focal point in your room. Classic Americana colors are available in a rustic finish in these Vermont Collection custom frames. Choose from six different colors and two different sizes. Frames R Us, Albert Lea. $13.83 per foot

Get your ducks in a row Decorate your shelves with a friendly rustic duck. Blue duck, yellow duck, green duck, white duck, matte finish duck or glossy finish duck; all with personalized names. These quaint little figurines are made from bamboo and come in a variety of colors, finishes and sizes. Hill’s Gardens, Albert Lea. Large duck $16.99/Small duck $12.99 Canned preserves meet fermented grapes Since the arrival of Pinterest, the online crafting idea destination, sales of the classic Ball Mason jar have skyrocketed. Whether they are transformed into vases, wind chimes, candleholders or stemware, we all love them. But if you’re not the crafty type, you might prefer to buy the finished product. This whimsical wine glass is coined the Redneck Wineglass. Celebrations Party & Gifts, Albert Lea. $14.99

36 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

Bold colors of fine art From the beaches of Australia to the racing circuit of Monaco, vintage advertising posters have become fine art. This French bicycle company, Fernand Clement & Cie, showcases contrasting colors and themes. Prints like this one from Levallois-Perret and others like it are available in store and by catalog. Frames R Us, Albert Lea. $25 Take a walk down memory lane Easily one of the most recognizable collectors items, Coca-Cola home décor features the unmistakable logo that has been used for more than 120 years. This Coca-Cola wall clock features double neon lighting. A must have for Coca-Cola hobbyists or neon light collectors. Fleet Farm of Albert Lea. $77.99

Let’s wine about it Let your wine hang out in style and become an integral part of your kitchen. These refurbished wine racks are available in various finishes and are custom-made by local artisan, Joey Neely. Copper Kitchen, Albert Lea. $49.95

What goes around, comes around What once was found on your grandmother’s side table has found its way back into the modern world. Iconic in its ability to match any color, this bubble lamp is made from acrylic with silver accents. Change out the shade for a drum style shade for an ultra chic look. Brick Furniture, Albert Lea. $120

Summer 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 37

CREATE | Techno stuff you’ll love

9 must-have apps Three staffers at US Bank in Albert Lea were helpful enough to share their favorite smartphone and tablet apps with Albert Lea Magazine readers. Lorelei Stevens, Brad Kirchner and Diane Matson each had plenty of favorite apps for shopping, games and entertainment, among others. All apps shown are free, though there are more advanced versions of some that range in price, and all are available on Android or Apple devices. Here are their tops picks:

Lorelei’s picks: Draw Something This social drawing game is one of Lorelei’s favorites. Users draw pictures and send to friends, who then have to guess what the picture is and then draw their own to send back. Amazon Lorelei enjoys buying records online and finds a lot of them on Amazon. She likes the convenience of this app and finds herself using the computer less because of it. Bandsintown This handy app makes a concert calendar based on the music stored on your device. That way you know when your favorite artists are playing nearby.

38 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

Brad’s picks:

Diane’s picks:



While he’s not looking to buy a home for himself, Brad loves to browse through homes for sale on this app.

Turn-by-turn navigation is one feature Diane loves on this app.

US Bank Brad enjoys the simplicity of this banking app and says it’s sometimes handier than using the bank’s website on small devices. Ebay Buying and collecting antiques is a hobby of Brad’s, and he likes that the app doesn’t require a lot of typing.

Touchtunes This app syncs with jukeboxes at many local restaurants and bars so you and your friends can choose songs from your table. Soundhound Can’t figure out the name of the song on the radio? Open this app, and it will listen to the song and tell you the song’s name and performer.

We represent over 50 companies

Troy Thompson LUTCF 1330 W. Main Albert Lea, MN 56007 E-Mail:

Bus. 507-377-2852 Toll Free: 877-974-9597 Fax: 507-377-3301

Photos and story by Sarah Stultz

CREATE | Artistic planting


Finding the right combination

he possibilities are endless for combination planters. Just ask Tony Hill, manager of Hill’s Gardens in Albert Lea. Whether you want to make an arrangement for your patio, deck or front entryway, Hill gives these tips: • Use contrasting color and texture. Put a dark plant next to a light one, or put a delicate plant next to something more coarse. • Size your plants. Don’t plant varieties that will get too big and overpower the planter. • Plant something upright next to something trailing. This will create more depth. • Don’t forget some plants like the sun and others prefer the shade. “Have fun learning,” Hill said. “There’s no right or wrong way.”

Contrast dark and light plants for a distinctive combination planter. Summer 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 39


Kristin and Ike Dulas have been on the Bayside Ski team in Albert Lea for eight years. They joined the team as a hobby they could do together.


A club with camaraderie Story and photos by Brandi Hagen

ristin and Ike Dulas joke that their marriage was meant to be from the first time they met all because of a T-shirt. Ike was wearing a T-shirt with the word “Nautique,” a boat brand, written on it. “He joked that if he ever met a girl who knew what that was, that it was meant to be,” Kristin said. “I saw his T-shirt and I gave him a hard time. I teased him that the boat Mastercraft was better than Nautique, and so right from the get-go we knew about waterski boats.” As their relationship grew and the couple married, they started looking for a hobby to do together. With waterskiing as a hobby in both of their families, the couple took a suggestion from Matt Levorson to join the Bayside Ski Team in Albert Lea.

40 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

“I had always heard there was a club in Albert Lea, but I had never gone to a show,” said Ike, a native of Wells. The couple attended the spring meeting in 2006 and have been on the team ever since. “Right away we were kind of hooked,” Kristin said. “We went to that and started practicing with the team in June.” The experience Kristin and Ike had from skiing with their families and friends was helpful in their new adventure, but it wasn’t the same as show ski experience. They said it took about a full year before they felt comfortable with it because there were so many new things to learn. “You could learn forever,” Ike said. “We could still be learning more, but we’ve kind of found what we’re comfortable with.”

The Bayside Ski Team has about 60 pairs of skis for their members to use.

On the team Ike skis barefoot, strap doubles, trios, con“We feel like we owe more than just showing up,” Ike said. ventional doubles, trios, performs jumps and participates “We don’t do well just putting the work on someone else.” in the acting part of the show, too. Kristin skis in trios, The couple feels like they are part of a like-minded group swivel, pyramids and ballet. that has a lot of heart, which makes it worth all of the “With the number of members we have we pretty much work. all do everything,” Ike said. Ages of club members range from as young as 4 to memKristin said one of the most memorable acts she and Ike bers in their mid-50s. Not all the skiers have skiing experihave been able to do together in the show is a barefoot pyr- ence prior to joining. Ike said the club teaches its members amid. A barefoot pyramid is set up with to ski, and even its more experienced two men barefoot skiing and a woman skiers learn from each other. climbs on top of their shoulders. The club has all the necessary equip“We feel like we “It’s the most nerve-wracking one ment so members don’t have to buy their owe more than just because you’re going so fast and if you do own, something Ike thinks is a great feashowing up,” fall you hit the water hard. Falling at 10 ture of the Bayside Ski Team. — Ike Dulas miles an hour is different than falling at The other thing the couple enjoys 40 miles per hour,” Kristin said. “We still about the club is it that it has a lot of like to hang our hats on that one like, families — both parents and children — ‘Oh we did that!’” skiing together. And while they have done some routines together, it isn’t “It’s a great family sport where the parents can be common for the husband and wife to ski together in the involved at the same level that the kids can,” Kristin said. show. They hope that someday their infant daughter, Juliana, “You would think as a spectator that’s weird, but it’s not,” will enjoy watersports, too, but for now, they look forward Kristin said. “As a skier, you’re thrown with all different to their nights with the ski club as their night out as husskiers. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you’ll ski band and wife. together.” “That’s our time,” Kristin said. “It’s husband and wife Besides the routines on the water, Ike and Kristin have time, and we need to keep that in the forefront.” played other roles on the team, too. Kristin and Ike thought about leaving the club after Ike is the treasurer of the team, and Kristin previously Juliana was born because of the time commitment, but they had been in that role. Kristin also was a show director in enjoy the people and the adrenaline rush of skiing and perthe 2011 and 2012 seasons. forming too much. AL Summer 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 41

The Bayside Ski Team in Albert Lea uses a trailer to store and transport its equipment to the show site at Edgwater Bay.

About this year’s show This year’s show theme is “Mario and his friends meet Bayside.” Show directors Amber Busall and Tim Frazier said the story line is that Mario and his friends end up in Albert Lea while on the run from their enemy Bowser, who is trying to kidnap Princess Peach. Among the show’s acts are barefoot skiing, jumps, wakeboarding and pyramids. The first show of the season is at 7 p.m. June 20. The pre-show begins at 6:30 p.m. The show continues every Thursday night until Labor Day at Edgewater Bay. In addition, there will be shows at 2 p.m. on July 4 and Labor Day. The public is welcome to attend practices on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This year’s team has around 25 skiers. The club is always looking for new members, and no prior skiing knowledge or ability is required. Last year the Bayside Skiers hosted the Midwest Regional Water Ski Tournament. This year, they will travel to a tournament in Waterloo, Iowa, on July 27 and 28. The shows are free to attend.

42 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

Interesting facts about the club • The club’s costumes are either bought from other ski teams or, most often, are homemade by ski club members throughout the off-season. Jane Edwards, Deanne Zogg and Mary Jo Vanderploeg make sure the team has costumes that fit the theme of their show. • The club makes its own ropes. The club orders a variety of spools totaling about 5,000 feet of colored rope, and Mike Johnson makes them into a useable product. • There are about five different ways the club raises money to keep its show on the water. Its biggest fundraiser is installing and removing docks and lifts every year. The club members volunteer in their spare time to make the fundraiser a success. The club also raises money by passing a hat around at its weekly shows, having a snack shack, charging a membership fee and hosting tournaments.

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Julie Bronson stands near a dilapidated barn, one of her favorite subjects for photographs.

Capturing a vanishing landscape Photo by Brandi Hagen

Summer 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 45

Julie Bronson likes to frame her photographs with old windows like this photo of the inside of a grain bin. Photo by Brandi Hagen


Story by Micah Bader

ulie Bronson uses her ruby red Pentax not only to shoot photographs but to capture moments. In terms of before and after images, Bronson seeks the latter. Deserted farmsteads and their hidden beauty are the subjects of most of her photos. “It seems like time has just stopped at some of the places,” she said. “You get a real feel for the people who lived there.” Sometimes Bronson’s shooting locations are so close to collapse that the opportunity to get her shot can be fleeting. It drives her continued pursuit of capturing these landscapes. “They’re disappearing so fast. There are places that I go and see, where a house used to be, and now it’s gone,” Bronson said. “I just want to get out there and take pictures of them before they’re all gone.” The digital single-lens reflex camera that Bronson uses has a small viewing screen on the back, but she doesn’t delete anything without looking at it in full resolution on her computer. In fact, that’s her favorite part. “The thing I like most about photography is getting the perfect shot and not really knowing it until I get home and check out my photos,” she said. “Sometimes I think I have nothing worth posting, but a gem shows up that I just love.” Bronson started taking her craft seriously in the spring of 2006. She was inspired by sights just a few miles from her home in Albert Lea. 46 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

“There’s a road that goes south from where I live, and there’s an old grain bin out there,” she said. “It looked really cool, so I took a few pictures.” Because abandoned buildings can be unsafe, Bronson said she’s always careful in new areas. She often brings her friend LeAnn Trolen along on her shoots. “She is an excellent photographer,” Bronson said. “She loves the old abandoned places as much as I do. I might be guilty for getting her started because I wanted someone to go with me, and she was more than willing.” As another precaution, they also try to get permission. “If there are ‘No Trespassing’ signs, we don’t go,” Bronson said. “If there aren’t any signs, but there’s a neighbor close by, we’ll ask.” She has been turned down on a few occasions, but sometimes neighbors tell her no one would mind if she takes photos since there hasn’t been anyone at the property for years. “We had places where people say we better not go, too,” she said. “So we don’t go.” Bronson has two dogs, two cats and a bird, but she doesn’t bring them along on photo shoots. “There’s too many dangers,” she said. “You have to watch where you’re walking. There’s a lot of downed trees and boards, and you’re trampling through bushes and thorns with wood ticks. The dogs stay home.”

One of Bronson’s dogs is named Ede, short for Edelbrock, a company that makes performance car parts. Aside from photography, Bronson and her husband, Douglas, are car buffs. Bronson said that she and her husband own a fleet of classic Pontiacs: two ’64 GTOs (a hardtop and a convertible), a ’66 GTO convertible, a ’55 and ’62 Catalina, and the pair’s most recent restoration — a ’62 Tempest.

“I just want to get out there and take pictures of them before they’re all gone,” — Bronson said.

Bronson works at Dave Syverson’s Truck Centers as a heavy truck parts salesperson. In her free time, she is involved with a new club called the Albert Lea Photo Fun. The group has a Facebook page and meets at Prairie Wind Coffee on the first Saturday of each month. Prairie Wind Coffee was the site of Bronson’s first photo exhibition. Her second exhibit began in February in Owatonna. An upcoming exhibit will be at the Clear Lake Arts Center from Nov. 28 to Jan. 15. Two books Bronson published will be available for purchase at the event. Their titles are “Vanishing Barns on the Backroads” and “Vanishing Beauty on the Backroads.” Bronson also wrote the captions for the photos. Bronson likes to showcase her work with unique framing. She gives old windows and antique frames new life. “I love to use old windows, especially the four-pane kind,” she said. “It makes it look as if you’re looking out a window when I mount a picture in them.” Bronson said she hopes to continue to photograph the disappearing landscape for as long as she can. AL

Photos by Julie Bronson

Summer 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 47

Photos by Julie Bronson 48 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

200 North Broadway Avenue • Albert Lea Phone: 507-373-8216 Fax: 507-373-6220 Registered Representative of securities offered through Woodbury Financial Serivce Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC ISC and Woodbury are not affiliated entities.

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The winner will be featured in an upcoming issue and receive $150. Be creative and shoot in an Albert Lea location. Email submissions to: (Pictures need to be 300 dpi)

Summer 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 49

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Ventura Foods Ingredients Measure SunGlow European Style 1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter Blend Other Ingredients Measure Brown Sugar 2 Cups Cinnamon, Ground 1 tsp. ½ Cup Banana Liqueur Bananas, cut half lengthwise, 8 each then even halved Myers Dark Rum ½ Cup 10 Scoops Vanilla Ice Cream


1. Combine butter, brown sugar and cinnamon into flambe pan. 2. Heat until sugar dissolves. 3. Add banana liqueur and banana sections, cook until softened and brown. Add rum and ignite. 4. To assemble - Plate 3 bananas in triangle form, scoop ice cream on top. Scoop generous amounts of warm sauce over ice cream. Serve immediately.

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Story by Sarah Stultz Photos by Brandi Hagen

Hickory Hills Campground has an Albert Lea address but is located west of Twin Lakes.

Kay and Bill Rask


ill and Kay Rask have enjoyed camping for as long as they can remember. When they got the opportunity nine years ago to purchase a campground of their own, they quit their jobs and packed up their bags at their Cambridge home. The couple moved to Twin Lakes, excited to take on a new endeavor as owners and caretakers of Hickory Hills Campground. “He just thought we could fix it and make a go of it,” said Kay. At the time, they still had two daughters in school. Their older daughter, Sarah, stayed with a relative to finish high school, while their younger daughter, Robyn, moved with them. Bill said he and Kay had looked at six to eight other campgrounds before moving ahead with the Twin

A home away from home Lakes location. “I liked the layout, and we like projects,” said Bill. Hickory Hills, an RV campground that originated in the 1970s, was in need of some repairs and upgrades, which the couple immediately began doing. Over the course of their ownership, they have remodeled the lodge and outside bathrooms, put up picnic tables at all of their sites and installed sewer services, a soft water system, a security gate and a new playground. This spring, they renovated their swimming pool. “I want people to enjoy it as much as they can out here and make it like their home,” Bill said.

Out in nature The secluded 40-acre campground,

bordered by Upper Twin Lake on the north, a public hunting space to the west and a wetlands restoration project to the east, is west of Twin Lakes. It features 100 campsites — 14 overnight, 84 seasonal, plus two Breckenridge RV sites available for people to rent. The RVs sleep six people and have refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, flushable toilets, air conditioning and cable TV. Each is fully furnished with linens and dishes. Bill said all sites are about 3,000 square feet and have electric hookups and Culligan soft water hookups. Each also has a fire ring. Seasonal campers, who can camp from April 15 to Oct. 15, have the option to personalize their sites and may add decorations or amenities such as decks and sheds. Summer 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 51

Hickory Hills offers 100 RV camping sites.

While many campgrounds have rules against these, Bill said he and his wife allow more freedoms to help campers feel more at home. The campground also has laundry, bathroom and shower facilities. At the lodge, there are groceries, camping supplies and Hickory Hills souvenirs for sale, along with a lounge where families can watch movies or play games. Outside there are options for recreation such as horseshoe pits, a playground, a sandbox, volleyball nets and a basketball hoop. The pool, which is 32 feet by 84 feet, is 3-feet deep on the shallow end and 9-feet deep on the deepest end. Seasonal passes are sold for pool use only. Bill said they hope to install miniature golf in the near future. Campers will be pleased to see a variety of wildlife including deer, turkey, pheasants, ducks, geese and pelicans.

A personal touch Other activities, organized by Kay, are also available to campers. There are crafts every Saturday for the children, bingo for adults twice a month, hay rides in the evenings and bean bag tournaments as well.

Upcoming Hickory Hills special events July 4-7: Fourth of July golf cart parade for seasonal campers July 26-27: Christmas in July including a visit from Santa Aug. 9-10: Hawaiian weekend Aug. 23-24: Halloween weekend including trick-or-treating

“We’re more hands-on, and we do a little more personal service to people,” Bill said of what sets Hickory Hills apart from other campgrounds. Though there are posted hours for the lodge, Kay said she and her husband are often helping campers at all times of the day. Their house is connected to the lodge, so they are typically nearby.

Check out these area campgrounds Albert Lea/Austin KOA • Offers tent sites, full hookup sites and rental cabins, along with seasonal stays. • Amenities include Wi-Fi, a pavilion, a pool, a playground, a game room, a shower and bathroom facility and activities on the weekends. • $22 nightly for tent sites, $34-$40 for RV sites, $50 for cabins, $109 for lodges; seasonal RV sites $1,800 • 84259 Freeborn County Road 46, Hayward • 507-373-5170

52 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

Crystal Springs RV Resort • Offers nightly, weekly, monthly or seasonal stays. • Park has 20 rock pad sites with full hookups, planning to expand to 40. • $25-$27 nightly, $125 to $135 weekly, $350 to $400 monthly, $1,000 to $1,500 seasonally. • 15649 SW 35th Ave., Ellendale, off of Exit 26 on Interstate 35 • 507-398-3297

Happy Time Resort • Offers a 5-acre pond, sand beach, playground, full hook-up sites and a camp store and bar. • $25 nightly for electric site, $30 for a full hookup site; weekly $150 plus electric; monthly $600 plus electric; seasonally $1,850 to $2,050. • 526 470th St., Lake Mills • 641-592-CAMP

Campers at Hickory Hills are allowed to personalize their sites with decks, patios and sheds.

Hickory Hills Campground quick facts • 100 full electrical and water hook-up sites, including both nightly and seasonal spots and two RV rentals

By having such a hands-on approach to their business, they said they have developed friendships over the years with their campers. Some seasonal campers, Kay said, have been coming to the campground for 25 years. Campers are invited to place a tack in a map next to the front door of the lodge showing where they are from. The map includes tacks from most states in the country and even some other countries, too. The couple said most of their customers are from Minnesota, ranging from the Twin Lakes and Albert Lea area to Owatonna, Rochester and Lakeville. Pets are also allowed as long as they are on a leash. Kay encouraged local residents and travelers to stop by. Hickory Hills Campground can be reached at 507-852-

Harmony Park • The park, on the shore of Lake Geneva, is open for public camping when no private events are scheduled. • Features a high-end playground, a shower building all season long and RV hookups. Firewood is available for purchase. • Call ahead for reservations. $25 nightly in tents, $40 in RVs. • 79503 298th St., northeast of Clarks Grove • 507-402-8733

• Drive-through sites, picnic tables, fire rings, a shower and bathroom facility, a swimming pool, a playground and other recreational opportunities. • $32 nightly, Sundays through Thursdays; $35 per weekend night; $40 holiday weekends; $165 weekly; $525 monthly • 15694 717th Ave., near Twin Lakes • 507-852-4555

4555. It can be found at 15694 717th Ave., about 12 miles from the Interstate 90 and Interstate 35 junction. AL

Myre-Big Island State Park • Offers four backpack campsites, 32 electric sites and 93 drive-in sites with nearby access to 8 1/4 miles of self guided trails, 16 miles of hiking trails and six miles of paved bike trails. • Standard campsites, including modern bathrooms with showers, are $12 to $22 a night; rustic campsites, with primitive toilets and no showers are $12 to $14 a night. • Electric hookup is an additional $6 a night; water and sewer hookup is $6 a night. Reservation fees are $7 online and $8.50 by phone. • 19499 780th Ave., Albert Lea • 507-379-3403

Pihl’s Park • Offers 20 RV sites with electrical hookup, 10 sites for tents along the shore of Rice Lake. • All camp sites have a fire ring and picnic table. Restrooms, showers and drinking fountains are in the park. The campground also includes a picnic area, playground, mini-golf course, nature trail, Fishing pier and public access boat ramp. • $20 nightly for electric sites, $18 for senior citizens, 25 for shelter reservation • 10757 570th Ave., Wells • 507-553-5864

Summer 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 53

A MAKEOVER ON A CLASSIC RECIPE Going camping? That means there will likely be s’mores over the fire. But there’s no reason you can’t mix things up a bit. Try these exciting new versions that’ll make you want to build a fire immediately.


meringue pie s’mores

graham crackers roasted marshmallows lemon pie filling


mint s’mores chocolate graham crackers roasted chocolate-mint marshmallows semi-sweet chocolate bar

54 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013


and caramel s’mores

gingersnaps roasted marshmallows caramel-filled chocolate squares

Strawberry-banana s’mores graham crackers roasted marshmallows banana strawberries semi-sweet chocolate bar

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Story by Michelle Haacke Photo by Brandi Hagen

Growing beauty 1 2 Della Simmons hadn’t gardened before she moved into her Milo Avenue home about 10 years ago. The yard came with a beautiful rose bush, and it intimidated Simmons because she didn’t know anything about caring for roses. “The first spring I lived there, I thought I killed the rose bush over the winter,” Simmons said. “We trimmed off all the black stuff, and it grew beautiful roses!” Simmons began tending to

56 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

that rose bush. Through trial and error, along with some advice from her mother, she has kept it blossoming — and grown three more besides. Simmons began entering her roses at the Freeborn County Fair. In 2010, she won second place for pink flowering roses. Last summer, she was first in the red rose category. Simmons offered a few simple tips she learned while growing beautiful roses each summer.

3 4

Trim rose bushes at the end of autumn. Simmons trims the growing parts — roses and leaves — with a scissor-sized pair of trimmers. Trim rose bushes again in the spring. The bottom of the stems will appear green but toward the top they will appear black. Cut the black ends down to the green. Water as needed. When it’s hot and dry, Simmons will water her rose bushes every day. But because of the high amount of moisture this spring, she hasn’t watered her rose bushes yet. She prefers to water them in the evening with a basic garden hose. Feed your roses. Simmons applies Scott’s Miracle-Gro once a week. While the brand makes blends specifically for roses, she prefers the all-purpose blend.

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Clay Culbertson Renee Citsay Catherine Buboltz Michelle Haacke Angie Eggum 379-9851 379-3430 379-3428 379-9852 379-3429 clay.culbertson@ renee.citsay@ catherine.buboltz@ michelle.haacke@ angie.eggum@ Summer 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 57

CONSTANT READER | Book review by Angie Barker

In pursuit of the American Dream Summer is tourism season. A season to be with family and friends while also going on adventures outside your four walls. After the spring we’ve had those walls are starting to feel like bars. And not the kind with alcohol. Just like the slogan says: “Explore Minnesota.” Our amazing state is packed with enough history, culture and beauty to keep one busy far past Labor Day. To the constant readers out there, I would recommend the F. Scott Fitzgerald walking tour in St. Paul. You can celebrate Minnesota’s greatest author and “the importance of the neighborhood to other writers from Sinclair Lewis to Garrison Keillor, Patricia Hampl and August Wilson,” according to the Explore Minnesota website. After the tour, stop by the St. Paul Public Library to learn more about the author in the F. Scott Fitzgerald Reading Alcove. Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul in 1896 and was the namesake of his second cousin three times removed, Francis Scott Key, author of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” That’s a lot of history and culture packed into one day of walking. To gear up for your journey, take a turn with Fitzgerald’s most famous novel, “The Great Gatsby.” I know. Gatsby. Gatsby. Gatsby. His name is everywhere. For a book that is 88 years old, it is relevant once again, even if you’re not an 11th-grade English student. Thanks to Baz Luhrmann’s cinematic adaptation, it has flooded into popular culture for the last 18 months. It does feel like they started advertising 88 years ago. In which case, the movie may have been filmed live. It could be a new reality show, the “Real Housewives of West Egg” would fit right in with reality TV stars’ obsession with wealth, illegal activities, marital affairs and more importantly, the presentation to the public of an artificial identity. Jay Gatsby would give them all a run for their money and look classy while doing it. Now is the perfect time to read “The Great Gatsby” because you won’t be 58 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

alone. You could do it as part of the BBC World Book Club or with Stephen Colbert’s Book Club, which looks a lot like Oprah’s Book Club minus the gravitas and double the fun. If the group dynamic is not your bag I recommend the unabridged audiobook that is just shy of five hours, less than $10 on iTunes and narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal. Which is amazing except I already get him confused with Toby Maguire and now they both play Nick the Narrator. This pretty much means they are now the same person in my head, much like Dermot Mulroney and Dylan McDermott. Or you could go old school and read the novel. It’s fairly short at 180 pages. It’s about the pursuit and illusion of the American Dream. The idea is that our fantasies are better unrealized so they remain pure and perfect in our minds. It illustrates how chasing those dreams can corrupt us and is chockfull of murder, mystery, love and class. And it has enough symbols to impress even Nathaniel Hawthorne. He’d give it a big scarlet A. The best part of reading an American classic as an adult is that you don’t have to write an essay afterward. And once you’ve read it you can go to the movie and not-too-quietly whisper to your neighbor so the whole theater can hear about every inconsistency. Then at the end, sigh heavily that the book was better. You can say, “I found the adaptation was limited by its (insert pretentious comment here)” or “I like that the novel didn’t make us listen to jazz.” Either way you will have become a member of the literary club, Old Sport, and it’s your privilege to shame others into joining. Because the book is always, always, always better than the movie. Albert Lea resident Angie Barker is an avid reader and has a degree in English literature from MSU-Mankato. Email her at


Albert Lea is a great community and always has been. Shown here are snapshots of the city throughout the years. The diving tower on Fountain Lake at the swimming beach was a popular place, shown here in the 1940s.

The bandshell at Fountain Lake Park held many concerts. Here Albert Leans attend one in 1936.

May Day is celebrated in Spring Lake Park (now Morin Park). In the background center is Synod Lutheran Church, to the left is First Baptist Church and on the far left is Albert Lea High School at its former location on Clark Street.

The swimming beach on Fountain Lake is popular in all decades, shown here in 1960.

Photos courtesy of the Freeborn County Historical Museum

Summer 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 59

FINAL WORD | By Jennifer Vogt-Erickson

Taking a moment to appreciate the present The Blazing Star Trail has been one of my favorite things since I moved here nearly eight years ago. You could say I fell head over handlebars in love with it. Fortunately, no children, dogs, small woodland creatures or even I were injured. I got back on my bike, smiled sheepishly and pedaled away. The startled witnesses provided ample room as we passed each other. The Blazing Star Trail, like my toddlerdominated life, is a work in progress that can be fully enjoyed now. The paved trail is about six miles long, and the scene changes from wetland to wild prairie to farmland to oak savanna. It isn’t too hilly, which is a great fit for my child-rearing 30s. In a few years my husband and I will be able to take our children out for rides on it. My perception of the landscape changed when I had children — what I used to find exciting is now life-threatening, and what was boring is now relaxing and familyfriendly. There are no cliffs, tar pits, whitewater rapids or alligator-infested swamps along the route. Thank goodness. The trail extends from Albert Lea east to Myre-Big Island State Park, climbs around a hill with an astonishing vista and stops. Or rather, the pavement ends. Gravel continues over part of the proposed route to Hayward, and from there it will cross the 60 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

countryside to Austin, and eventually link to the Shooting Star Trail. “This is going to be so great!” I exclaimed to the deer grazing under the trees one sunny morning a few years ago as I imagined the trail stretching in front of me. “It’s going to be the best thing to happen since Babe the Blue Ox!” My tall taleinfused hyperbole and future-telling didn’t alarm the munching megafauna one bit, which I should have taken as a sign. Progress on the new development has been slow. Children also tend to slow down plans. I do things glacially slowly now. I admire women who can wrangle toddlers and advance their careers at the same time, but I didn’t achieve a healthy balance and decided to stay home for a couple years. At times I still want to accomplish something that requires sustained mental effort, but even five minutes of inattention invites the children to create a smallscale disaster. On one occasion, my 4-year-old gave me a substantial start on washing the bathroom floor during a naval battle he fought with measuring cups in the sink, and his 1-year-old acolyte drizzled lukewarm coffee crop circles on our beige carpet. I try to see my life as a work in progress whenever I feel I’m wasting away in toddlerville. It’s just a short layover on the

journey back to productivity. It’s a great time to enjoy the figure-eight section of the Blazing Star Trail, over and over again. My son loves this “infinity loop.” The aptness of the name makes me smile every time he says it. The loop’s length is perfect for him to bike and run on. He also attempts to socialize with every dog he meets. (A thank-you to the many patient pet owners who have stopped for him.) We pause to be sad for the turtle eggs that raccoons have ravaged, and then we pause 50 feet down the trail to be sad for the next batch of white turtle egg fragments. We quietly observe pairs of ducks resting in the grass next to Albert Lea Lake, and we listen to avian friends calling in the trees ringing the wetlands. It is a small world offering big discoveries if one doesn’t blow past it with head down and shoulders up, trying to fast-forward to the next phase. It is the sweet life now, and the best is yet to come. Jennifer Vogt-Erickson taught social studies in Albert Lea for more than six years before staying home to raise children. She lives with her husband, Jeshua, and their two children, Trixie and Axel, and is probably either pushing or chasing a toddler down a sidewalk as you read this.

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events calendar Saturday, June 22




• 410 Prospect Ave., Albert Lea • When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 22 Where: Albert Lea Armory Cost: $10 per bicycling family, $20 per motorcycle More info: The sixth annual Bikes for Barker scholarship fundraiser ride starts with registration and an optional breakfast at 9 a.m. at the Albert Lea Armory. The 100-mile ride starts at noon.

Saturday, June 22

Vintage Style Show • 301 W. Clark St., Albert Lea • When: 9:30 a.m. June 22 Where: First Lutheran Church Cost: $15 More info: Tickets must be purchased in advance and seating is limited. Vintage attire is optional. Call 373-8003 with questions.

Wednesday, June 26

Wind Down Wednesday

• Albert Lea • When: 11 a.m to 8 p.m. June 26, July 17 and Aug. 21 Where: Central Park, Albert Lea Cost: Free More info: Craft and other vendors will sell their wares, entertainment will be provided and food and drinks are available. The event is at Central Park this year due to the construction on Broadway in Albert Lea.

Friday June 28-June 29

Art & Garden Tour • Albert Lea • When: 4 to 7 p.m. June 28 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 29 Where: Various homes around Albert Lea Cost: $10 More info: Six area gardens will be on display along with the work of at least

one artist at each location. Tickets will be available mid-June at the Albert Lea Art Center and at various businesses in the community. A map and description of all the garden locations will be included in the ticket.

Saturday, June 29

Corey Goodnature

Memorial Golf Tourney • 101 E. Richway Drive, Albert Lea • When: 11 a.m. June 29 Where: Green Lea Golf Course More info: The nine-hole event at Green Lea Golf Course will feature a shotgun start. Money will be raised for eight college scholarships. Four $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to area students.

Wednesday, July 3



July Parade

• Albert Lea • When: 6 p.m. July 3 Where: Parade starts at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds More info: This year’s theme is “Red, White and Blue, Old Time Traditions.”

Wednesday, July 10-July 20

‘Happy Days: A New Musical’

Third of July Parade 62 | ALBERT LEA | Summer 2013

• 147 N. Broadway, Albert Lea • When: 7:30 p.m. July 10-July 13, 2 p.m. July 14, 7:30 p.m. July 16-July 20 Where: Marion Ross Performing Arts Center Cost: $18 for adults, $10 for students More info: Marion Ross will be in Albert Lea this July and is excited to see Albert Lea Community Theatre’s production of “Happy Days: a New Musical.” Steve

Kinney will direct the show.

Saturday, July 13

Freedom Festival • 410 Prospect Ave., Albert Lea • When: 5:30 p.m. July 13 Where: Albert Lea Armory Cost: Free More info: The event will be held in conjunction with a community open house hosted by the Delta Family Readiness Group that is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. that day. The Freedom Festival welcomes members of the community and military members and their families. There will also be activities for children.

Saturday, July 13

Matt Felt & Dillon Gordon Run • 205 W. William St., Albert Lea • When: 10 a.m. July 13 Where: Eagles Club in Albert Lea Cost: $30 More info: The event includes a ride, camping and an after-ride party at Harmony Park with entertainment by Bad Monkey, Riptide and All BS bands. Proceeds will benefit cancer research, LifeSource, the Freeborn County Humane Society and area cancer victims.

Freeborn County Relay for Life

Thursday July 25-July 28

‘The Visit’

• 1031 Bridge Ave., Albert Lea • When: July 25-28 Where: Freeborn County Historical Museum Cost: $15 More info: A metro area theater group presents “The Visit,” set in the museum’s village. Tickets are available online at www. The play is funded by state Legacy Amendment dollars.

Friday, July 26

Tuesday, July 23



• 2200 W. Ninth St., Albert Lea • When: 7:30 p.m. July 23 Where: Wedgewood Cove Golf Club Cost: $30 More info: The Dave & Ted’s Dueling Pianos Dueces Wild event is a fundraiser for Senior Resources. Tickets can be purchased at Senior Resources, the Albert Lea Convention and Visitors Bureau or the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce. For more information call Senior Resources at 3777433.




• 147 N. Broadway, Albert Lea • When: 7:30 p.m. July 26 Where: Marion Ross Performing Arts Center Cost: $15 More info: The performance has Tex and Mary Schutz featuring their one-of-a-kind songs, unique harmonies and silly stories.

Friday, Aug. 9

Freeborn County Relay for Life • 1031 Bridge Ave., Albert Lea • When: 6 p.m. Aug. 9

Where: Freeborn County Fairgrounds More info: The event will kick off at 6 p.m. with the survivors lap. Local officials hope to raise $193,500 from the event this year. There will also be entertainment and food vendors throughout the evening.

Saturday, Aug. 10-Aug. 11


golf tourney

• Albert Lea • When: 9 a.m. Aug. 10, continues Aug. 11 Where: Wedgewood Cove Golf Club and Green Lea Golf Course More info: The two-day tournament is open to men and women.

Saturday, Aug. 10-Aug. 11

Twin Cities Power Boat Racing • Edgewater Bay, Albert Lea • When: noon Aug. 10 and Aug. 11 Cost: Free to watch More info: More than 40 power boats will run two 10-lap heats on Fountain Lake. Speeds of up to 125 miles per hour will be reached. Find more information at Summer 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 63


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Summer 2013