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ANKATO M magazine

FEATURE S January 2014 Volume 9, Issue 1

High resolution A look through the lens of five south-central Minnesota photographers.

John Cross | 14 Pat Christman | 18 Jack Madsen | 24 Al Fack | 26 Wayne Comstock | 28 About the Cover

A collage of images by photographers John Cross, Pat Christman, Al Fack, Jack Madsen and Wayne Comstock. Photo and collage by The Free Press Media photographer Pat Christman MANKATO MAGAZINE • January 2014 • 3







6 From the Editor Pictures tell stories where words falter 8 Odds ‘n’ Ends 10 Introductions Ryan Taylor 12 The Gallery 22 Day Trip Destinations Lutsen Mountains 30 That’s Life The 24-hour rule 32 What’s Cooking Food pics so good you could eat ‘em 34 Then and Now Portrait photography 36 Your Health Sorting through the facts on flax 38 Coming Attractions Events to check out in January 39 Happy Hour A fruity — and festive — cocktail shakeup 44 From This Valley The Aquarian Delusion:

A personal retrospective

34 Coming in February We pay tribute to our four-legged companions.

36 4 • January 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE


From therapy dogs and trends in pet care to Peruvian horses, we’ll take some time to share the joys and pleasures of pet ownership.

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From The Editor


January 2014 • VOLUME 9, ISSUE 1 PUBLISHER James P. Santori EDITOR Joe Spear ASSOCIATE Tanner Kent EDITOR CONTRIBUTORS Nell Musolf Pete Steiner Leticia Gonzales Sarah Johnson Jean Lundquist



Mankato Magazine is published by The Free Press Media monthly at 418 South Second St., Mankato MN 56001. To subscribe, call 1-800-657-4662 or 507-625-4451. $19.95 for 12 issues. For editorial inquiries, call Tanner Kent at 344-6354, or e-mail For advertising, call 344-6336, or e-mail

6 • January 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

By Joe Spear

Pictures tell stories where words falter


suppose as a writer I could certainly take issue with the old phrase: “A picture is worth a 1,000 words.” And I would, except most of the photographers I know would not be willing to debate the point, having acquired knowledge of all things the day they picked up a camera. That may be related to the idea that a photograph can capture a little more of life’s truths than some collection of words put together by a writer with their own set of biases. But there’s plenty of photography to discuss in our first-ever “Photo Issue” of Mankato Magazine. We’ve not only featured some of the great work of our two Free Press Media photographers – John Cross and Pat Christman -- but also solicited photos from some of the best contributors to the Free Press public photo website. ( Jack Madsen has long been wandering the Mankato region with camera in hand. Many know him as a cheerful former teacher who takes pictures for friends at the spur of a moment. Wayne Comstock is a former business owner and North Mankato City Council member who graces our website with pictures of his backyard friends – birds, squirrels and the stunning pictures of gardens. Al Fack, a longtime social worker and lover of nature, has never published his photos until now. Despite my photographer friends’ reticence and reluctance to consider another “point of view,” as it were, on the photograph versus words issue, we find a healthy debate on the history, value and meaning of photography in our pages this month. Ryan Taylor, was a part-time photographer shooting night time sports for The Free Press several years ago. The recent graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College has garnered one of the most prestigious accolades in the world of action photography. One of his photographs is featured on the Avenue of the Stars photo

exhibit along the Victoria Harbor waterfront in Hong Kong, where top photos are displayed on a large Jumbotron-like screen. Taylor’s photo of a man riding a wakeboard through a cranberry field at 20 mph was a finalist in the Red Bull Illume display. He described the photo shoot to Associate Editor Tanner Kent this way: “The rider was pulled by a highspeed winch at about 20 mph. We had the winch on one side of the field, pulling the rider from one end to the other. Then, we had an overhead lift out over the field and we had the guys ride underneath us. To get that particular angle, we had to talk the rider through the exact line we needed. We tried it a few different ways, but eventually it worked out.” The Avenue of the Star exhibit is one of the most prestigious in the world. Only 50 finalists are selected from some 28,000 entries. Even with technological changes that make getting good photos easier Ryan sees photos as a lasting and evolving way to tell a story. That might serve as comfort food for the eternal order of photographers who see newspapers and other publications shedding their shooters. Says Taylor: “I think the need for photographers will become even more apparent. With this barrage of imagery that is thrown at us every day, we see more photographs than ever before. But the ability to create images that make you stop and look — that separates the real photographers from those who are just creating content.” We would concur with that take and think this month’s issue delivers in that respect. M Joe Spear is editor of Mankato Magazine. Contact him at or 344-6382.





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MANKATO MAGAZINE • january 2014 • 7

Odds ‘n’ Ends

This Day in History By Tanner Kent . . . it tells a story, sells an idea, evokes a feeling, prompts a response.

Jan. 17, 1890: Two Mankato hotels caught fire on the same night. First, the Washington House went up in flames around 2:30 p.m. Apparently, the fire started at the base of the building’s chimney. Flames were subdued after 60 minutes of fighting but still caused $3,000 in damages to the 30-year-old landmark. Just six hours later, however, the Clifton House caught fire — another deficient chimney the likely cause. Firefighters battled the blaze for almost two hours, saving the hotel’s 15 newest rooms, but losing much of the roof and third floor. Nearby, M.L. Fallenstein’s barbershop and J. E. Seidle’s drug store were flooded from the water used to fight the fire. The fire caused about $2,000 in damages, but the building had no insurance. Built in 1858 by Joseph Guenther, it was one of the city’s first hotels. Jan. 20, 1905: Brown County jurors reached no verdict after more than 40 hours of deliberation in the murder case against George R. Koch, the man accused of killing local dentist L. A. Gebhardt. The latter was killed on Nov. 1, 1904. The murder was discovered when Asa P. Brooks, editor of The New Ulm Review (which occupied the office below the dentist’s), heard the commotion and saw the killer astride the body of the badly mutilated dentist. Though the killer escaped, a handkerchief with the initials G. R. K. was found at the scene. Koch did offer an alibi, though it was tenuous and vigorously challenged in court. The case would be tried two more times in other venues before a verdict would be reached: not guilty. Jan. 17, 1934: The St. Peter Exports independent basketball team lost 32-27 to the Harlem Globe Trotters in an exhibition match. The junior varsity version of the traveling superstars led the Exports 24-5 at the half before allowing the local squad to make the game competitive near the end. A reporter who attended the match for The Free Press said the Globe Trotters were “everything a good basketball team should be” and noted several events that drew laughs and applause from the audience. After the third quarter, the Globe Trotters entertained with a song. Later, they lined up in football formation and punted to the Exports. At another point, two Globe Trotters held a wrestling match on one end of the court while three teammates played on the other. Exports star center Kid Witty led the local squad with seven points.

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Jan. 26, 1957: A monstrous fire injured two and destroyed the Mankato Manufacturing building, an 84-year-old machine shop that was the first of its kind in the city. At the time, officials were unsure about the cause of the fire, but an explosion either set it off or occurred shortly after the fire started. With flames visible for several miles, 28 firefighters worked through the night — in temperatures reaching 16-below — while deploying more than 600,000 gallons of water. Damages were estimated at $150,000. This is the photo, as it appeared in The Free Press, taken during the fire that destroyed the Mankato Manufacturing building in 1957. | Free Press file photo

Ask the Expert: Reducing Stress

By Nell Musolf

Mindful, healthful ways to calm anxiety


t’s a new year and along with losing weight and getting out of debt, reducing stress might be a good resolution to add to everyone’s list. Chronic stress is a contributing factor in 75 percent of doctor visits, and 90 percent of disease is caused or complicated by stress. Caroline Wood, yoga instructor and gerontologist, is the owner of Inspired Aging, LLC and has some suggestions on how to lower stress. At work, Wood said people should use technology to their advantage. “Program your smartphone or computer calendar with appointments for self-care,” Wood said. “Imagine your Outlook calendar chiming in to remind you to take 10 minutes for a YouTube yoga, tai chai or deep breath break. This is healthier than a coffee or smoke break.” When the work day is over, Wood recommends creating a ritual for decompressing. “When you arrive home and park your car, sit and take five deep breaths to separate home from work,” Wood said. Exercise is another way to reduce stress. Choose an exercise that you enjoy and then find a time of day that fits your schedule and make it part of your day. When it’s time to go to bed but sleep won’t come Wood is a fan of progressive muscle relaxation. “I highly recommend progressive muscle relaxation as

you lie down to sleep,” Wood said. “You slowly alternate contracting muscles and then relaxing them, starting at your feet and working up through your body to your head, neck and face.” Wood also advises avoiding caffeine in the evenings a n d replacing it with an herbal tea. “The warmth and fragrance of a well-chosen tea can be a stress reliever itself,” Wood said. Inspired Aging is located at 604, N. Riverfront Dr., 507-388-AGES (2437)

News to use: Calorie-saving food substitutes By Nancy Szokan | The Washington Post


ou may have heard of Richard Blais, and probably not because he won Bravo’s “Top Chef: All-Stars” competition two years ago. It’s because his new HLN network show, featuring chefs who turn unhealthful recipes into nutritious ones, is called “Cook Your A-- Off.” In a recent piece in Men’s Health about the show (and about Blais’ losing more than 50 pounds following his own advice) he offered up three ideas worth considering for saving calories by using healthier substitutes: 1. Roast and grind mushrooms, and substitute them for half the beef in your hamburger. This swap reduces fat and calories while adding umami, the savory flavor in mushrooms that makes your mouth water. “This therefore increases flavor impact. It’s a win-win.” 2. Make an indulgent rice dish with a more healthful grain: Substitute steel-cut oats for rice in risotto, or quinoa for rice in a fried-rice dish. “A great way to add health benefits and come off as a creative genius.” 3. Making apple pies or apple turnovers? Substitute cinnamon or vanilla for some of the sugar. “Our minds register cinnamon and vanilla as sweet, but they aren’t.” It might take a little experimentation, but you can cut both calories and carbohydrates.

MANKATO MAGAZINE • january 2014 • 9




Tanner Kent

Hot shot

Mankato native Ryan Taylor earns a place on the Avenue of Stars


he best of the best in the world of action photography are gathered on the Avenue of Stars along the waterfront of Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong. Displayed on large projectors are the top 50 images in the Red Bull Illume, perhaps the world’s premier showcase for such photography. The contest is held every three years and this year’s finalists were culled from 28,000 entries. As Spanish BMX legend Viki Gomez performs on stage 10 • january 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

and the neon lights of the one of the world’s most important cultural and financial centers reflect across the water, Ryan Taylor is enjoying one of the proudest moments of his career. Though only recently graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College, the Mankato native has already established himself as a talented and innovative photographer and media specialist. His recent inclusion in the Illume only cements that reputation.

directing, but I’ve mostly worked as a (director of photography) shooting for the web, TV and film. I have also done some short films in the past, but that’s more personal work. It’s harder to get paid for that kind of work, so they are passion projects. MM: So, what can you tell us about the photograph that earned finalist recognition in the Red Bull Illume? RT: A few years ago, some friends of mine were working on a project called “Winch Sessions.” I started coming along as a still photographer. We did some pretty crazy stuff; in Las Vegas, we pulled a guy through one of the fountains. But we had this idea to pull someone through a cranberry field. We showed up blind to this cranberry field in Wisconsin. We got some good stuff, but we wanted to do it with the right tools and better lighting. So, we came back two-and-a-half years later. MM: What kind of planning and logistical maneuvering went into capturing that image? RT: The winch we used was an invention people created for wakeboarding in places where you can’t get a boat. For our shot, the rider was pulled by a high-speed winch at about 20 mph. We had the winch on one side of the field, pulling the rider from one end to the other. Then, we had an overhead lift out over the field and we had the guys ride underneath us. To get that particular angle, we had to talk the rider through the exact line we needed. We tried it a few different ways, but eventually it worked out.

PREVIOUS PAGE Ryan Taylor’s photo of a wakeboarder in a cranberry bog was selected for the prestigious Red Bull Illume. ABOVE The Gustavus Adolphus College graduate is garnering a reputation for stunning action photography. | Photos courtesy of Ryan Taylor. MM: Take us back to the beginning. What led you to become a visual artist? RT: I was always participating in snowboarding and wakeboarding, sports where you’re always filming each other anyway. Eventually, that became my interest and I learned how to do more and more. When I was an art major at Gustavus, I didn’t know what to do. I thought architecture sounded kind of cool, but all I knew is that I wanted to do something with the arts. Once, when I was talking to one of my professors, he asked me: “Do you think about making buildings every day — or making movies?” After that, there was really no doubt what I was going to do. MM: Before we ask about the Red Bull Illume, what other kind of work do you do as a freelance visual artist? RT: As a freelancer in this day in age, you really have to be willing to do different things. I’ve done a lot of commercial work as a director of photography. I’ve done a little bit of

MM: What was it like to see your photograph displayed on the Avenue of Stars in Hong Kong? RT: It was pretty overwhelming. But it was really cool to be in that environment with 49 other photographers – some of whom I’ve admired over the years. It’s always been a contest I’ve looked up to. But the photography is so good that I just kind of entered with an attitude of “Oh yeah, well, it’d be cool to get in.” So, just to be in the top 50 was enough for me. I didn’t need to win. MM: As technology makes taking good pictures easier and easier, will there always be a place for a professional photographer? RT: I think the need for photographers will become even more apparent. With the barrage of imagery that is thrown at us every day, we see more photographs than ever before. But the ability to create images that make you stop and look — that separates the real photographers from those who are just creating content. MM: Do you have any favorite photo shoots? RT: I don’t really think of anything specific, but I like having the full-range of experiences. Sometimes you’re working with a large crew and all the toys you could want, and other times you’re knee-deep in a sea of cranberries, freezing your butt off. It’s that full range that I enjoy. MM: What advice would you give to hobby photographers? RT: Keep trying and don’t give up. Eventually, it will click. I still get plenty of blurry photos out there. M

MANKATO MAGAZINE • january 2014 • 11

The Gallery

Artful choice An introduction to the new director of the Arts Center of St. Peter By Tanner Kent


his month, Ann Rosenquist Fee assumes the role of executive director for the Arts Center of St.

CLOCKWISE, FROM LOWER LEFT The Frye, Arts Center of St. Peter, Ann Rosenquist Fee, Henri Matisse and Jane Earley.

Peter. Combining a background in management (her most recent post was director of planning and administration for Minnesota State’s Division of University Advancement) with extensive experience in supporting arts organizations, Rosenquist Fee said she was motivated to apply for the job because she wanted to make art an everyday part of her life. The fine arts advocate whose tastes are as eclectic as her resume has never run an art gallery, per se. But, as one who has spent much of her personal and professional life pursuing artful endeavors (or, in some cases, pursuing endeavors artfully), Rosenquist Fee said she feels nonetheless prepared to help the Arts Center attain its mission of elevating south-central Minnesota artists. The Mankato Magazine caught up with Rosenquist Fee for a few questions about the experiences and philosophies that will guide her as executive director: Mankato Magazine: What three personal/professional experiences have been the most influential in shaping the way you think about art? Ann Rosenquist Fee: 1) In second grade during a ballet recital, the safety pin holding my shoe together popped open and stuck in my ankle. Then a few parents gasped. I mean, the tights were pale pink, and then there was all this red. My dad stepped onto the stage, which was the ballet teacher’s basement with some mirrors and a barre, and picked me up and carried me out. It got more attention than the dancing. I think that set up a paradigm for what I like and what I expect from good art. I appreciate when it follows the rules until it breaks them. 2) The Frye, my duo with Joe Tougas, is based on a mutual affection for late 1970s AM radio. Prima Vox, my trio with

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Amy Kortuem and Sara Buechmann, happened because of our shared passion for the work of 11th-century mystic Hildegard von Bingen. Those ensembles and those collaborators remind me over and over again that art-making starts with what you love, whether or not anybody else loves it. 3) There’s this quote from a book about Truman Capote: “By treating a real event with fictional techniques, Capote created something that was both immaculately factual and a work of art.” I photocopied that 20 years ago and I’ve had it stuck to a Rolodex card on my office(s) ever since. It makes me see potential for art-making where that might not be obvious otherwise. In the right hands, budgets can be stunning. MM: If you were to assemble an AllStar Art Team with your personal favorite artists from any medium, who comprises your starting five? ARQ: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Robert Plant, Marguerite Duras, Henri Matisse, lately Gillian Welch. MM: Of course, the Arts Center of St. Peter has a strong existing foundation of programs and support. When you officially assume the role of executive director, what’s your philosophy for getting started? ARQ: MSU Arts & Humanities Dean Emerita Jane Earley taught me that an institution is bigger than any one person. That seems like the right approach to leadership of an institution that’s been respected and beloved since 1979. So I’ll be calling on that, and on Jane. MM: When it comes to art that you pursue for entertainment, what’s your guilty pleasure? ARQ: Oh wow. I deeply love the fashion critique website Does that count? It has a whole section fake-written by Britney Spears. I think it counts.

Time to create

‘Me time’ uncovers artistic talent By Nell Musolf


ack in 2003, mom of three small children Fran Long was looking for a way to work some “me time” into her hectic life. Her eyes fell on a storage shed in her family’s back yard, a storage shed that had a cement floor, insulated walls and a floor drain. “I looked at the shed and wondered what sort of wonderfully messy hobby I might take up,” Long said. “I always loved stained glass, I had the space and things fell into place after that.” There are two different methods of doing stained glass. The first method is the type most often used for architectural purposes and uses solid strips of lead that fit between pieces of glass. The second method is known as the Tiffanystyle method and is used for more intricate designs such as smaller pieces and lampshades. This method involves wrapping a thin copper foil with an adhesive backing around the edges of glass pieces and then soldering the pieces together. Long prefers the latter. “The pieces I am anxious to do are always intricate designs that don’t lend themselves well to the first method. Plus, using lead is a relatively physical undertaking while the copper foil method lends itself well to just peacefully sitting still and wrapping pieces of glass,” Long said. Eventually, Long began selling her pieces on eBay in part to support her stained glass habit. One piece was sold to another stained glass artist living in England. “A lovely lady from Southampton, England, ordered a piece from me. She made a point of buying any gifts she needed for family and friends from us poor, struggling artists,” Long said. After the English artist received the piece in the mail, she asked Long to make a special piece as a gift for her brother who had just bought an old monastery in France. “She wanted me to come up with a pattern of a monk,”

Fran Long decided she needed a “wonderfully messy hobby” as a way to carve out some time for herself. | Photo courtesy of Fran Long Long said. Long did her research, made the piece and shipped it off to England. The stained glass monk was a success and led to further collaboration with the English stained glass artist. Long made several smaller stained glass pieces that were incorporated into stained glass windows in a church in Southampton and a school in Wales. “Sadly, I was too new at the craft to understand the importance of what I had just done so none of these pictures were saved anywhere except on a computer that died,” Long noted. The self-taught artist is fairly convinced that learning on your own is the best way to tackle a new craft. “When I started, I researched what tools and equipment I needed, ordered it all and just started breaking glass,” Long said. “I’m not certain if they do it on purpose or not, but stained glass artists who write how-to books always manage to leave a person just as confused as they were before opening the book, if not more so. The truth is that it’s a manual craft and if you’re willing to practice, you will get better — plain and simple.”

Wanted: Artists, donors for Habitat for Humanity fundraiser

(This is one artistic opportunity that’s for the birds.)


abitat for Humanity of South Central MN is seeking volunteers to build and/or donate unpainted birdhouses and birdfeeders to be auctioned off during the annual Home Tweet Home silent auction fundraiser. Donations are needed by mid-February. At that time, volunteer artists will paint the birdhouses for auction. Habitat is also looking for such volunteer painters. Please contact Habitat for Humanity Resource Development Manager Sue Kennedy Ostendorf at 507388-2081, extension 4, for more information. The Home Tweet Home event includes a birdhouse and birdfeeder silent auction, combined with wine and cheese tasting. All proceeds accrued from silent

auction and ticket sales fund Habitat for Humanity’s mission of ensuring safe, decent, and affordable housing for low-income families and individuals in south-central Minnesota local. The goal for the 2014 event is to raise $5,000. To date, Habitat for Humanity of South Central MN has constructed over 107 homes in five counties and 12 communities, directly impacting the lives of more than 487 individuals. Habitat is currently searching for families to build for in the 2014 construction season in the cities of: Mankato, North Mankato, Lake Crystal, Mapleton, Eagle Lake, St. Peter, Kasota, Le Sueur, Henderson, Le Center, New Prague, St. James, and Madelia. MANKATO MAGAZINE • january 2014 • 13

John Cross

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PREVIOUS PAGE The Honor Guard during a funeral at Woodland Hills. TOP Celebrating the Fourth of July the old-fashioned way in St. Peter. ABOVE Participants in the Mankato Mud Run illustrate the event’s moniker. NEXT PAGE One young lady finds a sure way to beat the summer heat. 16 • january 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

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Pat Christman

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JOHN CROSS AND PAT CHRISTMAN are the photographers for The Free Press Media. John’s photos (shown on pages 14-17) typify the veteran photographer’s sensitivity to mood and atmosphere. His photo of the Fourth of July parade in St. Peter proves once again his skill for capturing scenes that resonate with the values we hold dear in southern Minnesota. Pat’s photos (shown on pages 18-21) are illustrative of action and potential. His still image of a whirling carnival ride seems strangely animated while his photograph of baseball players scurrying to cover the field during a deluge is full of action, both direct and implied.

PREVIOUS PAGE The neon lights of a carnival ride provide a dizzying visual display. ABOVE A street rod rolls through Land of Memories Park during a Minnesota Street Rod Association event in Mankato. TOP RIGHT If the scoreboard is any indication, only a rain delay could forestall the defeat of the rival Huskies during a Minnesota State University baseball game. BOTTOM RIGHT A shady spot provides a tasty respite during the Lincoln Park Garden Tour. 20 • january 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

MANKATO MAGAZINE • january 2014 • 21

Day Trip Destinations: Lutsen Mountains

By Leticia Gonzales

If you go What Lutsen Mountains When Open daily through April 6 Mon.- Fri., 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sat./Sun./Holidays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Info Visit for details. Lutsen Mountains, located on the North Shore, boasts 95 runs and $20 million in recent improvements. | Photo courtesy of Lutsen Mountains

Winter wonderland


With $20 million in upgrades, Lutsen is a skier’s playground

any ski enthusiasts may travel out west to Colorado or Utah to hit the slopes, but just as much adrenaline can be reached at several of the ski resorts in Minnesota. Lutsen Mountains, located on the North Shore of Lake Superior in Lutsen, is touted as the largest and highest ski area in mid-America. Although the resort has been co-owned by brothers-in-law Charles Skinner and Tom Rider for the past 20 years, it has been a part of the Skinner family for a lot longer. Skinner and Rider purchased Lutsen Mountains in the early 1990s from Skinner’s father, Charlie, who had owned the property since 1980. Prior to purchasing Lutsen, Skinner practiced law for eight years at a New York City firm, while Rider had practiced law in Boston. However, the change in occupation wasn’t as drastic as it might appear. “I grew up at the lake resort, which was two miles away from the ski area,” said Charles Skinner, co-owner of Lutsen Mountains. “In some sense, I have been in the ski business all my life.” On a busy day, Lutsen can expect around 2,000 skiers on its 1,000 acres, which includes 95 runs and 820-feet of lift-serviced vertical rise. “We compete up against western ski areas and vacations to Florida,” said Skinner. “We really have the whole package of what you want in a vacation, especially for a ski vacation.” Skinner said Lutsen attracts skiers from many surrounding areas including Canada, the Dakotas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana and Ohio. “We are a regional destination,” he said. Weekends and holidays bring the most business to Lutsen, but this season is expected to be a lot busier due to $20 million in upgrades and renovations. One of the new additions is the Caribou Express, a high-speed lift that will cut wait time from around 10 minutes to three-and-a-half minutes and could triple skiers’ slope time. 22 • january 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

“Three-and-a-half minutes; you barely have time to catch your breath,” said Skinner. “It’s a really transformative improvement for us.” The new, six-passenger chair lift operates at three times the capacity of the old lift, which took anywhere from 10 to 12 minutes to get up the mountain. “Our new lift is capping off a whole series of investments we have made the past 10 years,” he said. Also included among the renovations is the installation of two new steep runs. The double-black diamond runs, which have been dubbed “Adrenaline” and “Freefall” by fans, have been marketed in Lutsen press releases as offering skiers a “90 percent grade as they drop between the cliffs on the north side of Moose Mountain.” “We feel that we have the whole package of skiing now,” Skinner said. “We have every type of run from every skiing level.” Sinner added, “I like the fact that skiing is one of the few activities that people of any age, from the grandparents to the kids, can spend time together enjoying that activity; and that it’s a lifetime passion and outdoor exercise for millions of people.” For those who prefer alternate activities, Lutsen also offers other outdoor adventures such as snowshoeing, as well as what Skinner calls, one of the “largest cross-country skiing systems in North America.” Within Lutsen, guests have access to a variety of restaurants such as Papa Charlie’s, a slope-side dining and music venue, and Summit Chalet, a guest-favorite for special events. The iconic Lutsen Resort, Lutsen Bay, as well as other hotels, lodges, condos and bed and breakfasts also surround Lutsen Mountains. And of course there is Lutsen’s prime location. “We have the beauty of the North Shore,” said Skinner. “There really is no scenery like it.” M

Skiing at Flandrau Flandrau State Park is another option for outdoor skiing activities. Located in New Ulm, the park offers six miles of trails that are groomed on a regular basis. While some of the trails are a little steeper than Minneopa’s, they do have both green and blue trails. Trails run along the Cottonwood River floodplain where there are plenty of trees to offer skiers protection from the wind. Mount Kato has 19 trails and eight lifts. | Free Press file photo

Skiing Mount Kato Of course, south-central Minnesotans don’t have to travel far to find downhill skiing opportunities. With a new groomer for its 19 trails, Mount Kato is continuing to expand its presence as a destination for skiing enthusiasts. In addition to eight lifts, four terrain parks and a snow-tubing hill — with an all-new conveyor lift — Mount Kato also has a chalet, bar and rental shop. Next year, Mount Kato will add a conveyor lift to its bunny hill. Mount Kato is hosting a variety of events this month, including Home School Day (Jan. 8), Ladies Night (Jan. 14) and live music (Jan. 11, 18 and 25). For more info, visit

“It’s a very busy park on the weekends and in the winter,” said Scott Kudelka. “They actually have a warming house and will have a fire going on the weekends.” •••••••••••••• In addition to offering snowshoe and cross-country ski rentals, Flandrau holds ski lessons in conjunction with the local New Ulm Community Education Program. Daily ski passes are also available for $6 for those who are 16 years or older, or people can purchase a season pass for $20.

Skiing at Minneopa If you’re looking for a more low-key skiing outing that is even closer to home, Minneaopa State Park offers five miles of groomed ski trails. “It will take you to fairly level terrain; not many hills,” said Scott Kudelka, Minneaopa naturalist. The park, which is open daylight hours and is located located five miles west of Mankato on State Highway 68 and U.S. Highway 169, takes skiers “up and down through a ravine.” “You will ski around a river bluff, so you will actually be able to see the Minnesota River,” he said. “You might have a good chance of seeing bald eagles. You will also ski across the open prairie.” Kudelka said the best time to ski is after a snowfall, when trails are groomed. “When we do have snow, the DNR is really good about grooming their trails, so we have a lot of opportunities for those winter activities,” he said. Minneaopa Park is co-sponsoring a Candlelight Ski, Snowshoe and Walk with the Friends of Minneopa from 5-9 p.m. on Jan. 18. The event features candlelit trails that are groomed for both cross-country skis and snowshoes. The festive event will also include a bonfire, hot cocoa and cookies. To access the trails on a regular day, skiers are required to pay a park fee, which is $5 per vehicle or $25 for annual pass. Payment can be made at the waterfall side of Minneapoa Park at the office or self-registration box. While the park does not offer ski rentals, they do offer rentals for snow shoes for $6 a day.

The cross-country skiing trail at Minneopa State Park. | Photo courtesy of Scott Kudelka MANKATO MAGAZINE • january 2014 • 23

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Jack Madsen JACK MADSEN was raised in Rapidan and lives outside Good Thunder. A longtime English teacher in the Delevan school, Madsen took his first pictures with a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera when he was 12 years old. TOP LEFT A cannon blast results in an explosion of color. BOTTOM LEFT A dilapidated farmstead captured in 2005. ABOVE Creek-bank maples pictured in the clutches of winter. LEFT A young girl prepares her tea during a BetsyTacy Sociery event. M

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Al Fack AL FACK was a social worker in Blue Earth County for more than 30 years. He has more than four decades of photography experience and has captured tens of thousands of images, many of outdoor scenes and wildlife. BOTTOM LEFT New undergrowth thrives after a fire in Gallatin National Forest in Montana. TOP LEFT A bald eagle soars over the waters of Lake Elysian. ABOVE The sun sets over Minneopa State Park. LEFT A pair of trumpeter swans on the Mississippi River near Pennington. M

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Wayne Comstock WAYNE COMSTOCK is a businessman and former city council member who saved his allowance to buy his first camera when he was 12 years old. Soon after, he converted his mother’s fruit cellar into a dark room. ABOVE A pristin autumn reflection on the waters of Hiniker Pond. TOP RIGHT The guests have yet to arrive for this winter picnic. BOTTOM RIGHT An alpaca at Sibley Park mugs for a portrait. M

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That’s Life By Nell Musolf

The 24-hour rule B ack in our younger days (all the way back to last spring), I think it would be fair to describe both my husband Mark and myself as fairly impulsive people. Not impulsive in an especially dangerous kind of way, but more in the sense that when one of us got a bright idea, the other was all too apt to say, “Yes! Let’s do it!” Such impulses led us to moving from our home base in Illinois to Indiana to Wisconsin and, finally, the latest (and most lasting) move to Minnesota. Decorating was another area where our impulsive flair reared its often not-too-tasteful head. Although, I’m far guiltier than my husband of jumping headfirst into wrong-wrongwrong decorating ideas such as painting our kitchen a shade of orange so bright that it was necessary to wear sunglasses while frying bacon and choosing wallpaper that would look much better in a funeral parlor than a dining room. Our impulsive streaks were also something of a drag on our finances since neither of us has ever had so much as a lick of sales resistance — and eBay was apparently designed for people who buy now and think later. (Although I must admit that yielding to impulsiveness combined with the cutthroat competition that eBay naturally elicits has netted us some pretty spectacular purchases, including a salt and pepper set in the shape of small televisions emblazoned with pictures of Marlo Thomas and Ted Bessell from “That Girl” fame). NOTE: Never enjoy a glass of wine while shopping on eBay. Trust me on this one. Never. But back to my point: Mark and I used to be quite impulsive creatures. Having children helped us to curb our devil-may-care attitudes toward impulse shopping and picking up and moving whenever we tired of our current address. There’s something about being completely responsible for two other human beings

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that brings a heavy dose of reality into even the most flighty of souls. Unfortunately, the natural impulse control of children tends to peter out as said children grow into adults. Mark and I realized that we were once again getting back on the slippery slope that might have us calling up U-Haul and booking a move to New Mexico the day we almost bought tickets to something called SurCon last spring. SurCon, for those not in the know, was a convention/mass fan club meeting for diehard “Starsky and Hutch fans” (the 1970s television show, not the lame movie) that was held in Los Angeles last spring and not only included dinner with David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser, but also — if you were willing to cough up major bucks — a ride in the show’s wicked tomato red Ford Torino with Starsky behind the wheel. Well! This was exactly the kind of stuff that two television rerun addicts dream of! I had our Visa card out and the reservation form pulled up on my computer when, thankfully, sanity prevailed. “If we do this,” I told Mark, “we will also have to buy tickets to fly out to California and we’ll have to stay someplace out there, too.” “Let’s stay at the same hotel the convention is being held at,” Mark suggested. Reluctantly, I pointed out that the SurCon convention was being held at one of those fancy-pants Bel Air hotels that had valet service and guests with tans that never faded and called each other Hollywoodish things like, “Babe” and “Sweetheart” even when they’re talking to the garbage man. For two people who are more comfortable at the local Best Western, that might be a tad intimidating. “So we’ll stay someplace more down to earth,” Mark said. “Who cares? We’re going to get to ride in Starsky’s Torino!” I was closerthanthis to pressing the “Submit Reservation” button

How much would you pay for dinner with the stars of “Starsky and Hutch”? | Wikimedia Commons photo when sanity once again froze my forefinger in midair. “If we go, we won’t be able to afford Christmas presents for at least five years,” I told Mark. “So? We’ll have our memories!” But I wanted more than memories. I wanted a new robe and boots as well as a stocking stuffer or two for our offspring. “Let’s wait 24 hours and see if we still want to go then,” I suggested. Looking at me like I was nuts, Mark agreed. However, the next day when the 24 hours were up, he looked at me like I just might be the smartest little lady this side of the Mississippi. “I would like a ride in that Grand Torino,” he commented, “but not that much. I’m glad we waited 24 hours.” Hence we agreed that whenever we wanted something that involved a moving van or a credit card, we’d wait 24 hours and see if the impulse was as strong the next day. Usually it isn’t. However, another SurCon convention is being held in England next spring. I’ve always wanted to see England. Hmmm … something tells me we might have to enforce a 48-hour rule to safely get past that one. M Nell Musolf is a mom and a freelance writer from Mankato.

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At the Mankato Clinic, we have providers who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric and child behavioral health disorders.

Call 507-387-3195 to make your appointment. Mankato Clinic Child Psychiatry Providers

Learn more about our providers and services by visiting:

Travis Hansen, M.D. Child Psychiatry Madison East

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MANKATO CLINIC 1-800-657-6944 •

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Downtown New Ulm 16 North German Street 507-354-2716 MANKATO MAGAZINE • january 2014 • 31

What’s Cooking By Sarah Johnson

Food pics so good you could eat ‘em


he arrival of the Internet spawned a lot of new activities, such as making cat videos and taking pictures of our food and sending them to our friends. The cat videos may be incomprehensible, but the food pictures I understand. People like taking photos of food because food makes interesting pictures. Eating has a universal appeal. No one is immune to hunger. We all gotta eat. This phenomenon is no recent fad. Before the advent cameras and cell phones, lots of famous artists painted masterpieces of food. Manet, Van Gogh and Goya all loved to play with their food. Even cavemen made foodie pictures: What do you think that bison means in ancient cave paintings? Supper, that’s what. Being creative and sharing that creativity is a natural human impulse. Plus, the rise of technology has given us the ability to capture moments of our lives like never before. A good photo can be inspirational as well: People will always want ideas on what to make for dinner. There’s an old adage that says “We eat with our eyes” – meaning the better food looks, the better it seems to taste. It’s the reason grocery stores put the luscious fresh fruits and vegetables and flowers up front. They entice our eye and assure that we buy, buy, buy. Food tempts us most when it’s beautiful: ruby-red tomatoes, verdant green beans, sunny yellow bananas, bright orange macaroni and cheese. We are wired to think that if it looks tasty, it probably is tasty. Of course the opposite applies, too. Haggis, the national dish of Scotland, looks awful and tastes worse. You would, too, if you were a sheep’s stomach stuffed with organ meats and oatmeal and various offal, then boiled until it’s gray and horrible. It’s the No. 1 reason travelers stay away from Scotland: the fear of being forced to eat haggis. On that note, here are some tips to make sure your food is a lot prettier: 32 • january 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

For picture perfect food photos, try using creative plates and dishes like those used in this mac-n-cheese photo. Try adding bacon, chicken and chiles for a pop of color – and flavor. | Flickr photo by Stu Spivack • Many plants evolved to be pleasing to the eye of potential pollinators and seed distributors. Plants figured out long ago that the most effective lure was color. And it still is, so use it liberally in your food photography. Even if the actual food is dull, using colorful plates, side dishes and garnishes will really make your photos pop. • Be creative with garnishes. Use a handful of packaged mixed lettuce-and-veggie salad for your sandwiches, and skip the boring iceberg lettuce. Instead of regular crackers, garnish your soup with goldfish crackers, popcorn, a sprig of celery or salad croutons; a swirl of sour cream or a thin slice of cucumber will add a note of freshness. • Beautiful dishes may not actually affect the taste of your food, but they add significant eye and can turn a bland meal into a fiesta of vibrant color. Again, it’s psychology, but it works. Copy the decorative swirls, dots and smears you see TV chefs “painting” on their plates using simple ingredients such as plain, old jelly. Go nuts! Find your inner Jackson Pollack or Georgia O’Keefe.

• Let’s talk about lighting. Always use natural light, and never use the flash. The best food images are taken in natural light, so move over to a window if you have to, and don’t bother taking supper photos until winter is over. Using a flash creates unpleasant reflections and shadows, and can change the color of your food — so don’t use it. Make natural light your mantra and you won’t be sorry. • Go ahead and play with your food a little. Set the scene. The best photos have elements of style: a casually draped napkin, a fork poised over a plate, a single flower in a vase. • Don’t shoot a cluttered background; your photo will look amateurish. Move around until it clears. Clean up clutter in the foreground, too; simplicity works best. • Zoom in on the food and let the background go fuzzy to play up the beauty of the food. Check out all the angles and experiment with shooting your food from above, from the side, from a crazy angle. Get to know your camera’s capabilities, especially any warm filters that can enhance your photos.

“Say Cheese!” Macaroni with Chicken, Bacon and Green Chiles Makes 6-8 servings. 1/2 pound elbow macaroni 1 stick unsalted butter 1/2 cup all purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper 2 cups milk 2 cups finely shredded cheddar cheese two 4-ounce cans diced green chilies 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken 2 cups cooked, crumbled bacon pieces (about 1 pound cooked) 1/4 cup mild salsa verde or other salsa Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside for a few minutes. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes until color gets slightly darker. Slowly whisk in milk, stirring continuously until thickened, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer, and stir in cheese until melted. Transfer cooked pasta to large pot over low heat. Pour cheese sauce over top, stirring to combine. Add green chilies, chicken, bacon and salsa, stirring to combine. M Sarah Johnson is a cook, freelance writer and chocolate addict from North Mankato with three grown kids and a couple of mutts.

MANKATO MAGAZINE • January 2014 • 33



Now: Portrait

photography By Jean Lundquist

From tintypes to .jpgs Zooming in on the history of portrait photography Photos courtesy of the Blue Earth County Historical Society


hilosophers have been known to say that the more things change, the more they stay the same. That might be true of photography. “Digital photography has turned everything on its head,” Mankato photographer Daniel Dinsmore said. While the general public may continue to seek the instant gratification of seeing a snapshot as soon as the picture is taken, Dinsmore sees professional photographers taking a step back in time to the days of film. Dinsmore describes the difference between digital and film photography by comparing it to the difference between an MP3 digital file, and the depth of a vinyl recording. “Film captures nuances that digital can’t. Film reacts with light differently.” Dinsmore uses both digital and film for the photographs he takes, but relies most heavily on digital for now. Dinsmore has a modern-made tintype photograph in his office as a novelty, and as a way to recall the very early days of photography. As Dinsmore contemplated it, he said: “Everything changes.” Then, he added the rhetorical question, “Or does it?” Blue Earth County Historical Society Archives Manager Shelley Harrison has a tintype photograph of a man from the 1860s. The wallet-sized photo is very clear, the unknown man’s cheeks are faintly tinged pink, and the photo is printed directly on metal. Harrison explained the pink tinge on the cheeks as an after-market effect: “Early photographers took assistants with them to make note of the colors people wore, so photos could be

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colored later. This coloring was by hand.” The tintype process was developed in the 1850s and quickly became popular during the Civil War. Soldiers had small, one-inch photos taken of themselves in uniform to send back home. These small photos were known as “gem,” or “jewel,” photographs. The idea of photos as a means of communicating with family is perhaps one of the primary reasons photography became popular in rural areas, according to Harrison: “People had family photos taken in the front yard, often with carriages, livestock and the house visible. Grandpa was seated in a chair, and everyone was dressed up. This told the people back home how prosperous they were, and how well they were doing. Not only could they afford the photo, but they could show off their possessions” Often, the features of people in these photos were not clear, but the important indications of wealth and prosperity were on display. Sales people would go through an area and set up appointments so that people could be gathered together and dressed in their Sunday finest. Harrison compared the sales process as similar to aerial photos of homesteads today. Before digital photography became the norm, sales representatives were sent around to find who wanted photos taken from an airplane, and to take orders. Early outdoor photos were not only a choice, but also a necessity, Harrison said. “The light needed to capture the photo was outside.” The early process of capturing an image also accounts for the solemn expressions seen on the faces of those who sat for a photograph. Harrison said, “It could take five

Portrait photography has come a long way since the days of the tintype (top left). In subsequent years, portraiture became a means of communicating wealth and happiness to friends and family members. minutes of a person having to hold perfectly still. It would be hard to hold the same smile that long.” Although photography in the form of tintype, and earlier forms of daguerreotype and ambrotype were available in 1862, there is no photograph of the most well-known event in Mankato: the hanging of 38 men on Dec. 26. Only a handdrawn lithograph by W. H Childs exists — and it’s not clear if he witnessed the event. Roseville resident Curtis A. Dahlin is a long-time photography historian and the author of 10 books on the subject The retired Minnesota Department of Transportation Traffic Analyst says his research indicates that photographers had indeed traveled to Mankato for the event. Newspaper reports indicate that at least two photographers had set up in Mankato for the day. Dahlin said photos were in fact taken, but it was too cold for the process to work. “From what I’ve found, the photos were described as ‘fuzzy and indistinct.’”

One staple of old-time photography that Harrison does not find in the archives of the Blue Earth County Historical Society are post-mortem shots: “These pictures were taken of departed relatives, propped up to look like they were sleeping, often in a chair. Maybe it was a way to preserve their memory, or perhaps a way to capture their spirit. But we don’t have any. Maybe these photos just weren’t popular here.” Since the days of tintype, film, and other types of photography, the 1950’s and the 1960’s saw a fad of slide photography, also since abandoned as a favorite. While old photos needed to be taken outside because of the light required, today an outdoor photograph is a popular choice. Dinsmore said “on location” settings seem provide for more spontaneous shots. The informal setting outdoors also makes people more relaxed, in his experience, so the photos aren’t so serious. As for long-term changes, Harrison said she is worried the transition to digital photography could pose difficulties for the Historical Society in the future. “People don’t turn in photos if they don’t think they’re history,” she explained. “Digital will cause problems for us in the future, as technology changes.” Then she asks the non-rhetorical question, “Will we be able to open them?” M MANKATO MAGAZINE • january 2014 • 35

Your Health

By Hope Warshaw | Special To The Washington Post

Sorting through the flax facts


laxseeds are the seed of the flax plant, which grows in cooler climates, such as in Canada and the northern United States. The seeds are a bit larger than sesame seeds and range from dark reddish brown to deep gold. The calories in flax, like most seeds, come mainly from fat with a tad of protein. The big reason people are told to consume flax is because of the type of fat it contains: mainly omega-3 polyunsaturated fat. Much of the omega-3 fat is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), one of the two essential fatty acids we must eat to make other fats the body requires. Flaxseeds contain, relatively speaking, a good bit of dietary fiber. They’re also rich in lignans, which are phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens imitate the action of the hormone estrogen, but much more mildly. Some research has shown that phytoestrogens might play a role in the prevention of some cancers and heart disease. It’s these nutrition components of flax that constitute its purported health benefits. Several years ago omega-3s became the shining star of fats. This catapulted flax to fame as well. However, the research on omega-3 fats has been mixed, with their benefits, especially from omega3 supplements, not packing the expected health punch (as has often been the case with supplements). The biggest health benefit of flax is its omega-3 content, which has beneficial effects on total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. The fiber in flax plays a role here, too, as it binds onto cholesterol, helping us excrete more and leaving less to be absorbed. But is flax your most potent source of omega-3 fats? No. Eating two servings of fatty fish each week, the recommendation from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Heart Association, offers a bigger health bang than eating plant-based omega-3 sources such as flax. Then again, there’s no reason not to do both. Flax has been associated with other health benefits, such as reduc36 • January 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

These Peachy Flax Molasses Muffins call for 1/4-cup flax seed. | Flickr photo courtesy of Keith McDuffee

Here are some ways to fit in a few teaspoons of ground flax meal every day: Sprinkle over dry cereal. Mix into yogurt. Top a bowl of fresh fruit. Add to healthful muffins and breads you bake. ing chronic inflammation, decreasing hot flashes and ovarian cysts in women, reducing the risk of some cancers, such as breast cancer, and treating heart disease. But according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, there’s not enough research to recommend flax for these health benefits. “A form of flax isn’t on the top of my must-do list, but it’s within my top five I suggest for its general antiinflammatory and heart-health benefits,” says Susan Moore, an Alexandria, Va., dietitian. But, Moore notes, “I first zero in on the person’s whole nutrition picture. If someone isn’t eating enough fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods, adding flax to an otherwise unhealthy eating plan isn’t worth it.” Flax is available in several forms:

Mix it into pancake or waffle batter. Sprinkle on salads. Use as a topping mixed with bread crumbs for casseroles. whole seeds, ground flax meal, oil and capsules. Two types of ground flax meal are available: golden and brown. Brown has a nuttier taste and grinds more coarsely. But neither variety is more healthful than the other. If you purchase whole seeds, grind them prior to use. Eating large amounts of whole seeds with insufficient water could cause an intestinal blockage. Plus, they won’t get digested, so you’ll forfeit their nutritional benefits. “One source of flax isn’t better than another. It’s about finding easy ways to fit it in,” Moore says. Use the oil on salads with vinegar or in a homemade salad dressing. Drizzle it on sweet potatoes or vegetables to enjoy its buttery flavor. Add a few drops in a smoothie. Don’t cook with the oil. It has a low smoke point and quickly breaks down.

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Coming Attractions: January 7 — Auditions for Minnesota Valley Chorale’s 2014 spring season 6 p.m. -- Yvilsaker Fine Arts Center, Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato. 11 — Mankato Craft Beer Expo 2 p.m. -- Verizon Wireless Center -$40 VIP, $30 general, $10 designated driver. 12 — Mankato Symphony Orchestra: Music on the Hill - The Three Bs 2 p.m. -- Good Counsel Chapel -$40 season, $12 single event -507-625-8880 23 — Scottie Miller: New Orleans style piano 7:30 p.m. -- Halling Recital Hall, Minnesota State University -389-5549 25 — Mankato Symphony Orchestra: Viva Vivaldi 11 a.m. -- Mankato YMCA 30 — Good Thunder Reading Series: Sarah McKinstry-Brown and Christopher Howell 3 p.m. Craft Talk and 7:30 p.m. Reading -- Centennial Student Union, Minnesota State University -- free. 30 - Feb. 2 — MSU Theatre: Kiss of the Spider Woman 7:30 p.m. Thursday - Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday -- Andreas Theatre, Minnesota State University -- $22 regular, $19 senior and ages 16 and under, $15 current MSU students -- 507-389-6661 31 — Los Lobos 7:30 p.m. -- Verizon Wireless Center -$34 -- – 800-745-3000 31 – Feb. 8 — The Bethany Choraliers present “The Grand Duke” 7:30 p.m. On Jan. 31, Feb. 1, Feb. 7 and Feb. 8. Also, 2 p.m. On Feb. 2. – Sigurd K. Lee Theatre, Bethany Lutheran College – $8 regular, $5 (youths and seniors) – – 507-344-7374 31 - Feb. 9 — Winterfest St. Peter, Citywide 38 • january 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

Happy Hour

By Family Features

A fruity — and festive — cocktail shakeup


or your next gathering, impress guests with a delicious cocktail made with an ingredient typically reserved for breakfast. No longer just toast-toppers, jams, jellies and preserves are making a splash in the craft-cocktail scene. Whether you prefer the bite of red currants, the sweetness of apricots or the tartness of raspberries, now all of your favorite fruit spreads are making an appearance at parties from coast to coast. These hip new fruit infusions are an easy way to create a signature cocktail at your next social gathering. Try an interpretation of a classic Manhattan made with your favorite cherry preserves with some ice, strain and drink up.

Cherry Jam-hattan Ingredients Ice 1 tablespoon tart cherry preserves 1 1/2 ounce bourbon 1 ounce dry vermouth 2 dashes bitters Orange slice Preparation Fill martini shaker with ice. Add preserves, bourbon, vermouth and bitters; place lid on shaker, and shake until cold and blended. Strain into 1 glass. Garnish with orange slice. Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker’s “Red Hot Holiday Trends” M

MANKATO MAGAZINE • January 2014 • 39

Oil Change to Overhaul…We do it all! Best of Mankato Best Auto Repair

Best Auto Mechanic Lynn Austin

We’ll help make your dreams come true.

The group you can trust with your savings. Call Michelle Amundson.

Securities offered through National Planning Corp. (NPC), Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through The Sherwin Group, Inc.; a Registered Investment Advisor. The Sherwin Group, Inc and NPC are separate and unrelated companies. 40 • january 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

Uniforms from… Barco, Carhartt, Cherokee, Dickies, Koi, Peaches, and White Cross

Faces & Places

Photos By Sport Pix

Southern Minnesota Christmas Festival 1. Scheels employee Lori Benike pouring free samples of a dipping sauce for the festival-goers. 2. Amy Kortuem provided entertainment for the event by playing the harp. 3. The horsedrawn Rainbow Country Trolly sponsored by Wells Fargo gave rides to Festival attendees around downtown Mankato. 4. Pianist Cindy Rupp providing entertainment by singing and playing “Dashing Through the Snow.” 5. Mrs. Claus and her helper reading Christmas stories to children at the Festival. 6. Culver’s employee Brian Duehring making a Christmas Sundae. 7. Shailin Ohrtman of Mountain Lake painting a bird house in the Home Depot area. 8. Twin brothers Zach and Ryan Dake, who are almost 6-years-old, are coloring while their mother Amanda looks at their drawings.









MANKATO MAGAZINE • january 2014 • 41

Faces & Places

Photos By Sport Pix

Mankato’s chilifest for vets & rett 1. Bean bag toss competitors warm up by a fire before their competition on a cold day. 2. Jill DuRose ladels up some of the Blue Line Club Chili. 3. Miss Mankato Kaitie Borneke serves up some chili to the celebrity judges. 4. Joe Tougas from the band The Frye entertains the crowd. 3 5. An especially great crowd turned out this year for ChiliFest. 6. Andrea Dye serves some chili to patrons of the event. 7. This year’s panel of celebrity judges was eager to try some of the different chili Mankato had to offer.





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Faces & Places

Photos By Sport Pix

Kato Krusher Climbing Competition


1. MSU student Paching Yang climbs the rock wall during the competition. 2. Competitors, spectators, and volunteers were all in attendance at the climbing competition. 3. Johnny Bayerl climbing during the competition. 4. Ray Atlas, who is a student at MSU, acting as a belayer during the climbing competition. 5. Sam Steiger is the program coordinator of the Adventure Education Program and Climbing Walls at MSU. 6. Delaney Rager was among the many youth participants at the climbing competition. 7. Ryan Steenson of Brookings, S.D., belaying for his climbing partner.







MANKATO MAGAZINE • january 2014 • 43




By Pete Steiner

The Aquarian Delusion: A personal retrospective “This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius … harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abound…” — from the rock musical “Hair” The local group, Mankato Area Lifelong Learners, has asked me to do a presentation next month on my impressions of pop culture in the 1960s. I considered saying “I lived through it but can’t remember,” the standard joke about those “high” times. But having gone light on most of the mind-altering substances of the times, I actually do have some recollections and, as a way of warming up, let me use this month’s magazine space to test some of the themes I might use. It strikes me first that the term, “the Sixties” refers more to an era than a decade. The era might have begun in 1956 with Elvis singing on the Ed Sullivan Show, or with Jack Kerouac or Lenny Bruce. It might have begun with FDA approval of a birth control pill in 1961, or with the assassination of JFK in 1963. Timothy Leary played a large role. So did the Beatles. And of course, Vietnam. By any standard, the era was full-blown when Bob Dylan released his 1964 classic, “The Times, They Are a-Changin’.” The ‘60s migrated to the Midwest a little later from the coasts, then lingered well into the ‘70s. Still, the ingredients bubbling in that cauldron of disillusionment – the assassinations, the military draft, the music, the drugs – were too potent to leave anyone unaffected. Thus many of the children of the Greatest Generation – the generation that had fought and prevailed in a “good war” against tyrants, dictators and mass murderers – rebelled, most notably against a war in which “The Evil” was harder to ascertain. The draft lottery of the time accentuated unfairness: a simple twist of fate, the luck of the draw, determined who had to go and put their life on the line in Vietnam. My colleague from Macalester College, Tim O’Brien, has written poignantly about it. O’Brien, No. 1 in his class, was drafted to join half-a-million others sent to southeast Asia. In his memoir, “If I Die in a Combat Zone,” he writes that during a break in the fighting, “Mail came. My girlfriend traveled in Europe with her [new] boyfriend… My sister was in school…my brother was playing basketball. The Viet Cong were nearby. They fired for ten seconds…I got on the radio, called for helicopters…the medics carried three men to the choppers. We went on to another village.” Aside from their parents, hardly anyone cared about them laying their lives on the line, certainly not the former girlfriend traveling in Europe. Against the war, but not FOR the troops, folks back home didn’t organize any homecoming parades. Some Age of Aquarius that was, as “Hair” was opening on Broadway, with its paeans to a new way of being. It was 1968. Lyndon B. Johnson announced 44 • january 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

on national TV he would not run for re-election, his presidency overwhelmed by the war. A week later, Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis; two months after that, Bobby Kennedy was gunned down in L.A. Later that summer, the Democrats’ convention in Chicago drowned in chaos. To a college senior, it seemed the world was coming undone. •••• I never joined a commune, never took LSD. I had friends who did both, right here in little ,old Mankato. When I got out of the Army in 1972, the first thing I wanted to do was grow my hair long. My old barber, Dave, blamed the Beatles and never forgave them for undermining his livelihood. Meanwhile, some of my hippie friends were already starting to realize it was tough to support those “love children” on homegrown tomatoes and carrots alone. Time to consider a real job. The Vietnam War finally ended, and that took a lot of steam out of the movement A decade after that, AIDS stabbed Free Love in the heart. •••• Personally, I consider the era called “the Sixties” to have ended around 1977, with the advent of Disco and the Urban Cowboy (see my article on “The Albatross” in the October issue). And I believe America today may still be riding the pendulum AWAY from those socially revolutionary times. Real war morphed into culture wars. To some, hippies and free love seemed scarier than The Walking Dead. After all, hippies were real, and they were undermining long-cherished concepts of “the American Dream.” I’ve quoted songwriter Jackson Browne before in this space, so pardon me if I repeat. I still think he summed up the Age of Aquarius best in his anthem, “Before the Deluge”: “Some of them were dreamers, and some of them were fools, and for some, it was only the moment that mattered… and in the end, they traded their tired wings for the resignation that living brings, and exchanged love’s bright and fragile glow for the glitter and the rouge, and in a moment, they were swept before the deluge.” M Pete Steiner is host of “Talk of the Town” weekdays at 1:05 p.m. on KTOE.

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