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2 • April 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE


FEATURE S April 2014 Volume 9, Issue 4



Past is present Rural churches preserve the past, embrace the future

20 Upward and onward Faith can be a strengthening force for those who face grief on the job

22 Keeping the faith

Two young Mankatoans share their perspective

About the Cover

Many thanks to Mankato Loyola’s Christian Bach, who is pictured at her home church, Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Mankato. | Photo by Pat Christman MANKATO MAGAZINE • April 2014 • 3




6 From the Editor Faith shows up in many forms 8 Odds ‘n’ Ends 10 Introductions Philosophical questions with area



faith leaders

14 The Gallery 26 Then and Now Old churches find new life 30 Day Trip Destinations Target Field 34 That’s Life Spring cleaning — from the top down 36 What’s Cooking Taking the real test of faith 38 Your Health Sound machines won’t make your baby deaf 40 Garden Chat Seeds to sow, stories to tell 42 Happy Hour A Gibson hinges on its garnish 44 Your Style Flowers on the wall to watch 46 Coming Attractions Events to check out in April 52 From This Valley Pete made the Best of the worst

Coming in May



We explore the notion of home — both as a physical space and a metaphor. Homes are an investment and we’ll lend some perspective on what is happening in the world of home improvement and upgrades. But home is also an idea, a place of warmth and security, where roots need time to take hold.

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But for those wanting to get out of the home and enjoy the spring weather, we’ll include some outdoor activities, too. Join us, and we’ll walk home together.


From The Editor


April 2014 • VOLUME 9, ISSUE 4 PUBLISHER James P. Santori EDITOR Joe Spear ASSOCIATE Tanner Kent EDITOR CONTRIBUTORS Nell Musolf Pete Steiner Jean Lundquist Sarah Johnson Heidi Sampson Rachael Hanel Leticia Gonzales PHOTOGRAPHERS John Cross Pat Christman PAGE DESIGNER Christina Sankey ADVERTISING Ginny Bergerson MANAGER ADVERTISING Danny Creel Sales Jen Wanderscheid ADVERTISING Barb Wass ASSISTANT ADVERTISING Sue Hammar DESIGNERS Christina Sankey


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

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By Joe Spear

Faith shows up in many forms


he surveys show people don’t go to church as much as they used to. What the social scientists call religiosity – religious affiliation or believing in a religion – also appears to be waning. Church attendance and religiosity are interesting backdrops to the stories in this month’s “faith” themed edition of Mankato Magazine. Pew Research Center reports weekly church attendance has declined over the last 10 years in the U.S. to about 37 percent. About a third also say they attend monthly or yearly and about 29 percent say they seldom or never attend church up from 25 percent a decade ago. So church attendance has gone in a negative direction, albeit in fairly small numbers. Another survey shows that a full 20 percent of the people in the U.S. do not consider themselves religiously affiliated. That grew by 5 to 6 percentage points from 2007 to 2012. Only 5 percent of those folks say they attend church regularly. Pew points out that there tends to be a discrepancy between how often people say they go to church and how often they actually do. That may be no surprise to some of us, human nature being what it is. In this month’s stories, there’s a fascinating array of ideas on what people describe as faith. Some see it as faith in what good a person can do outside of the context of rules or books of faith. Others have a strong faith in the written word in books like the Bible and Quran. Still others look to examine their own motives in life and determine an inner faith. Others question the world around them and let their doubts guide their faith journey. Just when one comes to believe faith has evolved from old book and organization-based faith to more modern openness-welcoming faith we come across a story of one of the first “community-based” nondenominational churches, started, surprisingly, at the turn of the 20th century

The Bass Lake Community Church started with a land donation by Thomas Blair, the first settler in Delavan Township. He had donated land for a cemetery when his infant daughter died and was later asked to donate more for a church. But the church founders asked him to donate to a church that would be free to use for all orthodox churches or denominations, to which he readily agreed. Hence was born one of the first “community churches” in Minnesota that by 1902 had hired its first woman pastor. Bass Lake may have been on to something more than a century ago that rings true today. The Pew Center Survey suggests folks don’t have strong associations with a church, but by reading some of the stories in this month’s issue, people may be growing in their “faith” in a more general sense. A feature by published author Rachael Hanel explores the faith and endurance emergency responders and funeral directors have in their given callings. Longtime emergency medical technician Eric Weller can still remember the first time he made an ambulance call for a child in distress. The infant died before getting to the hospital. He remembers the place and house, but he also notes it’s this calling that keeps his faith alive in the idea that the system works when we all work together. There’s Buddha and there’s Jesus, but faith can also be found in places from baseball stadiums to churchesturned homeless shelters. Those versions are likely to resonate with us individually or collectively just as much as organized religion. So surveys about church attendance may not be as important as evidence around us that suggests we live in a place where many are keeping the faith. M Joe Spear is editor of Mankato Magazine. Contact him at or 344-6382.

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Odds ‘n’ Ends

This Day in History By Tanner Kent April 1, 1890: The Mankato Weekly Review reported on this day that Henry Kusel, “the absconding treasurer of Minnesota Lake,” had made good on a shortage of $1,900 in his accounts after returning to the village. It was reported that Kusel had also married Miss Zabel, who accompanied his flight the previous spring. Though the village paid a $500 reward for his arrest, the newspaper speculated that charges against Kusel would be withdrawn. April 1, 1898: The Mankato Free Press reported the escape of a handcuffed prisoner aboard the noon train from St. Paul. While being escorted by a prison guard from Stillwater to the facility in St. Peter, the prisoner talked the guard into giving him permission to go to the bathroom. When the guard became suspicious about the prisoner taking too long, he broke through the door and found the window open and the prisoner gone. The train was unable to stop until it reached the station, at which point the prison guard began searching for the prisoner who, he feared, was injured during the jump. April 15, 1898: The weekly Mankato Free Press carried a story about 30 young men and boys hanging an effigy from a light pole on West Front Street. The effigy was made of an old suit and stuffed with hay. On its bosom, a placard was pinned and it read: “Hanna and McKinley.” The act was in apparent protest of President William McKinley’s recent declaration of war against Spain, touching off the Spanish-American War. About this incident, The Free Press wrote: “It is safe to say that the class of people who would do this would not enlist in the country’s service unless drafted, and would croak at the pension roll 30 years from now resulting from the war.” April 22, 1904: On this day, The Free Press announced the death of Mary E. Babcock, wife of J.W. Babcock, who was the first man to quarry Kasota’s trademark limestone. J.W. and Mary Babcock established Kasota as a village when they arrived in 1853. Mary was the first white woman in the vicinity. She was prominent in church activities and lived in Kasota until her death. She remained part owner of the quarry land after her husband’s death and took great interest in its development.

Corporate Graphics 1750 Northway Drive North Mankato, MN 56003 800-729-7575

April 3, 1924: The Mankato Daily Free Press revisited the strange visit from a mysterious sculptor some years earlier. The remembrance in Mankato’s newspaper was occasioned by yet another account of the sculptor creating one of his stunning works of sand art along the bank of a river in Kansas. At the time, the sculptor would refuse to give his name and claimed he was re-creating the likeness of his wife The photo, as it appeared in The Free Press, of J.B. and baby who were killed in the McCord’s mud and sand sculpture that he created under Pueblo flood of 1921 (which what is now Veterans Memorial Bridge. claimed hundreds of lives and millions of dollars in damages). During his visit to Mankato, he created one such sculpture on the banks of the river under Main Street and gave a similar story. When his work was finished, he would accept gratuities from visitors. Descriptions of the mysterious sculptor, however, are found in newspaper reports as early as 1915 and as late as 1935. Later reports include his name, J.B. McCord, and a more likely account of his drifting: Once an arts school student in Philadelphia, he left his schooling because of the stress and began wandering the Midwest to create beautiful works of art from mud and sand.

Ask the Expert: Josh and Becca Vanderberg, of Vanderberg Clean By Nell Musolf

A checklist for spring cleaning


pring is officially here — and for many people that means it is time to think about doing a spring cleaning. Josh and Becca Vanderberg, owners of Vanderberg Clean, offer some tips on how to get your home sparkling after the long, cold winter. • Because carpet is a home’s biggest air filter, have it professionally cleaned by an Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification-approved contractor every 12-18 months; • Clean windows inside and out, including blinds; • Pull out appliances and clean inside, outside and under; • Go through kitchen cupboards and drawers; • Clean all light fixtures and ceiling fans, replace light bulbs as needed; The Vanderbergs suggest making a list of all the projects a homeowner wants to complete and then make a realistic timeline of getting those projects accomplished. “Take time to clean in stages so that you can feel like you’re accomplishing something,” Josh said. “It can be very overwhelming to do everything at once, and maybe some project won’t get done as well as they should have.” Another suggestion from the husband and wife cleaning team is to keep a running list of projects that need to be done on a weekly and monthly basis. “If you keep on top of those projects, your house will stay clean and you won’t have as much spring cleaning to do,” Josh said. And for that ever-present clutter? “I think the biggest thing is if you bring something into the house, take something out of the house and donate it,” Josh said. “Be very conscious about what you are bringing into your house and also be aware of the items in the house that you no longer need and are just taking up space.”

News to use: A mindful coping skill Find more By Amanda Mascarelli | Special to The Washington Post


magine this scenario: You come home from work tired and frazzled, and your little kids are running wild. Perhaps this doesn’t require much imagination. People in such situations might find solace in a popular meditative practice called mindfulness. With mindfulness, you train your mind to focus on the present and respond with reason before emotion. It’s about taking a pause and guiding yourself to become “aware enough in the moment so that before you react, you’re aware of how you’re responding to a situation,” says Ronald Epstein, a professor of family medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. “That gives you the choice to blow up or not to blow up. You recognize and say, ‘I’m about to lose my temper,’ rather than losing your temper.” In our high-stress culture, the idea has caught on. Mindfulness is being practiced not just by New Age-types, celebrities and executives. Education leaders in many states have received training for how to incorporate mindfulness into K-12 curricula. Most medical schools now offer an elective in mindfulness in medicine, Epstein says. Research shows that being mindful can have tangible benefits, such as alleviating chronic pain and helping to curb depression and anxiety. Various studies have linked mindfulness practice to improvements in attention, eating and sleeping habits, weight management, and recovery from substance abuse. Research also suggests that mindfulness can help people cope better with heart disease, breast cancer, fibromyalgia, asthma and other conditions.

about mindfulness • Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School: index.aspx • Mindful Schools: • Insight Meditation Community of Washington: • The Mindfulness Training Institute of Washington:

MANKATO MAGAZINE • April 2014 • 9




Tanner Kent

Into the deep Mankato faith leaders lend their religious perspectives


or this month’s question-and-answer, we asked a handful of area spiritual leaders to weigh in on some of faith’s biggest questions. The participants are: Rev. Tim Biren of St. Thomas More Catholic Newman Center; Rev. Laurie Bushbaum of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship; Rev. Roger Knepprath of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church; Hamed Sallam, Islamic scholar and professor emeritus of Minnesota State University; and Buddhist monk Bhante Sathi of Triple Gem of the North.

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Mankato Magazine: What is faith, and how does one know that they have it? Roger Knepprath: Faith is confidence you have in an item or a person. I have faith in my pickup to get me from point A to point B. I demonstrate that faith each time I hop in and start it up. I have faith in Jesus to get me from here to heaven. I demonstrate that faith when I praise him, pray to him, and tell others about him. The Bible is clear that Jesus is the only one worthy of such faith. Faith in Jesus can be called saving faith. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other

name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) Laurie Bushbaum: To me, faith is not primarily about what I believe. Instead, I think of faith as the human response to being alive; all humans have faith of one kind or another. The question is, “What does each person’s faith, at its core, look like?” Is it hopeful or cynical or a bit of both? Do you find the world a beautiful place or a frightening place or some of each? Do you think humans are the highest expression of life or part on an extraordinarily complex web? Is God a noun or a verb? The answers to these types of questions tell me about the core faith that someone carries with them and through which s/he sees the world. Using a metaphor, I would say that faith is like our home address in the world. Tim Biren: From my Christian and Catholic perspective, faith is about a relationship with Jesus Christ. When a person receives Jesus Christ from a spiritual standpoint, they are receptive to having that personal relationship and thus possessing faith. Bhante Sathi: We don’t use the word “faith.” Faith is blind. It is following something without knowing what it is.What we do is a way of life, a practice. What we want to do is live mindfully and do things mindfully. Once you make mindfulness a practice, it becomes who you are. Hamed Sallam: Faith in Islam encompasses the following beliefs: The belief in (a) One God; who has the Most Beautiful Names and Attributes, including “Supreme and Eternal, Infinite and Mighty, Merciful and Compassionate, Creator and Provider;” (b) all of his Prophets and Messengers without discrimination; (c) the previous books and revelations; (d) the Angels; (e) the Last Day of Judgment; and (f) the timeless knowledge of God and in His power to plan and execute His plans. The Quran states: “It is no virtue that you turn your faces towards the east or the west, but virtue is that one should sincerely believe in Allah and the Last Day and the Angels and the Book and the Prophets and, out of His love, spend of one’s choice wealth for relatives and orphans, for the needy and the wayfarer, for beggars and for the ransom of slaves, and establish the Salat and pay the Zakat. And the virtuous are those who keep their pledges when they make them and show fortitude in hardships and adversity and in the conflict between the Truth and falsehood; such are the truthful people and such are the pious.” (2:177) One can knows that he/she has faith when he/she maintains -- to the best ability -- special states of mind and behaviors, including: • The heart finds assurance (and peace) in the remembrance of Allah (God); • Every course of life takes place in accordance with the Will of God, in realization of His plans and in submission to His Commands; • Faith in God becomes dynamic, and beliefs are translated into reality; • Enjoining good and forbidding evil; • Avoiding vain talks, and neither ill-mannered nor rude; • Caring and loving for all God’s creations; • Always contented, but striving for perfection;

• Love and desire to meeting God as a good righteous “Muslim”; • Striving to do the best for his family, community, and country. MM: Can you give an example of Scripture or a quotation that personally inspires you in your own moments of doubt, or that you use when counseling others through such moments? Sallam: Knowledge is the only key to open the lock of doubt. The very first word revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of God be upon him, was “Read.” “Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (1) Has created man from a clot (2) Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous, (3) Who has taught by the pen, (4) Has taught man that which he knew not (5)” Quran (96:1-5). This is a clear and direct invitation to humanity to acquire knowledge. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) made seeking knowledge an obligation upon every Muslim. The remarkable harmony between the Quran and science is due to the presence in the Quran itself of very clear and positive encouragement to contemplate and investigate the world around us The Islamic quotations that inspire me most at moments of doubt are: — “Verily in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day — there are indeed signs for men of understanding. Men who remember Allah, standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the creation of the heavens and the earth (with the thought), ‘Our Lord! Not for nothing have You created (all) this. Glory to You! Give us salvation from the suffering of the Fire.’” (3:190-191) — “My servants who have acted extravagantly against themselves still do not despair of God’s mercy. God forgives all offences; He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” (39:53). Sathi: There are a lot of times I am not mindful. But, I’ve trained myself to catch them right away. Nobody is perfect and I don’t know how to think as a perfect person. So, I learn from my mistakes as well as the mistakes of others. Buddha said: “Don’t believe me. Don’t even believe the teachings.” Just be open to your own heart and seek the answer to why do I want to do this and that. What is my intention? Awareness will help us to lead our life in peaceful way. Therefore, listen to yourself, find out for yourself. Do not let others find the answers for you. Bushbaum: Questioning is a tool of faith and a way to explore and navigate the journey of life. Questioning, paying attention and reflecting on our experience is how we grow and refine our thoughts and beliefs. To stifle the human questioning and questing spirit is to invalidate part of what makes human life precious and meaningful. To stay with the metaphor I started, with Home representing our core faith, doubt is then a map by which we learn our way around the world, first our yard, then our neighborhood and through time, more and more about the world and who we are in the world. Beliefs and doctrines, Scripture and experience all are part of what we balance in order to arrive at “Faith.” As we MANKATO MAGAZINE • April 2014 • 11

experience the blessings and challenges of life, the joys and sorrows, the beauty and ugliness of life, we are likely to shape and reshape our faith over and over again until it is deep enough to hold all of life’s Mystery. I share two texts that have been sources of comfort and strength to me. The first is from a 12th Century Islamic mystic, named Rumi. He wrote, “Wherever you are be the soul of that place.” Secondly, this text from Julian or Norwich, a 15th Century English Abbess: “All shall be well, all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well. For through all life moves a love that will not let us go.” Knepprath: Since saving faith has only one appropriate object, Jesus Christ, my biggest challenge is keeping my own faith fixed on him alone. The temptation I fall to most frequently is to have faith in me rather than him. Those are the times I get frustrated, spin my wheels, and become impatient. The Bible verse that buoys me is from 1 Corinthians (15:58), “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” Biren: I really am inspired by the Gospel story that occurs after the resurrection of Jesus (John 20:27). Thomas was originally not in the room where Jesus appeared, and he doubted in the Resurrection. He acknowledged he wanted proof. After Jesus appears to Thomas, he lets him put his finger in his hands and his hands into his side. We later hear “blessed are those who have not seen, yet believe.” I can definitely fall into this category Especially when bad things happen – it is easy to doubt the presence of God. But faith, my relationship in Jesus Christ, reminds me that I do not have to see Him to believe. MM: Is the nature of faith (or, in Buddhism’s case, mindfulness) eternal and constant, or is its definition dependent upon the time, culture and era in which ones lives? Sathi: Mindfulness is not something you have or something that is easier to have in one place or another. Mindfulness is not driven by emotions and ambitions. It is how you behave. It is paying attention to what you do, what you perceive, what you see, hear and know. 12 • April 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

Biren: Faith is constant, but because of challenges in a modern world and within our culture, there is the necessity to have a pastoral approach when responding. I think an excellent example our Church has today in leading by this example is Pope Francis. He has not changed what the Catholic Church teaches and believes to be proclaimed about our relationship with Jesus Christ and others, but his approach is certainly from a pastoral perspective resulting in more people open to the message of faith, hope and love. Bushbaum: I have no doubt that humans have been asking the core questions of faith as long as we have been humans. At the same time, as human culture has changed, so have the structures of how we talk about and picture what faith is, what beliefs are taught as right and true, and how communities of faith are shaped. Just as human homes have been built differently throughout our thousands of years of history, based on current knowledge, climate, and custom, the shape of faith has changed through time. And yet, human faith still, and always provides a place for our spirits to reside. Sallam: Yes the nature of faith is eternal/constant because it is natural. God by blowing His Majestic Soul in our bodies at time of creation, faith in Him was imprinted in our genes. Our role in life is trying to strengthen our faith in order to attain the pleasure of God, and live in the hereafter in paradise with the Angles and the Prophets. Knepprath: If there was just one medication for a condition you suffer, you would take it. Failure to take it would mean your condition would go untreated and get worse. We have a condition — we’re born with it — that, if left untreated, will separate us from our Maker and leave us to molder eternally. That condition is sin. I can’t get away from it. I won’t get away with it. There is just one person in history who could and would solve our sin condition. Jesus alone was able to take my sins and yours to a cross where he suffered for them fully in our place. The result is forgiveness. The result is peace with God. That was God’s promise to Adam and Eve. That is God’s promise to you and me. That will be God’s promise to our great grandchildren. Sin is a constant. Jesus is a constant. Faith in him remains essential. M


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“Jesus Himself is our peace… through the cross.” Ephesians 2:14-18



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16 NORTH GERMAN STREET DOWNTOWN NEW ULM 507-354-2716 or 1-800-968-3876 M & TH 8-7; TU/WED/FRI 8-5; SAT 8-4 MANKATO MAGAZINE • April 2014 • 13

The Gallery

From one sister to another

SSND’s Mary Ann Osborne recalls congregation founder in art exhibit


ister Mary Ann Osborne’s exhibit in St. Pauls’ Gallery at the Benedictine Center in St. Paul is, in a word, inspired. Osborn has been a School Sister of Notre Dame in Mankato for nearly 40 years. She’s been a woodcarver almost as long with a catalog of some 1,300 pieces -- the vast majority of which are inspired by biblical tradition and New Testament theology. She’s exhibiting a broad selection of her works at the Benedictine Center through May 30. For this exhibit, however, Osborne took her inspiration one step farther. In tribute to the founder of the School Sisters of Notre Dame congregation, Mary Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger, Osborne imagined a childhood diary written by Gerhardinger herself. Drawing from several trips to Gerhardinger’s home city in Germany, as well as actual dates and events culled

from extensive research into Gerhardinger’s life, Osborne constructed a robust exploration of her formative years. Osborne then paired one of her works with each diary entry. “I attempted to show that she, like us, was an ordinary person who did ordinary things growing up, but God’s hand was in it all,” Osborne wrote, in part, in her artist statement. “My hope is that what brings truth to us -- her writings, the imagined diary, ad the accompanying images -- will inspire us to act in some way in order to make a better world.” For more information about the exhibit, visit and click on the “Benedictine Center” tab at the top of the page. — Tanner Kent

Songs, surprises Mankato Children’s Chorus celebrating 20 years with April 13 performance


hat’s a birthday without a big surprise? Rest assured, the Mankato Children’s Chorus has a few in store for its spring program at 3 p.m. on April 13 at Gustavus Adolphus College’s Christ Chapel -- which doubles as the organization’s 20th anniversary celebration. “There are a few secrets,” said Leah Ries, who is in her 14th season as a director for the Children’s Chorus, which boasts about 150 regional students (in grades 1-12) in four separate ensembles. “It should be fun for the audience.” In addition to solo and collaborative performances from the Chorus’ four choirs, Ries said the concert also includes a variety of connections to its past members and history. For instance, the Youth Choir (grades 4-5) will be singing a song from the Children’s Chorus’ very first concert, “The Wind.” Past choir directors and piano accompanists have been invited to participate and a choir comprised entirely of parents will also play a role. In addition, former director Julie Aune will guest direct one of the performances. “It’s been fun contacting the different alumni,” Ries said. “It’s exciting to come back and see each other and. ... It’s a special connection that music has given them.” The theme of the concert is “The Power of a Song.”

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Performances include a rendition of a song by the same name composed by Roslyn Sieh, a parent of a choir member who is also executive director of the Mankato Area Youth Symphony. In addition to their annual winter and spring concerts, members of the Mankato Children’s Chorus also participate in several community events each year. This year’s schedule included a guest appearance in the Mankato Symphony Orchestra’s Muppets-themed concert in February as well as performances at assisted-living facilities and community events. Tickets for the concert on April 13 are $10 (adult) and $7 (children/seniors). For more information, visit — Tanner Kent

People, land and printmaking Looking at the work of new MSU art instructor Josh Winkler By Nell Musolf


rintmaker and teacher Josh Winkler grew up in central Indiana. After completing his undergraduate studies at Ball State University, Winkler moved to the Twin Cities where he completed his master’s at the University of Minnesota. He has taught printmaking at the University of Minnesota, the University of Notre Dame and is currently an assistant professor of printmaking at Minnesota State University. Although now firmly entrenched in printmaking, his original goal was to become an architect. “After a year of architecture curriculum, I came to the conclusion that I did not really want the responsibility of bringing new buildings into the world,” Winkler said. Winkler changed his focus to landscape architecture, historic preservation and drawing and applied to the art department at Ball State University. While there he discovered printmaking and quickly embraced all aspects of the medium including the repeatability of imagery, the processes of carving, etching and manipulating surfaces and the communal and collaborative atmosphere that is inherent in a printmaking shop. Winkler said that teaching art and running a print shop are difficult jobs but ones that he enjoys immensely. “It’s very rewarding to see strong work coming out of my classes,” Winkler said. “I’m always showing the students contemporary artists. It’s

inspiring to the students, but it also keeps me in touch with what is happening nationally and internationally in printmaking.” Winkler also enjoys his students’ energy. “Their creative energy can be addictive. Sometime after a day of teaching, I head directly to my studio to work on a project.” The majority of Winkler’s work is landscape based and he is interested in the relationships between people and the land on which they live. “From farming methods to high speed traveling, to living spaces, to the immersive media landscape, I am concerned about a growing disconnect between contemporary Americans and their physical surroundings,” Winkler said. His recent work has taken a closer look at specific places in the American landscape that are notable for their intersection of natural wonder and manmade architecture such as what is found in the Wisconsin Dells or Mount Rushmore. “I am currently creating a body of work focused on the history of Calaveras Big Trees State Park,” Winkler said. “As the first sequoia grove exploited by EuroAmericans, as a catalyst in the conservation movement and today, as a grove celebrating the largest species on the planet, the Calaveras Grove of Big Trees conveys a gripping narrative.” For more about Winkler and his art, visit M

Examples of Josh Winkler’s art include (clockwise from top left): “The Land Diorama,” “Poaching the Carnegiea Gigantean” and “Drive-Through-Tree.” MANKATO MAGAZINE • April 2014 • 15

Bernadotte Lutheran Church looks much the same as it did nearly a century ago. | Present-day photo by John Cross; historical photo courtesy of Ruth Klossner.

Past is present Rural churches preserve the past, embrace the future By Heidi Sampson


n the later part of the 1800s, rural churches were constructed to allow for a common place of worship for those who did not live near towns or cities. The rural church was the center of life, as they were often used for community gathering, voting centers and meeting halls for topics unrelated to worship services. When the size of the average farm family declined, so did the rural church as they depended upon internal growth for survival. Today, those churches that have persevered have adapted their focus from internal growth to external, creating an openness for a new style of worship and the necessity of learning the language of the younger generation while offering a glimpse into another time.

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Bass Lake Community Church (Non-denominational) 23450 400th Avenue Winnebago

Bass Lake Church near Winnebago has proven itself as a progressive and forward-looking church during its long history. | Photos courtesy of Bass Lake

A progressive walk through time

On June 6, 1871, five people met near Bass Lake for the purpose of forming a congregation and establishing a proper building for worship. The fledgling Board of Trustees determined that the most logical place for a church would be adjacent to the cemetery on the northeast side of Bass Lake. Thomas Blair, the first settler to homestead in Delavan Township, had previously donated the land for a cemetery after his infant daughter had died in 1866. When Thomas was approached with the idea of a second land donation, he readily agreed with the provision that the church remain free for the use of all orthodox churches or denominations. The deed, dated June 28, 1872, created the first community church model within Minnesota. In August 1898, the Board of Trustees licensed a female, Mrs. Millie Snare, to preach and in 1902, they hired Rev. Nancy D. Whitehead, who would become the first female pastor to fill their pulpit. Today, Rev. Dawn Carter, a retired Presbyterian minister, fills the pulpit at Bass Lake Community Church. “We’ve had Lutherans, Baptists, a Mennonite, and now a Presbyterian minister,” said Robert Nelson, secretary for the Board of Trustees. “I’ve been attending the church my entire life. I can’t tell any discernible difference between them and it’s not like we are continually shifting the focus of the church either. The message comes straight from the gospels. The order of our service is pretty standard, familiar and friendly.” Bass Lake Community Church ministers have the freedom to preach how they want to preach. They can frame something in

whatever perspective they feel is most applicable. “There really is no one telling us what direction to take,” said Nelson. “I guess the only reason we keep going is because nobody told us we can’t. It’s takes a commitment like anything else. For us, being a community church is about keeping it available to the community. You can go to church anywhere but when you go to church here, it’s like walking back in time.”

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Bernadotte Lutheran Church (ELCA) 34122 515th Ave. Lafayette Even though its current iteration is 117 years old, Bernadotte Lutheran remains an impressive place to worship. | Photos by John Cross

A new style of worship

Bernadotte Lutheran Church was founded in 1866 by a group of Swedish immigrants. The current structure however, was built in 1897. The church is known as the “Country Cathedral,” which can hold close to 400 individuals for service. In 2004, Bernadotte Lutheran partnered with Swan Lake Lutheran, a rural church outside of New Ulm, and First Lutheran of Lafayette, for missional and financial reasons. Collectively, the trio of churches forms Fields of Grace Parish. “I imagine Bernadotte was close to full back when the Swedish immigrants were coming and even up to the 1950s when churches were more the center of culture,” said Rev. Scott Jakel. “Today, a church’s location tends to be out on the edge of relevancy and that’s our challenge.” In some ways, recruitment of new members happens by word of mouth and invitation. However, social media also play a large role in recruiting new members, as well as in connecting with the younger generation. Jakel regularly sends his parishioners text messages and posts announcements on Facebook. He also plans to incorporate multi-media within his sermons as a way to reach all members within his congregation. “There is an openness to a new style of worship,” Jakel said. “We are going to start using LCD power points and projectors within our sermons. If a person is hard of hearing, they might be able to visually follow along in a way that their ears are unable to hear my words.” Jakel believes Bernadotte Lutheran Church offers a place for multiple generations to interact in a unique setting, whereas 18 • April 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

usually in all other segments of our society, we are more segmented and isolated. At church people can come together, learn from each other and show loving care. “The church has a role in society to teach about forgiveness, reconciliation, and ethics,” Jakel said. “From me, you’ll hear about grace, mercy, love and the unconditional acceptance. I’m not going to pound the pulpit and say you are going to hell. That’s really not the central theme of the scripture.”

In 2004, Bernadotte Lutheran partnered with Swan Lake Lutheran, a rural church outside of New Ulm, and First Lutheran of Lafayette, for missional and financial reasons. Collectively, the trio of churches forms Fields of Grace Parish. Rev. Scott Jakal is pictured (above) in the church. | Photos by John Cross

Valuing all people equallyluing

There is a tiny cabin that stands to the left of Scandian Grove Lutheran Church, which is where the original Scandinavian founders met in 1858, until they could erect a building. In 1888, a church was built but subsequently burned down in 1978. Undeterred by the setback, Scandian Grove rebuilt using some of the old stones from the original structure. Pastor Kay Rohloff grew up within the ELCA denomination. She has always loved the idea that she is as valued as anybody else within the church. As a young child, she learned a lot about faith from her grandmother, who was the heart and soul of the church effort within her family. “I’ve often wondered had she been born in a different time,” Rohloff said, “what kind of a pastor she would have made. But at that time, she wasn’t allowed to preach.” Although word of mouth seems to be the fastest way to develop new members, Scandian Grove has also started using social media as way to connect through webpage and Facebook postings of events and news related items. This year, they will hold their first 5K fun run as a way to reach out the community. Rohloff has also noticed a trend toward new members who will join after having attended more conservative churches and denominations. “I think they are ready for having more options,” Rohloff said. “Many of these families have daughters and they want their daughters to have more options.” Beside the faith building and nurturing aspect often associated with churches, Rohloff believes churches offer a place where people can be nurtured and can nurture others. “Church is still one of the most open-door places available to find community, fellowship and acceptance,” Rohloff said.

Scandian Grove Lutheran Church (ELCA) 42869 Co. Rd. 52 St. Peter

St. John’s Lutheran Church Willow Creek (Missouri Synod) 13148 499th Ave. Vernon Center Speaking the language of youth

St. John’s Lutheran Church Willow Creek was started by German immigrant farmers in 1869. Three years later, fire destroyed their church, parsonage and school, as all three were located in one building. By the early 1880s, a new church and school house were built. Because farming families tended to have large numbers of children, a second school house quickly followed to accommodate the needs of close to 100 students. St. John’s Lutheran would close its school doors in 2007. “To have 100 students would have been phenomenal,” said Rev. John Bennett, “Sadly over the years, farms have gotten bigger and families have gotten smaller. For decades, the church had been conditioned to grow internally. I’d say about 30 years ago, that model completely changed but the church didn’t change.” For St. John’s Lutheran Church, word of mouth continues to be a way in which new members are brought into the congregation. Bennett also utilizes the Church website for active blogging and uses Facebook as way to connect to new and younger members. “I’m putting something new on the website once a week or once every 10 days,” Bennett said. “Websites can be a very powerful tool for churches, even small churches. It’s a resource that is untapped otherwise, especially with the younger generation. That is how they communicate.” Bennett also believes there is a need to move the church toward being more sensitive to the needs of the community. He believes that when a church shows they care about the needs of the people, with no strings attached, people tend to be more responsive to checking out the church. “The younger generation tends to be more drawn toward those things where they can make a difference,” Bennett said. “So if you are showing your community that, as a congregation, you are trying to make a difference, that can be powerful. The church needs to be able to speak the language of the younger generation.” M MANKATO MAGAZINE • April 2014 • 19

Longtime emergency medical technician and current South Central College instructor Eric Weller still remembers his first call for a child in distress: “I could drive right to the house today if I had to.” | Pat Christman

Upward and onward Faith can be a strengthening force for those who face grief on the job By Rachael Hanel


ric Weller will never forget the first time he made an ambulance call for a child in distress. The longtime Mankato emergency medical technician was only about a year into his career. Even though it was 30 years ago, he remembers all of the details. “It was 10:30 in the morning, it was January, and it was cold,

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cold, cold,” he said. They took the infant into the ambulance and went to the hospital. But it was too late; the baby had died of sudden infant death syndrome. “I could drive right to the house today if I had to,” Weller said. People who work as EMTs, doctors, funeral directors and

clergy routinely see depths of grief and loss that many of us do not. But instead of wearing them down, exposure to the entire circle of life often strengthens their commitment to work. And many of them rely on their faith to make this work an integral part of their lives. Weller, who now coordinates the emergency medical services and paramedic program at South Central College, can name many fellow EMTs who got out of the business because the stress was too much: “We can all go back in our careers and talk about, ‘You remember so-andso?’ That call. That’s what pushed them over the edge.” Stress is ever-present in these types of careers. But so is the notion of helping people during times of greatest need, and that’s what drew Waseca Rev. Laurie Bushbaum of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship said it has taken time and experience to learn how funeral director Tim Dennis into the to help others cope with loss and grief. | Pat Christman business. Church also said that many years in the ministry prepared him “My dad’s a pastor, and I saw how Dad worked with families for the work he does now. Immanuel is a larger congregation in tough situations in times of death. That was part of what that averages 12 funerals a year. One of his first calls was at intrigued me, and I looked toward doing this type of work,” small church in South Dakota, where he didn’t have a funeral Dennis said. until his fifth year in. Dennis still relies on the faith he was raised with, and as an “We used to joke that our motto was, ‘Join our church and observer of the grieving process for more than 30 years on the you won’t die,’” he said with a laugh. job, he sees the difference faith can make for families. He also worked as a professor at Immanuel Lutheran College “When families have a chance to draw on faith, they can in Eau Claire, Wis., a place where he did not routinely deal come through things in a stronger way,” he said. with life and death issues. However, he could not escape it in For Dennis, the job — and everything it entails — is a family his own life. While in Eau Claire, his wife suffered miscarriages. affair. He’s in business with his wife, Becky, and they raised He said he did not deal with the situation well, throwing four daughters literally in the funeral home. himself into his work. “We lived at the funeral home for 15 years. We tried to make “It was a sad way to deal with it, but I look back on it and our setting as normal as possible. If they wanted to do things say God was preparing me for this call because I’ve had to do with friends, if they wanted to play in the funeral home side of quite a bit of that over the years.” things, we allowed it. We wanted them to grow up thinking it’s Nolting, who raised four healthy children with his wife, said a family business and not something to be afraid of,” Dennis of those sad situations: “Your heart goes out; this is something said. where you cry with people.” Mankato pastor Laurie Bushbaum has similar views. Her Nolting said it’s impossible to not have questions when kids, now 17 and 21 years old, have watched her minister to tragedy and loss strike, even for the most faithful, especially people in times of death and grief. when children are involved. “My 3-year-old niece died about five years ago, and they “For the world, this is terrible. Everything you love has were part of that. They were around to witness my mother’s ended, and you aren’t sure about the future,” he said. dying. It’s always been a part of their life and I’m glad for that,” Bushbaum said she has struggled with doubts and challenges Bushbaum said. “They were reading books about death and through her ministry, but no longer carries that burden in the dying when they were 3 or 4.” way she used to. Both her pastoral experiences, and witnessing She said instead of dwelling on the morbid aspects of death, her parents’ deaths, have given her a different model of she emphasized to her kids that it is part of the natural cycle of suffering. life. “That has helped me carry that toward other people,” she Even so, that can be easier said than done. Bushbaum, who said. is 56 and serves the Mankato Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Bushbaum said she uses exercise, yoga, meditation and said dark events are bound to affect those who work regularly prayer to get her through the difficult aspects of her job. with death and tragedy. Only recently has she been able to For Weller, it’s about having faith in the system. After a better withstand those dark moments. stressful emergency, everyone involved comes together for a “The older I get, and the longer I’ve done my ministry, the debriefing to assess the situation from beginning to end. better I get at both being present to suffering and not letting it Seeing all parts of the picture can erase issues of isolation. shape my life. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve just learned to be more “There’s more solace in that,” Weller said. “Knowing you’re intentional about my own spiritual practice and doing this not the only one feeling some of this stuff.” M work without being worn down,” Bushbaum said. The Rev. Paul Nolting of Mankato’s Immanuel Lutheran MANKATO MAGAZINE • April 2014 • 21

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Keeping the

Two young Mankatoans share their perspective


By Nell Musolf

evoting a life and career to religious faith is a commitment indeed. For some, like Christian Bach, the calling comes early. The 16-year-old was only in sixth grade when she was compelled to begin exploring sisterhood. For others, like pastor-in-waiting Jeff Hendrix, the calling comes more gradually. Though faith has always been part of his life, he came to the profession after completing a master’s degree in digital storytellng. Here, we learn a little more about Hendrix and Bach, two young Mankatoans who are making the commitment to a life and career in their faith.

Jeff Hendrix

Finding the faith profession

Growing up in St. Joseph, Mich., Jeffrey Hendrix was a Christian from the day he was born two months prematurely and was baptized into the faith. Now 26, Hendrix is attending Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary where he will graduate with a masters of divinity in 2016. Although he will then officially be a Lutheran pastor, becoming a pastor was never one of Hendrix’s lifelong goals. “My parents raised me in the faith, sent me to a Lutheran grade school, let me go to a Lutheran high school, and after that I wanted to go nowhere else than a Lutheran college,” Hendrix said. “But I never wanted to be a pastor — in fact, I remember thinking in high school that being a pastor was the last thing that I wanted to do.” Hendrix chose to go to a Lutheran college because he understood that people don’t separate their faith from their vocation and that he wanted as much education in the faith as possible for he set out in the work world. After graduating from Bethany Lutheran College in 2010 with a degree in communication, Hendrix moved to Indiana to attend graduate school at Ball State University. He received a master’s in digital storytelling from Ball State in 2010. “My original goal was to get a degree in communications and work in the film industry,” Hendrix said. “I would use my religious education to possibly create Christian media. But halfway through my college experience at Bethany, I realized I had learned so much about the faith and that it was so applicable to everything in life that I wanted to share it with others in a more direct way. I had many fantastic professors

who encouraged me to look into attending the seminary and become a pastor.” Something Hendrix learned at BLC and that has remained with him is that there are two types of “faith.” “There are the faith which is believed and the faith which believes,” Hendrix said. “The ‘faith which is believed’ is what the Bible teaches, specifically about Jesus and salvation, and what the church has been trying to keep clear for its entire existence. The ‘faith which believes’ is my personal faith, which trusts in Jesus as my savior. Both are important but not many people think about the distinction, or even know about the first side, the objective side of faith.” Hendrix believes that many people have forgotten that objective side of faith and view it only as subjective; or in other words, that the only thing that matters is their relationship with Jesus. “That gives them the freedom to really believe and do whatever they want,” Hendrix said. “Postmodernism certainly plays in that. But the faith is more than just a relationship. It’s the source of your whole life and so it has to be objective, too.” The year after next, Hendrix’s final year at BLTS, will be spent doing field work in a church. After that year, candidates wait assignment to a church. “The leaders of our church body, the Evangelical Lutheran Synod, and BLTS try to match up our skills with a congregation,” Hendrix explained. “The people of that local congregation then ‘call’ us to be their pastor.” Hendrix said that if and when he gets a call to serve as a pastor, the first thing that he will need to do is learn about his new flock and figure out how he can best serve them and not simply bring in his own ideas on how he thinks the church should be run. “I will be called to explain what the Scriptures teach, to teach the faith. I will also be called to help nurture and strengthen people in their faith through the objective means; the Word and Sacraments.” Hendrix will be getting married this summer and is looking forward to sharing with his new wife his experiences as a pastor. He also hopes to use his media and video skills in some way to supplement his ministry. “I know that God will place me where I am needed, even though I might not realize it,” Hendrix said. “But that’s part of living under the cross.”

LEFT Jeff Hendrix; photo by Pat Christman. NEXT PAGE: Mankato Loyola junior Christian Bach; photo by Pat Christman MANKATO MAGAZINE • April 2014 • 23

Christian Bach

An early start in the faith

Although she is only 16 years old, Mankatoan Christian Bach has always led a life that has centered around her strong Catholic faith. When Bach was in the sixth grade, she heard about the Blessed Marie Catherine of Saint Augustine Aspirancy (Formation Program) in Avondale, Penn., from a group of sisters who were in Mankato on a mission. After experiencing the contagious joy of the sisters and seeing how they reached the children in their audience, Bach felt called to explore the lifestyle of being a nun and see if it might be for her. She had to wait a few years until she was old enough and last year spent the 2012-2013 school year at the Aspirancy. “We woke up at 6 a.m. every day and had a half-hour of Eucharistic Adoration before we started our school day,” Bach remembered. “After classes we would have sports, and on Tuesdays we helped teach. At least once a month we would head to Washington, D.C., for retreats, spiritual direction and feast days. We also frequently visited parishes in New York City.” Bach has returned to Mankato and is attending Loyola High School. At the moment, she is enjoying being in Mankato with her family, parents Mike and Sandy Bach, and brothers, James and Matthew. If Bach decides to become a sister, she will have to enter the novitiate after high school and stay there as a postulant and novice. After that, she would be sent on to an assignment (destino). After several years of discernment and preparation, it would be time to take her final vows. “My faith continues to be very central to my life,” Bach said. “I want to serve one way or another, either as a sister or as a lay person.” One of Bach’s favorite quotes comes from Pope Francis and says, in part: “We need saints who go to movies, listen to music and hang out with friends. We need saints committed to the poor and the necessary social changes. We need saints who drink Coke and eat hot dogs, who wear jeans, who are Internet savvy, who listen to CDs. We need saints who passionately love the Eucharist and who are not ashamed to drink a soda or eat pizza on the weekends with friends. We need saints who put God in first place, but who let go of their power.” M

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By Jean Lundquist

Almost razed in 1905, the First Congregational Church now houses Two Fish Studios. | Photo courtesy of Blue Earth County Historical Society.

Reconditioned relics W

Old churches find new life

hat happens to a once-beloved church when its congregation moves on and out? Sometimes it falls into disrepair in the countryside and eventually falls down. Sometimes it sits abandoned for nearly 30 years before it is transformed into upscale apartments, and sometimes it sits abandoned before becoming a recording studio. The first scenario has played out in rural areas across the region. The last two have happened at least once each in Mankato. The current Devine Towers Apartments at 413 S. Broad St. in Mankato grew from this circumstance. On December 16, 1888, the Mankato First Baptist Church was dedicated in its own building. The congregation had been

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holding services in other buildings in Mankato, including churches, but felt unwelcome. According to old newspaper reports, the congregation had met in storefronts, the Masonic Hall, and other church buildings when they were not in use. The congregation was small, only 12 members, but found the money to erect a small wooden church at the site of the current Union School Building (now an office complex); then later, a two-spired brick building on Broad Street. The congregation thrived there — even in 1905 when lightning struck the taller of the two spires and started a fire. The church was saved, but the spire was not rebuilt. Instead it was squared off, as it remains today. When the Baptist congregation left in the late 1970s, the

education center was converted to living quarters. For a while, it was home to fraternity members. Later, it became the first home of the Welcome Inn, the local homeless shelter. Meanwhile, the actual church portion of the building remained unheated and unused. In the ensuing years, the building fell prey to the elements and to vandals. In the late 1990s, local businessman Scott Rech purchased the building to save it from demolition, saying to local reporters that he “liked old buildings.” He renovated the useable part and told a Free Press reporter he envisioned a restaurant in the front part of the church Local developer Shawn Clow had a different vision for the future of the building, and bought it to renovate into “affluent taste” apartments. Clow says he is a “glass guy” and was initially drawn by the remaining stained glass windows in the building. Though the sale of the stained-glass windows helped finance the renovation, he still has several of the windows in his possession. Clow, who is the owner and occupant of The Cray Mansion in Mankato, says the First Baptist Church was his first big development project. He calls it “a leap of faith.” In 2002 when he purchased the First Baptist building, he redeveloped the living quarters in the rear of the building Phase 2 began in 2003. Great care was taken, he said, to not disturb the exterior of the building, though many upgrades were needed to bring it to code for apartments. The building seemed undisturbed from the 1970s, he recalled. “When we went into the building, it was like they had passed the plate, left and locked the doors,” Clow says. “Hymnals were still in the pews.” Today, there are eight units at 413 S. The former First Baptist Church now houses the Devine Towers apartment complex. | Photo courtesy of Broad St. in the now-named Devine Towers Blue Earth County Historical Society. Apartments, which Clow no longer owns. The First Congregational Church was Fish Studios. organized just a few blocks away at 729 S. Second St. in the According to Wes Schuck: “There was no furnace, no 1880s. George Gage, the first president of the Mankato Normal heating, no windows. …We needed help with funding from the School, was a principal in the congregation. city.” The building was almost razed in 1905 when Pastor E. L. The studio set up shop in the basement, eventually expanding Heersmance told parishioners that the building had outlived its into the main floor of the old church. purpose and a new building was needed to replace it. “The acoustics are amazing,” said Schuck, adding that The congregation outvoted their pastor, however. The artists who come to the studios are surprised to find an old building was raised instead of razed, and a new basement and church is the studio they will be recording in. foundation was built. It featured a stage on one end for Sunday As for the name, Two Fish Studios, Schuck said many school presentations. wonder if there is a biblical tie between the building and the The First Congregational Church was also abandoned in the name. Schuck said there is not. 1970s, when the group went in on building and occupying the Two Fish Studios are actually named after the Dr. Seuss Multi-Church Center with the First Baptist Church and the book “One Fish, Two Fish.” M Centenary United Methodist Church. The First Congregational Church at 729 S. Second St. sat empty until 1997 when Wes and Kristi Schuck created Two MANKATO MAGAZINE • April 2014 • 27


By John Cross


nlike Christmas, which always falls on December 25, the date for the other major Christian holiday, Easter, is a moving target. Easter traditionally falls on the first Sunday after the full moon following the March equinox — the first day of spring. Depending on just when the full moon occurs, Easter can be as early as March 22 or as late as April 25. This year, the Easter holiday falls on April 20. By that time, with a little luck, there should be no need for ear flaps on those Easter bonnets. M

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MANKATO MAGAZINE • April 2014 • 29

Day Trip Destinations: Target Field

By Leticia Gonzales

ABOVE and RIGHT The stately Target Field remains a destination for Minnesotans. | Photos courtesy of Minnesota Twins

Target destination

Rediscovering Target Field and downtown Minneapolis


or many, baseball seems to conjure up images of peanuts, blue skies and pleasant temperatures. If you live in Minnesota, however, you know the weather can go either way when the Minnesota Twins open the season each year at Target Field. Although the team is in its fourth season in the new ballpark, there is still something adventurous for outstate fans when they travel to downtown Minneapolis to catch a ballgame in the open air. Since its debut in April 2010, Target Field has been recognized for its amenities, venue quality and overall feel by several organizations, including Ballpark Digest and ESPN Magazine. Whether you have been to one game or 20, each visit promises a new adventure. David Pinney, a 24-year-old Twins fan from Le Sueur is aiming to attend as many as he can this season. “Since Target Field opened, I believe I’ve averaged three games attended per year,” he said. “Hopefully, this year sees 30 • April 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

that number increase.” Even with a set plan to attend the home opener, Pinney said the weather could quickly interfere. “I went last year and it was an awesome feeling to be there at the start of a new season, but it was so cold; game time temperature was below freezing,” said Pinney. “If it looks like that’s going to be the case again this year, then I might have to wait for some warmer days.” Aside from the fluctuation in weather, Pinney said there is everything to love about the ballpark. “Target Field provides an amazing way to watch baseball,” he said. “In my experience, there isn’t a seat with a poor view of the field in the building. My favorite place to watch from is the standing area directly above the batter’s eye in center field.” If you want to get an even closer look of the field, consider signing up for one of Target Field’s public tours, which are offered March through October. Non-game day, game day and pre-game tour options are available.

Nice Ride is a bike-sharing service in downtown Minneapolis. | Photo courtesy of Nice Ride “The non-game day regular tour is the most popular,” said Rick Olson, Target Field tours coordinator. The tours allow guests to not only go to the visitors’ club house, but they can walk into the dugout and on the field. “Those are things you can’t do when you go to the game,” he said. Olson said he has encountered many season ticket holders who have shared that they “never knew there was so much history displayed at Target Field. “That is what we focus on in the tour,” Olson said. From Kirby Pucket’s gold glove, to a picture of the historic Minneapolis Millerettes, there are treasures to be seen. “We have display cases that have stuff from the old Mets stadium,” he said. “There is just a whole lot of unique stuff you get to see.” Having a ballpark in the heart of downtown Minneapolis

also offers fans a chance to explore what’s around them. Target field accommodates virtually all aspects of transportation. “The light-rail is my favorite way to get to the stadium,” Pinney said. “I’ve driven in the past, but the traffic can become more of a headache than I’m willing to deal with. The light-rail is very reasonably priced and allows me and my friends to park somewhere away from the congestion the game causes.” Target Field Station, which is slated to celebrate its grand opening May 17, will connect downtown visitors to the metro area via light rail transit, as well as biking and walking trails. This addition is an added bonus to what is already in place. Fans can already congregate on the Target Plaza – a pedestrian bridge that covers more than two acres. “My tip would be to take the time to walk around the entire stadium,” Pinney said. “There are some really stunning glimpses of the Minneapolis skyline to be seen and the park itself is beautiful.” Bicycle stands also surround the ballpark, so if you are looking for an additional activity during your visit to Target Field, consider renting a bike from Nice Ride. Nice Ride is a non-profit bike-sharing service in downtown Minneapolis. The subscription service is set to launch its fourth season, which typically begins the first week in April. “For the 2014 season, it is possible that the launch will be delayed due to the extreme amount of snow we’ve received this winter,” said Anthony Ongaro, marketing director at Nice Ride. “The majority of snow banks will need to be melted before we can deploy the system.” The organization offers two stations near Target Field; one at 2nd Avenue between Fifth Street South and Sixth Street South, with another at Fifth Avenue South between Fourth Street North and 5th Street North. “Nice Ride users love to visit the IDS Center Crystal Court, shopping and food on Nicollet Mall, but very close attractions include the Stone Arch Bridge, St. Anthony Main and Lake Calhoun,” said Ongaro. “It’s a very quick ride over to Loring Park and the Walker Sculpture Garden.” And if you are short on time, there are plenty of destinations around the corner. “Definitely ride over to the Stone Arch Bridge and grab a bite to eat -- makes for a great afternoon,” Ongaro said. Even if the weather isn’t on your side on game day, sometimes it is just best to enjoy the moment. “The constant buzz of the crowd is what really makes attending a game at Target Field exciting,” Pinney said. “Thinking back to Twins games in the Metrodome, it’s also just a good feeling to be sitting with friends, outside, watching a baseball game.” For more about this Day Trip Destination, please see the following page. MANKATO MAGAZINE • April 2014 • 31


Mall of America

f you are looking for a longer day trip, hop on the Light Rail Blue Line (Hiawatha) and head to the Mall of America. The light rail route passes through 19 transit stations and takes a little over 40 minutes between downtown Minneapolis and the Mall. Last month, the Mall of America broke ground on a $300 million expansion project on the building’s North side. “When complete in August 2015, the expansion will include a luxury hotel, office tower, retail space and more,” said Sarah Schmidt, Mall of America public relations manager. Despite the construction, guests can enjoy a variety of activities and attractions in one location. “There is so much to do, so I would definitely try to plan your trip accordingly,” she said. In addition to the familiar attractions such as Nickelodeon Universe theme park, House of Comedy, a 14-screen movie theatre and the 1.3 million gallon Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium, guests can look forward to other activities. “Our newest attraction offering is the Mall of America EMS Exhibit Center, which is a 60,000-square-foot space that will house up to three different exhibits at a time,” said Schmidt. “We recently opened our Barbie Dreamhouse exhibit, which will be at the Mall for about two years.” The “CSI: The Experience” will be also be opening next to the Barbie Dreamhouse exhibit late spring. Other events to keep on the radar during your visit include the Mall’s annual Passage to China event April 5 and 6, “where guests can experience Chinese culture with many activities, performances, and food tastings.” The New York Times best-selling author and creator of the Hungry Girl brand, Lisa Lillien, will sign copies of her new book on April 7 at the Mall, while the Vikings Cheerleaders will host their auditions on April 22. The annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is scheduled for Mother’s Day, May 11. “That is always an amazing event,” Schmidt said. If you get lost or need some navigation tips from the experts, the Mall offers a mobile site to its guests. “When on-site, we have an awesome text-messaging program where guests can text in their questions to us and we will respond instantly,” Schmidt said. With the help of signs placed around the mall, guests can text 952-479-4839 while they shop. “We’ve helped guests with everything, whether that be finding the perfect gift for a loved one, finding a specific store, or even finding their vehicle.” 32 • April 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

Mill City Museum


inneapolis offers many destinations in proximity to Target Field. Mill City Museum, located at 704 South Second St., is just a little over a mile

away. “Getting to Mill City Museum from Target Field, or vice-versa, is quite simple on the Blue Line of the light rail,” said Laura Salveson, Mill City director, “We are four Mill City Museum quick stops away. In fact, 704 South Second Street you might find it easier to Minneapolis, MN 55401 park in proximity to the museum and take the train to the game.” There are also several other convenient options to get you to and from the museum “If visitors are driving, parking is available in area ramps, a surface lot across South Second Street from the museum, or metered street parking,” she said. The museum is housed in a building that was once touted to be the world’s largest flour mill when it was completed in 1880. Since renovated by the city of Minneapolis, the museum features various exhibits as well as a water lab and baking lab. “If visitors are short on time, try to get a scheduled time on the Flour Tower, a one-of-a-kind experience,” Salveson said. “Visitors sit in the cab of a freight elevator and travel up and down through seven stories, each floor designed to look like a different floor of a working flour mill, and hear the voices of people who actually worked in the complex when it was a flour milling complex.” With April and May being the museum’s busiest season for school field trips, Salveson recommends other guests plan their visits after 2 p.m. if they plan to come on a weekday. You will also find a museum store and D’Amico and Sons café. M

If you go

TOP LEFT The Mall of America broke ground on a $300 million expansion project in March. TOP RIGHT The Mill City Museum offers a unique window into Minneapolis’ milling history.

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MANKATO MAGAZINE • April 2014 • 33

That’s Life By Nell Musolf

Spring cleaning — from the top down I

can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t one of the tallest people in any group, and truly, I’ve never minded being tall since it had so many advantages. The tall kids got to walk at the end of the line in grade school, stand in the back row for class pictures and we always had our desks in the back of the classroom, an ideal spot to write notes to my best friend and read books instead of paying attention in geography. Being tall also had the added perk of enabling me to reach the box of Twinkies that my mom kept hidden on a top shelf in the kitchen and also helped me to get into R-rated movies before I had my driver’s license. Having lived much of my life at almost 6 feet tall, I admit that most of the time I didn’t think a lot about what was going on below my vantage point. What happened below my field of vision, stayed below my field of vision. This lack of attention on my part became all too obvious when my husband and I decided to paint our kitchen cupboards last spring. While I was sitting on the kitchen floor, brush in hand, back aching and wishing that we had decided to get new cupboards instead of painting the old ones, I made a shocking discovery: I’m a lower-level slob. An Oscar Madison below the knees. A Suzy Homemaker Not. From the countertops down, I’d let our house go. The cabinet handles on all the bottom cupboards were grimy, the baseboards were fuzzy with cat hair and that dark and gloomy space under the kitchen sink? I’ve seen landfills that were better organized. Things weren’t always in such sad shape down under. When our boys were little, I made sure that the kitchen floor — and everything that touched it — sparkled. I could see the dirt below the countertops back 34 • April 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

in those days because I was down there with it as I picked up our kids at least 50 times every day. But as the kids got taller and no longer needed hoisting from the ground to my arms, I left that all behind. I don’t want to give the impression that I never clean my cupboard handles or totally ignore the wasteland underneath the sink. It’s simply that I’m not in contact with that part of our kitchen anymore. Toss in a case of nearsightedness on par with Mr. Magoo’s and it’s easy to understand how that up-close-and-personal relationship with the kitchen floor died a natural and unlamented death. But after rescuing the cupboards with a coat of fresh paint, I knew that the time had come to put in a little extra floor time cleaning the bottom half of my kitchen and vowed that, from that point on, I would be paying a visit to our linoleum on a regular basis. My good intentions lasted until I got up. Or I tried to get up. The ability to scramble from the kitchen floor to a standing position had apparently vanished along with little boys holding up their arms and requesting a free ride. As I grabbed the counter to pull myself slowly to my feet, I amended that ridiculous cleaning vow and changed it to a set in stone promise to myself to clean the bottom half of our kitchen at least on major holidays — every other leap year. It was around that point that I started to examine my own cleaning philosophy and came to the conclusion that it was much like the

perennial question about the tree falling in the forest. If I can’t see the dust and grime that is having a family reunion beneath my countertops, does it really exist? I don’t have the answer to that thought-provoking question yet — although it does make me happy to believe that the things I can’t see aren’t really happening. Head in the sand as it might be, it would be nice to be able to ignore such issues from the ever-lurking Visa bill to wondering what exactly my sons are doing when they’re out at 2 in the morning. In the meantime, I’m concentrating on perfecting my tunnel vision and on keeping spotless those areas of our house that I can easily see — and thus easily tackle. (All modesty aside, I have to say that the top of our refrigerator positively glows.) Like so many things in life, cleaning depends on your perspective. From my height, things are looking good. Or, at least they’re looking up. M

Nell Musolf is a mom and a freelance writer from Mankato.


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MANKATO MAGAZINE • April 2014 • 35

What’s Cooking By Sarah Johnson

Taking the ultimate test of faith


ooking is one of the biggest leaps of faith you can take. (Put this pan of sloppy goo into the oven and watch a delicious cake emerge? Ha! Next thing I know you’ll be telling me the Earth is round and hurtling around a giant fireball at 66,660 miles per hour.) Thus, cooking truly is a spiritual activity, reminding us to enjoy the moment, appreciate our four senses, feel gratitude for the earth’s bounty and learn a little about trust and faith. The hard way, often. Learning from one’s mistakes (or “sins”) is a great part of the joy of cooking and can be accomplished in one of two ways: 1) with humiliation alone, or 2) with humiliation and physical pain combined. Harken unto some of these true disaster stories gleaned from that repository of truth: the Internet. Because sometimes the answer to our kitchen prayers is a resounding “No.” — “I forgot to pit the cherries for a cherry cheesecake.” (Crunchy!) — “The first turkey I ever cooked — using a brown paper bag as my mama did — I didn’t realize the bag still contained a receipt from the Salvation Army thrift store. It baked right onto the bird and was completely legible to my guests.” (Possibly the best kitchen story of all time.) — “I frequently grab the handle of skillets which have been in the oven. I have scars. When will I learn?” (Ah, yes, the scars. If I had a nickel for every time I burned myself in the kitchen, I’d have enough to cover the cost of the burn cream.) — “I decided I’d make the fancy carrot cake mix from Williams Sonoma my aunt had bought me for Christmas when I got home from drinking LOTS of beer. I only had blueberry yogurt in my fridge, so I used that instead of milk. Not a good combo AT ALL.” — “As a child I attempted to reheat a paper plate of French fries, right on top of the burner. Nearly burned the kitchen down.” — “Family and friends were awaiting my first Thanksgiving turducken, made from scratch, including the de-boning. It was supposed to be served at about 5 p.m. It

wasn’t done cooking until 9:30 p.m. That was one grumpy group of starving diners.” — “Last year at Thanksgiving, she wrapped extra stuffing a little too tightly in aluminum foil and put it in the oven with the turkey. Pressure built up in the foil and it burst. Blew the oven door open and stuffing was everywhere.” — “I had the bright idea for a Super Bowl party menu to use duck wings instead of chicken wings. Good thing I tested out the recipe the day before. My husband still refers to it as ‘the time you tried to kill me by making me eat rubber bands.’” (Husbands are fair game. They know the rules: If he doesn’t like it, he can always take me out to a nice dinner somewhere. Works for me.) — “We had just finished dinner and decided to open the back door for fresh air, and we all sat around the kitchen table, drinking port, having a lovely time, until Mr. Rat decided to run in the kitchen from the back door we had opened. One friend went running outside screaming her head off, another grabbed the kitchen mat and tried to guard the entryway to ensure it did not get to the rest of the house, another friend was up on a chair screaming, the dog was running around crazy. We finally got Mr. Rat trapped, but then we had to holler to the neighborhood not to call the cops, we already had one at the house. He was the one standing on the chair screaming.” Ah, the old “cop on the chair screaming” scenario. You’d think they’d hire a braver class of individual, but no. For the ultimate test of your faith, try baking Forgotten Cookies. The object is to heat up the oven, but then turn it off right before you put the cookies in to bake, and then you can’t open the oven door for five hours. My mother used to tape the oven door shut so four curious kids would keep their noses out. M Sarah Johnson is a cook, freelance writer and chocolate addict from North Mankato with three grown kids and a couple of mutts.

Forgotten Cookies 3 egg whites 1 teaspoon cream of tartar 1 cup sugar Food coloring of your choice 1 cup chocolate chips Preheat oven to 375 degrees for at least 15 minutes. Beat egg whites until stiff. Add cream of tartar. Slowly add sugar and food coloring. Fold in chocolate chips by hand. Drop by teaspoons on two cookie sheets lined with wax paper. Place cookies in oven and TURN OFF OVEN. Keep oven door closed for five hours. No peeking. 36 • April 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

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MANKATO MAGAZINE • April 2014 • 37

Your Health

By Melinda Wenner Moyer | Slate

Sound machines won’t make your baby deaf


f you, like me, have used a whitenoise machine to help your wee one sleep, you probably had a panic attack when you saw the headlines last month. “Warning: Infant sound machines may lead to hearing loss,” screamed “Popular Infant Sound Machines May Be Hazardous to Babies’ Hearing,” warned the Huffington Post. Similar scare stories appeared on the websites of Fox News and USA Today. My favorite was Health Newsline’s headline, which claimed that sleep machines can cause deafness. These stories were all based on the results of a single study published in Pediatrics. And although the study raised questions about how whitenoise machines should be used, it didn’t show that the machines caused hearing loss or deafness. In fact, “not a single infant was harmed in the study,” explains lead author Blake Papsin, a pediatric otolaryngologist at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children — because no babies were involved in the study. Moreover, many of the articles covering the study emphasized that every single one of the sound machines exceeded a “recommended noise limit,” yet this limit has nothing to do with infant safety or hearing loss at all. First, let me briefly describe the study. Papsin and his colleagues at the University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children tested the loudness of 65 white-noise sounds emitted by 14 infant sleep machines when these machines were set to maximum volume. They recorded how loud the machines would be when placed a little under a foot from an infant’s ears — if, say, you put a sleep machine inside your child’s crib or mounted it on the crib rail — as well as how loud the machines would be when they were placed 3 1/4 feet or 6 1/2 feet from infants’ ears — so, on the nightstand. They made mathematical corrections to account for the fact that an infant’s ear canal responds to sounds 38 • April 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

differently than an adult’s does. Overall, they found that, at maximum volume, every one of the noise machines placed within 3 1/4 feet of infants’ ears were capable of producing sounds that exposed the babies to more than 50 A-weighted decibels, what the study describes as “the current recommended noise limit for infants in hospital nurseries.” That sounds bad, right? Well, I was curious about this “recommended noise limit,” so I did some digging — and it turns out that the limit, recommended in 1999 by the National Resource Center, has nothing to do with protecting infants’ hearing. It was set for neonatal intensive care units, or NICUs, with the primary objective being “to preserve a large portion of each hour for infant sleep.” Sleep is crucial for premature infants, and loud noises startle and bother NICU babies more than they disturb fullterm healthy babies, so the limit primarily exists to help premature babies snooze better. That’s funny, because helping babies sleep better is, of course, exactly why parents use white noise machines. The 1999 report even addressed whether loud NICUs might hurt premature infants’ ears and concluded that, “not surprisingly,” harmful effects from loud NICU noise “have not been demonstrated consistently.” And white-noise machines do seem to help babies sleep better. The idea behind white noise is that it masks sudden sounds (doorbell, dog barking, older brother screaming), making it easier for babies — and, well, everyone — to fall and stay asleep. One small trial found, for instance, that more than threequarters of newborns fell asleep within five minutes when they were exposed to white noise, compared with only a quarter of newborns who tried to fall asleep without it. So did the study raise any cause for concern? Yes. The researchers found that three of the 65 sounds

emitted by these 14 sound machines, when turned all the way up and placed within a foot of infants’ ears, would bombard infants with a noise level exceeding 85 A-weighted decibels, a safety limit set by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for workers exposed for eighthour stretches. (For comparison, 50 decibels is the sound level associated with moderate rainfall; 60 decibels corresponds to the noise of typical conversation; 70 decibels is comparable to the sound of a vacuum cleaner; and blenders and blowdryers emit 80 to 90 decibels. Don’t beat yourself up, parents who have used the vacuum cleaner as a noise machine while waiting for the real deal to arrive from Amazon.) The authors point out that the 85-decibel limit is, of course, set for adults, and so it may not be conservative enough for infants, whose developing ears might be more sensitive and prone to harm. In other words, 85-decibel white noise could very well be dangerous; unfortunately, the study did not name these obnoxiously loud brands, so there’s no way to know which machines to avoid. There is, however, some controversy here, because when researchers stuck microphones in pregnant women’s uteruses for a 1990 study I’m glad I wasn’t a part of, they found that

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fetuses are exposed to between 72 and 88 decibels of baseline noise in the womb — the latter being about as loud as the maximum output of the white-noise machines tested in the study. Yet as far as I know, no one thinks of the womb as a dangerous environment. (Papsin, however, isn’t convinced by the uterus-microphone study and says that no one really knows what goes on inside the womb and that the nature of the noise in there may be very different.) So what do we know about the effects of white-noise machines on hearing? Not much. As the study itself points out, “hearing evaluations have not yet been systematically performed in a large group of children previously exposed to infant sleep machine noise.” Animal studies tell us very little too. One 2009 study found that when rats were exposed to 80 decibels of white noise, eight hours a day, for two weeks during the critical period in their hearing development, their neurons shifted in how they responded to stimuli, but the researchers did not test inner-ear function or other aspects of behavior or cognition, so it’s unclear what that means. Another study found that rats’ hearing became impaired when they were exposed to 100 or 110 decibels of broadband noise, eight hours a day, for five days, but that their hearing wasn’t affected when they were exposed to 90 decibels. So where does this leave us? Clearly we need more research on white noise. Until we get it, I’ll turn my sound machine down a few notches and avoid letting my kid snuggle ear-to-speaker with those white-noise-making stuffed animals. But I am certain that white noise has helped my son get a lot more shuteye these last few years, and that this extra sleep has been undeniably good for his health and development — not to mention my sanity. M Moyer is a science writer living in Cold Spring, N.Y. and is DoubleX’s parenting advice columnist.

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507.469.8276 MANKATO MAGAZINE • April 2014 • 39

Garden Chat By Jean Lundquist

Seeds to sow, stories to tell T

he winter hiatus from this gardening column has been a chance to connect with some very special and interesting people who also garden. But before we get into their stories, I want to catch up a bit with you and what is needed for us who live to garden. If you haven’t yet started your peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, Brussels sprouts and broccoli, it’s not too late. But with that said, you don’t have a moment to spare. I always strive to start my seeds by the Ides of March (the 15th day of the month). The Ides fell on a Saturday this year, and I had a great day. Now onto the interesting people and gardeners I’ve met since last we met here: I’ve tried to grow sweet potatoes for several years, but always ended up with thin, spiky tubers that looked like witches’ fingers. The vines would grow out from the original planting and, at every node, set down roots that wanted to grow up to be sweet potatoes but never did. My friend and fellow Master Gardener Barb Lamson called me last fall to come and witness her success with sweet potatoes. I’ve never seen such beautiful things, even in the aisles of a grocery store. Had I not seen them with my own eyes, I would have said a sarcastic, “Yeah, right.” But there they were. Such beauty to behold on her patio table! So, of course, I pressed her for the secrets to her success. Thankfully, she was more than willing to share. “You need to make sure you start with Beauregard roots as the variety,” she said. “Only Beauregard will do.” Barb gets her roots at a nursery when she visits a brother in Missouri, but I also found Beauregard roots this spring. Her next secret is to lay down black landscape fabric, so the nodes cannot root when they spread. Barb is also not averse to cutting off runners when they stray from her landscape fabric. “No fertilizer, no water,” she says. Just dig up in the fall, she said, and you’ll be amazed. I must say, Barb shared some of her sweet potatoes with me to convince me of their quality. If my Beauregard roots don’t perform for me as they did for her last year, I might need to ask her to convince me again. Yum! I told you last fall about how much I love watermelon, but cannot find any way to make it stay good through the winter, or even to enjoy all of it while it’s fresh. Ken Schmitt of Mankato has introduced me to a new way of enjoying and preserving watermelon. He traces his heritage to 1700s Russia, where his ancestors relocated after unrest in southern Germany. In the Ukraine, his ancestors found land fertile for growing watermelon, and a tradition was born. That tradition? Pickled watermelon. But Ken’s pickled watermelon is not sweet and cloying rind. His watermelon pickles are the red meat, and include garlic, onion, red peppers and dill. And they stay crispy. 40 • April 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

Barb Lamson’s impressive haul of sweet potatoes and Ken Schmitt’s pickled watermelons are just two of the garden secrets I learned in the offseason. | Photos courtesy of Jean Lundquist Ken’s dad and grandparents emigrated to the United States in the 1890s. He came to settle in South Dakota, where Ken said his father used to submerge whole watermelons in salted water as part of the pickling process. “When they came to the top, boy would they smell!” he remembers. Yet somewhere along the way, Ken became convinced of the value in pickled watermelon. Ken’s aunt, Erna Doerr, gave him the family recipe for the pickled watermelon sometime in the 1940s, as he recalls. Her recipe said to put the jar of watermelon into a sink full of hot water for 15 minutes, then drain water and refill sink with hot water for another 15 minutes. He doesn’t do that, choosing instead a boiling-water bath until the watermelon rises in the jars. His pickles are outstandingly good. Here are his proportions: Cut red part of melon to bite-size pieces Boil together: 6 cups water 1 cup sugar 1 cup white vinegar 4 level teaspoons salt Wash jars and put in each: Dill, garlic and a small hot pepper (or pepper flakes to taste) Put watermelon in hot jars, and cover with juice. If you run low on watermelon, add one cucumber to each jar. Ready to eat in two weeks. I don’t know how long it takes for the watermelon to lift in the jars yet, but I do know Ken’s watermelon pickles are like none other. M Jean Lundquist is a master gardener who lives near Good Thunder.


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MANKATO MAGAZINE • April 2014 • 41

Happy Hour

By M. Carrie Allan | Special


The Washington Post.

A Gibson hinges on its garnish


hen it’s made with a fresh pickled onion, I prefer a Gibson to the standard martini with its olive or lemon twist. A Gibson hinges on its garnish: Crunching into a flavorful allium at the beginning of the drink brings out new flavors in the gin and vermouth, adding a salty-sour note that transforms the martini into a cold, delicate onion soup, at once both aperitif and appetizer. Lurking at the bottom of every classic Gibson cocktail is a pickled onion, which can be crunched before or after the drink is consumed.This variation spirits away the onion itself and instead suffuses the drink with a red onion shrub, an acidic fruit syrup. Often, Gibson recipes call for an aged genever, but a good London dry-style gin will also work here. Traditionally, martinis — including a traditional Gibson — should be stirred. We suggest shaking The Onion Vanishes because the red onion shrub, once chilled, is thicker than the gin and vermouth; combining them benefits from a more vigorous agitation M

The Onion Vanishes

1 serving Ingredients For the shrub 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 large red onion, finely chopped 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 2 teaspoons ground white pepper 1 1/3 cups water 1 1/3 cups red wine vinegar 1 cup sugar 1 tablespoon salt

Steps For the shrub: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over mediumlow heat. Add the onion, thyme and white pepper; cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onion is soft and beginning to caramelize. Pour in the water and the vinegar; increase the heat to medium. Gradually stir in the sugar and the salt. Once they have dissolved, cook at a low boil for 1 minute, then reduce the heat to low; cook for 10 minutes, stirring as needed. Cool completely, then strain through a fine-mesh strainer or several layers of cheesecloth into a container with a tight-fitting lid. The yield is 2 cups. For the drink: Chill a cocktail (martini) glass. Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add the genever, dry vermouth and 3/4 ounce of the shrub. Shake for 30 seconds. Strain into the martini glass.

For the drink Ice 2 ounces genever, such as Boomsma Oude Fine Genever (may substitute a good, London-style dry gin) 1/2 ounce dry vermouth, such as Dolin Dry

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Your Style

By Elizabeth Mayhew | The Washington Post

Flowers on the wall to watch T

raditionally I have not been a fan of patterned wallpaper. I have always liked it in principle, and would happily use just about any design as wrapping paper, but when it comes to installing it in a room, I have rarely been able to do it. (I distinguish patterned paper from grasscloth and other solid textured coverings, which I use all the time, mostly because they, like paint, provide a neutral backdrop for almost all decorating schemes.) I have found that committing my walls to one design not only restricts my ability to use pattern elsewhere in the room but also limits me from making changes and updates to the room over time. For those reasons, I have installed patterned wallpaper only a few times in my decorating career, and every time I have used designs with a lot of white space, which has kept the room looking fresh and not too overdone. And when I have used it, it has always been in small rooms, like powder rooms, closets and cozy nooks. Case in point: In my old house, I used Albert Hadley’s Reddish Rose (available through designers at in my daughter’s tiny, under-the-eaves bedroom. The two-color pattern is predominantly white, so the room remained airy, but the wispy roses gave the awkward wall spaces some much needed visual interest. But lately my ambivalence about wallpaper has been replaced by a sudden willingness to cover every wall. Maybe it’s because I am just seeing more of it. These days wallpaper is on a roll (pun intended). Retailers such as CB2, West Elm, Ballard Designs, and Anthropologie, as well as a myriad of online sources — not to mention the classic trade-only sources — sell wall coverings that range in design from the dynamic to the demure, from the natural to the photo-realistic. In part, this craze can be chalked up to fashion; prints are hot. And as we so often see, runway trends quickly make their way into the interior design world. But there is another reason wallpaper is experiencing a renaissance: technology. Advances in digital imaging have made it possible to create complicated designs that were, until recently, impossible to achieve. Jeanne McComsey, design director of prints at Schumacher, explains that with digital imaging, “you can print hundreds of colors and textures that you could not do with traditional screen or block printing methods.” Take, for example, Schumacher’s new marble prints from Martyn Lawrence Bullard, which were inspired by trompe l’oeil techniques from the legendary decorator Renzo Mongiardino as well as from classic Venetian marbled paper. Such complex patterns that capture every vein and gradation of color could not have been achieved without digital processing; to the naked eye, these lapis, Carrara and topaz designs look like the real thing. Like Schumacher, Brett Design has capitalized on this technology to produce papers that replicate malachite, snakeskin and even quilted fabric. The same technology has enabled designers to blow up photographs into giant wall applications. At Murals Your Way you can choose from hundreds of images or upload your own photo, and they will enlarge it to custom fit your 44 • April 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

wall. Such advances have made wall coverings more appealing to people who, in the past, may have rejected the trend because of its granny, flowery stereotype. Other advances in application have made the use of wallpaper more democratic. Traditionally, wallpaper has been an expensive option: The paper itself is costly, as is the installation. But prepasted and paste-free designs have changed that. Recently, West Elm launched several pre-pasted designs that require only water to activate the glue.(This is the company’s first foray into wallpaper; more patterns will be launched in the fall.) Easy-tofollow, step-by-step directions on how to install the paper are available on the company’s Web site. Peter Fowler, West Elm’s head merchant for decorative accessories, says that putting it up “is definitely a DIY project,” by which he means the process isn’t hard, it just takes some time, particularly when you have to match a pattern. The company decided not to produce paste-free papers, which are essentially large wall decals, Fowler explains, because the peel-and-stick decals “can be quite challenging,” particularly when you are dealing with big walls. The decals are super sticky, and it’s hard to avoid bubbling. Still, peel-and-stick papers, which are removable, are a good option for renters who in the past had to live with ho-hum beige walls. Another reason wallpaper is so appealing right now is that there are any number of talented designers who are showing us how to hang it right. Tom Scheerer has singlehandedly popularized Quadrille’s Lyford Trellis pattern. He has skillfully used the chinoiseriestyle bamboo design in small and large rooms alike. The reason it works: The pattern gives the rooms a graphic architectural element. And New York-based interior decorator Connie Newberry points out that wallpaper can be transformative, particularly in rooms that have little to no architectural detail. She likes to use graphic papers in entryways to delineate the space and create visual interest. If clients are partial to a paper but are timid about using it in a big space, she recommends using it in a powder room or bathroom. What Newberry warns against is papering only one wall, which, she says, “looks like your paperhanger walked out on the job.” M Mayhew, a “Today” show style expert and former magazine editor, is the author of “Flip! for Decorating.”

Dig Into Gardening! Garden Center Opening April 14th Impatiens • Geraniums • Petunias Garden Decor • Perennials • Hanging Baskets Bedding Plants • Vegetables • Herbs • 507-387-7908 • 885 E. Madison Ave.

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Coming Attractions: April 1 -- Cabaret Le Ruse: “Fool Me Once” 7 p.m. -- Mankato Event Center -- 12 Civic Center Plaza #10, Mankato -- $10 in advance, $12 at door -- http:// -- 507-420-1881 3 -- Farewell Recital featuring Steward Ross 7:30 p.m. -- Halling Recital Hall, Minnesota State University -- $9 general, $7 MSU students and K-12 students -- 507-389-5549 3 -- Yelawolf 7 p.m. -- Verizone Wireless Center -$26 adults in advance, $21 students in advance, $31 adults at door, $26 students at door -- 800-745-3000 4 -- Cabaret Le Ruse: “Fool Me Once” 8 p.m. -- Grand Kabaret -- 210 N. Minnesota St., New Ulm -- $10 in advance, $12 at door -- http:// -- 507-420-1881 6 -- The Kasota Piano Trio 3 p.m. -- Halling Recital Hall, Minnesota State University -- $9 general, $7 MSU students and K-12 students -- 507-389-5549 10 -- MSU: Good Thunder Reading Series: fiction writer Jesmyn Ward and poet Nikky Finney 3 p.m. Craft Talk; 7 p.m. Reading -Centennial Student Union, Minnesota State University -- free -- 507-389-1354

46 • April 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

10-13 -- MSU Theatre: The Drowsy Chaperone 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday -- Ted Paul Theatre, Minnesota State University -- $22 regular, $19 seniors and youth under 16, $15 current MSU students -- 507-389-6661 11 & 12 -- Grand Old Opry Mankato show 5:30 p.m. dinner; 7 p.m. show -- Kato Ballroom -- 200 Chestnut St., Mankato -- $20 -- 507-387-2562 11 & 12 -- Minnesota Valley Chorale: Melodies to Adore 7:30 p.m. on both days; April 11 at First Lutheran in St. Peter, April 12 at Holy Rosary Catholic in North Mankato; $15 for adults and $12 for seniors/students at the door; 507-625-8927, www. 12 -- Gustavus Philharmonic Orchestra in Concert 1:30-3:30 p.m. -- Bjorling Recital Hall, Gustavus Adolphus College -507-933-7013 12 -- Gustavus Jazz Lab Band Home Concert 7:30-9:30 p.m. -- Bjorling Recital Hall, Gustavus Adolphus College -- free -507-933-7013 12 -- MSU Performance Series and KMSU presents: Davina and the Vagabonds with City Mouse 8 p.m. -- Hooligans Pub, Madison East Center, Mankato -- $10 in advance, $12 day of show -- 507-389-5549

13 -- 38th annual Mankato Area International Festival 11 a.m.-4 p.m. -- Centennial Student Union, Minnesota State University -free 13 -- Emotional Music: Love, Hate, and Drama 3 p.m. -- Halling Recital Hall, Minnesota State University -- $9 general, $7 MSU students and K-12 students -- 507-389-5549 13 -- Gustavus presents: String Moves 7:30-9:30 p.m. -- Beck Atrium, Gustavus Adolphus College -- free -507-933-7013 14 -- A Little Chamber Music 7:30 p.m. -- Halling Recital Hall, Minnesota State University -- $9 general, $7 MSU students and K-12 students -- 507-389-5549 17-19 -- MSU Theatre: The Drowsy Chaperone 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday -- Ted Paul Theatre, Minnesota State University -- $22 regular, $19 seniors and youth 16 and under, $15 current MSU students -507-389-6661 19 -- Mankato Area Derby Girls 6 p.m. -- Verizon Wireless Center 22 -- University Big Bands 7:30 p.m. -- Halling Recital Hall, Minnesota State University -- $9 general, $7 MSU students and K-12 students -- 507-389-5549

23-26 -- MSU Theatre: Maverick Musings 7:30 p.m. -- Andreas Theatre, Minnesota State University -- $10 regular, $9 seniors and youth 16 and under, $8 current MSU students -507-389-6661 24 -- MSU: Good Thunder Reading Series: poet and creative nonfiction writer Candace Black and fiction writer Roger Sheffer 3 p.m. Craft Talk; 7 p.m. Reading -Centennial Student Union, Minnesota State University -- free -- 507-389-1354 24 -- MSU Orchestra 7:30 p.m. -- Halling Recital Hall, Minnesota State University -- $9 general, $7 MSU students and K-12 students -- 507-389-5549

Celebrating 51 Years in Business

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Open House April 10-12, 2014

26 -- Mankato Riverblenders: “Back 40” show 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. -- Crossview Covenant Church -- 2000 Howard Drive W., North Mankato 26 – Musicorum concert “For the Beauty of the Earth” 7:30 p.m. – Chapel of Our Lady of Good Counsel – 170 Good Counsel Drive, Mankato – 27 -- The Choir of Christ Chapel Home Concert 7:30-9:30 p.m. -- Christ Chapel, Gustavus Adolphus College -507-933-7013 27 -- Gustavus Choir with Philip Brunelle’s VocalEssence in Concert 3-5 p.m. -- Bethel University’s Benson Great Hall -- 507-933-7013 27 -- A Spring Concert featuring Chamber Singers, University Chorale and Symphonic Band 4 p.m. -- Saint Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church -- 105 North Fifth St., Mankato -- $9 general, $7 MSU students and K-12 students -507-389-5549 29 -- MSU Jazz Combos/ Vocal Jazz 7:30 p.m. -- Halling Recital Hall, Minnesota State University -- $9 general, $7 MSU students and K-12 students -- 507-389-5549

We’ll Never be Royals... but you can live like one. (507) 381-4747

voted one of Mankato’s best

DAN WINGERT 422 Park Lane, Mankato, MN | MANKATO MAGAZINE • April 2014 • 47

UNLIMITED SUNSHINE, UNLIMITED GOLF. It won’t be long until the chill of winter gives way to the sunny feel of spring. And the perfect opportunity to welcome the season is with a few rounds on the incomparable

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*Offer valid March 13 – May 5, 2014. Specials cannot be combined with other discounts and must be paid in full and booked with Reservations at least 48 hours prior to play. Specials do not include play at Lakewood Golf Club. Specials do not include tax or lodging. Not valid with previously booked packages. There is a $10 surcharge for each round on the Judge at Capitol Hill. Ross Bridge specials are available Monday - Thursday from $199. Some restrictions may apply. Offers subject to change.

Faces & Places

Photos By Sport Pix



1. Couples had fun posing for photos together as a memento of the occasion. 2. The Verizon Wireless Center ballroom was packed for the dance. 3. Couples pose in their finest matching attire before the grand march. 4. Hands went into the air as the DJ played a popular song. 5. Fun was had by all at the dance. 6. Friends get together before the dance to take some photos. 7. Girls get together and show off their dresses for JOBS.







MANKATO MAGAZINE • April 2014 • 49

Faces & Places

Photos By Sport Pix

Big Bobber ice fishing tournament 1. A few of the MSU volunteers take a minute from their hard to work to pose for a photo. 2. Just minutes afer doors opened, Lake Washington was quickly covered with serious ice fishers hoping to pick the winning location. 3. Eric Fleming proves that ice fishing isn’t a gender neutral sport as he gives his daughter, Jasmine, her first lesson. 4. A group of friends takes a moment from watching their fishing poles to pose for a photo. 5. With a long day ahead of him, Dustin Olson gets comfortable on the cold ice. 6. Lee Rodney pulled out the biggest fish and left the competition with the $2,500 grand prize.



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50 • April 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

Faces & Places

Photos By Sport Pix

Dancing with the Mankato sTars 1. Tina Flewellyn and Kevin Buismen perform a hiphop routine. 2. Mankato firefighters participated in the event along with the Mankato police under the stage name Guns & Hoses. 3. Nicole Mueller and Dr. Rich Peller doing a lindystyle dance. 4. Guns & Hoses, a.k.a. Mankato’s police and fire department members, perform an ‘80s rock routine. 5. Matt Little lifts his dance partner, Whitney Waugh, in the air during their Dirty Dancing themed salsa. 6. Jessica Alstad and Dr. Kevin Hardesty during their swing dance performance. 7. The pair of Dr. Rich Peller and Nicole Mueller were the night’s champion fundraisers.








MANKATO MAGAZINE • April 2014 • 51




By Pete Steiner

Pete made the Best of the worst


uring what would come to be known as the “unending winter,” it was easy enough to kick back at night and turn on the tellie. On a Sunday in February, we decided to try CBS’ “Grammy Salute to the Beatles.” It ran on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. That show, by the way, with 73 million viewers, crushed even the best ratings for recent talent programs like “American Idol” and “The Voice.” Many have written how the Beatles’ performance on the Sullivan show had monumental historical as well as cultural impact, igniting not just a musical and sociological revolution, but coming as it did just months after the assassination of JFK, it also, some say, brought a joy that helped the nation heal. The February 2014 spectacular, viewed by maybe 20 million, marked a rare joint appearance by the two surviving Beatles, Paul and Ringo. I’ve been telling folks who didn’t watch, to check it out: It did justice to the legacy. Tears welled in my eyes as Alicia Keys and John Legend duetted on “Let it Be,” Ringo was amazingly nimble, still a crowd-pleaser, and I got a lump in my throat when Paul led a rousing “Hey, Jude,” as the finale. I only criticized the producers for not making more of the crack backup band that included Peter Frampton on guitar, the phenomenal drummer, Kenny Aronoff, and bassist and music director Don Was. All of this comprises a long preface to a thought that emerged as I was drifting off to sleep a few nights later: Best got the worst of it. •••• Maybe we could retell this story by rewriting a few Beatles’ tunes: “Love, Love me Don’t”, “We Can’t Work it Out,” or how about Sir Paul singing, “Hey, Judas?” This story of course, is about Pete Best, the Beatles’ original drummer, who had the rug pulled out from under him just as the band began its meteoric rise. Many of us have had our lives redirected by a simple twist of fate. For Pete Best, the simple twist cost him music immortality. Growing up in Liverpool as a contemporary of John, Paul and George, Best drummed for the Black Jacks, while the Quarrymen, as the Beatles were then known, played some concerts at Best’s mother’s club. When the Beatles accepted some club dates in Hamburg, Best was invited to join as their drummer. Wikipedia quotes various sources as saying Best was a powerful drummer, or a “steady” drummer; the sources also say he was the band’s best-looking member. Did that eventually make Paul, the “cute” Beatle, jealous? Reports say girls screamed loudest when Best came onstage. But more critically, legendary producer George Martin, listening to the band’s first recordings, thought the drumming was inadequate, that it “didn’t give the boys enough support.” 52 • April 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

Other critics called Best “limited.” Almost two years to the day after Pete Best first joined the group, he was fired and replaced by Ringo Starr. Ringo certainly had no qualms, telling one interviewer, “I felt I was a much better drummer.” Early on, some fans disagreed, reportedly shouting, “Pete forever, Ringo never!” Still, just a year-and-a-half later, it was Ringo joining John, Paul and George on the Sullivan stage, taking the first step to the cultural pantheon with their music and their mop tops. •••• It’s not hard to find those, and I am among them, who believe the Beatles will emerge from their era as Beethoven and Mozart did from theirs. Granted, the Beatles were a “collective genius” or genius by committee, with the four band members as well as producer Martin and others all having key collaborative input. But I’ve always maintained, and this is my major knock on Madonna and hip-hop and Britney Spears, that great songs are made to be interpreted, so that others have the opportunity to “own” the songs all over again. As I listened back in February to Stevie Wonder and even Katy Perry ripping it up on their versions of Beatles’ songs, I reassured myself, these are songs that will endure. •••• Would any part of the Beatles NOT have happened if Pete Best had remained as the drummer? After all, Ringo, despite his lovable antics, probably had the least creative impact on the group. But then, who would have sung “A Little Help from My Friends” or “Yellow Submarine”? Would the sometimes moody Best have held up well under the crushing fame? We’ll never know. We only know that Pete Best became to the Beatles what C.P.E. Bach became to his father, Johann Sebastian: a journeyman, and a footnote to the superstar. Yet we need not pity Pete Best: his marriage lasted more than half-a century, his own band has continued touring the world, he was inducted into the Liverpool Music hall of Fame. He even had a street named after him. A lot of us have accomplished far less. Still distinguished-looking today at 72, Best looks like a veteran character actor or a beloved professor. Oh, yes, and when the Beatles’ “Anthology 1” album was released in 1995 with Pete’s drumming featured on several tracks, Wikipedia reports that Best received between $1 million and $5 million in royalties. Enough to feed your family. M Pete Steiner is host of “Talk of the Town” weekdays at 1:05 p.m. on KTOE.

Kato mag 4 14  
Kato mag 4 14  

People, Places, Lifestyles of the Minnesota River Valley