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FEATURE S June 2014 Volume 9, Issue 6



The song remains the same Mankato’s first rock stars celebrate their ‘Run, Run, Run’ into history

18 A guide for

22 Home is where

Soul-baring acoustic music for loud rooms, noisy kids and tipsy white people

Mankato music scene depends on promoters who can keep it local


the music is

About the Cover

Tom Klugherz, Dale Menten, Gus Dewey and Bruce Waterston were The Gestures, a Mankato band that achieved a national hit in 1964. For the cover photo, living members Klugherz and Menten reminisced in Two Fish Studios. | Photo by John Cross MANKATO MAGAZINE • June 2014 • 3





6 From the Editor Every song tells a story 8 This Day in History 9 Chit Chat 10 Introductions Peter McGuire 12 The Gallery 20 Your Tastes The thrill of the grill 26 Then and Now Mankato’s place in The Great War 30 Day Trip Destinations Arlington Raceway 32 Garden Chat Joys of June: Asparagus,


rhubarb — and weeding

34 That’s Life Decisions, decisions 36 What’s Cooking More than just the musical fruit 38 Your Health How to control between-meals grazing 40 Your Style Most important quality in a running shoe? Comfort

42 Happy Hour A bourbon cocktail for any season...

or homework

44 Coming Attractions Events to check out in June 52 From This Valley In search of Uncle Charlie and the



Old North End

Coming in July The ballots are in and readers have spoken — the best of Mankato have been chosen. This month, we’ll celebrate the individuals and businesses that make southern Minnesota such a fine place to live. Join us, and we’ll compare favorites.

42 4 • June 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE


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From The Editor


June 2014 • VOLUME 9, ISSUE 6 PUBLISHER James P. Santori EDITOR Joe Spear ASSOCIATE Tanner Kent EDITOR CONTRIBUTORS Nell Musolf Pete Steiner Jean Lundquist Sarah Johnson Bryce O. Stenzel Drew Lyon Gillian Needham Joe Tougas PHOTOGRAPHERS John Cross Pat Christman PAGE DESIGNER Christina Sankey ADVERTISING Ginny Bergerson MANAGER ADVERTISING Jen Wanderscheid Sales Theresa Haefner 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. $35.40 for 12 issues. For editorial inquiries, call Tanner Kent at 344-6354, or e-mail For advertising, call 344-6336, or e-mail

6 • June 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

By Joe Spear

Every song tells a story


rom the first days of journalism class, our teachers instructed us on the mandatory five “Ws” and the “H” of a proper news story – Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. The why has always been the most interesting question and that plays out again in this month’s features on music. Musicians tend to have a lot of “why” going on in their heads and that somehow makes into their songs. Some songs answer the why question, other just pose it, sometimes over and over again. The association with the why is one of the reasons music can be a form of universal communication across languages, race and cultures. Everyone can get a feeling for what The Beatles were trying to say when they sang “I want to hold your hand.” And you wouldn’t necessarily need to know English to get it. Musicians have a talent for translating feelings the rest of us have but may not be able to articulate. We like a song because it speaks to us but also, sometimes, because it speaks for us. So, several narratives in this month’s issue get at the why behind musicians’ work. Mankato has been home to a host of talented musicians over the years including the band The Gestures, who were on top of the nationwide charts with their hit, “Run, Run, Run” that debuted in 1964. We met up with two of the original band members as they made plans for a 50th reunion show sometime this fall. Dale Menten and Tom “Zeeth” Klugherz dial up a few memories of their careers and days on tour. It’s a fascinating odyssey and, at the same time, a thoughtful retrospective about the meaning of music, the people behind it and the city in which it all came together. Turns out their hit song was penned with lost love in mind, mixed with doses of depression, struggles with self-esteem and loneliness.

These are, of course, universal struggles. Music makes them seem more real, but at the same time maybe less onerous. Music can have that cathartic effect on us all. We also meet in this issue a couple of enthusiastic Mankato music promoters. Such local promoters were a luxury Mankato was short of when The Gestures made their mark. Out-of-town promoters and record label managers did not always have the best interest of the musicians in mind. That isn’t the case with Justin Fasnacht and Christy Steinbach. Fasnacht promotes the local music scene and local bands with Mankato’s first online radio in FuzzTalkRadio. com. He tells our writer Heidi Sampson: “It sucks that no one knows that Cecil Otter of Doomtree used to live in Mankato and Dave, the front man from Trampled by Turtles, is from here. Green Day used to come through here all the time and play because Billy Joe Armstrong’s wife is from this area and no one knows this stuff.” Steinbach also pushes the local music scene and artists as owner of Full Moon Productions. “Music to me should be a positive experience,” Steinbach says. “You should walk away with a positive impression or something to be inspired with.” Of course, a lot of songs center around fate and some of life’s other uncontrollable circumstances. The Gestures’ story has no shortage of both. But like a good song, their story leaves you with lift. In the end, we’re lucky to have musicians and their music. It may be no coincidence that the phrase “everything is alright” appears in songs from Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, Charlie Daniels and Minnesota’s own Motion City. M Joe Spear is editor of Mankato Magazine. Contact him at or 344-6382.


for Yourself.

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This Day



By Tanner Kent June 5, 1901: The Daily Free Press put to rest any notion that three women at the center of a supposed poisoning scandal in Truman were suicidal. Citing “slanderous” rumors, The Free Press recanted the facts of the matter and insisted the authorities were correct in surmising that the poisoning case was accidental. In any case, the incident involved three Truman women who attended a meal at a local hotel. Later that evening, they became violently sick. Other afflicted parties later came forward, leading police to suspect a case of ptomaine poisoning. June 6, 1890: The previous day’s storm — one that the Weekly Free Press called “one of the most terrific ever experienced in this region” — claimed the lives of prominent Medo farmer E.S. Taylor and his 25-year-old son, Henry. The two men were standing in the door of a large stock barn when they were struck by lightning. The bolt set the barn ablaze immediately with a large amount of hay and nine horses (three of which were blooded stallions) also claimed in the fire. The newspaper reported that Taylor’s “small daughter” pulled both bodies from the fire. June 10, 1925: The Daily Free Press carried yet another report of Mankato’s “Night Man.” This time, the victim was Anita Johnson of Mason City, Iowa, a woman who was visiting friends in Mankato. After seeking employment at a local restaurant, Johnson found herself being followed on her walk home. She told the newspaper: “I called at him and said I would get a policeman. … He just stood and stared, and then all of a sudden he laughed all wild-like and turned his back and walked away.” Johnson also told authorities that she wasn’t sure the “Night Man” was a man at all. She said the laugh was high-pitched and the stalker’s figure appeared to be a woman’s from behind. The report was one of dozens received in several months by police. All, however, went unsolved. June 12, 1903: On this day, the Weekly Free Press reported on the strange condition of James L. Crandall, who “succeeded in getting rid of an unwelcome resident of his stomach … when he vomited up a lizard.” Crandall had been experiencing severe pain and discomfort for more than a year. Yet, visits to the doctor and medication did little to alleviate his symptoms. His condition improved immediately, however, after vomiting the lizard, which was said to be more than 6 inches long and “as large as a bullhead.” 800-729-7575

June 27, 1912: Thieves left a shattered strong box and a single penny as unrecalcitrant reminders of their misdeeds after blowing up the safe at J.M. Karmany’s meat market at 631 S. Front St. When Karmany arrived at the store in the morning, he found the safe shattered and its monetary contents missing. The yeggs left their tools — a jimmy, a chisel wrapped in a Washington, D.C., newspaper and an oil can. Apparently, the thieves — who police characterized as professionals — entered the meat market through a rear window and used a nitroglycerin charge to blow the door off the safe. They used a fur coat to muffle the sound and were careful enough to leave a flower vase less than a foot away undisturbed. The thieves then cut a hole into an interior connecting door to the adjoining Flo, Pugh and Brockmeyer grocery store and robbed the register of paper and coins.

A view of Karmany’s meat market in the late 19th century. | Photo courtesy of Blue Earth County Historical Society

Chit Chat

A little sprucing up before the sale Advice on how to enhance your home’s visual appeal By Nell Musolf


ith spring here and summer just around the corner, many area homeowners are sprucing up their houses in anticipation of changing addresses. Stacey Williams of CENTURY 21 Landmark Realtors has some advice to help enhance any home’s appeal — curb and otherwise. “I always recommend taking a step outside your home for a moment,” Williams said. “Walk up to your home and get a fresh perspective as a buyer would. Have a neighbor or a friend stop over and ask them to view your home as a prospective buyer. Then, make a list of things that need to be done and prioritize them starting with the simple, easy and inexpensive tasks. Then tackle the tougher jobs.” Williams also suggested a thorough cleaning and de-cluttering to make a home its most attractive. Clean all the vents, dust the corners and touch up any paint that needs it and take care of small repairs. Make sure the yard — front, sides and back — are clean and neat. “Curb appeal is huge,” Williams noted. “People like to drive around town and view the exteriors of homes for sale before committing to an interior view. Trim trees, touch-up paint, wash the windows and make sure the doors — screen doors, too — are in working order and in decent condition.” A bright coat of paint on the front door will add a pop of color and freshly planted flowers or a container garden also add positive notes to home exteriors. Williams also

encouraged homeowners to make sure that driveways and sidewalks are free of dirt, weeds and broken cement. “If you don’t like it, a buyer probably won’t either. Think fresh and clean,” she said. If a homeowner has a larger budget for home improvement but isn’t quite Stacey Williams sure how to spend it to get the most bang for the buck, Williams recommended asking a Realtor for advice. “I would recommend having a Realtor discuss what options will be your best investment,” Williams said. “Often, sellers will overimprove their homes on repairs that might not necessarily bring a higher investment return.” Williams reported that home prices have remained steady thus far in 2014 with median prices slightly up from this time last year. She also said the National Association of Home Builders has reported new home construction is seeing a recovery in the Midwest. “Overall, the market is very promising at this time and it’s a great time to buy and/or sell,” Williams said.

A soup-er month to eat more greens By Sarah Johnson


une in Minnesota means gardens and farmers markets are starting to see a lot of fresh-grown greens like spinach, beet tops and all those amazing varieties of lettuces. Adding a handful of greens to your everyday meals is an easy way to incorporate more of these diseasefighting superfoods. Cooks at Oaklawn Healthcare Center in Mankato shared this recipe for a favorite soup of the 80 or so residents they care for each day:

Italian Wedding Soup

6 cups chicken broth 1 pound frozen tiny meatballs (or regular meatballs, thawed and coarsely chopped) 1 cup orzo pasta 2 cups baby spinach, thinly sliced regular spinach or escarole 1/3 cup finely chopped carrot ½ teaspoon dried basil ½ teaspoon dried onion powder Heat broth to boiling. Add all ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes or until orzo is al dente. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. MANKATO MAGAZINE • June 2014 • 9




Tanner Kent

Mankato native Peter McGuire is now the second concertmaster with an orchestra in Zurich, Switzerland. | Photo courtesy of Peter MCGuire

String beginnings Peter McGuire’s world-class violin talent was honed early Mankato Magazine: How did you become interested in playing the violin? Peter McGuire: When I was 2 years old, my mom brought me to watch a performance of Suzuki violinists at the old downtown Mankato Place mall. When I was 4 years old, I began violin lessons with Patti Tryhus at the Mankato Suzuki School.

school and high school years? PM: From age 4, my participation in music accelerated to present day as a second concertmaster with the TonhalleOrchester in Zurich, Switzerland.

MM: Do you come from a musical family? PM: My dad, Jim McGuire, is a classical and jazz guitarist as well as guitar instructor in southern Minnesota. From an early age, I was exposed to great music: Listening to my dad practice the guitar and a substantial vinyl collection instilled that music is something you hear in daily life.

MM: Do you have any special memories of being in your high school’s orchestra? PM: I attended Mankato West High School and belonged to the school orchestra conducted by Steve Dunn. Mr. Dunn was endlessly patient and many of the students in his orchestra have continued to keep music a part of their daily life. He taught his “kids” to appreciate music and his gentle style of leadership cultivated a lifetime genuine interest in classical music.

MM: Did you continue to play throughout your grade

MM: Who are your musical inspirations?

10 • June 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

PM: Growing up, I was lucky to have several real-life examples of working musicians who carried out their work with a lot of honesty artistically. I remember a cassette tape my dad bought for me of Itzhak Perlman playing Fritz Kreisler encores (short pieces). Perlman’s sound was so warm and inviting that it seemed like that is how the violin should sound. MM: What kind of violin do you play? PM: For the past 10 years I have been playing on a violin made by David Folland. David has a beautiful shop just outside Northfield. The craftsmanship and quality of the his violins is incredible. David is also a violinist, so when you work with him to determine what you specifically want out of a violin, he is able to deliver. I ordered a second Folland Violin before moving to Switzerland and am completely happy with it. MM: What is the most challenging piece you have played? PM: The challenging part is in playing anything well. Playing the violin is fundamentally difficult and sounding good on any piece is a challenge. My wife likes to remind me that when I was 19 years old and had sent in a resume to audition for the Milwaukee Symphony, I was sent a list of excerpts including Richard Strauss’ “Don Juan.” I spent an entire day trying to get the notes under my fingers and finally thought, “The audition committee can’t expect anyone to get this perfect, it must be whoever comes the closest!” I was very naive to the standard of professional orchestral auditions and have since sorted out the notes in “Don Juan.” Of course, the repertoire is huge and there are so many difficult pieces offering different challenges. MM: What does it feel like to master a particularly tough piece? PM: The feeling a musician has is not mastery but more like an actor where you try to do justice to the piece you are presenting. MM: What is your favorite piece (if it’s possible to pick one)? PM: It is my job to favor what I am working on in any given week. At this very moment, it’s Brahm’s Symphony No. 2, a piece which is very easy to love. But one has to convince oneself that what they are playing is the center of the solar system for the present time — or it will not be convincing. MM: You have played in orchestras around the world. Can you share some highlights from those various orchestras? PM: From the time I was in high school in Mankato, it had been my dream to work for the Minnesota Orchestra. Jorja Fleezanis (previous concertmaster with the Minnesota Orchestra) had given a master class at Gustavus Adolphus College when I was 14 years old. Watching her perform and talk to us about her career as a musician inspired me. When I was 24, I auditioned and won a job with the Minnesota Orchestra. One of my first concerts was with Itzhak Perlman as soloist performing with the Barber Violin Concerto. Perlman had contracted polio as a child and had for years used walking canes. Fleezanis carried his violin on stage and would hand it over to him after his entrance. As Perlman walked on stage to thunderous

applause, he misstepped and fell. All of a sudden there were gasps and then silence. Perlman swung his legs over the stage and just sat quietly for moment. Then, smile on his face, he told a joke, went to his chair and performed the concerto. It was incredible and a reminder of his humanity. A few years later I had the honor of being asked to perform with the Berlin Philharmonic. As a kid, I used to listen to recordings of the Berlin Philharmonic late into the night. The feeling of being on stage, surrounded by some of my musical heroes, and that oceanic sound was surreal to say the least. MM: What are some memorable concerts for you? PM: I’ve been very lucky to have a lot of great experiences. Peripherally, seeing audience members look like their world just got bigger, tearing up, or squeezing hands really gives meaning to the sounds, and that is memorable, whether in Berlin, Zurich or Mankato. MM: What did you enjoy most about being a part of the Mankato Symphony Orchestra? PM: I think back very fondly on my time with the Mankato Symphony Orchestra. Then-conductor Dianne Pope was very supportive of me and took a risk in allowing me to play in the orchestra from the fifth grade. The orchestra is comprised of many people who have careers unrelated to music. The fact that they are also committed to the repertoire and work all these extra hours to present it to the audience, our community, is a gift. Also there are many professional musicians in the group who bring the richness of their other experiences to the orchestra. MM: How did you segue way from Minnesota to Switzerland? PM: When the management of the Minnesota Orchestra locked out its musicians on Oct. 1, 2012, I took an audition for second concertmaster of the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich, Switzerland. On Oct. 5, 2012, (four days after the lockout began), my family began preparing to move to Switzerland. It took about four months to get everything in order. Our fourth child was 6 weeks old when the lockout began and was just 4 months old when we left Minnesota. In that time, we had a lot to get in order: work Visa, passports, contracts, selling our home and cars, and finding a new place to live on the other side of the world. By the New Year, we were on our way. We arrived in Zurich with four children, a stroller, a violin, and about six pieces of luggage. Our two older kids are enrolled in the Swiss Public School and becoming fluent in German. The youngest two children are happy and content at home with my wife, Kim. MM: How do you relax when you’re not playing? PM: Ha! We have four kids, so there is no such thing as relaxing when not playing! When I am not playing, there is the usual: help with homework, making meals, grocery shopping, dealing with toddler tantrums. Sorry if that sounds boring, but it’s just reality. At the end of the day, relaxing is sitting on our patio with a good German beer or French/Italian wine and talking with my wife about our day. Oh, and I have an app called DuoLingo that is helping me to learn German. M

MANKATO MAGAZINE • June 2014 • 11

The Gallery

Into the ‘Expanse’

Emerging artist debuts at 410 Project gallery By Nell Musolf | Photos by Dana Sikkila

Taylor Johnson’s abstract paintings will be on display in an exhibit titled “Portraits of Expanse” this month at the 410 Project art gallery. | Photos by Dana Sikkila


aylor Johnson began his artistic career drawing comic books about a skateboarding superhero that he then sold to his friends. His interest in art grew during high school where he enjoyed photography, ceramics and painting. His high school art teacher encouraged his interest in pottery and gifted him with a potter’s wheel as a graduation gift. Nine years later, Johnson is still emerging as an artist and will have his first show, “Portraits of Expanse,” at the 410 Project Art Gallery. The exhibit remains on display through June 14. Johnson said the title of his show came from the “expanses” of color in which he creates an abstract figures or focal points drawn upon fields of bold color. “I don’t think of a portrait as just an image of a person,” Johnson said. “I think what really makes a portrait a portrait is that the image has bits of style and personality included. This is what makes it unique. When you look at a portrait, you are seeing that person as a whole and you get an idea of who they are.” For his paintings, Johnson begins with line drawings and a goal to create a mood for viewers. His 12 • June 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

figures may or may not be recognizable and are intentionally open to interpretation. “To me, they become a character of their own in their own existence,” Johnson said. Johnson’s pieces usually begin with a wooden panel. On top of that, he uses paints that he has found at the Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. Johnson also adds a variety of textures until he feels his work is completed. “Because I am using my intuition so much to guide what I do, it can get frustrating at times,” Johnson said. “The more I add to the painting, the more I become invested in it, the more I think about what I’m creating.” Johnson is an admirer of painter Jean-Michel Basquiat who paints in the style known as “action painting” where artwork is off the cuff and not premeditated. “The images I paint are not representative of anything,” Johnson said, “at least not intentionally. I like them to be interpreted by the viewer, just as I interpret them in my own mind. The role of inspiration is not reproducing what I am inspired by, but using it as fuel for application.”

Tania Cordes has brought new life to the historic Kato Ballrooom with revamped color schemes, renovations and new events. | Free Press file photos

‘Re-found and re-loved’

Evolution of Kato Ballroom continues under new ownership By Jean Lundquist


he Kato Ballroom was built in 1946 when ballrooms were in their heyday. It burned down but was quickly rebuilt, said Tania Cordes of North Mankato, the new owner of the Mankato musical fixture on Chestnut Street. When ballrooms lost a bit of luster a few decades later, the building remained pretty much intact, but the name was changed to the Kato Entertainment Center to give it a more modern image. Most locals still called it the Kato Ballroom, however, in part, because the marquee lights at the entrance still proclaimed it as such. Now, Cordes says, the legal name of the building is the Kato Event Center, though she intends to promote the venue as a ballroom. “There’s so much nostalgia here,” Cordes said. “This place is special and means so much to so many people Now, it needs to be re-found and re-loved.” Toward that end, Cordes is giving the building a facelift. “Last Labor Day weekend, two of my friends helped me re-do the entryway and the office. Between the three of us, we spent 160 hours here.” The ballroom is painted in grays and pinks and Cordes says she wants to “paint out some of the pink.” She’s added red and black accents, plus some darker gray. She has plans to frame and illuminate posters of the ballroom history, plus some handbills of some of the most

famous entertainers to play the ballroom to underscore the venue’s historical significance. Cordes knows the people who were young in the 1950s are still interested in the Kato Ballroom. “We have anniversary parties for people who got married here.” Now, Cordes said she’s looking to attract “the middle market. People in their 20s to their 60s.” And she has plans. Cordes will offer teen dances every other month for the under-21 crowd. She said the liquor will be locked up, appropriate attire will be required, no hats will be allowed and adult supervision will be present. Cordes said those measures will ensure safety while still allowing teens to have some “good, clean fun.” This fall, the Mankato Symphony Orchestra will perform its new pop/jazz series at the Ballroom. “People will sit at tables with tablecloths, instead of in a row,” Cordes said. “They will be able to enjoy a drink, if they choose. It will be a completely different experience.” Cordes also hopes to offer local bands a chance to play in the Ballroom. The acoustics are great, she said, and the stage is large. “There’s plenty of room to dance, the bar is large and it is not going to be shoulder to shoulder if there is a big crowd, like it would be at a bar,” Cordes said M MANKATO MAGAZINE • June 2014 • 13

Barely old enough to drive — let alone tour the country — the teenage rock band, The Gestures, put Mankato on the musical map with their chart-topping 1964 hit “Run, Run, Run.” | Photo reproduction by John Cross

The song remains the same Mankato’s first rock stars celebrate their ‘Run, Run, Run’ into history By Drew Lyon | Photos by John Cross 14 • June 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE


wo musicians sit on benches clutching instruments in the dark and quiet basement of Mankato’s Two Fish Recording Studios. They’re wrapping up a photo session for Mankato Magazine and photographer John Cross asks the duo to face each other and play some music for the camera. Tom “Zeeth” Klugherz obliges, plucks notes on his electric jazz bass and settles into a slinky groove. His childhood friend and former bandmate, Dale Menten, strums a borrowed electric guitar. Menten sings a few lines of the blues standard, “Stormy Monday,” and the two surviving original members of The Gestures, Mankato music royalty, smile in unison. Klugherz glances at his old partner. “I’m gonna play something different than you, OK?” he says. Menten grins. “Well, you always did.” They keep on playing, and after a while it starts to sound like the same song.

Only the lonely

Klugherz and Menten have reunited at a Mankato diner to address the 50th anniversary of their 1964 national hit single, “Run, Run, Run.” They are joined by City Mouse leader Billy Steiner and Greg Duffy, a local music collector and brother of former Gesture Dan Duffy. The foursome struggle to hammer down a date for a 50th anniversary bash at the Kato Ballroom later this year. They make tentative plans for a weekend in October, and Klugherz tells Menten they should perform a full headlining set. “We have to play more than four songs,” Klugherz says. Finally, the composer of “Run, Run, Run” is ready — if a bit reluctantly at the outset — to revisit the insecurities of his youth. “In high school, I wrestled with some very low self-esteem. School was very difficult for me, and I imagine a lot of people feel the same way,” Menten says and pauses. “I’m giving you the guts of the whole story.” “Dale doesn’t like to talk about the lyrics of his songs,” Klugherz says. But Menten continues. A half-century has passed; and besides, all those universal teenage emotions — heartbreak, angst, disillusion — fostered a rock ‘n’ roll classic. “I don’t think I was abnormal,” he says. “You go through all this ‘What’s this all about?’ stuff, and you have hormones raging this way and you get turned down over here. Then, what you realize is you can play an instrument and write a song about it, because once you write a song, you let that go. That’s gone now. So it was very therapeutic, cathartic. I used to spend so much time at the piano or guitar, just alone with those feelings. “ Menten’s not one to name names, but he reveals there was a high school girl who was the apple of his eye. Eventually, he let her … run, run, run. “At a certain point, I realized, ‘God, she’s so cool and I’m not cool,” he said. “I think I was out for track, and one of the real cool track stars said, ‘Hey, are you still dating what’s her name?’ And I went, ‘Well, I wouldn’t call it dating. If you want to date her, go ahead, fine.’ I was trying to save face. I was going to hurt you anyway. It was part of that no self-esteem crap.” By then, Menten had found a kindred spirit. His name was Gus Dewey. Gus played guitar, too, and the two lost boys bonded over Roy Orbison’s soaring, operatic balladry. “When I met Gus, there was a lonelier guy than I was,” Menten says. “He was the loneliest human being on the planet, and I loved him because we could be alone together. We’d

actually sit up in his room and have depression meetings, but we made it kind of neat and fun, like it was a badge of honor or something. And we’d play some of these incredibly sensitive, lonely tunes that Roy did like crazy. And it helped.” Little did they know, Roy Orbison would play a role in the final touches of “Run, Run, Run.”

A song is born

It’s fall 1963. The Beach Boys and surf music are all the rage. Beatlemania has yet to hit American shores and The Rolling Stones are just another rhythm and blues cover band in London. Meanwhile, four southern Minnesota teenagers (the youngest, drummer Bruce Waterston, is only 15) calling themselves The Jesters record an original number in Gus Dewey’s garage. The demo tape of “Run, Run, Run” is passed from Bob Sparrow to Jim Madison, a butcher/record producer. Madison springs for another recording of the song, this time in a professional studio. Madison then forwards the recording to Lou Reigert, an influential Minneapolis DJ and future CNN anchorman later known as Lou Waters. “Jim Madison really needed local airplay,” Menten says. “He got ahold of Lou, who was one of the top disc jockeys, and Jim thought, ‘If I can just get him behind this band.’” Reigert likes the tune, but insists it needs tweaking. “During that time was when Roy Orbison’s ‘Pretty Woman’ was out and it had that very busy, frenetic bass drum,” Menten says. “Lou’s suggestion was that ‘daaahn-daaahn-daaahndaaahn’ part in ‘Run, Run, Run.’ So we had to re-do the whole tune, but it was a simple little tune. It wasn’t like ‘How the West Was Won’ or anything.” The quartet re-records “Run, Run, Run” at Kay Bank Studios in Minneapolis. There are no studio frills or gimmicks; the whole band cuts the track in one room. To this day, Klugherz bristles at claims the song was recorded in stereo. “These people are discussing ‘Run, Run, Run’ on the Internet and they say it was recorded in stereo,” Klugherz says, “and I’m sitting there going, ‘No, it wasn’t!’ I even wrote on there: ‘Hey, I was the bass player, and it wasn’t in stereo!’ It was a three-track recording.” “Maybe now you can enhance it,” Menten adds. “You can do anything nowadays,” Klugherz says. “My nephew has a vinyl copy of the song that he got off eBay, and it’s in Japanese. The label’s in Japanese, and so is the song.” It’s suggested to Menten that “Run, Run, Run” is no milquetoast teenage pop song. The song’s speaker seems to be exuding very real adult suffering and defiance. He’s not just setting the girl free; maybe he’s setting himself free, too. “Now did you know I didn’t love you? And did you know I’d make a fool of you?, run, baby, I’ll just set you free.” “You know, no one’s ever brought that up,” he says. “Yes, it was very defiant. Other people bring up the fact that it’s very sophomoric, but of course it is. I was just a kid! But the lyric thing, you just let it roll out.” On the strength of “Run, Run, Run,” the band, now rebranded The Gestures (another group had already claimed The Jesters name) signs with Amos Heilecher’s Soma Records. “We didn’t realize we’d signed our life away,” Klugherz says. “Amos owned us.” A couple of months after Klugherz and Dewey graduate from high school (Menten, the oldest, graduated a year earlier), “Run, Run, Run” debuts in August 1964. The band initially agreed its other original recording, “It Seems to Me,” was the superior song and wanted it is as the lead single. MANKATO MAGAZINE • June 2014 • 15

Soma Records overruled the band. It might be one of the few instances in The Gestures’ brief run where their record label made the right call. “We wanted that as the A-side when we took it to them,” Klugherz says, “but someone said, no, it’s ‘Run, Run, Run.’” Menten adds: “’It Seems to Me’ — now there’s another depressing song. ‘The world is bad, this is sad, it seems to me.’ Again, I know why Gus liked it.’ The same week “Run, Run, Run”/”It Seems to Me” arrives in record stores, a little ditty by The Beatles, “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” is also released. “Basically, it was bad timing,” Menten says, “and we probably suffered the most. Unlike some other bands, we never got a national run without competition from The Beatles.”

Supply & demand

Still, the Mankato area had its first bona fide rock stars. Summer 1964 into ‘65 were halcyon days for Dale, Zeeth, Gus and Bruce. “Run, Run, Run” was an instant regional and local turntable hit. The Gestures were officially big time. Riding high, Klugherz bought his first Corvette. Kids turned their heads when Zeeth cruised by. “Did I buy the Corvette with a royalty check? What royalties?” Klugherz says, laughing. “I just charged it to the record label.” “We looked up to them as local people who had made it,” Billy Steiner says. “It was just a gas when you could go see them. They were a really good live band and one of the best harmony bands around. I used to ask ‘Mr. Waterston’ if I could carry his drum kit. I just idolized him.” After Waterston, a Vietnam veteran, died in 1996, Steiner bought Mr. Waterston’s drum kit and gifted it to his son, Dylan. “We really thought they were big stars back then,” Greg Duffy says, “We’d see Bruce and Zeeth driving around town in a Corvette. They just looked so cool.” The record climbed to No. 1 in the Twin Cities and New York and No. 3 in Los Angeles. The quartet crammed into a van and toured North America. “The ones in Canada were great,” Menten says. “There were some shows booked with a lot of logic and reason. And then there were some, it was like they were booked by a kindergarten class.” One night, the band played Oklahoma City, then was slated to appear in Oregon a couple of days later. “Actually, it was in Washington, but we went to the wrong state,” Menten says. “That’s another story. Geez, that was stupid.” The band quickly realized they had a serious problem on its hands. Supply of the single was low and it became clear Soma Records was incapable of keeping up with demand. “We would play somewhere and kids would be really upset they couldn’t find our record,” Menten says. “That’s where it fell apart. It had something to do with the Rocky Mountains; Soma couldn’t ship the record over the mountains. “ The standard industry “payola” practice was also out of the question. “We certainly couldn’t pay anybody to play our record,” Menten says, “because nobody paid us.” Yet, “Run, Run, Run” managed to sell 248,000 copies. Well, at least that many. “We don’t really know what it really sold,” Menten says, “with the funny accounting of Soma Records.” Major labels like RCA and Decca, which had greater distribution resources, tried to sign The Gestures, but Soma 16 • June 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

refused to release them from their contract. “It was just amazing when the record stations wouldn’t play our record because we wouldn’t pay them under the table,” Klugherz says. “But what are you going to do? I was oblivious to all that at the time. It wasn’t until later ...” It’s a familiar story, one as old as the record business itself. Some people made a lot of money from “Run, Run, Run.” But it wasn’t the musicians who did the heavy lifting. “A band getting screwed over by their record label?” says Steiner, rolling his eyes in sarcasm. “I’ve never heard that one before.” The Gestures released just one more single, “Don’t Mess Around”/”Candlelight” — though, a full-length CD packed with unreleased recordings from that era was finally released in 1996. In a cruel twist of fate, Menten and Klugherz received their copies of the CD the day of Waterston’s funeral. Menten left The Gestures in 1966. He preferred the warm confines of a recording studio to a concert stage and had seen the sharks circling. “At that point I was living in Bloomington,” he says, “and I got a lot of the inside business stuff and I’d walk away from what I was hearing and think, ‘Oh, God, get me out of here.’ And I was falling in love with recording and liked the fact you could do multiple takes (of a song). You couldn’t do that on stage.” Greg Duffy remembers the day when his brother, Dan, was asked to replace Menten. “I came home from school and saw Zeeth’s Corvette in the driveway,” he says. “Boy, that was big. My brother was going to be in The Gestures.” Dan Duffy’s stint in The Gestures was short-lived, however. “I don’t know when exactly we stopped,” Klugherz says. “I think it was in ‘67 — I know we didn’t get into 1968. I wouldn’t say we fell apart or anything. It was just over.”

Lasting Legacy

By the 1970s, The Gestures were defunct, but their impact rippled throughout the Mankato music scene. “Everybody wanted to be in a band then,” says Steiner, whose own group, City Mouse, was formed in 1971. “We already had some good rock ‘n’ roll bands, but there’s no question that after The Gestures, everybody that played music or was going to play music saw that now we know we can do it. They gave us a reason.” After The Gestures disbanded, Gus Dewey was an on-andoff member of City Mouse. He died in 2004, a local legend in his own time. Aside from The Gestures, his lasting musical legacy is his saddest of sad songs, the gut-wrenching ballad, “Let Me Down Easy.” Roy Orbison would’ve approved.

The remaining members of The Gestures (Tom Klugherz, left, and Dale Menten) reminisce at Two Fish Studios in Mankato. | John Cross Klugherz continued playing, highlighted by a stretch in the 1970s with The Blitz Boys, a popular bluegrass-western swing band. These days, when he’s not restoring and collecting Corvettes, he helps operate Two Fish Studios and occasionally serves as City Mouse’s sound engineer. “Whenever we have a big show, we get Zeeth to do our sound,” Steiner says. “He’s a fantastic soundman.” Menten became a major player in Minnesota music production. He ran his own recording studio, Cookhouse Studios, has written prominent radio and TV jingles, scored several feature films and TV shows and was the musical director of an Off-Broadway play, “House of Leather.” He recently released a solo album, “Download Me.” Steiner, a longtime North Mankato city councilman, is swift to clarify that The Gestures were primarily a North Mankato band. Only Klugherz grew up in Mankato. In 1965, when North Mankato faced a serious flood risk, The Gestures donated their vans to the Red Cross. The city held a celebration that summer to thank The Gestures. The event is now known as North Mankato Fun Days. “They really played a role in saving North Mankato,” Steiner says. “Those vans helped the Red Cross go around with walkie-

talkies and check the dikes.” “Run, Run, Run” appears on various 1960s compilations on different record labels in America, Europe and Asia. Some of them are sanctioned, but many of them pirated, much to Menten’s chagrin. “Catching these people is tough,” he says. “They’re really screwing us. They keep hiding, but I don’t care. I’ll find them, but it’s not easy.” Fifty years since four boys assembled in a garage to tackle a song about lost teenage love, “Run, Run, Run” remains fresh and vital, 2 minutes and 17 seconds of unadulterated rock ‘n’ roll power. “It still jumps out of the radio,” Steiner says. “Every time I hear that guitar lick, it sends me back.” “I tell you what, it had that sound,” Klugherz says. “We were far and above what those novelty bands were doing. People compared it to surf music, but it wasn’t surf music and it wasn’t Beatles music. We were doing original music.” M

MANKATO MAGAZINE • June 2014 • 17

Justin Fasnacht is a music promoter and founder of FuzzTalk Radio who is among a handful of locals devoted to advancing the Mankato music scene. | Pat Christman

Home is where the music is Mankato music scene depends on promoters who can keep it local By Gillian Needham 18 • June 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE


ustin Fasnacht my seem to be just another cashier to the untrained eye, but his position at Happy Dan’s on Victory Drive is only his day job. In the off hours, the man known as “Fuzzy” to his friends, is putting in a countless amount of time and energy into promoting local music. Not only is he a loyal promoter for Mankato musicians, he is also an Internet radio host and former rapper. Passionate about his hobbies, Fasnacht left his job at Verizon to return to Happy Dan’s after a twoyear break from the convenience store. His mindset was to have more time to do what he loves: promote local music. “In 2000, after Professor Fresh wanted to start pushing his music, he called me and I started making a website for him and his group Psycho Synthetik,” Fasnacht said, “Everyone started realizing I was really good at online promotion, so I started talking to everyone.” As a former musician, Fasnacht had an early love of hip-hop but has expanded his tastes through his time promoting and cultivating the musical climate that Mankato has to offer. Fasnacht created FuzzTalkRadio a little more than three years ago after his record label, Loonatix Productions, shut down and his band, Ruthless, was no longer together. Fasnacht decided to dedicate his time to creating a radio show that helped promote local and independent music of all genres. “I started getting sick of hearing that if you want good music you have to be in the Twin Cities or Duluth,” Fasnacht said. “I kind of wanted to create a spotlight on Mankato and southern Minnesota music — so why not create a 24-hour online radio station that showcases this?” Fasnacht’s goal was to educate music afficianados about what kind of music emerges from these areas. “It sucks that no one knows that Cecil Otter of Doomtree used to live in Mankato and Dave, the front man from Trampled by Turtles, is from here,” Fasnacht said. “Green Day used to come through here all the time and play because Billy Joe Armstrong’s wife is from this area and no one knows this stuff.” Like Fasnacht, other promoters in the area are using their talents to bring acts to

Mankato while supporting the local music scene. Christy Steinbach, owner of Full Moon Productions, got her start in music promotion by pure chance. “I was a vendor at a festival and my vendor neighbors owned a recording studio,” Steinbach said. “We became friends and I was given an opportunity to start promoting and everything started to mesh together.” Steinbach said that she had never previously imagined herself working in the promotional field. With a degree in business and sales, Steinbach said the industry had never crossed her mind. “It was just something that was put in my lap and I ran with it,” she said. Steinbach began working with Pachyderm Recording Studio in Cannon Falls, the same studio that has hosted artists like Nirvana, Soul Asylum, Live, Mason Jennings and Useful Jenkins. “Full Moon Productions will be 8 years old in September,” Steinbach said. “I’ve been pretty fortunate.” Steinbach said one of her goals through Full Moon Productions is to match local acts with larger acts to help spread their music to new audiences. “I try to pair (local acts) with major regional or national acts,” Steinbach said. “That gives them more opportunity for exposure.” Steinbach also focuses on artists that spread constructive ideas. “Music to me should be a positive experience,” Steinbach said, “You should walk away with a positive impression or something to be inspired with.” One of Steinbach’s own personal struggles within the promoting community is the trouble of getting people to work together and support one another. “I think that every promoter in this town does something a little different,” Steinbach said. “I’m all about working together because community is so important.” Chad Roemer, an independent promoter in Mankato, believes that working as a team is crucial to adding to what Mankato has to offer. “Just getting the word out to the right people can be difficult,” Roemer said. Roemer was first introduced to music promotion when he got his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as the student union’s director. There he was organizing four shows a week. “I had a lot of fun and it was a great learning experience,” Roemer said. “When I left and moved to Mankato three years ago, I got back into it to fill the areas that weren’t being represented in Mankato.” Though Roemer said that connecting with the right people has been difficult for someone that hasn’t been in Mankato for very long, his biggest piece of advice for the community is to participate in what Mankato has to offer. “Go see live bands and stop playing video games,” Roemer said. With the scene growing exponentially, local promoters have a lot of work on their hands. With larger and more impressive acts increasingly making stops in Mankato, promoters said that creates opportunities for local artists to have their time to shine. “People will get to have their time to shine as long as we are all showing up and experimenting with things,” Fasnacht said


MANKATO MAGAZINE • June 2014 • 19

Your Tastes

By Susan Selasky | Detroit Free Press

The thrill of the grill


t’s time to get your grill on. Memorial Day — the unofficial start of the summer grilling season — is creeping up fast. This year, there are tons of new grilling cookbooks out there to get you fired up. With recipes for steaks, pizzas, seafood and more, there’s a book to suit just about any taste. Here’s a sampling to whet your appetite. In addition to helpful tips, each features lots of mouth-watering recipes that’ll make your cookouts sizzle this summer. • “Weber’s Big Book of Burgers: The Ultimate Guide to Grilling Backyard Classics” By Jamie Purviance The thrust of this book is burgers — but not just plain old beef burgers. Weber grilling guru Jaime Purviance covers just about anything that can be shaped into a patty and served on a bun or a variety of breads and rolls. There are recipes for beef burgers, chicken and turkey burgers, shrimp burgers and an array of veggie burgers. Hot dogs, sausages, brats and condiments also are featured along with drinks and side dishes. Best tip: Don’t crowd food on the grill. “All food cooks a little better on a grill with a little space around,” Purviance writes. • “Gastro Grilling: Fired-up Recipes to Grill Great Everyday Meals” By Ted Reader Ted Reader writes that he uses the word “gastro” not to mean pretentious, but rather to refer to “the art and science of good eating.” That mantra is reflected in the book’s recipes (there are more than 135 of them). The recipes range from higher-end dishes like Planked Smoked Burrata Cheese or Cinnamon-Skewered Scallops with Brown Sugar Basting Butter to simpler ones for steak, chicken, fish and side dishes. Reader also offers directions and tips for cooking with charcoal and gas grills as well as a variety of wood. Best tip: Patience and practice are key when using charcoal grills. Look for charcoal made from 100% allnatural pure hard-wood. •“ Pizza on the Grill: 100+ Feisty Fire-Roasted Recipes for Pizza & More” By Elizabeth Karmel & Bob Blumer Grilled pizza can be tricky, but authors Elizabeth Karmel and Bob Blumer provide all the know-how you need for success. They share tips on making dough, including a gluten-free option, as well as how to shape it for a gas grill versus a charcoal one (yes, there’s a difference). Several recipes call for adding nuts, garlic or herbs to the dough. Each recipe includes drinks to serve with the pizzas and ways to customize them or kick them up a few notches. Best tip: Create organic shaped pizza to fit the heat source and be sure to brush rolled-out dough generously with oil to prevent it from sticking to the grates. 20 • June 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

• “ Smoke & Spice: Cooking with Smoke, the Real Way to Barbecue” By Cheryl and Bill Jamison This is the updated version of Cheryl and Bill Jamison’s 1994 grilling tome. The barbecue masters and James Beard Cookbook award winners completely revised their book to include new recipes and full color photographs. There’s more than 450 recipes from all barbecue regions of the U.S. The book is divided into sections on beef, pork and poultry. The Jamisons also cover the craft of true barbecue, offering tips on using smoke and cooking foods low and slow. They also address the trend of smoking foods indoors. Best tip: Have an area for cutting, prepping and keeping supplies and sauces at hand when cooking outdoors. • “ Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room: Southern Recipes from the Winningest Woman in Barbecue” By Melissa Cookston Pitmaster and restaurateur Melissa Cookston writes that her “barbecue and cooking are about building layered tastes that unite on flavored effect.” And her cookbook provides mouth-watering recipes from the Delta region that do just that. Cookston also includes her competition recipes, plenty of tips, stories from the barbecue competition circuit and even a recipe for cooking a whole hog. Peppered throughout are recipes for injection sauces, glazes, seasonings and rubs. Best tip: “Sauces should complement the meat, not overpower it, and certainly never conflict with it,” Cookston writes. • “Fire & Smoke: A Pitmaster’s Secrets” By Chris Lilly Chris Lilly set out to share pitmaster techniques, tips and recipes on a scale best suited for backyard grillers. Instead of offering large-quantity recipes like many pitmasters do, Lilly provides recipes and guidance on achieving pitmaster-style barbecue using smaller cuts of meat. There also are tips on how to infuse flavor and get that perfectly charred skin. Included are more than 100 recipes designed to teach people how to grill and smoke foods. Lilly also shares recipes for rubs, brines and glazes. Best tip: Lilly writes that “metal smoker boxes are a viable way to add real smoke flavor” if you use a gas grill and want to add wood smoke flavoring. M


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MANKATO MAGAZINE • June 2014 • 21

say s E

Soul-baring acoustic music for

loud rooms, and

noisy kids tipsy white people: A guide for beginners By Joe Tougas


outhern Minnesota audiences are enjoying a rapid rise in the number of acoustic roots-rock bands. And we’ll use the word “enjoy” despite that nearly all those bands insist on playing “Wagon Wheel.” It seems, then, an ideal time for an acoustic elder to pass along to the younger startups a few of the hazards sure to be encountered along the way. These are distractions that come with the format you’ve chosen, a format we’ll call “intimate.” 22 • June 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

Intimate often means no stage; no stage often means you’ll be asked to play a song you won’t know. If you don’t know it, move on. Don’t stand there while the room waits for you to remember it, which might be what’s going on in this 2010 shot. | Photo courtesy of Joe Tougas For starters, intimate means no stage. It’s you and your P.A. nice and close to the crowd, which won’t be a big one because you’re just starting to make the scene. But that’s exciting, too, because you’re confident those few who do show up tonight will be so moved they’ll pass along to their friends how deep, soulful and intimate your work is. Intimacy means you have crafted a set list loaded with meaning. You can’t wait to get to the end of Leonard Cohen’s “Coming Back To You” where he uses the phrase “instead of” before the title. Right?! Nuance. While you imagine how devastating this turn of phrase will be for your mature and attentive audience, you notice the audience consists entirely of one table, directly in front of you, where a family of eight has brought cake, balloons and birthday gifts for a 6-year-old. Your microphone check makes the grandmother flinch and the family has a brief discussion about sitting somewhere else, but it’s decided that the kids want to sit by the music, like they did a while ago at Chuck E. Cheese. It’s time to play. One, two, three, four … and in five minutes, the 6-year-old is looking at you with his fingers in his ears and grandmother is making I-told-you-so faces and welcome to another night in the world of live performance. How you handle this and other hazards of intimacy will determine the extent of your stay here. Below are some common hazards, and some suggested ways to make the most of them. The hazard: Smartphone-starers You’re playing and that couple who sat down a half hour ago has been staring at their phones the whole time. It’s intimate on one hand, because you’re close enough to hope

they at least talk to each other when they get home. You send good vibes. You send a Leonard Cohen tune their way. At the same time, it smacks of passive-aggressiveness toward the band. You’re interesting enough to sit near, perhaps, but not enough to stop them from checking their Instagram feed or, worse, creating one. Overcoming it: Understand and believe that they are texting, tweeting and posting the following: “Skipping the party cuz the band here is AMAZING. Get down here. OMG they just played Coming Back 2U!” The hazard: Crummy timing The room is packed and everybody’s engaged in conversation except one audience member. Let’s call her Jamie. She’s been listening to you intently, her good taste apparent as she’s sort of detached herself from table talk and nods as your narrator in this sensitively wrought Lyle Lovett cover drives closer to the church where his true love is getting married to the wrong man. Jamie sits with an intrigued look as you sing about walking up those church steps. She smiles with anticipation as the bride and groom turn around, only to see the narrator standing there, and oh, Jamie, you’re going to love this last line, and just as the guy reaches down for his .45, somebody grabs Jamie’s shoulder and yells: “Jamie you wanna order reuben balls?” The moment is lost, and so is Jamie. It’s nobody’s fault. Just a matter of bad timing and the universal understanding that no one wins a battle against reuben balls. Overcoming it: Realize there will be another chance. As in, the next song. And it wouldn’t kill you to introduce it. You MANKATO MAGAZINE • June 2014 • 23

may even get Jamie’s friends to listen. The hazard: The Tech Expert You got into music because it’s fun. So did The Tech Expert, presumably. But, somewhere along the line they got hit in the head with a manual. The hazard they present is making you feel like you don’t know a db from a doobie, which you don’t. No, you weren’t aware that your last song would sound better on a 65 Fender Twister with the frets whittled down and reversed and then played through a classic Kustom with a Telefunken U-47 just sweating all over the place. Nope, you didn’t know that at all, which doesn’t deter the expert from continuing on about how your microphone sounds remarkably OK for an SB-3.2, although with a little de-magnetizing of your deflection coils, you could get some sweet response. Of course, the last guy that tried that got sued by the founder, Jimmy Grey who was amazing. Just amazing. He was the one who fused wah-wah into humbuckers to get that killer midrange on Poco’s second album... Overcoming it: Nod a lot.

either. This soon becomes a game – a game you must avoid because you are there to play music, not win a quiz show. Overcoming it: Borrow this great line from a harmonicaplaying, Mankato band frontman who proudly stated to an indignant requester: “Oh, there are a lot of songs we don’t know.”

The hazard: Children This is going to sound terrible, but to the working musician not wearing a clown suit, children are the anti-Vibe. Fun-stompers. God’s adorable little buzz-kills. Wedding receptions, bars that serve food, company picnics – these gigs all begin with adults gathered in the back of the room drinking up the courage to dance while the little kids discover the dance floor and hit it like maniacs. They jump, run, somersault, roll, and stress you out because they do this around speaker stands, wires and other hazards that wouldn’t be hazards if you were playing for your target demographic. Sure, there’s always the one wellmeaning adult who’s crouching over for a dance with a little one, but The Hazard: this does not start a Once you know how to steer the hazards of playing intimately, you’ll enjoy the night along with Requests trend. One song everybody else. | Photo courtesy of Joe Tougas Asking for and the adult is requests is opening the door to disappointment. It’s saying, back at the table while the kids carry on stomping and “May we take this opportunity to disappoint you by not skipping with even more fervor. You smile, looking around for knowing what we asked you to ask for?” It’s your call whether a parent to take them away. All you see is an older cousin or not you open this door, but be warned you may find probably paid $10 to watch the entire lot of kids for an hour yourself standing there saying um, nope, we don’t know any or two. Harry Chapin. Nope, no Seals & Crofts, either. It’s a lot of They are paid by the non-dancing parents who are relaxing time to spend standing in front of a crowd discussing things and raising a glass to how exhausted the little ones will be you don’t know. tonight from spending a good hour or two spinning in small Worse, there’s the awkwardness of knowing a request but circles to your upbeat songs about prison and cocaine. not having the stomach to play it. Think “Sweet Caroline” or Overcoming it: You may think the solution is to learn “Mustang Sally,” songs that are fine in and of themselves yet some kid songs. That’s a punk’s way out, and the kids will not somehow long ago became go-to songs for large, loud groups appreciate being condescended to – they’ll know immediately of tipsy white people. It’s up to you whether you’re going to you’re phoning in “Wheels on the Bus.” No, when you feel play these, but we’re at a point now where even Wilson you’ve had enough and want the kids to stop dancing, hit Pickett and Neil Diamond would rather you not. them with “Chuck E.’s In Love.” Children have a tremendous You can avoid both scenarios by simply not asking. This, love for music, but they have a truly difficult time with jazz however, doesn’t eliminate the hazard of the indignant shuffles and major seventh chords. You’ll get a breather and a requester. The indignant requester is often at a loss, chance to relax your cheeks while the kids run to their genuinely confused as to how you can own a guitar and not parents for some pop. M know “Maggie’s Farm.” They also don’t take no for an answer. If not “Maggie’s Farm,” how about “Visions of Johanna?” It’s a Joe Tougas writes songs and performs with Ann Fee in the great song, you tell them, but no, we don’t know that one, acoustic duo The Frye. He can be reached at joe@joetougas. 24 • June 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

MANKATO MAGAZINE • June 2014 • 25




By Bryce O. Stenzel

Company H departing from Mankato for World War I. | Photo courtesy of Blue Earth County Historical Society


Mankato’s place in The Great War

t was a watershed moment in world history: The date was June 28, 1914. And Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, had arrived at the train station in Sarajevo, capital of BosniaHerzegovina, with his wife Sophie. The city was teeming with nationalists from the neighboring country of Serbia, which wanted to reunite Bosnia-Herzegovina with their own country. In the crowds lining the streets that day, waiting for the motorcade that was to take the Archduke and his wife from the train station to the town hall, were a half-dozen Serbian terrorists. As the motorcade made its way through the throng, a bomb exploded, injuring 20 people. Instead of continuing on to the original destination, the archduke ordered that he be taken to visit his injured aides. On the way, the lead car took a wrong turn, forcing it to stop briefly in order to reverse direction. This gave 19-year-old Serbian terrorist Gavrilo Princip time to fire his pistol at close range, hitting the archduke in his neck and Sophie in her stomach. Both died within the hour. On July 28, 1914, exactly one month after the assassinations of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, AustriaHungary declared war on Serbia, in retaliation for the killings. Russia mobilized its forces against Austria-Hungary to protect 26 • June 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

its ally Serbia. Germany, the ally of Austria-Hungary declared war against Serbia and Russia. France and Great Britain, allies of Russia joined in against Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy and the Ottoman Turks. The “Great War” had begun. Europe’s troubles seemed insignificant and far away to the people living far across the Atlantic Ocean in 1914. In the Mankato area, the prevailing attitude could be summed up in the words of Professor J.A. Hancock, author of “Blue Earth County in the World War” who wrote: “For us no barometer foretold the coming of the storm of war. That the world-wide tragedy was just ahead had no place in our dreams. Had the possibility even been suggested it would not have been taken seriously. One’s sanity would have been doubted had he persisted in the suggestion.” Even when the United States government’s official position shifted from strict neutrality to support of the British and French belligerents, not everyone in south-central Minnesota agreed. Prior to 1905, when Swedes became the largest European-based immigrant group to settle the region, Germans were predominant. Hancock wrote: “The German-American stood well among us all. The esteem in which the German nation was held by the great

ABOVE Soldiers stand in formation in downtown Mankato. | Photo courtesy of Blue Earth County Historical Society. TOP-RIGHT and BELOW The captured guns and plaque that stood as a World War I memorial in Sibley Park. | Photos courtesy of Bryce Stenzel majority was unquestionably high. We assumed that Germans who had their opportunities here would be loyal to America. The ancestors of many of them had left the Fatherland to save their lives; many had fought in our civil war and had held high positions in government service. … That such a land could be guilty of any wrong ... was an idea long fought off in spite of the most conclusive evidence to the contrary.” In contrast, there were many local people who still thought that Britain was America’s national enemy. France was seen in a similar negative light. Italy was regarded as superstitious and bigoted while Russia was seen by many as a land of despots. Germany; however was different. It was the land of culture, thrift, scientific and religious progress. Not surprisingly, it wasn’t until March 25, 1918, that the study of the German language was officially dropped from the curriculum at Mankato High School. Imperial Germany’s use of submarine warfare, resulting in the sinking of the Lusitania, Sussex and other vessels on the Atlantic, eroded America’s faith and considerable local support of the German cause. The final break came when the German government announced it would embark on a campaign of “unrestricted” submarine warfare — meaning that not even a warning would be given before merchant and passenger vessels were torpedoed and sunk. This act, more than anything else brought the United States officially into the war against Germany on April 6, 1917. As early as March 27 of that year, an army recruiting office was opened in Mankato, under the command of Sgt. Jack Mueller. Men at once began to enlist for active duty — 92 enlistments were made in the first 30 days the office was opened. The infantry, coast artillery and navy were the most popular service branches the local men enlisted into. The first local casualty to be reported only a few months after the men had arrived in France was Glenn H. Campbell, 19, of St. Clair. He was killed in a small skirmish near Toul on Feb. 27, 1918. During the remaining nine months of the war, 19 additional men from Blue Earth County were killed in action. Fifty troopers from Blue Earth County were wounded or gassed in battle. Twenty-two others, including nurse Emily

Tanquist, died of disease while in uniform. North Mankato’s death toll was one killed in action and four others dying of diseases. Those from Mankato who died while in service were: Joseph A. Bauer, Lt. Harold Hobbs, Leo J. Lorentz, Wendell A. Lorentz (the brothers for whom American Legion Post 11 in Mankato is named), Sgt. Clayton L. Parsons, Edward G. Lundberg, Clayton Olson, Lester Nelson, Glenn Stratton, George J. Bauer, Fred U. Carlson, Jacob C. Jacobson, Louis J. Klages, Clarence H. Wiseman, James M. Ellis, Clarence DeBoer, Ernest D. Smith, Lt. Walter H. Strand (for whom VFW Post 950 in Mankato was named), Lt. M.M. Wheeler, Rudolph H. Blatterman, Oscar E. Anderson, and Frank E. Lundquist. Mankato citizens received news of the armistice that ended the “Great War” by telegraph on Nov. 11, 1918. The news was greeted with widespread joy, culminating in spontaneous celebrations —even a parade through the downtown business district. There were so many people crowded on Front Street that horse and auto traffic along the thoroughfare was impossible. A huge Independence Day celebration was planned for July 4, 1919, to welcome home the troops. Despite a heavy rain in the morning, an immense crowd gathered by mid-day and the celebration was a great success. Mankato physician, Helen Hieschler, is credited with founding the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary at the first American Legion National Convention held in Minneapolis in 1919. In 1926, efforts were made to construct a permanent war memorial in Mankato’s Sibley Park, with the installation of two captured German 105 mm howitzer field guns. The fate of these artillery pieces (they were donated for scrap in World War II) symbolized the fragile and temporary peace that was won by battlefield sacrifice and lost in postwar diplomacy. The “War to End All Wars,” did not live up to its promises. In less than a quarter century after the “Great War” ended, the world would again be plunged into bloody conflict M

MANKATO MAGAZINE • June 2014 • 27


By John Cross

28 • June 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE


here is that old axiom stating that children should be seen, but not heard. But in the case of a white-tailed deer’s young, they should be neither seen nor scented. Typically born sometime in May, fawns initially are nearly scentless to escape detection by predators. As additional protection, for the first several weeks, the fawns instinctively will freeze when danger approaches, relying on their spotted coats to provide camouflage and avoid detection. But by June, the long-legged animals usually are able to resort to a more familiar way — with the flick of a tale and flashing hooves — to distance themselves from any danger, including well-meaning humans who wrongly assume a fawn lying motionless in the woods is an orphan. M MANKATO MAGAZINE • June 2014 • 29

Day Trip Destinations: Arlington Raceway

By Leticia Gonzales

The racing season at Arlington Raceway runs May through September on Saturday nights. | Photos courtesy of Susan Allen

The inside track on Arlington Raceway W

hen Susan Allen and her husband, Bob, opened the Arlington Speedway in 1981, it had been dormant for five years. “We opened it to offer affordable racing,” Susan said. The St. Peter speedway had closed in 1978, followed by the Cannon River Speedway in Faribault, which is now a campground. “My husband’s family has always been involved in racing,” Susan said. “He has always grown up in the racing world.” Susan said her husband raced sprint cars for more than five years at the St. Peter Raceway, along with his two brothers and brother-in-law. He now works for a motorsport insurance company and inspects race tracks for safety issues. The couple lives between St. Peter and Mankato and have passed on their racing genes to their two sons. Their oldest son manages the track, while another races sprint cars. While the half-mile dirt, oval track has remained constant over the past 34 years, Allen said the excitement for the sport has grown. “The first night we started we had 13 cars total,” she said,

30 • June 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

noting that Arlington Speedway now averages more than 100 drivers a night. “We have a wide-range of fans that come from 100 miles radius of Arlington both north, south, east and west.” The speedway season runs on Saturday nights from May to September. There are typically 21 races of International Motor Contest Association sprints, stock cars, hobbies, sport modifies and sport compacts, to name a few. This is also an improvement from the one class Allen said they started racing when the speedway first opened. “For car classes, we have go-karts on a limited basis,” she said. Many racers have their children race on the separate go-kart track, which is available to ages 5 and up. There are also kid’s night events that include giveaways. “We have a bus that kids get to run around in and visit their favorite car and pits,” she said. The diverse races also add some variety for the spectators. “We have three tracks within our track for autocross and truck cross,” she said. “We alternate those on different nights.

It’s just another avenue for people to be involved in racing.” Allen said the course, which is run about eight times a year, is exciting for fans because “you go up on bumps and around corners.” “Some people like speed, but some people like the autocross,” she said. “They are a lot slower, but sometimes they tip a lot.” The business of racing has also evolved. Like other sectors, computers are now used in all forms of Allen’s racing business. “Before, we used to do everything by hand,” Susan said. “When we first started out, we had a mimeograph machine. … Our main form of advertising is our website and Facebook site; 34 years ago, you wouldn’t have dreamed of things like that.” Even though attendance has been down slightly with the economy, raceway crowds can range anywhere from 500 to 800 adults. An ideal crowd, according to Allen, is around 1,000 spectators. A night at Arlington Raceway starts at 7 p.m. and usually ends around 10-10:30 p.m. “We try and run a fast-moving show so we aren’t there all night,” Susan said. M

Upcoming Promotions at Arlington June 7: Keepers RV Night June 14: Pepsi of Mankato Night; North Star Series June 21: Pro Haulers Night; Joe Voss Memorial June 28: KNUJ JAM the Stands July 5: NAPA Fireworks Night; IMCA Sprint Car Series July 12: Dan Grams Memorial; R&R Tire Shop-Midwest Wheel Cover, US Engravers and Creative Ad Solutions Night July 19: Casey’s General Store Night July 26: Schauer Construction Night

Heading to the track: What to know • Depending on the weather, Allen suggests guests bring a blanket if it’s cold, or for something to sit on. • The raceway offers earplugs, but Allen said most people don’t wear them because they either like the noise or it doesn’t affect them that much because it’s not constant. “We do require mufflers on a lot of the car classes, so it isn’t severe,” she said. • “We offer a full refreshment area, so a lot of families come and have their dinner there during the racing program.” • “The drivers just don’t race for fun, they race for prize money. We pay out close to $10,000 a night in prize money.”

If you go What Arlington Raceway, 801 West Chandler Street, Arlington When Saturdays, through September 20. Gates open at 5 p.m.; green flag drops at 7 p.m.,; go-kart nights start at 6:30 p.m. Admission $12 (adults), $4 (ages 6-12), free for kids 5 and younger. Also, $35 for a Family Pack (two parents, three kids younger than age 15, and one free popcorn voucher) More information Visit or call 507-964-5947

Nearby Raceways Fairmont Raceway Features Friday night races including modifieds, stock cars, 360 modifieds, hobby stocks, hornets and cruisers. Located one mile south of I-90 on County Road 39. or 507-235-6996 Jackson Speedway Features Saturday night races including sprints, 360 modifieds, IMCA hobby stocks and IMCA stock cars. Located on I-90 and Hwy. 71, 75 miles southwest of Mankato. or 507-847-2084 MANKATO MAGAZINE • June 2014 • 31

Garden Chat By Jean Lundquist

Joys of June: Asparagus, rhubarb — and weeding


fter the fall, winter and spring we’ve had, who would not welcome the month that offers the first day of summer? June is also the month that pretty much determines how the rest of your gardening season will progress. The word for June is “weed.” That’s “weed,” as a verb. Every gardener knows the importance of keeping up with the weeds, but when weeds are young and short, it’s too easy to not see them as a threat. But those little baby weeds are not harmless. They grow up, you know. When you see a few weeds, it’s easier to destroy them now than it will be later, after they have a stronger root system and are larger on the topside. The taller the weed, the tighter it hangs onto the earth. I believe this. June’s also the month you have the best chance of eliminating garden pests, like rabbits and other rodents. Several years ago, my sister had a mouse problem in her garage. She set up a “trap line” in the garage for her children to check at least once each day. They caught a mother mouse. The hunt was on for the babies and, oddly enough, they found them. They wrapped them up in warm towels, brought them into the house and tried to nurse them into adulthood. Why? Because they seemed so harmless. My friend Agnes had a similar situation with a gardeneating rodent. Rabbits were eating everything in the neighborhood and everyone was upset. But then she took us over to the next door neighbor’s backyard to show us the “cutest little bunnies” in a nest by their air conditioner. And they were cute. They all had little tiny ears and a little white star on their foreheads. I said, “You know, you should really take them out now so you don’t have to fight with them later.” Agnes scowled at me like I was evil incarnate. Fortunately, she still talks to me today. We’ve never spoken of the incident. Feel free to enjoy your asparagus during the month of June. I generally pick mine through the Fourth of July. To preserve it by freezing, it needs to be lightly blanched, then quickly cooled in ice water. If you’ve never blanched anything, it means submersing it in boiling water. When you blanch asparagus, it is ready to come out of the boiling water as soon as it heats up and turns a bright green. It doesn’t take long. Because asparagus is a delicate vegetable, it needs to be cooled in water with ice cubes if you want to eat it later without having it turn to mush. To cook it after it’s been 32 • June 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

frozen, boil water, turn the heat off, and put the asparagus in the water. For best results, drain the asparagus to get it as dry as possible after blanching. Then, line a cookie sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Spread the asparagus in a single layer and freeze. Break apart the pieces and seal in a freezer bag. You can take out whatever amount you want when you’re ready to enjoy it. This may be painful for you, as it is for me, but when you decide to stop picking asparagus, you need to let all those lovely, tasty spears grow up, get tough and go to seed. Feel free to use fertilizer, as these spears will feed the roots for the rest of the summer so you have great asparagus again next spring and early summer. The other spring treat to take advantage of is rhubarb There’s nothing better than an early rhubarb crisp. Or rhubarb pie. Or rhubarb sauce. If you prefer strawberries with your rhubarb, it’s easy to freeze. Rhubarb requires no blanching. Just wash and chop before putting it on parchment or waxed paper for freezing. The earliest rhubarb is the best, I’m told. Especially if making wine. Early harvested rhubarb won’t tend to gel up in the winemaking process, they say. I’ve never had gelled rhubarb wine. Nor have I ever made drinkable rhubarb wine. But I have aspirations. To get the best from your rhubarb patch for the longest time, be sure to pull every seed head that the plant sends up. When it starts to put energy into seeds, the rhubarb stalk health and taste will suffer. Rhubarb is what’s known as “a heavy feeder.” That means it needs fertilizer to be a healthy, tasty plant. You can fertilize it early in the season, or you can wait until it’s dormant next fall and feed it then. I often “borrow” a cow pie from the neighboring pasture and plop it on the dormant rhubarb patch in the fall. By spring, I usually forget about what I fed the rhubarb. Bon appétit! M

Jean Lundquist is a master gardener who lives near Good Thunder.

MANKATO MAGAZINE • June 2014 • 33

That’s Life By Nell Musolf


Decisions, decisions

y husband, Mark, came to a decision a few months ago. Actually, he came to his supposed last decision when he decided that he would no longer be making any decisions. As I recall, this came about after I asked him an especially challenging question involving what he wanted to watch on television that night: a Meryl Streep movie or the Weather Channel. “I don’t care. I’ve decided that I’m not making any decisions anymore,” Mark responded. I must admit that my somewhat controlling personality did a small jig when I heard his answer but having known him for a few decades, I decided to proceed cautiously. “What do you mean you’re not making any decisions anymore?” “Just that. I’m tired of deciding things.” Then he said the truly golden sentence that all wives secretly long to hear. ”From now on you can decide everything.” After changing the channel to Meryl, I settled down in my recliner to savor the gift Mark had just given me. Having the power to make all decisions in our household obviously extended beyond keeping the remote next to me at all times (although the notion of never having to sit through another showing “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” was truly exhilarating). From now on, I would get to decide where we went on vacation, what we had for dinner every night, who would change the kitty litter, what he’d wear when we went out to dinner … the possibilities seemed endless. However, I cautioned myself not to get too excited. Not making any decisions about anything might pall after awhile and there was a good chance that Mark would come to the realization that not having a voice in anything and leaving everything up to his other half might not be such a fantastic thing. 34 • June 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

Then he said the truly golden sentence that all wives secretly long to hear: “From now on, you can decide everything.” But in the meantime… “What is this?” Mark said the next evening as he looked quite unenthusiastically at the dinner I had just set before him. “Garden vegetable casserole,” I replied. “It’s high in fiber and low in fat. Doesn’t it smell great?” “It smells like something that you found in the vegetable bin that rotted,” he replied, poking at a piece of broccoli. “You know I hate broccoli. It makes me sick.” “You aren’t making any decisions anymore,” I almost trilled. “I get to decide everything and vegetables are good for you — way better than red meat. So eat up.” “Couldn’t you have at least put some Velveeta on it?” Mark requested. “I like cheese on vegetables.” “Hmmm … that sounds an awful lot like a decision to me,” I remarked. “It isn’t a decision. It’s a suggestion.” “And I’ve decided not to take your suggestion. Velveeta is bad for you, too.” Falling into an annoyed silence, Mark stoically ate his dinner. I suppose it was all the power rushing to my head but I should have made note of the tiny glint of uncertainty in his eyes, a glint that should have told me that he was already starting to rethink this whole “no more

decisions”stance. But I didn’t. I was too busy thinking about what other dinners I wanted to cook and vacations I wanted to book. The old saying about power corrupting and absolute power corrupting absolutely had come home to roost at our very own kitchen table. For almost a month I continued to reign as decider-of-everything. It was a lovely month. The thermostat stayed at 72 degrees, the television remained on Lifetime and neither of us stepped a single toe into Menards, Home Depot or Lowe’s. By the end of that month, however, I noticed that the glow of being the only person in charge was starting to fade a bit for me. While it was fun to decide the more trivial matters, trying to decipher what to do about things like insurance claims and mechanical issues began to get to me. The final straw broke when it looked like we would need to get new tires for our car. “What kind of tires should we get?” I asked Mark. “And where should we get them?” The glint I had noticed a few weeks earlier was back. “You decide. You’re making all of the decisions, remember?” I suddenly knew that payback time for all of the vegetarian casseroles, Meryl Streep marathons and lack of chocolate ice cream in the freezer had suddenly arrived. “I can’t do that. I don’t know anything about tires. That’s your job.” “OK but I want cheeseburgers for dinner tonight and hand me the remote after you turn the thermostat down. When are you going to buy Oreos again?” Mr. No Decisions vanished in an instant as Mr. Take Charge reached for the remote control. What can I say? It was nice while it lasted. M Nell Musolf is a mom and a freelance writer from Mankato.

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MANKATO MAGAZINE • June 2014 • 35

What’s Cooking By Sarah Johnson

More than just the musical fruit Beans are cheap, healthy and delicious, too


usic and food have gone together since cavemen first pounded drums around a campfire waiting for the mammoth to get done roasting. For some reason, dining and music appreciation have remained complementary activities. Music festivals always feature great grub. Honkytonk bars serve up live music and hot food on the same platter. Connoisseurs coined the term “dinner music” – gentle, jazzy stuff – to promote better conversation and digestion during meals. It all goes to show how much we love our food and music mashed together like a panini sandwich. And the band names: There’s one for every palate. Start your feast with your choice of delectable foodstuffs: Meatloaf, with a side of Korn? Blue Oyster Cult, with SaltN-Pepa? The Lost Walleye Orchestra, with Black Eyed Peas? The Frye, with Red Hot Chili Peppers? For dessert, have Cake, Humble Pie or Vanilla Ice. For those on a sugarfree diet, we offer exotic fruits: Bananarama, Blind Melon, or Peaches & Herb with a luscious Chuck Berry topping. However, my favorite music-and-food combo ingredient has always been beans. We all know what I’m talking about. It’s the kind of music everyone can make. Beans are wonderful cooked into soups, chilies, casseroles and stews. They’re great served by themselves with some simple seasonings, or mashed and folded inside a warm tortilla. Red beans and rice can be found in jillions of countries around the world and every version is delicious. I love ‘em in salads and salsas and, oh lord, don’t forget the hummus. Who’da thunk the humble chickpea could taste so heavenly? Dry beans are almost pathetically inexpensive – how do bean farmers make a living? But they have to be rehydrated first. You can soak them overnight in water, but I usually just bring them to a boil and then let them sit for two hours before cooking with them (known as the “fast” method, which is admittedly not so fast). They freeze well, so you can make a big batch and divvy them up into Ziplocs for the freezer, thus saving yourself some valuable time you could be using to organize your spice rack. How long you actually cook the beans depends on their size. The tiniest – lentils, split peas, etc. – don’t even get rehydrated; they just go straight in the pot and are soft in about an hour. The next size up – such as black beans and navy beans – will take about an hour and a half of gentle simmering after rehydration while the really large kidney beans take up to two hours of boiling. Don’t add salt until the end of cooking as salt make the beans tough and lengthens cooking time. The list of things that are healthy about beans is staggering. They provide an embarrassment of riches, 36 • June 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

especially considering their humble status and price. Because beans contain tons of fiber and nutrients, little fat and no cholesterol, they are über heart-healthy. They contain a beautiful blend of complex carbohydrates and protein, which causes them to be digested slowly, keeping blood glucose levels stable and curtailing fatigue and irritability. Seriously, that’s the science: Beans combat surliness. Beans’ abundance of antioxidants and fiber also reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, obesity and stroke. They prevent constipation and are gluten-free. They help with weight loss by being digested slowly and making us feel full longer. Whether canned, frozen or dry, they are convenient, versatile and delicious. And they’re the least expensive form of protein in the world, period. As for the musical side effects of beans, the problem is that they contain a sugar that our bodies can’t break down, which ferments in our intestines, producing gas. If gas is a problem for you, cook your own beans instead of using canned and change your soaking water several times. This will leach out much of that pesky sugar. (If using canned beans, rinse them thoroughly.) Adding a pinch of baking soda to the simmering beans will help break down that sugar, too. And at the table, thoroughly chew your beans to start the digestion process as soon as possible. If you follow this advice, you should be able to hear your dinner music over your belly rumblings. If nothing seems to work, you can still enjoy beans: Just choose your company carefully, and open a window.

Sarah Johnson is a cook, freelance writer and chocolate addict from North Mankato with three grown kids and a couple of mutts.

EXPECT THE BEST… GET THE BEST! “Beans, Beans, The Musical Fruit” Wraps 1 tablespoon canola oil 1 onion, finely chopped 1 teaspoon chili powder 1 can (19 oz) red kidney, pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed Hot pepper sauce, to taste 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander (optional) 6 small tortillas








Toppings: Your choice of chopped tomato, shredded cheese, salsa, shredded lettuce, chopped jalapenos, sliced black olives, fresh cilantro In skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Fry onion with chili powder, stirring, until softened, about five minutes. Add beans and hot pepper sauce; cook, stirring, until beans are steaming hot and well coated with onion mixture. With potato masher or large fork, mash about half of the beans so mixture holds together. Stir in coriander (if using). Meanwhile, place tortillas in casserole dish and warm in microwave at medium power for about three minutes. Spoon beans down centre of each tortilla; add toppings. Roll up. M

MANKATO MAGAZINE • June 2014 • 37

Your Health

By Hope Warshaw | Special To The Washington Post

Control grazing between meals


mericans tend to eat a light breakfast or skip it altogether. Then we grab lunch on the run and end up eating the bulk of our calories in the evening — not generally a healthy pattern. “Consuming minimal calories for breakfast as refined carbohydrate (starches or sweets) can leave you ‘hangry,’ meaning a person is so hungry they get angry,” says Louis Aronne, physician and professor of metabolic research at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center specializing in weight management. A number of hormones play key roles in whether we feel hungry or sated. They work in tandem like a well-oiled machine — that is, until their fine balance is disrupted. This can happen with weight gain and/or insulin resistance, often the precursors to metabolic syndrome, prediabetes and/or Type 2 diabetes, which today affect millions of Americans. According to CDC, nearly 80 million Americans have prediabetes. Here’s a basic primer on several key hunger and satiety hormones: — Insulin: Produced and secreted from beta cells in the pancreas. Insulin plays a central role in the breakdown and processing of carbohydrates, protein and fat — the main calorie-containing nutrients from foods. It allows the body’s cells to use glucose for energy. Its effect on blood glucose is opposite that of glucagon. — Glucagon: Produced and secreted from alpha cells in the pancreas. If energy is needed because of lack of available glucose from foods, glucagon causes the liver to convert stored glycogen into glucose and release it into the blood to be used for energy. Thus its effect on blood glucose is the opposite of insulin’s. — Glucagon-like peptide: This is one of the best understood hormones in the group of so-called gut hormones known as incretins. They’re produced in the intestine. This hormone increases when you eat. It stimulates the pancreas to put out insulin when blood glucose rises and it slows the rise of blood glucose after you eat. It has a satiating effect. — Grehlin: Ghrelin is the hunger hormone. It’s produced in both the stomach and the pancreas. Release of it increases before you eat and then decreases after eating. It works opposite of the way leptin does. — Leptin: Leptin is the satiety hormone. It’s made in fat cells (adipose tissue) and signals that you’ve eaten enough. Aronne explains being “hangry” like this: “People may have a rapid rise in blood glucose after eating, which in turn causes a rise in their insulin levels. This may be followed by a greater than normal drop in blood glucose. If glucose levels get down to normal or below normal too rapidly, glucagon will be produced and can cause increased hunger.” If you have this problem, the key is what and how much you eat for breakfast. You need to eat sufficient amounts of the right combination of foods. “Foods with protein and 38 • June 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

fiber are the most satiating,” says Anne Wolf, registered dietitian and owner of Anne Wolf & Associates (www. in Charlottesville, Va. A few suggestions: • Combine one egg with egg whites and sauteed vegetables (onions, mushrooms, peppers, spinach). Or combine one egg with a part-skim cheese or cottage cheese and vegetables. • Mix a high-fiber cereal like All Bran or Fiber One with other low-sugar cereals and fat-free milk or mix into plain regular or Greek yogurt. (Greek yogurt has a bit more protein.) • Make a smoothie with fat-free milk or plain yogurt, fruit or vegetables and a small amount of protein powder. • Have a bowl of oatmeal with the addition of a high-fiber cereal. • Top a bowl of cottage cheese with a high-fiber cereal and berries. •Spread peanut butter (or any nut butter) on whole grain toast with a glass of fat-free or low-fat milk. Try a few of these combinations and determine which ones keep you sated during the morning. Then be sure to have the foods in your house and set the alarm clock to allow time to eat them before you fly out the door. To curb your hunger between meals, you may find having small snacks in the midmorning and midafternoon, or on the way home from work, helps immensely. Wolf suggests a guidepost for snacks of 200 calories each, with food pairings that provide rapidly available energy from healthy carbohydrates, along with enough protein and fat for satiety. Try fruit and cheese, or a handful of nuts, or high-fiber whole grain crackers and cheese or nut butter. Make your snacks count nutritionally: Use them as opportunities to eat more of the foods you’re missing, whether they be vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy foods, nuts or seeds. You’re unlikely to find these foods in vending machines, coffee shops or convenience stores. So plan to snack healthfully. M Warshaw, a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes educator, is the author of numerous books published by the American Diabetes Association and of the blog EatHealthyLiveWell, found on her Web site,

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MANKATO MAGAZINE • June 2014 • 39

Your Style

By Melissa Dribben | The Philadelphia Inquirer

Most important quality in a running shoe? Comfort


Photo by: Melissa Dribben | Philadelphia Inquirer

ondering about the best shoes to wear for spring running? Neutral? Minimalist? Stability? Motion control? Cushioned heel? Confused? Of course you are. Well, sports medicine specialists have good news. Stop worrying about fallen arches, overpronation, and putting your feet on a paleolithic regimen. The latest thinking about how to choose the best running shoe is to let comfort be your guide. Since the 1970s, running shoes have evolved from puny slabs of rubber sewn to canvas shells into engineering feats rivaling 3-D-printed surveillance drones. Far beyond the latest Nike Flyknit Lunar 2 are plans for running shoes made of computer-generated molecules that will link to living organisms and conform to your foot’s ever-changing needs. In the somewhat-less-distant future are Google Bluetooth-enabled shoes that talk to you and tell you how your run is going. For now, runners have a hard enough time picking from hundreds of mute, inorganic options. “Historically, the push has always been to look at foot pronation,” said Bryan Heiderscheit, a professor in the department of biomedical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Runners were told to wear shoes that would correct for the foot’s tendency to roll inward or

40 • June 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

outward, on the theory that this would correct biomechanical flaws and prevent injuries to the knees and lower back. “But the best studies that have been done in the last 10 years,” said Heiderscheit, “have not substantiated that claim.” In 2010, the American Journal of Sports Medicine published a study of 1,400 Marine Corps recruits. Half the group was given shoes based on a careful evaluation of the shape of their feet. The control group’s shoes were chosen randomly. “Assigning shoes based on the shape of the plantar foot surface,” the authors concluded, “had little influence on injuries.” When Heiderscheit tries to explain this to members of the running-shoe industry, he gets “pushback.” Not surprising, he said, considering that the $20 billion athletic-shoe market sustains itself on innovation. Most companies release new models twice a year, offering features designed to improve performance and prevent injury. The idea that almost any shoe is fine if it’s comfortable is also apt to meet resistance from runners for whom theory has become dogma. Believers in barefoot running or minimalist shoes, for instance, are unlikely to be convinced. Both are fine, said Heiderscheit, as long as recent converts do not make the switch too abruptly. Speaking from personal experience, Heiderscheit said, it is easy to get injured if you decide to toss your cushiony sneakers and immediately start racking up miles in a pair of barely-theres. It can take months to adapt, he said. He recommends exercises to strengthen muscles in the calf and foot and using the minimalist shoes for short, easy runs at first. “You should feel so comfortable in a shoe that you could sleep in them,” said Jon Woo, a sports medicine specialist at the University of Washington in Seattle. Experts say that just as everyone’s feet are unique, so are their running styles. “There is no absolute biomechanical ideal,” said Heiderscheit. One of the world’s fastest marathoners, Pescah Jeptoo, has a knock-kneed gait that has carried her through 26.2 miles in a blazing two hours, 20 minutes, and 14 seconds. Still, Heiderscheit said, there are “flaws” to avoid. “You don’t want to bounce too much. You don’t want to overstride. And the one thing we absolutely don’t want people to do is a hard heel strike — truly coming down on your heel with your foot pointed high in air.” Jeptoo, for the record, runs in Nike Zoom Streak 3s, a lightweight, breathable shoe with some support and cushioning. Online reviews of the shoe range from “I got huge blisters” to “Perfect!” If this proves anything, experts said, it is that the one true authority on which shoes are best is the runner who wears them. M


Don’t Fret!!


Fri & Sat, June 6th & 7th • Fri & Sat, June 13th & 14th


Mankato, MN

Happy Hour

By J.M. HIRSCH | AP Food Editor

A bourbon cocktail for any season...

KENTUCKY TROPICS (SUMMER) Start to finish: 5 minutes Servings: 1 1 small sprig fresh mint 3 ounces bourbon 2 ounces pineapple juice Ice Place the mint in a cocktail shaker, then use a muddler or spoon to lightly bruise it. Add the remaining ingredients, then shake until well chilled. Strain into a tumbler.

42 • June 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

AP photos


y son’s fourth grade math homework has taught me an incredibly valuable lesson. About bourbon. Inappropriate association, you say? Perhaps. But if a bit of bourbon is what it takes for me to safely usher my offspring through the woes of improper fractions, division patterns, quadrants and perimeter calculations, then I say pour me another round, and make it snappy. Prior to the intrusion of fourth grade math into my life, I had rather set notions about cocktails and the liquors from which they are born. I considered them mostly seasonal items. Gin and tonics are suitable for spring, pisco sours and margaritas love summer, cranberry juice and vodka were made for fall, and mulled wine outside of winter was simply wrong. Actually, I still believe in that. But as my son’s math homework has carried through the seasons — the warm days of early September, the chill of November, the frost of February, and now the thaw of spring — I’ve learned that there is no season — and no volume of homework — for which bourbon isn’t appropriate. Of course, for a cocktail to be homework-friendly, it also must be simple. Clearly — and sadly — our focus must be on the math, not mixology. So in addition to being seasonal, my cocktails are blissfully simple to concoct. M


My version of the classic old fashioned is more citrusy than sweet. Traditional recipes often include a maraschino cherry, but I find that it muddies the flavor. Start to finish: 5 minutes Servings: 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar 1 large strip of orange or lemon zest Dash of orange bitters 2 ounces bourbon 1 large ice cube In tumbler or rocks glass, combine the sugar, zest and bitters. Using a spoon or muddler, lightly mash the zest into the sugar. Add the bourbon, then stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the ice.

THE ORCHARD (FALL) Start to finish: 5 minutes Servings: 1 2 ounces bourbon 2 ounces apple cider 1 teaspoon agave nectar Ice Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, then shake well. Strain into a canning jar or some similarly laid back drinking vessel.


Start to finish: 5 minutes 1/2 ounce dry vermouth Servings: 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar 2 ounces bourbon Splash of lemon juice 1/2 ounce red wine Ice Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake until well chilled, then strain into a tumbler.

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Coming Attractions: June 1 -- Zonta Club: Kayaking for a Cause 11 a.m.-3 p.m. -- BentRiver Outfitter, 530 N Riverfront Drive -- $100 (includes Kayak) -- 2 -- German Park Concert in the Park Series: The Concord Singers 7 p.m. -- German Park, New Ulm -- free -- 507-359-8347 5 -- Songs on the Lawn: String Theory 11 a.m.-1 p.m. -- Civic Center Plaza, Mankato -- free 6 -- First Fridays Speaker Series: Alejandro Aguirre 12:10 p.m. -- First Presbyterian Church, Mankato -- free -507-387-2160 8 -- Harmony in the Park: MPR’s Choral Festival 7 p.m. -- Vetter Stone Amphitheater, Riverfront Park -- free 9 -- German Park Concert in the Park Series: The Original German Band of New Ulm 7 p.m. -- German Park, New Ulm -- free -- 507-359-8347 11-14 -- Highland Summer Theatre: Next to Normal 7:30 p.m. -- Ted Paul Theatre, Minnesota State University -- $22, $19 seniors and youth -- 507-389-6661 12 -- “Don’t Fall Victim to Identity Theft” presentation 6:30 p.m. -- Old Main Village Senior Living Community, 301 S. Fifth St., Mankato -- free -- RSVP to 507-388-4200 12 -- Songs on the Lawn: Ben Marti Trio 11 a.m.-1 p.m. -- Civic Center Plaza, Mankato -- free 13 -- Hot Jazz for Decent People Series: The E.Z. Jazz Trio 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m. -- Arts Center of Saint Peter, 315 S. Minnesota Ave., St. Peter -- $10 -- 507-931-3630

44 • June 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

14-15 -- Solstice: outdoor music festival 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday -- Riverfront Park -$15 Saturday, $10 Sunday, $5 kids 8-14, free kids 7 and under

25 -- Madelia Community Hospital annual Golf Outing 4:30 p.m. registration starts, 5:30 p.m. tee-off, 6:30 p.m. dinner for guests not golfing -- Madelia Golf Course -- $45 Golf & Dinner, $10 Dinner Only -507-642-3255.

16 -- German Park Concert in the Park Series: Cletus Goblirsch 7 p.m. -- German Park, New Ulm -- free -- 507-359-8347

26 -- Songs on the Lawn: The Last Revel 11 a.m.-1 p.m. -- Civic Center Plaza, Mankato -- free

18 -- Polka in the Park 6:30-8:00 p.m. -- Sibley Park, Mankato -- free

28 -- Bend of the River CookOut 9 a.m. -- Land of Memories Park, Mankato -- $10 -- 507-317-9291

19 -- Songs on the Lawn: Organic Cowboys 11 a.m.-1 p.m. -- Civic Center Plaza, Mankato -- free

28 -- Mankato Symphony Orchestra: Party in the Park 4 p.m. -- Vetter Stone Amphitheater, Riverfront Park -- $75 per person, $550 table of eight -- 507-625-8880.

20 -- Theory of a Deadman 7 p.m. -- Vetter Stone Amphitheater, Riverfront Park -- $25 advance, $27 day of show -- -800-745-3000 21-22 -- Arts by the River Festival 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday; 12-5 p.m. Sunday -- Vetter Stone Amphitheater, Riverfront Park -- www.artsbytheriver. com 23 -- German Park Concert in the Park Series: Molly and Sonny Boy 7 p.m. -- German Park, New Ulm -- free -- 507-359-8347 24-28 -- Highland Summer Theatre: Boeing Boeing 7:30 p.m. -- Andreas Theatre, Minnesota State University -- $16, $14 seniors and youth -- 507-389-6661

28 -- Mankato Symphony Orchestra: Rockin’ by the River 5:30 p.m. -- Vetter Stone Amphitheater, Riverfront Park -- free 28 -- North Mankato Triathlon 8 a.m. -- Hiniker Pond Park, North Mankato -- http://www.finalstretch. com/triathlons/north-mankatotriathlon.html 28-July 2 -- Deep Valley Homecoming Registration required -- for registration and full schedule visit 30 -- German Park Concert in the Park Series: The Ken and Ken Show 7 p.m. -- German Park, New Ulm -- free -- 507-359-8347

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Saturday, November 1, 2014 2:30 and 7 p.m. Crossview Covenant Church North Mankato We hope to see you there!

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MAIN VILLAGE OA LD Senior Living Community 301 South 5th Street Mankato, MN 56001 A Platinum Service® community managed by The Goodman Group. MANKATO MAGAZINE • June 2014 • 45




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Faces & Places

Photos By Sport Pix

YWCA girls on the run 5K


1. Ashlyn Miller, 6, makes a final sprint to the finish line during the Kids K prior to the 5K race. 2. Kylie Christians hangs out with the MoonDogs mascot, Mutnik. 3. Completing the 5K with a personal record of 29:55, Sydney Gahlon accepts her medal. 4. Lydia Huelsnitz, 7, decorates a mask at one of the booths prior to the race. 5. Promptly deciding on a clever team name, The No Names are all smiles before heading into the run. 6. All of the girls and their mentors gather before heading into the race. Volunteer mentors train with the girls, hoping to inspire healthy living and self-esteem. 7. Runners of all ages make their way around Sibley Park for the Girls on the Run 5K on April 26. 8. Members of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority support the runners with handmade signs and positive cheers. 9. Volunteers created 3 4 cheer stops around the course, cheering words of encouragement as the racers passed by.







MANKATO MAGAZINE • June 2014 • 49

Faces & Places

Photos By Sport Pix

Mankato area international festival 1. A flag parade went through the Centennial Student Union as part of the opening ceremony. 2. Ellie Wallace of Owatonna places a pin on the map indicating her home town. 3. Taha Abid of the Pakistan Student Association serves chicken bryani. 4. The American Indian Student Association features frybread a la mode at the festival. 5. India Acoustics Peace & Harmony duo provides entertainment for the festival-goers. 6. Ladies from the East European Student Association dance on stage in 2 the Hearth Lounge area. 7. The Basic Game Band performs in the Ostrander Auditorium.





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50 • June 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

Faces & Places

Photos By Sport Pix

Spring Vendor Craft Show 1. More than 20 vendors showed up for the event. 2. Lisa and Nathan Hagan of Hanska selling their wildlife paintings. 3. Lisa Finch (left) and LeAnne Steinke selling items from Finch Designs. 4. Sara Pugh of Lake Crystal selling goods from SJP Designs & Desserts. 5. Jane Laven of Mankato making her Minnesota Sno Flakes, which are glass-beaded sun catchers.


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MANKATO MAGAZINE • June 2014 • 51




By Pete Steiner

A place with character: In search of Uncle Charlie and the old North End


y Uncle Charlie Steiner was a mainstay of the old North End. To this day, more than 50 years after his death, people ask me about him, or tell stories recalling his generosity. He owned a number of properties but was best known for his bakery near where the former American State Bank building stands, across from the Wine Café in Old Town. Anyone who remembers the bakery remembers that Charlie always gave “a baker’s dozen,” especially during the Depression, when so many were hurting. Charlie was my dad’s father’s brother. My favorite Uncle Charlie story is from a day when my brother and I – we were 10 or 11 -- were riding south on North Broad Street with Dad, probably coming home from swimming lessons at Tourtellotte pool. “Oh, there’s Uncle Charlie!” Dad exclaimed, spotting the dapper gent seated on a bus bench at a corner. Dad stopped and Charlie came over. “Got the boys in the back seat, Bill?” he asked through the rolled-down windows. “Here, boys!” and he reached his hand through, giving each of us a crisp $5 bill, a goodly sum in 1958. I think it was brother Bill who later asked, “Dad, when can we go see Uncle Charlie again?” •••• Like my Dad, Charlie was a North Ender. The old North End, when Mankato was still mostly down in the valley, started north of Main Street, ran along old North Front (now Riverfront), and stretched up to Washington Park and the old brewery. It was dominated by grand buildings, like Salet’s Department Store and the Burton Hotel. They’re gone now, of course, but another key landmark – the old Armory, with its brick crenellations, still stands. Kids would race on their bikes from the Armory to the then-brand-new Franklin School. My father even talked of sledding down Main Street hill in the winter. With little development on the hilltop until the ‘40s, there was not nearly as much traffic then. The North End was known for producing real characters, colorful civic pillars, like the Lyons boys and the Votca brothers and, of course, Charlie Steiner. But the Steiner clan being about as cohesive as the mercury in an old thermometer that’s dropped on a stone floor, I needed to ask someone to tell me more about Uncle Charlie. •••• For whatever reason, the North End has always has been hospitable to small automotive shops. Jerry Olinger and his brother Bob ran one of those shops, Olinger’s Garage, just off Second Street at Washington. Taking it over from their father after mid-century, they finally sold it to their friend and neighbor, Iver, in 1998. Jerry had told me he remembered Uncle Charlie, so I sat down with him recently, as he unloaded 65 years of memories. “We used to fix their bread trucks,” Jerry recalled about Charlie and Adolph Rindelaub, who were in the bakery business together. (Son Henry Rindelaub later took over 52 • June 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

from Adolph.) “Almost every Sunday,” Jerry Olinger reminisced, “we’d go down to the bakery to get bismarcks!” Because Jerry and Bob’s Dad, Clem, was close to Charlie, they got special treatment: They were allowed into the back room where the bismarck pastries were baked and filled with cream or jelly, and they could munch them still warm from the oven. The bakery was called the Mankato Bread Company and they sold their own “Bambi”-brand bread. “They didn’t have sliced bread (at first),” Jerry noted. “It came in whole loaves.” He remembers it was real progress sometime around 1940 when the bakery got a commercial bread slicer. Charlie also owned real estate and, checking some of his farmland, he would drive to Waseca, where the Rindelaubs had another baking operation. “He was just nice and friendly. He and (Clem) were good friends,” Jerry said. So, when Charlie offered, Clem would let his boys ride along on those trips to Waseca “But first, he would buy us each a pint of ice cream at the old Creamery (on Front Street, across from Hubbard Mill in the building that later served as Bolton and Menk headquarters).” •••• The Olinger boys gradually worked their way into Clem’s auto shop. “In summers, we would just hang around and sweep the floor. Later, we started riding bikes, and we’d go get parts at Mankato Service (on South Front, near today’s Public Safety Center).” Sometimes Clem would give each of the boys a nickel, and they’d saunter a couple doors down to the S and S Tavern (now Coffee Hag) to buy candy bars. •••• Born in 1929, Jerry Olinger lived with his family in one of the earliest residences on Mankato’s hilltop. “Loyola Field (now Bethany’s soccer field) at that time was just open pasture. Their dad, Clem, would actually hunt pheasants in the area that is now Mulberry Street.” Some nearby families still maintained livestock. “Our neighbor would take his horse and cow from pasture to pasture (on the hilltop). He let us ride the cow!” Jerry was just 12 when the world changed forever. “I remember hearing about Pearl Harbor on the radio. It was a Sunday morning. Everybody was listening on the radio.” WWII would lead to rationing, affecting Olinger’s Garage. “You couldn’t get tires. (And) there was a sticker you’d put in the windshield, Class A or B. If it was Class A, you could buy more gas, say if you were a farmer.” After the war, after high school, Jerry went to St. Thomas. But college graduation in 1951 found another war awaiting: Jerry and Bob took turns going to Korea, before both came home to run the garage. (To be continued.) M Pete Steiner is host of “Talk of the Town” weekdays at 1:05 p.m. on KTOE.

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People, Places, Lifestyles of the Minnesota River Valley