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Happy New Year from the Management Team at Primrose Retirement Community of Mankato! Stop by and visit with our caring staff, have lunch with our residents and take a look at the amazing amenities that make Primrose such a wonderful place to call home. While you are here, ask about our $1,000 move-in special this month! For more information, or to set up a visit, call 507-388-9292 and come see why we say, 速

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1360 Adams Street Mankato, MN



Read us online!

Coming Next Issue! The February Issue of Mankato Magazne is all about Love, Romance, and Weddings just in time for Valentine’s Day.

2 • January 2013 • MANKATO MAGAZINE


FEATU RES January 2011 Volume 8, Issue 1




What the doctors ordered OFC surgeons make medical missions around the globe a standard practice.

Students sojourn overseas MSU students Michelle Malecha and Callie Daniels find unexpected rewards across the ocean.



Feeling Ecuador With the click of her mouse, Grace Webb chases her dreams to Ecuador.

Finding God In Mankato, international worship is on the rise.


Around the world in 365 days A news timeline of places we’ve been in 2012.

On the cover: Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic surgeons Paul Matson (left), Kyle Swanson and Edwin Harrington (seated) in the library at their Mankato office. Photo by Pat Christman MANKATO MAGAZINE • January 2013 • 3








6 From the Editor Acting globally, thinking locally 9 From the kitchen Something on the side 10 Familiar Faces Tom Gjersvig 12 Artist Insight Amy Brooks 24 Get Out! The meaning of Kahlil 32 Things to Do, Places to Go Events to check out in January 33 Happy Hour Dare to add dairy 36 Garden Chat Drought be darned! 40 That’s Life Let it snow 42 Fashion Currents Year in review 44 Good Health Too few seniors appeal Medicare denials 46 Placs in the Past Välkommen to Swedish House 52 The Way It Is Caledonia Live Radio Show

Coming up in the February issue of Mankato Magazine ... Love is a topic that’s been covered before. But, we’re hoping to have a few surprises. We’ll speculate on 2012 wedding trends and take a look at some dynamic couples. We may even get a first reading from Mankato’s next literary star. So, snuggle up and stay tuned. You’re going to love this issue.

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MANKATO magazine



James P. Santori Joe Spear Tanner Kent Nell Musolf Pete Steiner Jean Lunquist Grace Webb Marie Wood Britta R. Moline

John Cross Pat Christman Christina Sankey


David Habrat


Karla Marshall


Barb Wass


Sue Hammar Christina Sankey


Denise Zernechel

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

6 • January 2013 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

From The Editor

By Joe Spear

Acting globally, thinking locally


rom the first day we enter that social studies class in elementary school, we’re introduced to the rest of the world. It’s required but also accepted that we will all take these classes. It may stem from the fact that many of our ancestors weren’t from here and saw the value of learning about the old country. While Europeans and others will often criticize “ugly Americans” assuming we think “it’s all about us,” it’s clear in a lot of ways that we’re very interested in other places around the world. The narratives in this month’s issue of Mankato Magazine prove that’s largely true. We are interested in other parts of the world and many times engage ourselves in unusual and even daring ways. We have orthopedic doctors who spend weeks, often with their families, ministering to patients in Africa. Dr. Edwin Harrington, Dr. Kyle Swanson and Dr. Paul Matson of the Orthopaedic and Fracture Clinic in Mankato have a history of international service to people of the world and their profession. They’ve performed surgeries by the light of cellphones and often times with hand or manual instruments. The medical missions have been part of the practice’s culture for years, starting with Dr. William Laney, as well as Kyle’s father, Dr. Gene Swanson, and late brother, Dr. Andrew Swanson. In Matson’s travels, he generated electricity for morning surgeries in a bush hospital in Cameroon. We have engineering students helping villages in Central America build their own water wells. Derek Olinger, an MSU senior, helped build a water distribution system in Santa Rosa Senca, El Salvador, as part of the group Engineers Without Borders. The MSU chapter spent several months helping develop the system right alongside of the local population so in the end, the water system can be self sustaining. The groups commit five years to a project with several different members participating over that time. We have former refugees going back to their country to help those back there get eye glasses that open up a whole new world of clear sightedness. That’s the story of Chuol Yat who took a humanitarian trip to his native South

Sudan with the goal of giving the gift of sight for hundreds of his countrymen. He recently returned from a six-month visit to the new African nation, where he helped fit some 2,000 people with donated eyeglasses collected by the Mankato Lions Club. We also have ordinary church folks trying to make things better in povertystricken countries helping the people with basic education and schooling. We have people involved in the Fair Trade movement to bring economic fairness to small farmers and businesses who sell the regular goods of American life but aren’t always rewarded through traditional supply chains. And when all these American citizens come back, they tell of a new appreciation for what we have in this country. “It’s changed me. It’s changed people I’ve taken with me,” said Dr. Kyle Swanson. “It’s made us more compassionate and empathetic. We’re lucky to live in this country. It changes your whole perspective.” That is the way this whole global village is supposed to work. It’s good to see there is no shortage of people in Mankato who know the world exists beyond the Blue Earth and Minnesota Rivers. Not bad for the 972nd most populous city in the U.S. M Joe Spear is editor of Mankato Magazine. Contact him at 344-6382 or

MANKATO MAGAZINE • January 2013 • 7

January Almanac

Providing This day in history great color at a great price!

Jan. 6, 1928: When Christine Makeland’s neighbor became suspicious after seeing no smoke rising from her chimney during a spate of cold weather, he alerted authorities who forced their way into her home. They found the childless Mapleton widow of 10 years dead in a chair by her stove. Authorities searched her home and found nothing — until they opened a trunk covered by a blanket. Inside, officers found a petticoat with unusually heavy felt fabric. Inside the coat were four pockets sewn shut. After they were opened, authorities discovered a series of pocketbooks containing $2,572.15 — the equivalent of more than $30,000 today. Jan. 7, 1873: A three-day blizzard that remains one of Minnesota’s worst snowstorms began to overtake southern Minnesota. The day began with unusually mild conditions. By 3 p.m., however, high winds were carrying in a large storm that unleashed more than a dozen inches of snow and eventually caused 70 deaths, including 26 in Mankato. The Free Press reported that officials discovered a pair of horse heads sticking above the snow near Nicollet. Only after digging a foot into the snow did the team find the frozen body of the driver. In Lake Crystal, a boy survived the storm by burrowing into a grain sack. And in Judson, schoolteacher Hugh Jones harbored his pupils safely through the storm in the schoolhouse, subsisting on food brought by neighbors on foot. Jan. 18, 1904: The Free Press reported on this day that Arthur Bemack paid his debt to Henry Stokes. The pair of Mankatoans had wagered on the heavily publicized wrestling match held the previous night in Mankato between “The Terrible Swede” and Frank Cords, of St. Clair. The pair wrestled for nearly four hours in the best-of-five match. Though the pro-Swede crowd vociferously protested a series of controversial calls (with the Swede even threatening to quit the proceedings at one point), Cords scored an upset win in the final set. The next day, Bemack was spied wheeling Stokes up Front Street in a wheelbarrow, and then rolling a peanut several blocks in the opposite direction.

Mankato Around the Country

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Though the word “Mankato” has a uniquely southern Minnesota heritage — it means “blue earth” in the Dakota language — it still appears elsewhere throughout the state and the country. Perhaps you might be surprised to know: • There is a Mankato Street in Blaine, Minneapolis, Duluth and Anoka, to name a few. There are also Mankato streets in California cities Chula Vista and San Fernando, as well as Riverton, Utah. • There is a Mankato Avenue in Winona, Chicago and Hemet, Calif. • There is a Mankato Drive in Cherokee Village, Arkansas; Austin, Texas; and Reno, Nevada. There is also a Mankato Court in Claremont, Calif. • Mankato Mountain is located in the Colville National Forest in Pend Oreille County, Washington. The mountain has an elevation of 6,590 feet and is located near Mankato Creek.

A different downtown Mankato • There is even a city named Mankato in Kansas. The seat of Jewell County, Mankato has a population of 869 and was founded in 1872. The town was, in fact, named after Mankato, Minn. The name arose when Jewell Center decided to change its name to avoid confusion with nearby Jewell City. H.R. Hill, who attended school in Mankato, Minn., suggested the name.




By Sharon K. Ghag McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Something on the side Dish up something new, tasty


ove over mashed potatoes and rice. It’s time to make room on the plate for some new sides. The batter for Salvadoran breakfast pancakes comes together in minutes. These gluten-free delights, from “The Food52 Cookbook” (William Morrow, $30), don’t have any unusual ingredients like guar gum or xantham gum, as do many baked goods without flour. They’re sweet, slightly savory and downright delicious — almost like a cheesy pound cake — served with tea as a regular size muffin or as mini-muffin treats with a soup and salad dinner. A savory companion to soup and salad is cheesy pepperoni pizza quick bread. Jenny Flake’s recipe from “The Picky Palate Cookbook” (Wiley, $24.99) comes together in minutes, but the marbled look of the pepperoni and marinara sauce make it look like a million bucks.

Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Quick Bread Serves 8

1 cup all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 2 large eggs 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 3/4 cup buttermilk 1 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided use 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan 1 cup quartered pepperoni slices, about 32 slices 1/2 cup marinara sauce 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Salvadoran Breakfast Pancakes Makes 18

1 cup rice flour 1 teaspoon baking powder Pinch of salt 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 cup sugar 3 large eggs 1 cup sour cream 1/2 cup grated hard cheese such as cotija or Parmesan Sesame seeds for sprinkling

Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Quick Bread Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9-by-5-by-2 3/4-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and baking soda to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix to combine. Slowly add the eggs and olive oil, mixing until just combined. Add the buttermilk 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella cheese, the Parmesan cheese, and the pepperoni and mix until just combined. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Top evenly with the marinara sauce, then pour the remaining batter over the sauce. Top with the Italian seasoning and the remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean from the center. Let cool for 30 minutes before serving.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 18 muffin cups. Whisk together the rice flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides as needed. Beat in the sour cream, cheese, and rice flour mixture until a smooth batter forms. Spoon into the greased muffin tins, filling each one four-fifths of the way (this batter does not rise much). Sprinkle on sesame seeds to taste. Bake until nut brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. This recipe is from “The Food52 Cookbook, Volume 2: Seasonal Recipes From Our Kitchens to Yours,” by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs (William Morrow Cookbooks, $35) MANKATO MAGAZINE • december 2012 • 9

Familiar Faces



Tanner Kent Photos


Pat Christman

Tom Gjersvig awards a stole to an international student during the annual ceremony that takes place prior to graduation. Gjersvig is the director of International Student and Scholar Services for Minnesota State University.

Worldview U

Tom Gjersvig is at the center of MSU’s efforts to recruit and retain international students Mankato Magazine: Tell me a little about yourself? Where were you born, and what led you to Mankato? Tom Gjersvig: Born in Detroit Lakes. Came to Mankato to work in the International Student Office from Rochester in November 2000. 10 • January 2013 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

MM: How long have you been director of MSU’s International Center? TG: I became the Director of the International Student Office (now called International Student and Scholar Services which is part of the Kearney International Center) in 2001.

MM: What made you decide to pursue a career at MSU? And specifically, what made you choose to work with international students? TG: I was advising international students as a small part of my position at Rochester Community and Technical College and wearing various other hats, so the opportunity at MSU gave me a chance to work 100 percent within international education with international students. Minnesota State University has a strong tradition with international students; I referred a number of the RCTC international students to transfer to MSU. I was a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica. I met my wife Leita there and, after traversing U.S. immigration laws to get her to the country and my later work with migrant farmworkers, I realized I would really feel at home in higher education and specifically with international students, as they deal through a labyrinth of immigration regulations to study here. Having my own language learning and cultural adjustment process when I went to Costa Rica really helped me empathize with students coming here. That Peace Corps experience is definitely the main reason why I work in international education now. MM: How many international students are at MSU? How much as the program grown? TG: There were 768 International students enrolled in fall semester 2012. These numbers show a constant and steady growth from 2005 when there were under 450 enrolled. MM: Where do MSU’s international students come from? TG: Saudi Arabia, Nepal and South Korea are the leading countries, but we have students from 87 different countries.

have been international students in the time I’ve been here. That’s a strong indicator of how involved and welcomed they’ve felt here. MM: Why is a robust international student program so important for an institution of higher education? TG: It is one of the ways we can show the level of internationalization the campus has achieved. The expanded worldview of classroom discussions and group project work in diverse groups is reflective of all MSU students’ future workplaces. It’s a part of a world-class education, and is great exposure for many of our students that won’t study abroad. International students are very discerning in their educational choices and the global educational market is increasingly competitive. These days, enrolling and retaining international students is a pretty normal expectation of what a comprehensive university like Minnesota State should do. MM: What do you enjoy most about your job? TG: It’s the variety my job brings along with witnessing the successes of the students. Today, I’ve had appointments with students from five countries; meetings with President Richard Davenport’s Diversity Commission, the International Festival planning committee, in addition to meeting with staff and graduate assistants on immigration or policy interpretations and other program planning. Seeing first-hand a shy, newly arriving student that may be self-conscious of their English ability, grow into a campus leader, make friends from Minnesota and around the world, and continue to develop to graduation and beyond is my constant source of energy. M

MM: MSU was recently in the news for having the 38th largest program for international students in the country. What does that say about MSU? TG: It says Minnesota State University has a global reach that impacts students around the world. We have a commitment to diversity and providing global opportunities. Moreover, it also says Mankato is a welcoming community that values what these students do to enrich our community. We’ve been recognized by the Fulbright program and many other U.S Department of Statefunded scholarship organizations as having quality programs to place the students they have selected worldwide. Four campus-wide Serving as a member of the Peace Corps played a role in compelling Tom Gjersvig to work with international students. student senate presidents MANKATO MAGAZINE • January 2013 • 11

Artist Insight

By Nell Musolf

Soap opera star Bubbles by Brooks products fight odor, cancer and trademark bullies


or artisan Amy Brooks, every day is a soap opera. Well, sort of. Brooks is the founder and owner of Bubbles by Brooks, a business that makes soaps, candles, lip balms and body washes along with several other eco-conscious bath confections. Bubbles by Brooks makes soaps and other scented creations for customers who appreciate environmentally friendly products. Two of the most popular items that Brooks sells are a shaving soap and a shampoo soap. The owner’s personal favorite is her lip balm. Brooks has been making her soaps since 1998 and has been selling them since 2002. Over the past 10 years, her business has grown to the point where she is now able to be a full-time soapmaker. “I worked at the Mayo Clinic for 14 years,” Brooks said. “It’s a great place but my business was steadily growing — a good thing — so I quit my day job three years ago.” Brooks became interested in making her own soap after she was diagnosed with leukemia in 1996. Harsh treatments left her skin sensitive and persistently dry. After a friend gave Brooks a gift of handcrafted soap, her skin reacted so positively to it that Brooks became determined to make soap on her own and found she had a new passion. “Within a few weeks my skin began to get better, less irritated and dry,” Brooks said. “I was floored. So I got some books from the library and started reading all about this natural soap. I’ve always been the crafty type and chemistry was right up my alley, so I kept researching it.” Brooks took a community education class on soap-making and found herself hooked. Since that time she has taken several more classes and became certified in the use of essential oils for health

12 • January 2013 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

and healing and she now teaches community educations classes on soap making. To make her soap, Brooks uses the cold process. With the cold process, the first step is to make a lye solution. That is followed by getting the oil ready. Oils that are typically used in soapmaking include coconut, palm and cocoa butter. The oil is heated to about 100 degrees before the lye solution is added. Once the oil and the lye solution are combined (usually using a stick blender), it’s time to add fragrance. Fragrance comes from essential oil blends such as lavender and orange. It’s at this point that the soap will start to smell the way the artisan wants it to. After adding the fragrance, the soapmaker can customize the soap with flower petals or spices. Adding color is one of the final steps followed by pouring the liquid soap into a mold to harden. The first soap that Brooks made was a bar scented like lily of the valley. “It seized and turned into a rock-hard green clump of soap that stuck to the bucket,” Brooks recalled. The soapmaker has come a long way since that first bar of soap. To come up with new fragrances such as Awapuhi Seaberry, Minnesota Lady Slipper and Pomegranate and Rosewater, Brooks said that she reads a lot of books about essential oils. She also loves to blend fragrances until she comes up with the unique scent that she wants. Brooks sells her products through her website — — and also through the Stones Throw Gallery in St. Peter as well as at other stores throughout southern Minnesota. One recent development that does have slightly soap operaesque overtones is something that Brooks hadn’t expected to happen. As her business has grown, she has received attention from Connecticut-based clothing giant Brooks Brothers. Apparently the powers-that-be at Brooks Brothers object to the

name Brooks chose for her company — Bubbles by Brooks —since Brooks Brothers also offers cleansing products. The clothing company wants her to withdraw the Bubbles by Brooks trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. “We were going to suspend our application because we just could not afford the fight,” Brooks said. “However, my attorney, Lora Freideman of Fredrickson and Byron, has taken my case pro bono and we are starting the journey.” When not making soap, Brooks enjoys life at home with her husband, Ken, and daughter, Allison. Working from home has its own set of challenges but Brooks said that she wouldn’t want to do anything else. “I have a great dog, several chickens, a few cats and love being home with them all,” Brooks said. “My health is great, I have a fantastic kid.” M

Submitted photos

Amy Brooks began making soap after she was diagnosed with leukemia in 1996 and found that handcrafted soap aided dry skin that resulted from harsh treatments.

MANKATO MAGAZINE • January 2013 • 13

What the doctors ordered OFC surgeons make medical missions around the globe a standard practice By Marie Wood MANKATO MAGAZINE • January 2013 • 15


r. Edwin Harrington and Dr. Kyle Swanson have performed surgeries by the light of cell phones in hospitals in Africa, where power is unstable. The surgeons complete mission trips to provide orthopaedic care and surgeries in countries where diseases, injuries and deformities are in advanced stages due to scarce medical care, poverty and trauma. “It’s a reality check. I get more out than I give. You really know what’s important, what’s not,” Harrington said. Dr. Paul Matson travels to Africa on medical mission trips, too. In a bush hospital in Cameroon, Matson generated electricity for morning surgeries, ran clinics in the afternoon light, and when night fell, a generator was used for emergencies only. He relied on very basic manual medical devices. “You learn to be more inventive. You work with the choices you have. In this country, you have everything you want. You become more creative in care,” said Matson. Harrington, Swanson and Matson are orthopaedic surgeons at The Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic (OFC) in Mankato. The group has a long tradition of medical missions starting with Dr. William Laney, as well as Kyle’s father, Dr. Gene Swanson, and late brother, Dr. Andrew Swanson. The doctors pay for their mission trips and accept no payment for their service. They solicit donations and bring in surgical equipment and supplies. All are committed to continue their service in Africa and less developed countries elsewhere. “We all recognize this as an important part of this group. We’re very proud of it,” Kyle said.


From 2007 to 2012, Kyle completed seven mission trips to Ghana, where FOCOS, the Foundation of Orthopaedics and Complex Spine, opened a 50-bed orthopaedic hospital last year. Kyle and FOCOS founder Dr. Oheneba Boachie performed the first surgery there — a total knee replacement. Prior to the new hospital, FOCOS partnered with a teaching hospital in Ghana. Specializing in knees and hips, Kyle initiated joint replacements in Ghana and performed 135 surgeries there. He replaces more knees due to moped accidents, auto accidents and trauma. Between public transportation and dirt roads, it’s often difficult to get people in for tests and follow-up care. “It’s changed me. It’s changed people I’ve taken with me,” said Kyle. “It’s made us more compassionate and empathetic. We’re lucky to live in this country. It changes your whole perspective.” Kyle brings in surgical equipment including bone saws, replacement joints and soft goods such as drapes, gowns, drains, gloves and gauze. OFC physician assistant Gerry Berberick joins Swanson on the mission trips, solicits the donated implants and handles the logistical nightmare of getting supplies into the corrupt country. Kyle’s involvement with FOCOS originated with his brother, Andrew, a spine surgeon. Andrew traveled to Ghana nine times from 2005 to 2009 to correct spinal deformities, often in children. Sometimes the brothers traveled to Africa together. In 2009, Andrew, 36, died in a climbing accident in Alaska. “He was a super volunteer,” Gene said. Gene, Kyle and Andrew’s father, also completed spinal surgeries in Ghana. Kyle’s mother and sister have participated in the missions, too. When his sister’s daughter was 15-years-old, she started a library at the hospital. African children with spinal deformities and clubfoot often spend six months at the hospital 16 • december 2012 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

to receive nutritional support before surgery. There are only 15 orthopaedic surgeons in Ghana for more than 20 million residents. People hear about the FOCOS hospital through word of mouth, referral and internet, and journey from all over Africa to receive care there. “These are the lucky few. They’re extremely grateful. All have limited means. This is care they’d never have the opportunity to receive,” said Kyle. The hospital is a modern facility, funded by private foundations, corporate sponsors and donations. Still, pain medications for post-surgery are in short supply. The Ghanaian people provide some of the care while surgeons and health care teams come from

Pat Christman

The Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic in Mankato has a long history of medical missions to Africa (and elsewhere throughout the world) that began with doctors William Laney and Gene Swanson. Today, that tradition is carried on by many OFC surgeons and staff, including (from left): Paul Matson, Kyle Swanson and Edwin Harrington. all over the world to help. Kyle stays in a compound protected by armed guards and surrounded by razor wire. Many people are living in extreme poverty, making their homes in shipping containers and shanty towns. “When you’re in places where people don’t have anything in life, you can be burgled out of necessity,” said Kyle. “Parts of

Africa, including Ghana, have tremendous amounts of natural resources, but it’s not going to the people in need. It’s ridiculous. There are no running water, sanitation or sewage systems.” South Africa In 2007 and 2008, Harrington completed month-long mission trips to Mthatha, South Africa, where he treated patients, MANKATO MAGAZINE • January 2013 • 17

In America, when a mother comes in for surgery, she might ask about recovery time and physical therapy. In South Africa, the questions are worlds apart. “People there say, ‘Am I going to live?’ That’s their main concern. Their quality of life is restricted. Their expectations are not what we would think about in this country,” Harrington said. AIDS is also a major problem in Mthatha, where 25 percent of the people are HIV positive. Strict precautions are taken when exposed to any blood or tissue, explained Harrington. Harrington volunteers through Health Volunteers Overseas, which provides medical care in 40 countries and trains local doctors and nurses to carry on care. For example, Harrington trained medical residents to insert rods in femur and tibia fractures. The hospital has an orthopaedic ward with 47 beds in a row. Many patients are in postsurgery traction. When mold grew through the ceiling, it was painted. The hospital has shortages in basic materials such as sterile dressings. Harrington asks what the Pat Christman hospital needs before his Father and son surgeons Gene (right) and Kyle Swanson have made countless trips to Africa to provide medical care. trips so he can bring Kyle’s surgeon brother, Andrew, was also involved in medical missions to Africa. donated supplies from vendors. performed orthopaedic surgeries and trained African doctors and Harrington’s wife and two sons have joined him on his surgeons. During Apartheid, Mthatha was part of the Homelands, missions. The mission trip influenced his youngest son to pursue territory set aside to segregate black Africans. medical school. The family visited the Nelson Mandela Museum “On clinic days, people would wait all day just to be seen. in Mthatha, traveled to Cape Town, and viewed elephants in a They’d line up early in the morning,” Harrington said. National Park. They would come from 50 to 100 miles away — by moped, on “South Africa is a place of great riches and great poverty. You foot, in public vans, but very few in cars. Harrington helped many go from one to the other very quickly,” said Harrington. patients suffering the effects of tuberculosis, which can cause infections and deformities in the spine and limbs. The infections were treated and followed by surgery to stabilize and correct the deformity. 18 • January 2013 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

At left, OFC physician assistant Gerry Berberick and Dr. Kyle Swanson (center) perform surgery with an Africian surgeon assistant in Ghana. At right, Dr. Edwin Harrington (standing, with mustache) makes the rounds in Mthatha, South Africa.

Cameroon and Kenya

“Because care is not readily available, especially in pediatrics, In 1983, Matson and his wife, Jodi, spent nine months in a we would see diseases in advanced states routinely. People are mission station in Cameroon, Africa, where they lived in a mud really good over there, thankful for the care that was provided. They would travel long distances to get there,” Matson said. block house that came with a cat to keep snakes In 2001, Matson performed many and rodents away. Jodi taught piano, “It gave them a great surgeries himself, but on subsequent trips tutored and substituted at the school for children of missionaries. appreciation for what we take he trained Africans to take the place of volunteer surgeons. Until recently, She got pregnant and dealt with for granted in the United orthopaedic surgery has focused on morning sickness in a country where traumas, but Matson is now training smells were nauseating and eating a piece States,” said Matson. African surgeons in joint replacements, of toast meant making her own bread. She arthroscopy and ACL reconstruction. did laundry by hand. Matson teaches techniques that do not require high-tech “Day-to-day living took so much more time. It was like being a equipment or electronics. For instance, Matson trained Africans pioneer,” Jodi said. Matson and a Canadian doctor operated a 30-bed bush hospital, in a non-operative technique to treat clubfoot, a common birth where he provided medical care and general surgery. He dealt defect. The program has been so effective that now Matson rarely with an incredible variety of cases including malaria, injuries, treats clubfoot there. Matson works from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., following the routine of obstetric emergencies, tumors, snake bites, TB and early cases of HIV, before the virus was identified in 1984. Since it took patients the medical center. When not on weekend call, the family went days to get to the hospital, injuries and ailments were advanced. sightseeing, on safari and hikes. The medical center is in a rural area in the cliffs above the Great Rift Valley, where the movie “Out “It was baptism by fire,” said Matson. In 2001, the couple returned to Africa with four of their of Africa” was filmed. The Matson family helped out wherever needed. The kids children, but this time to the Kijabe Medical Center in Kenya. They made two more month-long trips in the summers of 2006 helped nurses on the wards, especially in pediatrics. They got involved in feeding programs at the hospital and schools. Their and 2012. Matson volunteers through World Medical Mission. A 350-bed full-service facility with 24-hour power and internet, oldest daughter, Laura, worked at a Kenyan girls school. On his Kijabe Medical Center is run by the Kenyan people with a medical most recent trip, David assisted in surgery and worked in HIV staff of international volunteers. The hospital has female and male and TB clinics. The mission trips have influenced their careers. Laura is wards, but no private rooms. Matson has worked in the 30-bed studying international law. Specializing in human rights, she pediatric hospital and the orthopaedics ward. “They see so much trauma that they do a very good job of spent a semester in Kenya and speaks Swahili. Kristin is studying clinical psychology and David is applying to medical schools. taking care of war injuries and car accidents,” said Matson. “It gave them a great appreciation for what we take for granted People come from Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, Congo and Uganda. In 2001, Matson worked in pediatric orthopaedics, in the United States,” said Matson. “It made them appreciate where he treated many children with clubfoot and deformities other cultures and the general goodness of people around the world. They’re very generous people.” M from polio and TB. MANKATO MAGAZINE • January 2013 • 19

Finding God In Mankato, international worship is on the rise By Nell Musolf


s Mankato has grown more and more diverse over the past few decades, the opportunities to worship have also grown more diverse. Among others, services in Korean and Spanish are available to church-goers in Mankato and a local Buddhist monk leads meditation groups once a week.

Korean Methodist

Every Sunday afternoon, Pastor Isaac Shin leads a Korean Methodist service at Centenary United Methodist Church, 501 S. Second St. The service is held in a square room in the northeast corner of the church where an attentive audience listens as Shin delivers his sermon in Korean. After the pastor completes his sermon, the choir sings in Korean while the words of the hymn are put on a PowerPoint screen in Korean and English. Upstairs, Sunday school is held for younger children. Church member Maya Bannister said that the church is working on having a listening device that will enable non-Korean speaking members to hear the sermon translated into English; but for now, Bannister is helping out as a non-official translator. Guest Addie Elliott said that she has always had an interest in the Korean culture and is taking advantage of the fact that there is a Korean service available to her in Mankato. “I’m amazed that I can pick up what I can,” Elliott said after the service she visited had ended. “This lady was a big help,” she added, nodding toward Bannister. 20 • January 2013 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

The church has held Korean services since 2007 after four Korean families got together and started Sunday worship services. From that small beginning, the group has grown and now has approximately 50 households as members. Pastor Isaac Shin has been leading the church since 2010. He said that his congregation is still growing and is looking forward to a strong future. “We’re looking for more programs to add to our church. Mankato’s a good place for us to be,” Shin said.

Hispanic Catholic service

Over at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, 110 N. Fifth St., mass is held in Spanish on Sunday afternoons at 1 p.m. Father Mariano has been leading the services for the past four years. While the majority of the people who attend mass are Hispanic, Father Mariano said there are also a few non-Hispanics in attendance each week. “We have about 35 households who attend church regularly,” Fr. Mariano said. People attend the Spanish service from as far away as Le Center, St. Peter and Fairmont. In addition to the weekly mass, there is also a Spanish Bible Study class held at the church on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 6-7:15 p.m.. “Our goal is to serve the Hispanic immigrants in the area,” Fr. Mariano said. “Our bishop wants us to reach as many people as we can and that is what we’re trying to do.”

John Cross

Buddhist monk Banthe Sathi leads a meditation session every Monday evening in a Mankato home. MANKATO MAGAZINE • January 2013 • 21

John Cross

“The goal of meditation is to know yourself and to purify yourself,” Sathi says.

Buddhist meditation

Every Monday evening in a house perched on a hilltop in Mankato, Buddhist monk Bhante Sathi leads a meditation and discussion group. Sathi has been leading Buddhist meditations in Mankato since 2004 and originally held his meetings at the Unitarian Universalist Church. Unitarian church member Tricia Nienow remembers the first Buddhist meditation meeting she attended. “I knew nothing about Buddhist meditation before I went,” Nienow said. “I had no preconceived notions whatsoever.” Since her first meditation meeting, Nienow has become a strong supporter of both Buddhist meditation and Sathi’s teaching techniques. “It’s really Sathi’s teachings that have been so beneficial to me,” Nienow said. “I have learned to not become attached to things, people or ideas. It’s been tremendously freeing. I’ve learned to appreciate people and things but not to be dependent upon them.” There is now an average of 15 people per week who attend Sathi’s Buddhist meditations. “People can sit on the floor or on the couch, wherever they’re more comfortable. The goal of meditation is to know yourself and to purify yourself,” Sathi said. 22 • January 2013 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

John Cross

Banthe Sathi said an average of 15 people attend his weekly meditation sessions.

Pat Christman

Dave Lueck teaches English to Sudanese women at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Mankato. Sathi said that people of all ages attend his Buddhist meditations although he encourages children who attend to be old enough to be able to concentrate. “I have had 8- or 9-year olds come to a meditation and they’ve done very well,” Sathi observed. Sathi stated that meditation allows people to live in the hectic world without becoming hectic themselves. “Because of our limitation of knowledge, we always think we know everything,” Sathi said. “It’s important to realize that you aren’t the only right person. Other people can be right, too. People always find something new when they begin to reach outside of the boundaries.” More information about Buddhist meditation in Mankato can be found at Sathi’s website, www. “I would like people to know that to practice meditation, you don’t have to give anything up that you already have to get the same benefits,” Sathi said. “All you need to practice meditation is to be human.”

Sudanese Lutheran

With a background as an educator, Dave Lueck, a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Mankato,

has experience helping people learn. For the past several years he’s been using his skills helping Sudanese immigrants develop better English skills so that they can take a bigger part in church worship services. “This started when some of the Sudanese people at our church asked for help in learning English,” Lueck said. “They attended Christian churches back in Sudan but needed help in making the connection between their language and English. The Sudanese are trying to find a place where they can be successful and we’re trying to help them do that.” Lueck teaches a weekly class at the Lincoln Community Center and said that his students are primarily middle-aged women ranging in age from mid-30s to late 60s. “These are women who missed the education cycle,” Lueck said. “They weren’t able to attend school while they were growing up and now that their own children and grandchildren are in school, they’re trying to fill in the gaps. They often have trouble reading and reading the Bible can be even more of a challenge.” Lueck said that he feels his goal is to help the Sudanese immigrants be able to function better in the United States and to help them feel more comfortable and at home in their church. “When I was growing up, Immanuel Lutheran held services in German,” Lueck recalled. “We sometimes sang hymns in German too, and that made the people who spoke German feel more at home. I’m hoping that is what we’re doing for the Sudanese immigrants, too.” M MANKATO MAGAZINE • January 2013 • 23

Get Out!

By Rachel Hanel

The meaning of Kahlil

Runs with a companion become walks with a friend


y husband, David, likes to tell the story of the time he took our dog for a December run. It was late afternoon and snowing lightly. They went out to our favorite turnaround spot on the Sakatah Trail outside Madison Lake — a picnic table nearly three miles from our house. By the time they got to the picnic table, the sun had set, the temperatures had dropped, and the snow started to fall heavily. Kahlil was young and spry, and the snow didn’t faze him. He bounded and leapt through the building snowdrifts, sprinting on quick whippet legs far ahead of David. But every so often he would stop, turn around to make sure David was still behind him, and then bound quickly ahead again. Kahlil is nearing 14 years old now. He doesn’t have the stamina to run anymore, but the trail is still his. He trots along for the most part, but the old boy still has a few sprints left in him, flashes that remind us of his puppy days. I walk him a few days a week. If the weather is chilly, he wears his green turtleneck coat. I tell people that I take him on a walk otherwise he drives me crazy with the pitter-patter of toenails on the wood floor. Even in his advanced age, he’s eager to go outside every morning. A 20-minute walk in the morning will turn him into a couch potato for the rest of the day, and I can get my work done in peace. But it’s more than that. A few years ago, when it was clear that Kahlil could no longer run like he used to, I cried. He had been such a faithful buddy, those runs such a happy part of his day. It was hard to lace up our running shoes and leave him behind, his nose pressed up against the window. But then I told myself that life is a cycle. Our lives and the lives of our steady companions. It was unrealistic to expect Kahlil would be a puppy forever. When one strength — such as physicality or endurance — retreats, another takes its place. Kahlil’s nature is calm now, much different than when he was a puppy and David nicknamed him “Bonkers.” Kahlil is still very much a companion, just in a different way. He may not be our running companion, but he’s our couch companion, snuggled under blankets with us while we watch TV. We have to respect our limits. When Kahlil was able to run five or 24 • January 2013 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

six miles at a time, we let him. Now, if he’s able to walk for only 20 minutes before getting tired, well, then that’s what we’ll do. He seems as happy walking for 20 minutes as he did in the days when he ran six miles. Kahlil is a model for all of us. He’s old, but active. I think his energy has ushered him nicely to this stage in life. A general whippet life expectancy is 12-15 years; Kahlil is starting to push that upper limit. But frankly, he’s hanging in there better than we had expected. Almost five years ago, Dr. Ambrose at Minnesota Valley Pet Hospital diagnosed Kahlil with a heart murmur. Kahlil went on medication, but the murmur quickly worsened. Another round of tears. Would Kahlil even make it to 12 years old? But the murmur has been stable for a couple of years. I like to think that his regular walks are keeping his heart as strong as possible. A fairly significant limp he had for several months a few years ago has disappeared. He’s deaf and his eyes are slightly cloudy from cataracts, but he can still spot a squirrel or bird on the trail and sprint after it. He huffs and puffs from the exertion, but he looks happy. I named him Kahlil after one of my favorite poets, Kahlil Gibran. It wasn’t until after we got Kahlil that I looked up the meaning of the name. Friend. Here’s to many more walks, friend. I will take you with me as long as you can go. M

Kahlil during his younger years when a five- or six-mile run was no problem. I cried when those days ended. Follow Rachael Hanel on Twitter at @rachael18. She also blogs at

MANKATO MAGAZINE • January 2013 • 25


By John Cross

26 • January 2013 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

Things have changed a lot in schools since most of us were students. But one thing that hasn’t is the two words — make that four — that still bring smiles to students’ faces: “Snow day,” or “early dismissal.” Those same edicts issued by school superintendents aren’t necessarily greeted with the same enthusiasm by parents scrambling to rearrange work schedules, arrange day care or provide entertainment, however. How quickly they forget.

MANKATO MAGAZINE • Janaury 2013 • 27

Submitted photo

Callie Daniels spent almost a year teaching English in the La Rioja region of Spain.

A different kind of education By Grace Webb


hen Callie Daniels stepped off the plane onto Spanish ground in August 2011, she looked like a typical American student flying overseas for a study abroad program. But Daniels was in Spain for the exact opposite reason: to teach. The Minnesota State University sophomore had decided, after a year at school, to try something different. “I didn’t really know what I was doing at MSU and wasn’t sure what I wanted to major in,” Daniels said. “I thought that if I tried something completely different, maybe I’d find something I enjoyed and would have more direction in my future.” Daniels said planning the trip took about six months and things were still crazy when she boarded the plane. She heard of the opportunity through a friend who had contacts in Spain. She hadn’t found an apartment yet when she arrived and had to rely on her new boss for suggestions. However, when it came to the language, she was a bit more prepared; she had taken seven years of Spanish throughout middle school and high school, plus a year’s worth at MSU. “I decided to pursue the language mostly because it was my biggest passion — the Spanish language, culture, people, country, everything,” she said.

28 • January 2013 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

While in Spain, Daniels taught English at an academy called O’Clock English Center, which was in the Spanish region of La Rioja. She also taught at a few other schools, both public and private. Her classes ranged from young children to high schoolers and even adults. “Teaching was such a new experience for me,” she said. “It took (the kids) awhile to trust me and probably like me, but after a while things started to become more normal.” Daniels taught from August 2011 to May 2012. During her time overseas, she was also able to visit other areas of Spain, such as Barcelona, Pamplona, San Sebastian and Valencia. “(The) best part of being abroad was definitely the nightlife and the parties,” Daniels said. “Europe really knows what’s up!” Daniels is now back at MSU. She works at the campus tutor center as a Spanish tutor, one of the first in some time. She said in the future she hopes to teach English in Chile or Ecuador, and she definitely wants to revisit Spain. “I like to consider that my “second home,”” she said


Submitted photo

Michelle Malecha didn’t intend to teach French in Kosovo when she flew to Germany to study its native language.

The student becomes the teacher By Grace Webb


hen Minnesota State University senior Michelle Malecha flew overseas in August 2011 to study the German language in its home country, she never thought she’d wind up teaching high school French. “Being a teacher was one of the most exhilarating, trying, challenging and exciting experiences in my life,” Malecha said. Malecha traveled to the city of Erlangen to study German, her major area of study, for two semesters, staying in the city for almost a year. “Learning about different countries and speaking different languages have always been interests of mine, so studying abroad has always been in the cards,” Malecha said. During her year abroad, she used school breaks to explore other parts of Europe, including England, Scotland, France, Austria, Turkey, Macedonia, the Czech

Republic, Hungary and Kosovo. It was in Kosovo that Malecha had the opportunity to switch from studying to teaching. While there, she visited a cousin’s high school and met the principal, who told her they needed a substitute French teacher and offered Malecha the position. Malecha said sure, and, two days later, began teaching three classes of high school students. Malecha had only taken one year of French classes and admitted it was daunting to stand up in front of 20 students and lecture. “My presence was the only thing standing in the way of complete and utter chaos,” she said. “Being a teacher was much more difficult than I expected.” Malecha plans to graduate this December and move back to Germany to pursue a master’s degree. M

MANKATO MAGAZINE • January 2013 • 29

Hardworking Business Owner Creating Memorable Moments ocated in the heart of downtown St. Peter, Julee’s Jewelry has far exceeded the expectations of Julee Johnson, sole-owner since its inception in 1999. The success is attributed to her knowledge, creativity, compassion, and most importantly, her loyal customers. It hasn’t always been an easy road, personally and professionally, however, Julee Johnson is sure to provide you with a memorable experience and a new friendship. As part of her success, Julee’s Jewelry received the honor of being a Worldwide Diamond & Gemstone Importer and is part of an exclusive buying group, RJO, which allows her to buy at discounted prices. With these unique advantages, Julee will travel to personally buy for a specific need, but be assured, every stone or piece of jewelry available at the store has been hand-selected for quality and value. With these unique advantages she is able to offer an extensive selection with many one-of-a-kind pieces that cannot be found anywhere else. If the

This January will be piece that you want is extra special for a local not in the store, she can couple celebrating have it there overnight their 50th anniversary. or have it custom made Years ago they both fell just for you. Julee’s in love with a one carat Jewelry carries several heart-shaped diamond designer lines in all ring at an auction, but aspects of the jewelry it went higher than industry from gold to they should bid. They silver and diamonds to pearls. She is usually both always wished they’d gotten that ahead of the trends for heart diamond. Finally this year Aurelia the area and knows what had Julee’s Jewelery do some jewelry repair. will be popular in the She mentioned her wish and Julee made it upcoming seasons and is come true. They chose a beautiful heartsure to incorporate that shaped diamond and Julee got it set in a into the her purchasing ring in plenty of time for their anniversary. decisions. Julee is also known for other gifts in her store. From personalized items to custom engraved keepsakes, she has been a gem with those needing gifts. Each piece of jewelry and engraved gift comes along with a unique story. “The best part of this job is working with those who are building memories a n d

’s for t to Julee ad a n e w r te “My sis g and h ement rin , so when g a g n e r e e h experienc y wonderful e we knew exactl m u ti o ps y r it came Julee kee d the t. s u tr d an who to st in min I couldn’t re te in t s d. be I nsurpasse quality is u g anywhere else. d in image go adore my ring an ’s absolutely everyone where it ll proudly te s Julee!” nk from! Tha lex Julian Joelle & A

"I love my ring from Julee's!! It is so unique and beautiful! Almost 2 years later I still can't take my eyes off of it, it just sparkles! We went to Julee for the personal service and high quality and she didn't disappoint. I knew he was in good hands and would make the right choice. Thanks Julee!" Nathan & Stephanie Howe

“I got a call from a friend the other day, she told me her 35 year old son died from complications of diabetes and sleep apnea. I wanted to do something special for her, so I went to see Julee. She showed me some great ideas including all the different Chimes and sounds they made... and the variety of colors... Wow. She suggested his name on one side...and the words "And the wind will whisper his name" on the other side... oh my... very touching. Thank you Julee for your help and support... She will love and cherish this forever. Please stop and see her and the store... many things to choose from, even signatures and drawings can be engraved!!” Barb Moeller sharing those distributing brochures to help those special events, in need find support sources for accomplishments, their loss, free of charge. You and celebrations. can also find customized gifts A jewelry box can for the bereaved in the store. reveal pieces that symbolize your As her 14th year nears, dreams, your personality, your style, your Julee reflects on the past relationships.” Julee has had several few years, she has many people propose right in her store. Many heartfelt stories and has of her past customers can tell you what some of her own heartmade shopping at Julee’s Jewelry so wrenching experiences that memorable and special, we have quoted have shaped her into the a few. jeweler she is today. “So much can happen over time Owning a business in St. Peter, Julee and you never know what knows the importance of keeping the area turn of events will shape your vibrant and alive. In an effort to help future and who you become. build and revitalize downtown St. Peter, My faith has been tested and Julee has organized a local merchant strengthened.” With the closure group to promote St. Peter and bring more of highway 169 for half a year, customers to town. Among the many the loss of her son after a year-long community events and benefits, she has battle with cancer, then her own battle also been involved in helping others deal with stage four cancer a year ago, Julee with grief. She and a friend organized an is proud to say that she and her business Angel Walk in memory of loved ones this are doing great and would like to thank all past October and will continue each fall. those who have been so supportive in so This winter Johnson will be printing and many ways. “Every time she wears her gold necklace and bracelet I bought her for our 50th wedding anniversary, we get so many compliments. Our friends exclaim how beautiful it is. She loves to wear it to special occasions like when we go to events at Gustavus. Thank you so much for all your help in making our anniversary so special and your help with so many others things through the years.” Bill & Marilyn Robertz “We're always impressed with the service we get when we go to Julee's Jewelry. She is very knowledgable and personable. We would never shop anywhere else. We are extremely satisfied with our purchases and will continue to go back to Julee's Jewelry, even though we have moved out of state. Julee is a jeweler who truly cares about her customers.” Matt & Gretchen Schulz For more information on Julee’s Jewelry please contact Julee at 507-934-3344 or visit


to do,


to go


19 • Mankato Craft Beer Expo 1 p.m. • Verizon Wireless Center • $32 advanced general admission, $42 VIP, $42 day of event, $12 designated drivers • 10 • “Dakota 38” film screening 7 p.m. • Treaty Site History Center 1851 N. Minnesota Ave., St. Peter • free • 507-934-2160

20 • Bethel Balge piano recital 7 p.m. • Bethany Lutheran College, Trinity Chapel • free •

13 • Mankato Symphony Orchestra’s Music on the Hill: Folk Origins 2-4 p.m. • Chapel on Good Counsel Hill • $15 •

20 • Roundtable with Dakota elder Chris Mato Nunpa 3:30 p.m. •Gustavus Adolphus, Alumni Hall • free •

17 • Tom Abel art lecture & reception 7 p.m. • Bethany Lutheran College, Ylvisaker Fine Arts Center • free • blc. edu/finearts

22 • Kenji Bunch viola recital 7 p.m. • Bethany Lutheran College, Trinity Chapel • $8 adults, $5 seniors and students •

26 • Freeze Your Buns Run 10:05 a.m. to noon • St. Peter Community Center 600 S. Fifth St. • recco@saintpetermn. gov 27 • National Museum of the American Indian director Kevin Gover lecture 3:30 p.m. • Gustavus Adolphus, Alumni Hall • free • 27-29 • Minnesota Ag Expo All day • Verizon Wireless Center • free • 27 • Mankato Symphony Orchestra’s Scheherezade Concert 3-5:30 p.m. • Mankato West High School Auditorium 1351 S. Riverfront Drive • $25 adult gold section, $20 adult silver section, $15 bronze section, $5 youth and students • 625-8880 31 • “Spring Awakening” 7:30 p.m. • MSU, Andreas Theatre • $22 regular, $19 discounted, $15 MSU student • mnsu. edu/theatre

32 • January 2013 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

Happy Hour

By Jason Wilson Special

Dare to add dairy


n the grand history of American drinking, the combination of dairy and booze makes for a dubious chapter. In fact, I would guess that the category of drinks mostly likely to be described as “gross” would have to be those that involve milk or cream. But if there is ever a time when milk and spirits should come together in harmony, it is for the holiday eggnog. But even this tradition has long swerved in a bad direction. When I see those cartons of eggnog making their annual appearance in the supermarket, I get queasy. In 19th century Baltimore, eggnog was a New Year’s Day tradition. Young swells went door-to-door sipping the local version, which called for a mix of Madeira wine, brandy and rum. Here, I include a delicious by-the-glass recipe.

Baltimore Egg Nog

The trick of this version is to shake the egg, sugar and booze with a little bit of light cream first, then to add the milk afterward in the glass — which should be filled with ice cubes, another trick that makes the drink brighter and less goopy. This recipe calls for a raw egg. If you are concerned about the risk of salmonella, buy pasteurized eggs, available in select supermarkets. For the Madeira, be sure to use a dry one such as Blandy’s 5-yearold Sercial. When making cocktails with eggs, be sure to first do a quick “dry shake” to mix the liquids, and then add the ice and continue shaking for another 30 seconds.


The Washington Post

Ingredients (Makes 1 serving) 1/4 ounce light cream 1 large egg 1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar 3/4 ounce dry Madeira 3/4 ounce brandy, preferably cognac or Armagnac 3/4 ounce aged rum Ice cubes 2 to 2 1/2 ounces whole milk Whole nutmeg Steps Combine the cream, egg, sugar, Madeira, brandy and rum in a cocktail shaker. Shake to mix well, then add ice cubes and shake for 30 seconds. Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice cubes. Fill the glass with the milk, and stir gently. Grate a little of the nutmeg on the surface.

“Baltimore Egg Nog”

MANKATO MAGAZINE • January 2013 • 33

Feeling Ecuador student’s chance of a lifetime By Grace Webb


stared at my computer screen, my mouse’s pointer arrow hovering over the “purchase now” button. This was it, do or die time. Once I clicked, $1,237.70 would disappear from my bank account in exchange for a round-trip ticket to Quito, Ecuador. I could feel my stomach twist nervously as doubts flashed through my head: Are you sure you want to do this? Two months is a long time. You’re not even fluent in Spanish yet. Ecuador’s awfully far away Honestly, it’s hard to say how I got to this point, but I know the journey leading up to that nerve-filled night started years ago. I’ve always been interested in other languages, Spanish especially. I had a knack for them, probably because of a memory that refused to forget anything. In high school, I took two years of Spanish (the most my tiny school offered) before jumping into German just for fun. When I arrived at Minnesota State University in 2009, I signed up for Spanish 202. I didn’t even think about it; it was just the natural thing to do. 34 • January 2013 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

Spanish 202 led to Spanish 302, which led to Spanish 310, which lead to Spanish 355, and before I knew it, I was looking at the possibility of a minor. I hadn’t ever considered minoring in Spanish; I just took the classes as fun electives. But when I figured out I had enough credits to consider making a run for a language minor, I decided to go for it. And when I told my advisor about my plans to study abroad, the minor grew into a major. I’d always wanted to study in Spain. I remember making plans for it at least since I was 12. Spain held some sort of exotic fascination for me, with its long, rich history and its exciting culture. I wanted to spend a year in Spain when I was a junior; I figured that would give me enough time to soak up the wonders Spain had to offer and become fluent in Spanish to boot. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), my dream didn’t quite work out. My university has a strict system when it comes to what credits you need to graduate with a major in Spanish, and the one class I needed to take, I couldn’t get into soon enough. I found out this fall that I wouldn’t be able to go to Spain if I wanted a major (or even a minor). Since I needed it to graduate, and

hadn’t set up any alternative minor to fall back on, my plans for Spain were suddenly useless. Obviously, finding out four months before you plan to arrive in Madrid that you can’t, in fact, go to Madrid is a bit frustrating. But thanks to a creative advisor, I was able to throw together a study abroad plan that could get me my major. Instead of hopping the Atlantic, I’d head south — to Ecuador. At first, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to scrap years of dreaming to visit a country I knew almost nothing about. But I didn’t want to lose out on a chance to study abroad. And, as a senior, I knew this was my last chance. So I rearranged my class schedule at the last second, traded my maps of Spain for maps of Ecuador and dove in. And you know what? During my research, I found out Ecuador is pretty darn interesting. Cuenca, the city where I’ll be staying for two months, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Cotopoxi, located near the middle of the country, is the world’s highest active volcano. There are the Galapagos Islands (probably a little out of my price range) and

the Amazon Rainforest (definitely going there!). Plus there’s all sorts of other fascinating things the country has to offer, many I’m sure I won’t discover until I’m there. Maybe Ecuador wasn’t my dream. But sometimes, there are things better than your dreams, things you hadn’t even considered. Just because I’m not going to Spain this spring doesn’t mean I’ll never get over there. Right now, I’m determined to make great memories, meet great people and have a life-changing adventure in Ecuador. Sure, it’s a bit scary thinking about jumping into the unknown for two months. Sure, I worry I won’t be able to keep up with the Spanish, especially at the newspaper where I’ll be interning. But I’ll adapt. And more than that — I think I’ll thrive. This experience will open my eyes to a part of the world I knew thought about before, and I can’t wait. As I stared at my computer screen and my finger hovered over the mouse, I felt nervous. I felt doubtful. But more than that, I felt excited. An adventure was waiting. I clicked the button. M MANKATO MAGAZINE • January 2013 • 35

Garden Chat

By Jean Lundquist

Drought be darned!

Reverse psychology for gardening in the year ‘13


’ve never been overly fond of the number 13, and that’s an understatement. I’m facing the New Year with a great deal of trepidation. Because of my history with the number 13, I’m preparing for the worst, and I offer you some advice as well. I’m preparing for another year of drought. Granted, drought isn’t the worst thing that can happen, but we’ve passed the Mayan end date of December 21, 2012. Since we’re all gardeners here, let’s buckle down and prepare for drought. The first thing I’m going to do is position my rain barrel away from the buildings with asphalt shingles, and place it down by the pole barn with the metal roof. Water will be more difficult to capture here, and there will be less of it as there are no eavestroughs, but whatever I do catch will not have come running over shingles. Some people believe using rain barrel water from roofs with shingles on edible crops is acceptable. These people say the water is in contact with the roof for such a short time, it really doesn’t pick up anything bad. I’m a believer, though, and will use the rain water running off the pole barn roof for my veggies this year. And as an added benefit to this move, the pole barn is a lot closer to the garden. This summer, with or without a rain barrel, we will undoubtedly be using a hose and groundwater. This is a suggestion based on lots of experience: Don’t buy the cheapest nozzle for your hose that you can find. Ground water gets 36 • January 2013 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

cold, and so does the nozzle. Even young hands find that coldness in the range of uncomfortable to unbearable. Buy a nozzle or wand with an insulated handle. During the drought of the late 1980s, Larry and I had the foresight to plant hundreds of spruce saplings. Every evening as I watered all those trees with hundreds of feet of hose trailing behind me, I wondered if the trees needed the water more than I would, if the drought worsened. The well never went dry, but I probably looked a little silly wearing alpine ski gloves while watering trees on a hot summer evening. It was worth it, though. Today the trees provide a beautiful and towering sound barrier and wind break. But back to the impending drought ... I encourage you to never set up a sprinkler and walk away. If you are going to use a sprinkler, it should be used to cool off on hot days — not to water plants. Sprinklers waste water by allowing it to evaporate when it flies into the air. Sprinklers are inefficient if there is a breeze or anything stronger. And sprinklers are indiscriminate waterers. They water ground where only weeds grow as well as vegetables. Weeds need so little encouragement to grow! Besides, if there is a wind, only half of your garden will be watered. And sprinklers can’t put the water at the roots, where it’s needed. The leaves of the plants will shed the water away from the roots. When watering, water deeply. That means get more that the top couple of inches of soil wet. This encourages roots to grow deeper, where the soil will not dry out so quickly. And when planting, don’t loosen soil too deep, thinking it will help the roots grow deeper. Loosened soil allows for more evaporation. Compacted soil is not ideal either, but find the happy medium. Grow some plants closer together, to increase the benefit of their canopy. In the same way that canopy sheds water from a sprinkler, it will also reduce evaporation from the soil. Mulch is always a good idea for weeds and moisture retention in the soil, but

choose your mulch wisely. The year I used oat straw I had a beautiful oat crop — unintentionally, of course. For you really die-hard drought foilers, here is one last tip that I admit I have never used. Have some water jugs handy, and while waiting for your shower water to warm up, capture all those gallons of water you are sending down the drain, unused for anything. So this is what all the preparation has been about — thanks for reading this far, by the way. If we are prepared for drought, maybe we can scare it away. The same principle applied at Thanksgiving. We were expecting to head north of Alexandria for the day, but the weather forecast had other ideas. Freezing rain, snow and wind were expected, and the appropriate advisory was issued. We decided not to travel, instead making a quick run to Mankato early in the day, purchasing the last pumpkin pie in the bakery and a couple of turkey thighs still in the meat case. I told my brother that if we planned for the worst they would get no bad weather. And not one drop of freezing rain fell. So, fellow gardeners, let’s plan for a drought! M Jean Lundquist is a master gardener who lives near Good Thunder.

Mankato around the world By The Free Press


n 2008, the greater Mankato/North Mankato was designated a Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 2010, Mankato ranked 972nd on the list of most populous cities in the United States. Yet, neither distinction is likely to motivate contemporary cartographers to pinpoint Mankato’s location on maps of the world. No matter, though. Mankatoans are happy to take their hometown with them when they travel. Here is just a sampling of Mankato stories that made it around the world in 2012:

South Sudan: Giving the gift of sight

File photo Submitted photo

Minnesota State University’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders is coordinating a water distribution improvement project in El Salvador.

El Salvador: MSU engineers water project

Repairing and improving the water distribution system in Santa Rosa Senca, El Salvador, is a big job. It’s a job that Derek Olinger helped start — but will never see finished. That’s not how Engineers Without Borders works. The group, which does engineering and development work in disadvantaged communities around the globe, makes a commitment to a community for at least five years. And instead of simply building standard facilities, the group works side by side with community members to learn what their specific needs are. MSU’s chapter took two trips to El Salvador, committing to a water-distribution project in Santa Rosa Senca, a village in a volcanic mountain area of El Salvador with about 300 families. The project likely will take place over various trips and total about $25,000.

38 • January 2013 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

Chuol Yat helped outfit more than 2,000 people with eyeglasses during a humanitarian trip to his native South Sudan.

Chuol Yat’s humanitarian trip to his native South Sudan has enhanced the gift of sight for hundreds of his countrymen. The Mankatoan returned from a six-month visit to the new African nation in March 2012, where more than 2,000 people were fitted with donated eyeglasses collected by the Mankato Lions Club. Publisher Coughlan Companies donating a slew of children’s books as well. Yat was one of the storied “Lost Boys” of Sudan who fled the war-torn nation in 1983 to avoid military conscription. Two years ago received a sociology degree from Minnesota State University. During his stay in South Sudan he scanned villagers eyes using a device made for him by Lions member and retired optometrist Bill Nelson.

Dominican Republic: Fair trade, first-hand

Like many within the Mankato Area Fair Trade Towns Initiative, Margo Druschel had done her share of research, and seen her share of footage. But not until she actually visited a country responsible for producing a lot of fair trade products did she truly appreciate the benefits of purchasing fair trade products. In the fall of 2011, MAFTTI achieved its long-held goal of becoming the first town in Minnesota to get its City Council to declare itself a so-called “fair trade town.” Once the group obtained that declaration, the group chose a member to send to the Dominican Republic with representatives of other fair trade towns. During the trip Druschel and the others visited a cacao farm, which grows trees that produce the seeds from which cocoa and chocolate are made. They also visited a coffee farm.

Guatemala: Mankatoans deliver Common Hope

Among the images of impoverished Guatemala that Silas Danielson returned with, one stood out. “We were driving down the street in a van one day and saw a motorcycle with the dad driving, a 5-year-old sitting in front of him on the gas tank and the mother sitting behind carrying a baby. No one was wearing a helmet, and they don’t think anything of it.” The local group made the trip through an organization called Common Hope, whose primary focus is ensuring that sponsored Guatemalan children receive educations. While in Guatemala the group from First Congregational United Church of Christ in Mankato visited with participating families and worked with children in schools and day-care settings. They also built a house for a five-member family, a humble two-room abode with a lofty touch by Guatemalan standards — a floor of concrete rather than dirt.

Netherlands: MSU goes Dutch for student learning

Minnesota State University students took advantage of an opportunity to work on real-world advertising campaigns for companies in the Netherlands while earning credits toward their degrees. With five students already studying at HAN University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, a September recruiting workshop garnered five more students to take their place in 2013. The students participating in the program join buro302, HAN’s student-run multimedia consulting firm. The collaboration between HAN and MSU developed in 2005. Since then, more than 50 MSU students have been involved in the exchange.

China: MSU builds partnerships

A Minnesota State University delegation visited China in December to discuss partnerships with a Chinese professor and meet with a recruiting consultant in Beijing, among other activities. The seven-member delegation sought a partnership with professor Yang Chang relating to his extensive collection of Oriental artifacts. The delegation also visited a primary school in Yongcheng. The delegation was invited to China by Changdong Xu, chair of the Western Returned Scholars Association Entrepreneurs Alliance, according to the release. The association is affiliated with the Chinese government. M MANKATO MAGAZINE • January 2013 • 39

That’s Life

By Nell Musolf


believe my family has a normal-sized garage. Maybe I should put that another way: I believe my family has a normal-sized garage for a normal family with a normal amount of things that belong in a garage such as a lawnmower, a snowblower and a random shovel and rake or two along with the car and some old license plates nailed to the wall. In other words, our present garage would be perfectly adequate if the man of the house didn’t happen to believe that if one of any given tool is good, a dozen is way, way better. Especially when it comes to snow-removal implements. My husband Mark operates on the theory that forewarned is forearmed and when it comes to blizzard conditions, he is more than ready to tell Mother Nature, “Bring it on.” Come November, finding space in our garage to fit the car is like trying to find a short line at a Walmart check-out on Black Friday. That is when Mark gets all of his shovels along with our two snowblowers out of the storage shed and moves them into the garage so he is ready to catch the first snowflake

40 • January 2013 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

Let it snow: The Musolfs know who’s boss as it tumbles out of the sky. Naturally, he adds to his collection whenever Sears or Menards has a sale and by January, the amount of snow removal stuff in our garage rivals that of a medium-sized public works department in Sweden. The other day, I pulled our car into the garage and discovered that I couldn’t open the driver’s side door to get out due to the fact that approximately 17 snow shovels were lined up against the garage wall, all arranged according to height with each handle painted a different color and numbered in some kind of system that means something only to my extremely organized husband. I’ve never been quite sure how Mark’s shovel cataloging works since I avoid going outside and helping to shovel like a snowball avoids taking a cruise in the Bahamas. Plus, I’ve long subscribed to the belief that the less I know about a lot of things, the better off I am. Ignorance truly can be bliss. After climbing out the passenger’s side and almost permanently dislocating my back in the process, I hobbled into the house and asked him if he couldn’t please get rid of a few of those shovels. Mark looked at me as if I’d just suggested getting rid of one of our children. “Of course not! They’re all important.” “But why do you need so many?” I questioned. “Wouldn’t one or two do the trick?” Looking a bit smug, Mark led me back to the garage where we stood in the cold and he gave me a short lesson on the fine art of shoveling. “This,” he said, reaching for a long-handled shovel with a wide, aluminum base, “is for light snow. It’s perfect for those fluffy flakes

we get in February.” “This,” he said, picking up a short, stout fellow with a pointy nose, “is for those ice storms. This baby will break through anything.” He went on and on and on until my feet started to freeze and I informed him that my head was bursting with snow shovel knowledge that I was pretty sure would never be utilized. “So now you see why I need so many shovels,” Mark said as we returned to the warmth of our family room. “It’s just like your cookbook collection.” I wasn’t buying his argument. “How can collecting shovels be like collecting cookbooks? There’s only one way to shovel snow.” Mark raised an eyebrow at me and asked, “And how many ways are there to boil water?” Satisfied that he made his point, Mark returned to the garage where he was working on his latest project: painting shark’s teeth on his snow blowers, aka “Jaws I” and “Jaws II.” I didn’t ask him why he was painting shark’s teeth on his snowblowers as he’d already told me: He wanted to let the snow know who’s the boss. Since I already knew the answer to that question and since it oh-so-obviously wasn’t me, I stayed inside with a heating pad on my back and began looking at the real estate ads featuring houses with twocar garages, enormous storage sheds and heated driveways that would render all shovels in our home obsolete. M

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

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MANKATO MAGAZINE • January 2013 • 41

Fashion Currents

By Samantha Critchell Associated Press

Year in review:

2012 styles that made our heads turn


EW YORK — Every year fashion offers up the good, the bad and the ugly. But what the industry is really built on — and consumers respond to — is buzz. Here are the top moments of 2012 that made our heads turn:

co-hosted by Vogue’s Anna Wintour. Beyonce’s skin-tight, largely sheer — save the bodice beading and feathered fish-tail train — gown by Givenchy announced that Ivy Blue Carter’s mom wasn’t going to hold back. An honorable mention goes to Jessica Simpson, who dieted her way to a Weight Watchers ad then wound up pregnant again.

• Angelina Jolie at the Oscars. The leg that peeked out of the high thigh-high slit of her Versace gown was the most exciting appearance on the red carpet. The gown fit perfectly into the sleek, simple, sexy mold that Jolie favors, but it was Jolie’s picture-perfect pose to expose just enough thigh that launched a thousand memes. Her companion Brad Pitt gets an honorable mention for his scruffy appearance in a Chanel fragrance ad that left many scratching their heads.

• 007’s slim suits. Daniel Craig’s wardrobe in “Skyfall” is impeccably tailored — and quite tight. Unlike the James Bonds that came before him who all liked the traditional looser, longer cut of a Savile Row-style suit, Craig, whose wardrobe is created mostly by Tom Ford, takes his suits Euro style with tapered legs and shorter rises. There’s no question Craig’s super spy Bond will go down in history as one of the best, but it’s fair to ask if he could pull off those impressive chases in clothes th at tight.

• Michelle Obama and Ann Romney’s matching hues. The wives of the presidential candidates turned out to the second debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in practically the same shade of hot pink. But they weren’t by the same designer: Romney’s was by Oscar de la Renta, and Obama’s by Michael Kors. A potential matching prom dress-style embarrassment was chalked up to timing: October’s breast cancer awareness month. • Marc Jacobs’ Louis Vuitton show. Many of the designer runways seemed more of the same — stark stages, thumping music and audiences distracted by their electronic gadgets — but the Louis Vuitton fall catwalk in Paris commanded attention. Models dressed in their very best traveling clothes stepped off a reconstructed retro steam train. Valets carried the vintageinspired hat boxes and vanity cases. The trip seemed refreshingly refined and modern. • Two-tone Stella McCartney dresses. McCartney, no stranger to the red carpet, has created a style that celebrities can’t get enough of. Her ultra-flattering “silhouette” dress has become almost ubiquitous. It features one color on the bodice and back, and a graphic opposite on the sides and sleeves. Kate Winslet has 42 • January 2013 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

• Supermodel reunion at the London Olympics. Gold was the new black at the closing ceremony with a parade of supermodels wearing gilded gowns in a tribute to British fashion. Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell both had on Alexander McQueen, Georgia May Jagger’s was by Victoria Beckham, Karen Elson was in Burberry, and Stella Tennant donned a Christopher Kane Swarovski-crystal catsuit. The soundtrack — of course — was David Bowie’s “Fashion.”

worn several versions, and Brooklyn Decker, Kate Moss, Edie Falco and Liv Tyler have, too. The best turn might have been Jane Fonda at the Cannes Film Festival. • Beyonce’s back-from-baby body. Some new mothers claim they feel sexier than ever. Beyonce was living proof at the Met Gala, the important industry event

• Julianne Moore at the Emmys. Moore’s neon-yellow Dior Haute Couture outfit (really a sweater and ball skirt) spawned a love-it-or-hate-it debate among armchair style critics. What was largely left out of that conversation, however, was that it was Raf Simons’ big celebrity debut for Dior, which he took creative control of after the John Galliano scandal. At least Simons can claim the better reviews when it came to his showdown of next-gen designers at historic French houses against Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent Paris.




MANKATO MAGAZINE • January 2013 • 43

Good Health

By Susan Jaffe Kaiser Health News

Too few seniors appeal Medicare denials


f the 1.1 billion claims submitted to Medicare in 2010 for hospitalizations, nursing home care, doctor’s visits, tests and physical therapy, 117 million were denied. Of those, only 2 percent were appealed. Few seniors have the patience, tenacity or health to question a coverage denial, say advocates and counselors. And those who do appeal but lose on the first try tend to give up too soon, they say. “People lose, and then they lose heart, or they are too sick, too tired or too old, and they give up,” said Margaret Murphy, associate director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy, which has offices in Washington and Connecticut. “Or their kids are handling the appeal and they are too overwhelmed caring for Mom or Dad.” Medicare officials this year redesigned beneficiary statements to make instructions about the appeals process clearer, said an agency spokeswoman, who did not respond to requests for additional information. Some problems can be resolved without appealing, said Mary Ann Parker, an attorney with Washington’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, which advocates for nursing home residents. Sometimes a payment is denied because the doctor or other provider used the wrong treatment or billing code. If the provider resubmits a corrected claim, it will most likely be paid. Murphy said less than 10 percent of the several hundred denials that her organization handles each year for Connecticut residents are overturned in the first and second levels of appeals. “It’s almost an automatic denial,” she said. But at the third level of appeal, the center has won roughly 60 percent of its appeals in the past three years. “If people knew that they are likely to lose at the first couple of levels, they would stick it out until they got to a judge,” Murphy said. “The administrative law judge stage is the first level when you can interact with a human,” said Diane Paulson, senior attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services, which handles about 50 appeals a year. The first two levels of appeals are based on documents only. How to Challenge a Medicare Denial Here are some basic steps for challenging Medicare coverage denials under Part A (including hospitalization, nursing homes and hospice services) and Part B (doctor 44 • January 2013 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

visits, tests, home health care, durable medical equipment). In most cases, it is not necessary to hire a lawyer. Advocates say to be sure to write your Medicare or member number on all documents, and to keep copies. For the first appeal, called redetermination: • Circle the questionable item on your quarterly Medicare statement, called the Medicare Summary Notice, and follow the mailing instructions on the form. You can also complete an appeals form at original-medicare-appeals. • Make the request within 120 days of receiving the denial. • Any dollar amount can be appealed. • If you get denied again, you can make a request for second appeal, called reconsideration: • Make the request within 180 days of receiving notice that the first appeal was denied. • In a letter, explain the services or items that you received and why payment for them is in dispute. Include a copy of the initial denial or fill out the reconsideration form available at claims-and-appeals/file -an-appeal/ original-medicare/original-medicareappeals-level-2.html. • To request a hearing before an administrative law judge, which usually is conducted via conference call with patients, doctors and others: • Make the request within 60 days of receiving the denial of the second appeal. • To be eligible for a hearing, the amount in dispute must be at least $140 in 2103. In your letter, provide your name, address, Medicare number, document control number from previous denial, dates of services or items in dispute and why you are appealing. Include any other information to support your request, or complete a hearing request form available at claims-and-appeals/file -an-appeal/ appeals-level-3.html. • If you get denied again, you can make a request for consideration by the Medicare Appeals Council: • Make this request within 60 days of receiving the hearing decision. • In a letter, cite which parts of the

decision you dispute and the date of the decision, or complete the hearing review request form available at www.medicare. gov/claims-and-appeals/file-an-appeal/ appeals-level-4.html. Beneficiaries who are still not satisfied can file an appeal in federal court. The amount in dispute must be at least $1,350. Medicare Advantage Beneficiaries in Medicare Advantage plans follow similar appeals procedures, except the initial appeal must be made within 60 days of the denial. Medicare prescription drug plans Decisions made by drug plans can also be appealed. You should request a written explanation from the plan for why a prescription is not covered and ask for an exception if you or the prescriber believe you need the drug. You would pay for the drug during the appeal, but you should keep receipts: If the denial is overturned, the drug plan will reimburse for its share of the bill. (While an appeal is under way, drug discount cards or manufacturer or pharmacy discounts may reduce your costs.) For more help For individual assistance and more information, contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program. Additional details are at and 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227). The Center for Medicare Advocacy’s free self-help appeals packets include tips for avoiding appeals; they are available at self-help-packets-for-medicare-appeals. The Medicare Rights Center, a consumer advocacy group, provides appeals advice and other Medicare information at 800-333-4114.

Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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MANKATO MAGAZINE • January 2013 • 45



The Past

By Grace Webb

Välkommen! Gustavus residence hall offers taste of Sweden to interested students


t’s a Thursday evening and about 40 Gustavus Adolphus College students are packed into one of the campus residence halls. They’re there for Fika, a weekly coffee break named after a Swedish practice of relaxing and chatting with friends. Some of the students live at the house, but many just come to hang out for a few hours. They’re talking about all sorts of subjects, and, interspersed with the excited chatter, an occasional Swedish word or phrase is audible. The students are gathered at the Barbro Osher Svenska Huset, better known as the Swedish House. It’s a place that every year houses about 10 students interested in Scandinavian studies. “I really like the house,” said Nate Dexter, a senior at Gustavus who has lived at the house for two and a half years. “It’s like a community. We try to spend a lot of time being together.” While the Swedish House has been offered to interested students for the past 35 years, it has been through quite a few changes during its history. In fact, the current building is not original, and faculty and students have had to work hard to preserve the house for future generations.

Bringing Sweden to Minnesota

who wanted to hone their Swedish language skills and experience various aspects of Swedish culture outside the classroom,” according to Roland Thorstensson, a professor at Gustavus who became the Swedish House’s first advisor. “I thought it’d be a good extension of the program and would be something that would permit students to use Swedish,” Thorstensson said. Soon, after students began living in the new Swedish House, the college moved the house from its old building to the “Wolfe House,” a larger Victorian home. This provided more space for the students and allowed them to feel more at home. They even painted it yellow and blue, the colors of the Swedish flag, and affectionately referred to it as “Villa Villekulla,” after the house in the Pippi Longstocking series (written by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren). In 1998, a tornado ripped through St. Peter and tore the roof off the Swedish House. Luckily, while a few students were in the house when the tornado struck, no one was injured. “It was intense,” said Glen Kranking, who was one of the students living in the house and who is now its current advisor. “None of us were from the Midwest, so we’d never been through a tornado.” Unfortunately, the house was not so lucky. About a third of it had been destroyed, and college administrators decided it was impossible to salvage. They’d Submitted photo need to come up with something The “Holly House,” Gustavus Adolphus College’s first iteration of new. the Swedish House.

The first Swedish House was created in 1974 after Tom Leaf, a student at Gustavus, asked why the college didn’t have a Swedish language house. Leaf wasn’t pursuing Scandinavian studies, but he had several friends who were. By the fall semester of that year, the college had purchased the “Holly House,” a home on 7th Street within walking distance of campus. That first year, 11 students lived in the house, which was founded as a “home for students 46 • January 2013 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

Submitted photo

The “Wolfe House,” Gustavus’ second Swedish House, which was painted yellow and blue to recall the Swedish flag.

Submitted photo

The Swedish House was moved on-campus after the 1998 tornado in St. Peter demolished the old house’s roof.

Rebuilding a legacy

After the tornado, Gustavus administrators, faculty and students worked together to figure out a way to bring the Swedish House back to campus. They received nationwide support from people who identified with their Scandinavian culture. Barbro Osher, with the Pro Suecia Foundation in California, donated enough funds for a new building to be constructed. Even Swedish professors rallied around the house’s plight to raise more support. The latest Swedish House was finished in 2000. It is on campus this time, nestled against another residence hall. It is the fifth (if you count temporary housing after the tornado) and hopefully final house, and is named after Osher in honor of her generous donation. The house has two single rooms, four double rooms, a kitchen and plenty of living and study space. Scattered around the living room are different reminders of Sweden, from pictures to trinkets to Swedish candy, as well as a picture of Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia. Above the entryway, two giant woven tapestries welcome students and guests into the house with images of the sky over Stockholm.

Reaching out to the community

themed dinners and events throughout the year. In December, they hosted their annual St. Lucia dinner. St. Lucia is a cherished saint in Scandinavian culture, with countries like Sweden celebrating St. Lucia Day in mid-December. The students share this custom with Gustavus by hosting a dinner and inviting Scandinavian studies faculty and students to participate. “I’m glad (the House) was maintained after the loss,” Kranking said. “I think (the students here) are the best advertisement for our Scandinavian program.” M

Students who live at the Swedish House balance student life with an active role of sharing Swedish culture with the rest of campus. Besides the weekly Fika breaks, students put on SwedishMANKATO MAGAZINE • January 2013 • 47

Faces & Places

Photos By Sport Pix


Kiwanis Holiday Lights Parade 1. Buddy the Elf, aka Justin Day, rides a Rudolf-nosed lawnmower for the City Center Mankato. 2. Mankato’s favorite Moondog, Muttnik, waves as he walks the parade route. 3. The Palmer Bus Service sends over a bus covered in lights. 4. The Mankato Verizon Express entertained the crowd with music and treats as it rolled by. 5. Frosty the Snowman waves from his hog on the Q Computers float. 6. The first cars make their way through the light tunnel after the lights come on.

3 4


48 • december 2012 • MANKATO MAGAZINE



Faces & Places

Photos By Sport Pix

Mankato Chilifest 1. Jeff Poole, Jim Reynolds, Val Lowe, and Heidi Dauer watching the bean bag competition.


2. “White Chix Chili” team members Jenna Wills, Tiffany Schaff, Alissa Templin, and Stacey Martin were the judges’ first-place winner in the chili competition. 3. Kay Miller, Jaymie Kaufhold, Audrey Kothe, and Bryan Bennett of chili team “Nurses Rock” from Crossroads Advanced Clinical Massage. 4. Vicki Kopischke and her daughter Taylor talking outside of Buster’s. 5. John Arrazolo of Mankato taking his turn during the bean bag toss competition. 6. Hayley Sistrunk and her friend Jalissa Stoltzman hanging out by the bean bag toss competition.






MANKATO MAGAZINE • december 2012 • 49

Faces & Places

Photos By Sport Pix

National Letter of intent signing day 1

1. Manakto East girls hockey coach Nathan Fuller speaks a little bit about his player Savannah Quandt before the ceremony. 2. Mankato East head girls basketball coach Mike Barger poses with senior player Minnie Frederick. 3. (L to R) Savannah Quandt and Minnie Frederick hold up their letters of intent in the Mankato East high school auditorium. 4. Melissa Elkins and Jessica Goerger hold up their signed letters of intent for photos. 5. Minnie Frederick was surrounded by her friends to wish her well on her college choice. She will play basketball at the University of Detroit, Mercy. 6. (L to R) Activities Director Ken Essay poses with signees Melissa Elkins, Jessica Goerger and Mankato West head softball coach Don Krusemark.




50 • december 2012 • MANKATO MAGAZINE



Faces & Places

Photos By Sport Pix

Southern MN Christmas Festival 1. Carol Supalla with her grandson Brandon and her great niece Kiley Feye decorating paper Christmas trees at the festival. 2. Robbie Linsmeier and his dad Jason bulid a birdhouse together.


3. (L to R) Megan Brown, Kathryn Freyberg, and Chelsea Mastin representing Dance Conservatory of Southern Minnesota. 4. Justin McGregor of Mapleton making sand art at the Kozi Kreations booth. 5. (L to R) Sterling, Sharla, and Ivory Boyer with Liliana Sanders in the stroller waiting in line to see Santa.


6. Landon and Evalin Hammett playing with toy animals during the festival. 7. Kyleigh Banken trying one of the many dips at the “A Spice Above” booth. 8. Olivia Miller waiting while feathers are put in her hair at the Cosmetology Training Center booth.







MANKATO MAGAZINE • december 2012 • 51

The Way It Is

By Pete Steiner

Remembering the Caledonia Live Radio Show


here it was, in the bottom of the dresser drawer, still in good shape. I had not worn that T-shirt in 25 years. In bold letters, the screen print invites the beholder to “Meet me at the Caledonia LIVE Radio Show, Thursday at 10 pm.” Of course, the show is history and there’s no Caledonia anymore. But every once in a while, someone comes up to me to recount good memories of good times at what was Mankato’s very own live radio show. •••• Everybody knows Cowboy Bob, right? Musician, gadfly, raconteur, entrepreneur. These days, he cruises around in his big Cadillac, his mind still buzzing, still cooking up deals. Those deals now tend to revolve around real estate. But one day back in 1979, as his multimedia venture, Media House, began to fade, Cowboy Bob came up to me and said, “Peter, we’re gonna do a live radio show, and you’re gonna be the host!” At the time, I was a DJ playing recorded country music — Merle and Waylon and Willie — from six to midnight, Sunday through Friday. Of course, every country DJ knew of the hallowed traditions of live music shows, the Country Jamboree out of WWVA in West Virginia, the Grand Ol’ Opry out of WSM in Nashville. In Minnesota, inspired by those country models, Garrison Keillor had been creating his own live audience show, Prairie Home Companion. Cowboy Bob thought it was time for Mankato to have its own version. Bob Pahl was on board. The proprietor of Pahl’s Western World thought the show 52 • January 2013 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

would be an ideal vehicle to promote Western wear. It was after all, the era of the Urban Cowboy, the social movement sparked by the movie (which, incidentally, I’ve never seen.) There was the movie’s mega-hit by Jonny Lee, “Lookin’ for Love,” which was sorta what a lot of folks were doing at the Caledonia. The cavernous bar in the back of the Madison East Center (now Hooligan’s) featured country bands seven nights a week. Owner Don Fields, often found hunching over the books in the back room behind the raised platform in the back of the bar, had signed on, too. Don’s office would become a makeshift “green room” for the show, which kicked off in 1979 and ran for about a decade. For more than eight of those years, I don’t think I ever missed hosting the big Thursday night event. •••• Preparing to write this piece, I began rummaging for more artifacts in my closets. Domestic archaeology, I call it. Hey, there’s my Resistol hat! And my Kenny Rogers’ Western Collection satin shirt with the red piping. (Bet it doesn’t fit anymore!) Sure enough, Bob Pahl had turned me into an urban cowboy, a walkin’-talkin’ ad for western wear. Promptly at 10 each Thursday night, I’d walk on-stage to welcome everyone to our live show, which was broadcast over KYSM-FM. Tom Klugherz and the late Craig Black engineered the show, shipping it back to the studio via phone lines. The band playing that week’s gig would then launch into several tunes as patrons listened or danced. It wasn’t long until Thursdays were bringing in a really good crowd. •••• The biggest draw in the early years of the show was a band led by a guy from Brainerd. Steve Hall was not only a good musician with a good band. He had also found a puppet in a hobby shop and turned that puppet into his hilarious, potty-mouthed alter ego, Shotgun Red. “Red, you’re grouchy tonight.” “You’d be grouchy too, if you had to sit here in front of all these people with

The Caledonia Live Radio Show kicked off in 1979 and aired for 10 years. somebody’s hand up your ***!” Standing-room only crowds would roar approval for Hall and Shotgun Red. Folks would drive in from Janesville and Vernon Center and St. James and Redwood Falls to catch an act with a big-time aura. Just a few years later, Steve and Red did head off to national fame, helping legendary DJ Ralph Emery host his show on the Nashville Network. •••• Every 15 minutes or so, I’d interrupt the musical proceedings to plug our sponsors, and to do some goofy contests to give away prizes. Audience members would volunteer to do hog-calling or karaoke or stupid people tricks. Once, a well-known local restaurateur was the big winner when he downed a martini while doing a headstand. •••• By 1987, we hadn’t yet arrived at linedancing, and Garth Brooks was still a few years off. But country music was changing. Alabama had brought a definite rock sensibility to the genre and even rock’s biggest act, The Eagles, were getting “Lyin’ Eyes” and “Desperado” and “Tequila Sunrise” played on country radio. Kenny Rogers was cranking out one mega “crossover” hit after another, with “Lucille” and “The Gambler.” I had had a heck of a ride. But by 1988, I realized I was never going to be Ralph Emery. The live radio show lasted a couple more years, but I moved across the valley to do News-Talk radio. As Kenny Rogers sang in “The Gambler,” “you got to know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em.” M Pete Steiner is host of “Talk of the Town” weekdays at 1:05 p.m. on KTOE.


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Mankato Magazine  
Mankato Magazine  

56 page magazine featuring the People, Places, Lifestyles of the Minnesota River Valley