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TEEN POWER! High schoolers (and Kate) will save us all


YWCA’S BARB DORN The Coffee Hag’s

NORDIC WAFFLES Olivia Rivers, Kate Cox and Neal Anderson APRIL 2018

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F EATUR ES APRIL 2018 Volume 13, Issue 4


Call upon the youth of the world

In the Mankato area, several youth-oriented nonprofits are highlighting some of our best young people and changing lives


Global service

International students who come to Minnesota State University often spend time volunteering in the community.

ABOUT THE COVER From left, Olivia Rivers, Kate Cox and Neal Anderson of Project 4 Teens. Photo by Pat Christman


DEPARTMENTS 6 From the Editor 8 This Day in History 9 The Gallery


Deb White Groebner

10 Beyond the Margin An ode to ice 12 Familiar Faces Barb Dorn 14 Day Trip Destinations

Sioux Falls, S.D.

28 Then & Now MLK’s Kato visit 31 Food, Drink & Dine 32 Food


Nordic waffles

34 Wine FAQs!

35 Beer Gluten-free brews 36 Happy Hour

Irish whiskey

38 That’s Life Buy those concert tickets NOW



40 Garden Chat Seed beginnings and rain barrels 42 Your Style Appropriation vs. appreciation.

Ann’s hair walks the line

44 Coming Attractions 46 Faces & Places 52 From This Valley ‘Cold there’

Coming in May



If it’s May, that means it’s time to fish!

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EDITOR Joe Spear ASSOCIATE Robb Murray EDITOR CONTRIBUTORS Nell Musolf Pete Steiner Jean Lundquist Leigh Pomeroy Bert Mattson Leticia Gonzales Ann Rosenquist Fee Bryce O. Stenzel James Figy Amanda Dyslin Brian Arola PHOTOGRAPHERS Pat Christman Jackson Forderer PAGE DESIGNER

Christina Sankey

ADVERTISING Joan Streit SALES Jordan Greer-Friesz Josh Zimmerman Marianne Carlson Theresa Haefner ADVERTISING Barb Wass ASSISTANT ADVERTISING Sue Hammar DESIGNERS Christina Sankey CIRCULATION Justin Niles DIRECTOR

Mankato Magazine is published by The Free Press Media monthly at 418 South Second St., Mankato MN 56001. To subscribe, call 1-800-657-4662 or 507-625-4451. $35.40 for 12 issues. For editorial inquiries, call Robb Murray at 344-6386, or e-mail For advertising, call 344-6364, or e-mail


Mankato, you’re doing good T

here are many, many things that can keep a parent up at night. School shootings, bullies, tonsillitis — you know, the usual suspects. Something else you can add to that list is a vague concept I’ll call “awesomology.” It ’s n o t s o m e t h i n g e a s i ly identified. You can’t point to awesomology the way you can Ǖ ų ǔ Ǖ into a locker. It’s a little tougher to pin down. + Ǖ Ű happening in our community that makes me smile, I chalk that up to Mankato’s awesomology quotient, or, put plainly, how awesome it is to live here. And when you’re up at night worrying about whether your child will have ample opportunities to thrive in this community — which we’ve all done, right? Right? — that’s the Ű \ Case in point: This month’s cover story. The smiling faces on the cover come from one of the most successful youth groups in the area: Project 4 Teens. P4T, you may already know, visits middle school classrooms and teaches younger students about some of the potential dangers coming their way in high school (drugs, alcohol, sex and other risks.) Anyone with children living in the Mankato area knows this: We’ve got a robust and all-inclusive system for getting kids involved in, well, just about everything. From varsity ű $Ǖ League, every kid has a chance to be included. We’ve also got a healthy stable of willing adults volunteering to guide those kids. Whether it’s moms and dads coaching little league teams

or helping out in their kid’s classroom, or people like Kate Cox — who for years has used her expertise and sense of community to educate the students in P4T — the Mankato area, in my opinion, has a pretty high awesomology quotient. The more opportunities we give our young people to get involved, the better prepared they’ll be to tackle all the challenges the world will throw at them. And let’s face it, folks, it’s a different world today. It just is. Social media has simultaneously brought us closer together and pushed up further apart. Giving them ample opportunities to engage each other and the community is the best thing we can do for our young people to help them be good, well-adjusted, compassionate people. Mankato, you’re doing good. And you’re doing well. Elsewhere in Mankato Magazine, we introduce you to Barb Dorn, executive director at the YWCA. Dorn oversees an organization that is doing some of the community’s most important and visible work, including the annual Women of Distinction awards and the Girls on the Run program. And at Minnesota State University, international students are steeping themselves in the community through volunteering. We visit with students making a difference at a local food shelf, and on campus.

Robb Murray is associate editor of Mankato Magazine. Contact him at 344-6386 or rmurray@ Follow him on Twitter @freepressRobb.

Sorry! We Screwed Up ... S

ometimes, even though we try really hard t o n o t m a ke any mistakes, we make a few. This time, we ǔǕ Ǖ Ǖű some of the amazing photos from our photo issue. Here are the photos again, this time with the right names under them. S o r r y, y o u guys!

Diane Wagner

Sarah Denn

Sarah Denn MANKATO MAGAZINE • APRIL 2018 • 7

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This Day in history By Jean Lundquist

Wednesday, April 29, 1992 Police crash giant kegger A group of Gustavus Adolphus College students invited thousands of fellow students to a massive beer bash in rural LeSueur last week. They set up tables, hired a band and bought 76 kegs of beer. They even rented five buses to transport people to the site. But 25 uninvited guests — the LeSueur County Sheriff’s office, the LeSueur Police Department, the Police Reserve and the LeSueur County Mounted Posse — also arrived … shortly after party began. Charges are pending against two people for selling beer without a license, and three people for underage consumption of alcohol, according to Sheriff Pat Smith Jr. The party was allegedly organized by a Gustavus fraternity. Flyers advertising the bash as a 100-keg party were sent to colleges throughout the area, and 3,000 people were expected. About 350 people were at the site when the raid took place about 7:30 p.m. Smith said the party would have been legal if the organizers had sought a license, but doubts the license would have been granted by the county board. Saturday, April 26, 1930 Magnet is used in trying to free bullet in neck Yesterday William Rose, who is partially paralyzed by a fall from a tank car Monday, was reported to be improving at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Mankato. Paralysis was caused by the bisection of a bullet from the blow received in the fall, with half of the bullet striking a nerve. The bullet has been lodged in Mr. Rose’s neck for 18 years. Attending physicians are hopeful that by using magnets and external treatments, they may move the bullet and relieve the paralytic condition.

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The Gallery: Deb White Groebner Story by Leticia Gonzales

An expression of healing Groebner channeled brother’s death into art


eb White Groebner, a MinnAqua Education Specialist from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, not only turned to art as a creative outlet, but as a way to heal. “I’ve made jewelry and painted gifts over the years, but grief led me to visual art as I mourned my brother’s death in 2012,” she said. “Creating was more than therapy; it was a way to honor my brother and the art he would have given the world. Grief poured from my heart through my hands and onto the paper, and as the work flowed, I grew calmer, steadier.” As her artistic skills progressed, Groebner participated in her first juried exhibition at Mankato’s Carnegie Art Center in 2014. “Since then, my work has been seen at other juried shows in our area, including the 2017 PLRAC exhibition where I received a Merit Award for “Tissue,” an encaustic mixed-media painting,” she said. Encaustic, said Groebner, “is the process of painting melted wax onto a board and fusing each layer with a heat gun or torch.” “Layers can be sculpted or scraped away to reveal previous layers,” she added. “Paper, small objects, metallic powder, oil paint, watercolor, and other materials can be added to create unique effects in mixed-media pieces.” Aside from the year she majored in art at Northern Illinois University, Groebner has honed her skills at an artist through online workshops and by trial and error in her basement studio, which includes a self-installed ventilation system to accommodate her encaustic painting process.

“Becoming Brave Enough” (2018) Encaustic mixed media with porcupine quills “When I start a new piece I usually don’t have any idea what the finished product will look like,” she said. “My goal at that point is more meditative, as I’m just playing with materials. I give myself permission to make crappy art so I’m not paralyzed by self-criticism and my tendency to over plan. I’m just making marks and building on the ones I find most compelling. The piece’s character and message eventually emerge to provide direction for remaining work.” As an aquatic resources educator, Groebner said she finds inspiration for her work through water, animals, and nature. “I am moved by different cultures and places I experience during my travels,” she said. Groebner’s degree in biology and natural resources management also influences her projects.

“AWAKE (Now what?)” (2018) Encaustic “Textbook diagrams, classification, and other symbols work their way into my art,” she said. Drawn to the “darker side of life,” Groebner said her creations tend to reflect love, attachment, humor, and relationships, rich in deep reds and golds with black, brown, or white shades. Even though Groebner describes her art as a “side gig,” she is open to growth and moving into commissioning work for others, among other opportunities. “I’d like to connect with artists willing to help me improve my work by providing feedback or coaching me through the process of developing a strong exhibit,” she shared. “My goal is to exhibit more of my work through a solo or partnered show.” MANKATO MAGAZINE • APRIL 2018 • 9

ƦƩƼƳƲƨ ƷƬƩ ƱƥƘƫƭƲ By Joe Spear

Hockey, curling and eternal ice


he puck is dropped. The stone is launched. And in Mankato, we’re all the better for it. You may have noticed recently, hockey and, surprisingly, curling have overtaken everything else that might be important in the Minnesota River Valley. We are drawn together by a sheet of ice. Ice is one of the few elements that returns to its original form with changes in air temperature. You can’t say the same about gases or fire or even energy. Some fine folks from Dartmouth College and Birmingham University writing a book published by Oxford University Press in Oxford, England, note the importance of ice. Victor F. Petrenko and Robert W. Whitworth, heretofore scholars, note in an abstract on their fine book “Physics of Ice”: “Ice is one of the most abundant and environmentally important materials on Earth, and its unique and intriguing physical properties present fascinating areas of study … Although ice has a simple crystal structure, its hydrogen bonding results in unique properties, which continue to be the subject of active research.” And that research can be done here and now. We hope the folks at Oxford notice. They go on to say the study of ice is important in meteorology, thunderstorms and electricity among other things. It’s also important for curling and 10 • APRIL 2018 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

hockey. Hockey stands above all other sports because of its chaos and its speed. The technology of the ice skate, marketed in the 1970s as “Tacks” and “Super Tacks,” enabled hockey players to achieve a speed unmatched by any player in any team sport, unless you consider “bobsledding” a team sport. And we do not. Danger is taken to a higher level in hockey because not only can the player reach inhumanely high speeds, they risk running into barriers at those high speeds, something called the “boards” that surround them at an inescapable 360 degrees. These boards are not Ą ù« ¼ à ¨ ó ÃÊ Õ «Ã¢ʈ Given these physical constraints of the game, it would seem caged rats have a higher survival rate than hockey players. But that, of course, is not so. Hockey’s grand traditions include physical assault and the bearing of scars that stand as badges of honor to winners and losers alike. No masks for goalies into the 1970s. Hockey’s early years drove the market for dentistry and maxillofacial surgery. It’s a dark side of the sport that has been overcome, somewhat. No other sport has a disc-shaped object that can defy physics. The fastest slap shot recorded was at 108.8 mph, slightly faster than the record fastball thrown by Nolan Ryan who came in at just 108.5 mph. A puck can fly in Õ ãã ØÃÜ ¡ØÊ èãã ØĄú ãÊ ØÊ ¹ ãʈ It can be batted like a baseball and launched like a badminton birdie. Hockey is a game that cannot be calculated like “moneyball baseball” and cannot be diagrammed like football. Wins in hockey cannot be measured by a standard deviation because the puck bounces chaotically. One bounce can give a team of lower skill — but equal grit — the win over «ãÜ ó ØÜ Øúʈ ,ã «Ü ÜÕÊØã 㨠ã Êė ØÜ great talent equalizer and rewards grit.

a¨ Ø «Ü ÃÊ Êã¨ Ø ÜÕÊØã 㨠ã Êė ØÜ the “breakaway.” The player against player, skater against goalie duel. (Soccer doesn’t count because it is slow). Yes, pitchers face batters, and wide receivers face defensive backs, but all lack the speed and immediacy and drama of a hockey breakaway. And as far as the “slam dunk” in basketball goes, let’s face it, it’s an empty net. The breakaway comes from sheer speed and chaos. Curling is not really chaotic, and physical assaults are rare, but it still offers its own kind of uncertainty. Performance can vary greatly on how one deals with the ice. Witness the U.S. team. A team that looked bound for early defeat took the gold medal in a miraculous 5-point “end,” as they say. Millions of viewers watched the U.S. team win the gold at 3:30 a.m. central time. And there’s something to be said for that, but we’re not exactly sure what. Curling is as precise as hockey is chaotic. But there are some commonalities. An online analysis on curling suggests the curl of the stone cannot be explained with physics, much like the bounce of a puck. In Mankato, we must not take for granted these the miracles on ice that are before us. Mapleton native John Landsteiner was the “lead” on the U.S. curling team that won gold. "ÊØ ã¨ ăØÜã ã«Â «Ã ȺȻ ú ØÜʃ A ù ãÊ East/Loyola made the premier event in youth hockey — the Minnesota High School Hockey State Tournament. And Minnesota State University hockey is on the cusp of winning its own gold, having taken the MacNaughton Cup and going for the ultimate victory at the Frozen Four (April 5-7) for a bid at a national championship. These kind of ice convergences do not happen often without Elvis dying. Again. But I’m hopeful because I think

we have ice in our history, in our collective psyche and in our veins. As for our history, we have Don Brose, who coached Maverick hockey in five different decades. He now spends his time watching over the Mavericks from the stands and you à ăà ¨«Â «Ã ã¨ Ü Â Õ¼ «Ã 㨠hallways of Verizon Center every game. And when you walk by he invariably will be talking to a former player, from the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s or 2000. Brose will always thank the former players for stopping by and they seem appreciative to reminisce with their old coach. And when I think of Mankato hockey history and traditions I also think of Larry Wild, whose dad Ken played goalie for the North Mankato Vikings senior men’s hockey team long before youth hockey came to southern Minnesota. And in 1948, they won the state championship and Larry, a devout Maverick fan, now helps organize the Anthony Ford Pond Hockey Tournament that is played not far from where his dad played. Wild and Jim Whitlock and others raise thousands of dollars for youth hockey in the area in memory of Anthony Ford, a great hockey kid who died of leukemia far too young. But his  ÂÊØú à ÜÕ«Ø«ã ¡è ¼ ÊèØ ¨Ê ¹ ú ăØ in this town. A n d I t h i n k o f o u r h o c ke y connections as John Harrington, a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team’s “Miracle on Ice” victory over 㨠VèÜÜ« ÃÜʃ Ü«ãÜ ×è« ã¼ú «Ã ¨«Ü ÊĜ coaching the Maverick women’s team that is showing more and more promise every year, upsetting 5th ranked Ohio State this year. East made the consolation round at the state tourney, won a triple Êó Øã«Â ¢  «Ã ã¨ Ü Â«ʢăà ¼ à ¼ÊÜã 㨠ăà ¼ʈ èã ô«ã¨ ¼Êã Ê¡ ¡Ø ܨ à and sophomores, they’ll be back. By the time you read this, MSU might be done or they might be in the Frozen Four. I’m betting on the latter, siding with Coach Brose. But it also will be very near April, and approaching the “ice out” date on Madison Lake, a transformation we anticipate. And when the ice is “out” we’ll begin anticipating its resurgence that reminds us about enduring nature of water and ice and the sports that spring eternal from them.

Joe Spear is editor of Mankato Magazine. Contact him at or 344-6382. Follow on Twitter @jfspear.

Maverick hockey captain C.J. Suess shows the MacNaughton Cup to Maverick fans after winning the WCHA regular season championship this year. Photo by Jackson Forderer MANKATO MAGAZINE • APRIL 2018 • 11

Familiar Faces: Barb Dorn By Amanda Dyslin

Heading up YWCA brings many ‘Wow!’ moments Nonprofit is responsible for popular community programs such as Girls on the Run, Women of Distinction


s Barb Dorn puts it, the mission of the YWCA spoke to her when deciding to accept the position of executive director more than five years ago. “It’s powerful and uplifting, and that’s what brought me here, but the incredible programs, staff, board and community support are why I’ve stayed,” said Dorn, of Nicollet. “Nonprofit leadership gets into your blood and transforms the way you view the world. So despite its challenges, I would encourage everyone to consider a career in nonprofit work.” Originally from Lake Crystal, Dorn spent 25 years in the Twin Cities before moving back to Mankato in 2008 to get married and be near family. After serving as division director of March of Dimes, the opportunity arose to head up the YWCA a few years ago, and it’s a position that has surprised and challenged her ever since. “Leading a small nonprofit is hard work, and it means you’ll never be caught up, but it’s worth it because every single moment changes this world for the better,” Dorn said. “I get to be a part of that, to revel in the gift of mission-driven work, because at the end of the day it feeds your soul in ways you can’t even imagine.” Here’s a bit more from Dorn about her work with the YWCA. Mankato Magazine: What has been the most challenging aspects of heading up the YWCA so far? Barb Dorn: The weight of the work. Mirroring my answer above, it often feels as though you just can’t do enough. Your eyes are opened to the struggles of the world, and daily you’re reminded how much you take for granted.


Photo by Pat Christman


Barb Dorn Age: 54

City of residence: Nicollet Education: B.A. in Communications and Political Science, minor in Music, Gustavus Adolphus College Job title: Executive Director, YWCA Mankato Family: Husband, Kevin, and children Evan (23) and Tessa (16) For example, I’ve had the honor of getting to know some refugee moms over the course of the last few years, and it’s crystal clear how much we want the same things for our kids: safety, health, education, opportunities. All of those things were handed to me by virtue of being born a white, middle-class woman in America, and my kids have benefitted accordingly

as it’s been relatively easy to get those things for them. By contrast, however, I’ve seen how much courage and tenacity it takes for refugee moms to find these same things for their children. We’re all moms, but our paths to ensuring our kids’ futures couldn’t be more different. Recognizing and accepting the extent of that privilege has been a challenge for me, emotionally more than anything. It’s humbling. MM: Anne Ganey was your predecessor, having established the Girls on the Run program, the Elizabeth Kearney Women’s Leadership Development Program and Walking in Two Worlds. How have you built off of those accomplishments, and what plans do you have for the future of the YWCA? BD: I was fortunate to join the organization with a solid foundation already in place. The programs I inherited from Anne were strong, well-built and designed to meet evolving community needs. They provided a springboard for what was to come. Over the past five years YWCA girls programming has grown to serve girls in grades 3-12, and includes not only running, but also biking, community service and leadership development. The Elizabeth Kearney Women’s Leadership Program now has more than 230 graduates and includes an active Alumnae Association and opportunities for women to dive deeper into their personal and professional leadership journeys. Walking in Two Worlds continues to serve immigrant and refugee families in our community, and Ready to Learn utilizes a holistic home visiting model which also continues to grow and evolve. Anne made herself available to me as a resource from the get-go, and she has remained a trusted sounding board for me on many occasions. I’ve appreciated her depth of knowledge and support more than I can say. I’m also very excited about where YWCA Mankato is headed. Over the past few years we’ve focused on coalescing our mission to eliminate racism and empower women into a singular vision of interconnectedness. We know the work we do to support women and girls means all women and girls, and our programs have and will continue to respond accordingly. Girls on the Run now serves six counties throughout southern Minnesota, and we’ve expanded and built additional programs for girls across the board. New American Families programs have broadened their reach into our community and are helping more families than ever find much-needed resources and success in their new lives. We’re also currently seeking funding to launch new Women’s Leadership programs to educate women in public policy and running for office, to offer a women’s financial literacy program, as well as targeted initiatives to involve women between the ages of 18-30 years old in the work and mission of YWCA Mankato. Finally, the largest evolution over the past two years has been our organization’s heightened commitment to Racial Justice, as this area has expanded exponentially and continues to infuse and support our work in all programming areas. The past few years have been a robust period of growth for YWCA Mankato, and we’re excited for what lies ahead.

MM: Speaking of Girls on the Run, the annual 5K happens this month. What’s it like to be part of that event, with so many age groups and backgrounds of girls, boys, women and men taking part? BD: Saturday, April 21, will be a true celebration for Girls on the Run, as 2018 marks the 10-year anniversary here in our community! Over those 10 years more than 1,800 girls in grades 3-5 have completed over 5,800 miles alone as part of the 5K, and you can multiply those numbers by much more when considering their twice-weekly preparation for months leading up to the event. All girls in the GOTR program unquestionably earn the celebration of that day. My first year at the 5K was in 2013, and I haven’t missed one yet. It’s a day of triumph people need to see for themselves, whether as an observer, a runner or a walker. I encourage everyone to attend this year’s 5K and witness the faces of those girls as they cross the finish line with capes flying, arms thrust up in victory, and smiles as wide as you’ve ever seen. It truly is an amazing event. MM: With so much good work being done in the community, your job must have some “wow” moments. Any memories stand out to you as being very special? BD: I experience “wow” moments almost every single day, but I’ll share two that come to mind. I was recently looking through some program evaluations and was struck by the responses written by an 8-yearold girl (“I learned in this program that I am more awesome than I thought, and that anyone can be a leader.”) and an adult woman (“Today’s speakers opened my eyes to how unfulfilling my life is, and I know it’s time for a change.”). The juxtaposition of their responses was powerful, and I imagined how the woman’s response might have been different if she’d had access to the kinds of programs the girl was currently involved in at the YWCA. It’s important to realize it’s never too late to find fulfillment, regardless of our age or place in life. Another moment I remember was being out after work last spring at one of our downtown establishments, and overhearing a conversation at a neighboring table regarding It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race workshops we’d held for all employees of the City of Mankato. There were several couples at the table, and one of the men was telling the group about how he’d attended a workshop on race with all of his co-workers. I’ll never forget him saying, “Honestly I was dreading it because I didn’t want to talk about race, but it wasn’t that bad. I learned a lot and am thinking about some things differently now.” So that’s a win. Often our work is about simply planting seeds and letting them take root. Ripples outward from one person’s experience can have more impact than we could ever know. MM: Outside of work, what do you do for fun? BD: Like many parents, I love attending my kids’ activities and cheering them on; over the years I’ve spent a lot of time at football games, basketball games, track meets, volleyball games and dance competitions. I also love to travel and read (books with twist endings hold a special place in my heart).


Day Trip Destinations: sioux Falls By James Figy

Falls Park offers outdoor recreation, dining and historical intrigue right in the heart of the city. Photo by Rich Murphy

Fall in love with

Sioux Falls

South Dakota’s river city offers a little bit of everything


hough it’s just one city, Sioux Falls, SD, is not just one destination. It’s a place where foodies dine and families enjoy the outdoors, where shoppers spend and craft beer connoisseurs imbibe. Sioux Falls lends itself to day trips and extended vacations, being a two and a half hour drive from Mankato. There’s plenty to keep visitors busy either way, says Matt Barthel of the Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We see many people come to Sioux Falls for a quick weekend getaway to relax and unwind from their daily responsibilities. Weekend trips are perfect to see all the top attractions and get a taste of the food, brewery and winery scene,” he said. “We also


see a large amount of people that stay in Sioux Falls for more than a couple of days.” A trip to the city wouldn’t be complete without visiting its namesake. Waterfalls flowed along the Big Sioux River long before the city’s founding in 1856, and Falls Park offers historical buildings, a restaurant, viewing areas and paved trails. “Falls Park truly is a staple of our city. We are very fortunate to have such a great natural attraction so close to downtown,” Barthel said. “During the summer months, visitors love to go to the top of the five-story observation tower, which allows them to see a breathtaking view of the park with the downtown landscape in the background.”

At Falls Park, visitors can set off on the Big Sioux Recreation Trails, which provide a roughly 29-mile loop around the city and along the river. Those looking to spend more time outdoors can visit Great Bear Recreation Park, Good Earth State Park and Palisades State Park. The Outdoor Campus also provides an outdoor skills education center on the city’s south side. “The Outdoor Campus is a great place for families looking to participate in an activity such as fishing, archery, kayaking or even snowshoeing during winter,” Barthel said. For a less rugged getaway, there are shops and local boutiques, such as Threads. One can catch a concert at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, as well as theatrical productions, symphonic performances and more at the Husby Performing Arts Center at the Washington Pavilion. There also are art galleries and plenty of cultural sites to visit for a history buff. “The Old Courthouse Museum and Pettigrew Home and Museum are great attractions where you can learn about the history of Sioux Falls, and best of all, they’re free to enter,” Barthel said. “The Center for Western Studies on the campus of Augustana University and the Visitor Center at Good Earth State Park offer fascinating information and artifacts involving Native American history, which is prominent in the foundation of Sioux Falls.” Most importantly, visitors will not go hungry. From ethnic food to farm-to-table American cuisine, dining options abound throughout the city, but many visitors focus on the downtown food scene, according to Barthel. “The section of downtown located just east of the Big Sioux River, known as Eastbank, has seen an uptick in activity during the last couple of years with new restaurants and breweries opening,” he said. “Brewer’s Row is also becoming a popular destination downtown that includes a handful of breweries all located within walking distance of each other.” Brewer’s Row starts with Fernson Brewing Company and runs east down 8th St., before turning south down Phillips St. to

The foodie scene in Sioux Falls has grown in recent years. Photo courtesy of the Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau end at Hydra Beer Hall on 10th St. It’s about a half mile walk. Along the way are Remedy Brewing Company, WoodGrain Brewing Company and Prairie Berry East Bank, a winery that serves beer from its sister company Miner Brewing. Also on the path is Monks House of Ale Repute, which kick-started Sioux Falls’ craft beer scene. Monks opened in 2007 and launched its in-house brewery, Gandy Dancer Brew Works, in 2012. After adding Wilde Prairie Winery and Strawbale Winery to the list, it’s clear that Sioux Falls has a little of everything. Those who haven’t visited the city — whether not recently or not ever — should note it as a place for fun and local fare.

“Being nominated as one of Midwest Living’s Greatest Food Towns last year, we are beginning to see more and more people every year who travel to our city just for a foodie getaway,” Barthel said. “…Sioux Falls is certainly becoming a top destination in the Midwest.”


Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Visit for more information MANKATO MAGAZINE • APRIL 2018 • 15

Project 4 Teens leaders from Mankato work with students at Prairie Winds Middle School. The high school leaders teach younger students lessons about bullying and other topics throughout the school year. They’re one of several groups in the community engaging and incorporating youth in mentorship, leadership and service projects in the community.

The kids are better than alright ...

They’re doing good work Everywhere you look, young people are making a difference through thoughtful volunteering By Brian Arola | Photos by Pat Christman


eens might be having a moment. Inspired by a tragedy in which their friends were gunned down, Florida youth continue to lead the charge on gun control. Their student counterparts across the country plan to follow suit with walk-outs, days of demonstrations and shows of


solidarity. And yeah, some teens were eating Tide pods a while back, but Baby Boomers used to think bell bottoms were stylish. Let’s not act like every generation didn’t have their misguidances. Point being, if you’re seriously worried about the

Top: Kate Cox, middle, Project 4 Teens coordinator, talks with high school student leaders during their day of mentorship work at Prairie Winds Middle School. Bottom: Project 4 Teens’ Annie Miles leads a discussion in a middle school health class. people we’ll hand over this world to, reassurances aren’t hard to find. You need only look at local young people who are already heavily involved in their schools and communities to put your mind at ease. Youth in our schools and cities are promoting self esteem, railing against bullying, organizing service projects and much more. They’re already making a difference, and say they don’t plan to stop as they grow into adulthood.

A project for teens by teens

“Being a leader, I can take what I learned about leading these students and take it to college and to whatever else I do in life,” said Olivia Rivers, a Project 4 Teens leader at Mankato East. Rivers, now a senior, joined Project 4 Teens in her sophomore year, motivated by her memories of the high schoolers who came into her junior high classrooms with positive messages and encouragement. She wanted to follow in their footsteps, and has. “I thought they were amazing,” she said. “I thought they had a lot of the values I believed I had.” Project 4 Teens counts about 125 student leaders like Rivers between East, West, Loyola, St. Peter and

Lake Crystal. They lead learning days for every fifth to eighth grader in those schools, including skits about themes such as bullying and healthy relationships. They’ll then work with the students in small groups, where they’re taught techniques to deal with whatever the theme of the day was. Kate Cox, Project 4 Teens coordinator, loves to see the young help out the younger. It’s more effective, she said, than if she or other adults were the ones leading the groups. “The peer to peer education is very influential, much more so than if I got up and gave the presentation,” she said. Neal Anderson, a student leader and West senior, attested to this. “There’s something special when there’s older high school kids telling the younger middle school kids about refusal skills,” he said. “It’s a lot more meaningful and poignant if there are peers saying it instead of teachers.” Like Rivers, Anderson joined Project 4 Teens because he remembered the impact older leaders had on him. Now he notes the impact it has on him as a leader. He talks about the positive energy among his fellow leaders, the uplifting messages MANKATO MAGAZINE • APRIL 2018 • 17

they present to fellow youth, and the leadership skills he knows he’ll put to good use in his future endeavors. Cox is just as confident in her young leaders. “These teens really restore my faith in humanity,” she said. “They’re absolutely, unbelievably incredible.”

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Staying within the mentorship realm, the YWCA’s Girls on the Run program fulfills a similar function as Project 4 Teens for about 350 girls in the region. It consists of mainly college-aged women coaching groups of girls in the lead up to a 5k race. Their units each week teach the girls about self esteem, empowerment and promoting each others’ successes. Amy Jordan, director of programs at the YWCA, said the role models — some of them teens — who coach make the program tick. “What’s especially important is to allow these girls to have positive role models in their life,” she said. “What I love about Girls on the Run and Heart & Sole (for middle school girls) is our coaches are exactly that.” Aubry Landsom remembers looking up to her Girls on the Run coaches when she was in fourth grade. She’s now a high school sophomore in St. Peter and in her second year as a junior coach in the program, one of — if not the — youngest teens coaching this year. It’s a responsibility she takes seriously, she said. “It’s one of the things that motivates me knowing they see somebody they want to be,” she said. “It’s a big factor of why I joined.” Although she’s one of the role models now, she said she still looks up to her fellow coaches. “Hearing their stories, it’s really easy to feel motivated by where they are in their lives and be in the same positions as them,” she said. With Girls on the Run offered in many cities across the country, Landsom hopes to stay involved with it after her high school graduation. The program has been good to her, and she wants

Top left: (From left) Elizabeth Benzmiller, Anita Goharfar and Tiffany Dinh check in a donors at the Key Club’s blood drive. Bottom left: Elizabeth Benzmiller talks with a blood donor during the Loyola Key Club’s blood drive. Right: Maurah Schwartz restocks snacks for blood donors. to be good to it right back. This intention to remain active, shared by her peers participating in other programs, would benefit whatever communities they end up in. Donating time apart from their school and extracurricular responsibilities is admirable enough, but even more so if doing so inspires them to become lifelong volunteers or helpers.

Service is key to success

Loyola Catholic School Key Club advisor Sue Goebel said she wants students in the group to think of service work as an important, recurring aspect of their lives. “I want the students to realize that service needs to be part of the daily life of everybody, not just one event, but a way of life,” she said. The way students in the campus group tell it, Key Club itself and the projects they plan and undertake can become ways of life. “Loyola is small, but Key Club is kind of like a family on its own,” said Tiffany Dinh, student president of the club. “It’s like a small family within a family.” The club boasts 28 students participating this year — not bad for a school with graduating classes not much above that figure. Friends see friends join, come on board themselves and the cycle continues. They then descend from Good Counsel Hill out into the broader community.

The group has staple projects every year. Notice a bunch of teens raking yards in your neighborhood? That could be them. Drive by a youth in reflective gear picking up trash on the side of a highway? Again, might’ve been Key Club students. Elizabeth Benzmiller, treasurer for the club, said she takes pride in her small school’s ability to make a big difference in the community. Now she can’t picture a high school experience without volunteering. “It’s taught me to want to help people and have the drive and determination to be that force for change.” Dinh said teens getting out in their communities puts them in a service mindset and helps them think about the world beyond school grounds. “It gives us a better mindset of what we can do as adults when we’re older giving back to society,” she said. If students like these are already organizing blood drives and providing Christmas gifts to families, imagine what they can accomplish in the coming decades. Whether it’s Key Club, Project 4 Teens, Girls on the Run or any of the numerous other community groups serving and empowering teens to do good in their communities, we have young leaders in Mankato and the surrounding area making a difference. And planning to keep at it. Saying teens are having a moment might be shortchanging them. Moments are fleeting, while these teens don’t plan to stop. MANKATO MAGAZINE • APRIL 2018 • 19


SERVICE International students share cultures while volunteering By James Figy By James Figy | Photos by xxxx

Raquel Juarez volunteers weekly at the ECHO Food Shelf. Photo by Pat Christman. 20 • APRIL 2018 • MANKATO MAGAZINE


hen Gerardo Lopez arrived in Mankato, he was both excited and apprehensive. It was a very different experience from what he had known, growing up in Colombia. But one way he, and other international students at Minnesota State University, could take some comfort in this new community was by giving back to it. Each year, international students at Minnesota State volunteer as a part of the university’s Cultural Contribution Scholarship. Students find opportunities on and off campus to donate their time. This brought Lopez, a senior anthropology major, to ECHO Food Shelf. “Volunteering at ECHO has really made a difference in me. I never imagined that there would be such diversity of people here in Mankato,” he said. “My job has given me the opportunity of meeting a lot of new people and getting to understand the community better.” Minnesota State international students volunteered 18,216 hours during the 2016-2017 academic year, according to the Community Engagement Office. About 800 students have signed up to volunteer for the scholarship this year, said Ty Haley, graduate assistant for the Kearney Center for International Student Services. Besides pushing the students to

engage with the community, the scholarship offers a tuition rate discounted about 40 percent from what they would pay otherwise. “Where most international students in the country are paying out-of-state tuition, here they pay close to in-state,” Haley said. “So it’s a really good deal for them, and the community also benefits from having students engaging in the community, giving back, sharing their cultures and learning from our culture. That’s the main idea of the scholarship.” To keep the scholarship, international students must meet three requirements. They must: • Register for at least 12 credit hours per semester, making them full-time students. • Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 (a high C-plus). • Complete 25 hours of community service each semester. As a full-time student, the requirements can be tough, according to junior Raquel Juarez. But the payoffs, both the tuition discount and becoming a part of the community, are worth it. “Because I am also an engineering student, I spend a lot of time in school and indoors, and I don’t get to meet a lot of the Mankato community,” she said. “Working at ECHO lets me do that.”

‘Working side by side’

Juarez and Lopez do the same tasks at ECHO, though at different times. Sometimes they stock food, and other times they clean. But most often, their shifts are spent walking customers through the aisles, letting them know how much of an item they can take based on their family size. Having been there almost four years, Lopez sometimes trains new volunteers. But he enjoys working with customers the most. “Whenever I help my customers, my goal always is to make their day a bit better. This has opened the opportunity for some of them to share with me their stories, dreams and the occasional joke,” he said.

Gerardo Lopez balances time between studying and volunteering at ECHO Food Shelf as a part of the Cultural Contribution Scholarship. When Spanish-speaking customers come through the doors, Juarez and Lopez are able to help out in a way that most volunteers can’t. This is one benefit of having so many international student volunteers, said Sara Huhn Diel, assistant manager at ECHO. However, she believes the most important aspect for the students and local volunteers is being able to share their cultures. “Sometimes, when it’s slow, our regular volunteers will just sit and chat with the international students. Just working side by side, you get the opportunity to hear about what their culture is like, what their climate is like, what surprises them about being here,” she said, adding that many

are surprised that a place like ECHO exists at all. This was the case for Juarez. She had never heard of any place that gives away food back in Honduras, but she loves the idea of taking care of those in need. “I think it’s really interesting that you help out families with food at no cost,” she said. ECHO is one of the top sites where international students volunteer off campus, according to Haley. Other popular organizations include Habitat for Humanity, the Mankato Family YMCA, Blue Earth County Historical Society, the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota, United Way, Blue Earth Nicollet County Humane Society and thrift stores, such as Vine and the MANKATO MAGAZINE • APRIL 2018 • 21

Andreea Bogdan works with other community advisors in Crawford Residence Hall to offer diverse programming on the campus. Having grown up in Romania and Italy, she uses her Cultural Contribution volunteer hours to help with events that highlight international perspectives. Salvation Army. Some students help with immigrant resettlement programs, and some Chinese students teach and tutor at the Mankato Chinese Culture Institute. Volunteering also allows international students to hone their skills, serve as leaders and work with others, Haley said. They have few options to do these resume-building activities otherwise. The F-1 student visa only allows them to hold employment on campus for 20 hours per week during the semester, and these positions are limited. For some, it is more than a requirement or a resume line. Juarez started volunteering at ECHO to keep her scholarship, 22 • APRIL 2018 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

but it turned into something she enjoys doing. “It was a place that I could go to regularly and do my hours. But since then I’ve gone even if I don’t get hours,” she said. “I’ve worked there over summers, even when I don’t have class.”

‘A more global point of view’

Oftentimes, students do not need to venture off campus to volunteer. Minnesota State offers opportunities helping with different initiatives at offices around the university, volunteering to help with events or working at Campus Kitchen, which makes meals from recovered food to distribute to

those in need. However, international students often become invested in projects that embrace and share their culture with others. Students can earn hours for planning cultural events, such as the Nepal Night in February. “Getting the contribution hours for that wasn’t their main concern,” Haley said of the Nepali students who hosted the event. “They just really wanted to show off their culture.” Junior international relations major Andreea Bogdan has seen this firsthand. Born in Romania, Bogdan lived in the U.S. and Italy prior to coming to Mankato. While she identifies most with Italy and its culture, she developed a unique perspective from living in multiple countries. Now, as a community advisor in the dormitories, Bogdan assists in planning events that discuss academic success and wellness. But she takes the lead on programming that promotes diversity and international perspectives. “To develop a more global point of view during my time at Minnesota State University, Mankato, I decided to promote events that not only show the importance of understanding diversity, but also help people relate to people who are different than them,” she said. The biggest event she helped organize was International WOW. It served food from five continents, showed off games and music from different countries and allowed international student groups to set up a table to show off their home country. “I found this event fascinating because I realized that the students are willing to meet people from all over the world, and they were very interested in traveling to those countries,” she said.

‘We are all connected’

Just over 1 million international students enrolled at colleges and universities in the U.S. this academic year, according to the International Educational Exchange’s 2017 Open Doors Report. This shows a 7 percent decrease from fall 2016, when a record 1.08 million enrolled, the

report says. At Minnesota State, 1,238 international students from 97 countries enrolled at the university in spring 2017, the last year with available data. There were 954 undergraduates, 232 post-baccalaureates and 52 nondegree seekers. Nepalese students topped the rest with 164 students attending classes in Mankato, and Saudi students came in second with 129. International students automatically receive the Cultural Contribution Scholarship their first semester, but if they do not meet the requirements, they lose it for at least a semester, Haley said. Some decide not to continue it because their families or their governments are sponsoring their studies. Others can’t keep up with both the volunteer hours and the academics, so the university would prefer them to focus on raising their GPA, rather than community service. However, many find a way to balance the different aspects, and the community is better for it, according to Huhn Diel. “It’s good to have the diversity in our community and to realize that we don’t all come from the same place. But we all have different perspectives, and I think sometimes that gets missed, especially in a small Midwestern town,” she said. For Lopez, volunteering has allowed him to feel that he is a part of something bigger. As a result, Mankato is no longer just a strange place with piles of snow where he spent four years writing research papers and taking tests — it is a place that he calls home. “I have come to see that Mankato is a community in which we are all connected,” he said. “And the things you do for someone at some point can have MM a long-lasting effect.”

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Reflections By Pat Christman


pril is always filled with hope. Hints of spring are everywhere, from melting snow and ice to warm sunshine. Even little hints of green grass start to peek through the brown. Winter still seems to stubbornly hang on in Minnesota. Everything refreezes and the landscape resists, trying to keep us in the deep freeze. Sidewalks turn back to skating rinks overnight. Snow piles stubbornly hang on, transforming into leaf and twig filled piles of mush. It won’t be long before the water stays liquid and all the ugly snow is gone. Then spring can get a start on making everything green again. MM



Then & Now: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. By: BRYCE O. STENZEL

When the Dream came to ‘Kato Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s journey brought him to southern Minnesota for a pair of stops



pril 4, 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s brutal assassination in Memphis, Tennessee. While I was just a week past my first birthday on that tragic day (April 4, 1968), and don’t remember anything about it, there were many people who remembered exactly where they were and what they were doing when the news of the shooting, and Dr. King’s death, was broadcast. What isn’t as well known is that Dr. King spoke right here in Mankato on the morning of Sunday, Nov. 12, 1961, at Centenary United Methodist Church, where he presented two sermons. He spoke again that same evening at Mankato High School (now Mankato West), on the topic of “Facing the Challenge of a New Age.” The 48-minute, Mankato speech contained themes that, when compared to King’s most famous address, “I Have A Dream,” (delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963), sounded remarkably similar — illustrating King’s sincerity and commitment to the cause of civil rights, his thought processes at work, and the common thread of continuity running through both speeches. Here are a few excerpts from each:

Facing the Challenge of a New Age

“… We have the first Emancipation Proclamation issued by Abraham Lincoln and that was an executive order, it was not just a judicial decree, it was not a legislated act. It was an executive order. Now, almost 100 years later, the time has come for a second Emancipation Proclamation.

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I Have a Dream

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity. But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

Facing the Challenge of a New Age

Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last!, Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.” A rare recording of King’s speech given in Mankato was recently uncovered by KMSU radio, and donated to the MSU Archives. A transcript of the same speech, along with newspaper clippings from King’s visit were also donated and are now available, online. According to archives and special collections librarian, Daardi Sizemore, her department was in the midst of archiving oral histories when the donated tape was received. “We were pretty darned excited to get it,” Sizemore told Free Press reporter Edie Schmierbach in a Jan. 15, interview. As the beneficiaries of King’s legacy of non-violent protest, in the face of unspeakable bigotry and violence (not to mention the brutality of his murder a half century ago), all of us are excited to have his stirring words preserved for future generations.

“Yes, this will be the day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and gentiles, Protestants and Catholics will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”

I Have a Dream

“And when this happens, When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up the day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and

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affles are a funny thing, aren’t they? I mean, we have an entire appliance dedicated to making just waffles. And not a dainty appliance. It’s a hot, heavy, obnoxious appliance that, when not used properly, leaks sticky batter all over your countertop and steams up your kitchen. But we forgive the waffle iron, right? Because in the end, when that little piece of heaven hits your plate and you cover it with liberal and caloric amounts of butter and maple syrup or jam … well, there’s nothing quite like it. One of the latest culinary trends in the Midwest is the Nordic Waffle, and you can read all about it in this month’s Food Drink & Dine. For now, they’re only available in the Mankato area at The Coffee Hag. Go now. Get ‘em while they’re hot! (But go after you read the article, of course!) Also, check out Leigh Pomeroy’s FAQs on wine. If he doesn’t answer your wine questions, send him some more! And our beer guru, Bert, gives you the scoop on the growing options for gluten-free beer.

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Coffee Hag has joined the Nordic Waffle-lution Norway transplant’s successful recipe available at the Coffee Hag By Amanda Dyslin | Photos by Pat Christman


s a breakfast-loving Midwesterner, you might have your knife and fork Ç• Ĩ Ų Ĺ° Ĩ Ĺ• Ç• Ĺ´

in front of you. You might expect maple syrup, too, because the Ĺ´ Ç• Ç• Ç” enjoyed piece by piece, with each little cut square covered in sticky, sugary goo. Right? Not if Stine Aasland, the Ĺ€3 Ĺ´ ' Äż - Ĩ anything to say about it. And if Äź Ç• Ĺ´ ( Ĺ° Ĺ— Ç• Ĺ‘ Ĺ— " % Melby-Kelley want to challenge you to try it Aasland’s way: - Ç• 3 Ĺ´ \ Before we get into why you should listen to Aasland and consider dethroning the Belgian Ĺ´ Ĩ Äź Ç• Äź important: What do these Nordic wonders taste like? What sets them apart? They’re much thinner, more like a crepe. They’re also much more dense (forget the airy, Ų Ĺł + Ç• Ĺš\ 1 Äź Ç• Ų Ĩ Ç• batter made up of the all-natural ingredients of sugar, eggs, salt, cardamom, sour cream, ǔǕ Ĩ Ų (the proportions of which are % Äź Ç• Ç• Ĺš\ “In Norway, every household


Stine Aasland became known as the “Waffle Queenâ€? of Norway. has their own recipe, and they’re Ç• Ç• ĨĿ Ç• Aasland, who emigrated to St. Paul from Norway in 2015. “The secret ingredient is it’s made with love. You have to love what Äź

Ç• \Äż Good butter is also key, % Ç• \ % Ų combinations for toppings need to complement the buttery taste of the dense and Ĺ´ \ 1 ( Ĺ° gets the batter and makes the Ĺ´ - Ç• 3 Ĺ´ Ç• from Aasland’s company, and then they incorporate their own ingredients for toppings. 1 Äź Ç• Ų combinations as fruit and vanilla cream; s’mores; peanut butter and banana; eggs, peppers and cheese; pesto, mozzarella and mushrooms; and butter, cinnamon and sugar.

Besides some of the Ų Ç” Ç• Ç• Ĺ´ Ĩ Ç” Ç• Ç•Ĺ° Ĩ

\ $ Ĺ“ Nope. It’s an Aasland rule. Not how they get breakfast done in Norway, people. “We’re challenging people’s Ç• Ç• ĨĿ " Ç• \ Put down your cutlery, too, Ĺ´ Ç” folded over in a paper sleeve, kind of like a walking taco, and the toppings are sandwiched inside. If you pull back one of the corners to look inside at the Ĺą Ç• Ĩ ǔǕ Ç• very important characteristic of - Ç• 3 Ĺ´ \ Ĺ€1 ĨĿ Ç• Aasland, adding that there are many theories as to why that is. “In Europe they’ve been cooking Ĺ´ Ç• ,Ç• Ç• Äź Ç•Ç” \Äż One theory for the shape was Ĺ´ Ç•Ç” to become a food traditionally served at church, and in celebration of the day the Virgin Mary learned from the Angel Gabriel that she was pregnant, Ĺ´ Ç” as a symbol of a woman’s ovaries. ‌ Anyway, the story of how Aasland got from Norway to

This winter the Coffee Hag started serving Nordic Waffles, a thinner, denser, butterier, spongier style waffle that is served sans syrup. St. Paul is pretty interesting, too. Years ago she bought a Hydro Texaco station in Oslo, and in Norway, convenience stores make and sell fresh food every day. So in her spare time, Aasland worked on perfecting her waffle recipe, and it became popular at her franchise. She ended up making more money selling her own Nordic Waffles than she made off the store itself. So she started selling the Nordic Waffles program to customers. More than 700 stores were selling them all over Norway, and in 2010 she was named Norway’s Female Entrepreneur of the Year. A “We Love Waffles” cookbook followed, and she soon became known as the “Waffle Queen” of Norway. “I love my country,” Aasland said, “but they only have 5.3 million people.” Having always been fascinated by the United States, Aasland took a vacation Dr. AngelA Schuck Dr. keith FlAck

touring the country and studying our “waffle culture,” visiting San Francisco, New York, Nashville and various other places trying to find a new home to establish her business in the U.S. “I was searching for these heart-shaped Nordic waffles, and I couldn’t really find them,” she said. “I believe the world’s best waffles are the heart-shaped Nordic waffles.” While visiting Minnesota, she found Norwegian and Scandinavian communities that opened their arms to her. She found Minnesotans who embraced their Norwegian heritage even more than she does, she said with a laugh. She had found her people and a home in St. Paul. Aasland launched Nordic Waffles in the U.S. in April 2016. Already she’s in numerous locations around the state (the Coffee Hag is first in southern Minnesota), and in several

locations in Wisconsin and the Dakotas. She said there was definitely (and continues to be) a learning curve for customers as they discover the waffles for the first time. “It’s so different. You can’t really compare it at all,” she said. “Here at Nordic Waffles, we have a thing that we really like. We like to watch the people’s first bite.” Jenn said the waffles are going over very well so far. “Anna and I have been wanting to do something with waffles for some time because we love them,” said Jenn, who had been contacted by a Nordic Waffles employee about offering them at the Hag. “At first I thought, ‘Oh, this is different.’ And within a 15-minute period, I was sold.”

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• Free Whitening Program • Drill-Free Technology • Cosmetic Dentistry • Emergency Care • Botox & Fillers MANKATO MAGAZINE • APRIL 2018 • 33

Wine & Beer


By Leigh Pomeroy

Favorite wine FAQs I

southern mn style

t seems that with wine, there are always more questions than answers, especially when wine lovers are hesitant to ask lest they appear stupid or uneducated. First of all, a wine lover should never not ask a question. True oenophiles love to answer wine questions. And if the answerer seems put out or is condescending in his reply — it usually is a “him” — just walk away. There’s always someone else who will be happy to give you a straightforward response. That said, here are some questions that often come up:

What is the meaning of “Reserve,” “Vintner’s Reserve” or “Private Reserve”?

In terms of American wines, the simple answer is “nothing.” At one time, “Private Reserve” meant the best wine from a winery’s inventory. For example, Georges de Latour Private Reserve was the best Cabernet Sauvignon from the best vineyards and barrels of the Beaulieu Vineyards estate. And Louis Martini, when it was still owned by the Martini family — today it is owned by Gallo — used “Private Reserve” on its labels to denote a wine that had received extra aging beyond the regular bottling. Yet the term “Private Reserve” has never been defined legally, and thus lesser wineries began labeling ALL their wines as “Private Reserve” for marketing purposes. Some wineries, like KendallJackson, use similar terms, like “Vintner’s Reserve,” for their regular bottlings. It’s all just a ploy to try to sell more wine. For most European wines, however, the term “reserve” is legally defined. “Riserva” added to Italian red wines indicate they have received a specific time of added aging in the cellar. Barolo, Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino are three examples. In Spain, red wines labeled as “Reserva” must be aged three years with one year in oak, and “Gran Reservas” must be aged five years with two years in oak.

Are wine prices indicative of quality?

In a word, no. Wine prices reflect many variables. These include, roughly from most to least important: brand perception, area of origin, type of grape(s) used, availability and quality. Notice that I have listed “quality” as the least of these five elements. That’s because quality is a personal perception. However, in the professional wine world, there are commonly recognized measures of quality recognized internationally as well as for each wine region. One of the most expensive wines in the world is Chateau Petrus from the Pomerol region in Bordeaux, which excels in four of the five elements


listed above. Only in type of grape(s) used does it fall into what can be termed ordinary, as it is 100 percent merlot, a grape than can yield both outstanding wines and very poor, thin ones. Some (perhaps most?) Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons are vastly overpriced due to brand perception. French red Burgundy, made entirely from pinot noir, is generally overpriced because of the great demand for it and limited production due to geographic limitation. There are many New World Pinots from Oregon, California and New Zealand that compete favorably, although they have different flavor profiles. But they also are often pricy. Finding wines you like within your price range can be a fun adventure. Here’s where a recommendation from a knowledgeable employee in your favorite wine store helps. Nothing pleases them more than to have a customer ask, “What do you recommend that’s unique and reasonably priced?” One of the great values I’ve found in Mankato has been a wine called Plantation 1905 from the southern French estate of La Tour Boisée. Made from 23 mostly indigenous grape varieties from a tiny three-acre vineyard near Minervois, this wine qualifies as unique in four of my listed categories: area of origin, type of grape(s) used, availability and quality. And yet it sells for well under $15 per bottle when you can find it!

In Minnesota, we experience a range of temperatures from extremely cold to uncomfortably hot. Should I be concerned about how wines are shipped and stored?

Absolutely! The best way to buy your wines is directly from the source: the wineries themselves. And make sure they don’t come to you in very hot or very cold weather. The best shipping times are spring and fall. Of course, it’s difficult to buy wines directly from a country outside the U.S. This is where buying from a good wine shop makes a big difference. The store will know their wines’ importers and distributors, and how well those professionals are attuned to the proper shipping and storing of wine. At home, the last place to store wine is in the built-in wine rack above your refrigerator. Wines are living things, and they should be couched in a cool (50-65 degrees), dark area of constant temperature that is not too dry. Great wines stored poorly is not just a wasted investment; it’s a crime. Modest wines stored well will yield surprising treats!

À vôtre santé! Leigh Pomeroy is a Mankato-based writer and wine lover.


By Bert Mattson

Grist, clarity, and intolerant types R

attle the word “gluten” around your tongue. The first discourse occurred in culinary college — drilling into our brains its ideal development in bread baking. Very little was said about intolerance. Perhaps there was a word on celiac. It’s a sensitive topic among old chef friends, fiercely protective of carefully curated menus. No chefs argue about celiac disease. This is an autoimmune disorder. Ingestion of gluten — a protein present in wheat, barley, and rye — triggers a potentially serious reaction in the sufferer’s small intestine. Not a pretty thought for a beer enthusiast. The condition can be confirmed by blood test. What has commonly been called gluten intolerance, or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, are intestinal (or extraintestinal) manifestations that subside in the absence of gluten-bearing fare … which aren’t the result of wheat allergy either … and for which FODMAPs — short chain carbohydrates difficult for digestion — might be partially responsible. Chefs disagree. The bottom line is that beer options exist. The FDA demands that foodstuffs labelled “gluten-free” test below 20 PPM of gluten. This is the lowest concentration reliably detected. Evidently, if a beer passes the test but the brewery brews with the grains the product cannot be called “gluten-free,” the brewery must resort to calling it “glutenreduced.” Brewers Clarex is an enzyme marketed to shelf stabilize beer and eliminate chill haze. It also happens to reduce gluten in beer brewed with wheat and barley. There appears to be some overlap between the proteins in that haze and those that trouble the tummy. As gripping as that all is, I

wasn’t itching to try any beer deliberately adjusted for gluten. Someone sent me some. Truth be told, it was tasty enough to have another. That’s my litmus, plain and simple. So I sipped a few others. Lakefront Brewery’s (Milwaukee) New Grist is put out as a Pilsner, but it’s brewed without barley or wheat. Thus it can be called gluten-free. The first to be labeled so, they claim. Honestly, I wouldn’t pick this up as a stand-in for Pilsner. I’m a big fan of Bell’s Oarsman, the so-called sour mash wheat ale. It’s my go-to in summer and I’d swap this in without much hesitation. Rice syrup and sorghum yield a tart, mildly hopped and lively carbonated beverage, crisp but with an element of sweet apple. I’d hitch it to a big bowl of buttery steamed mussels and toasted bread (I do gluten) and never look back. Another distinctive one is Burning Brothers Brewing’s (St. Paul) Roasted. It’s a dedicated gluten-free facility. This Strong Ale blended with cold brew coffee is the darkest offering I found. It’s balanced but I’d avoid having it with anything remotely sweet. Finding it might require some effort. Full disclosure: the beer sent to me was Surly Hop Shifter. It employs Clarex. I have an annoying truism, that it’s harder to make scrambled eggs stand out than a novel preparation, because people have had eggs a hundred million times. I’m not an avid IPA drinker but Surly slipped this one into my comfort zone. Bert Mattson is a chef and writer based in St. Paul. He is the manager of the iconic Mickey’s Diner.

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By Carrie Allen | Special to the Free Press

southern mn style

Irish whiskey was once on the verge of collapse Now, it’s booming


egend says St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. What drove out the distillers? That’s a more complex tale. (And a truer one, since archaeological records indicate Ireland never had any snakes.) It once had more than 1,000 distillers, though, ranging from those running tiny farm stills making poitin (think Irish moonshine) to some of the largest distilleries in the world. Despite a long history of taxation by the British, Irish whiskey survived, and by the mid-1800s, Irish distilleries were making whiskey that the world wanted to drink. Yet between that time and the 1940s, a series of trials and tribulations all but crushed Irish 36 • APRIL 2018 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

whiskey, dropping the number of commercial distillers in the country to three. How the category not only survived but also staged a comeback is a story that should have whiskey lovers raising an appreciative dram. New distilleries are popping up around the country, there is talk of a boom and many young makers are preserving the best traditions while exploring new directions. “It’s quite incredible the different corners of the world that Irish whiskey was found in,” says Carol Quinn, archivist for Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, which produces some of the best-known brands, including Jameson, Powers and Redbreast.

The early 20th century brought major challenges: Prohibition in America not only closed off a major market, but it also damaged Irish whiskey’s reputation, Quinn says. Some bootleggers were falsely selling under an “Irish whiskey” label because they knew they could charge more. Americans who tried this hooch probably found it “foul, fiery and burning,” which made it more challenging for the real whiskey to come back after the 18th Amendment was repealed. Irish whiskey hung on, but a trade war between Ireland and the United Kingdom in the 1930s was disastrous, “because that’s when you lose all the markets

associated with the British Empire,” Quinn says. Other whiskey-making countries, especially Scotland, gained market share with their blended expressions, while in Ireland, distillery after distillery closed down. In 1966, the three remaining Irish companies, John Jameson, John Power and Cork, merged to form Irish Distillers and consolidated their production; in 1988, Irish Distillers became a subsidiary of Pernod Ricard. That 1966 merger and the later acquisition — which gave the company access to Pernod Ricard’s global marketing capacity — did a lot to get Irish whiskey back on a path to survival. So did John Teeling, who in the late 1980s, after years of planning and work, ended Irish Distillers’ longtime monopoly when he launched Cooley Distillery. His sons, Stephen and Jack, went on to launch Teeling Whiskey, initially using stocks of Cooley’s whiskey, after Cooley sold to booze giant Beam Suntory in 2012. Teeling is the first new distillery in Dublin in 125 years. Now, says Stephen Teeling, “we’re trying to revive some of the heritage and innovative ways in which Irish whiskey is made going back generations,” while also trying to make it relevant for newer whiskey consumers by innovating with different grains (the mash bill) and aging in different types of casks. Irish whiskey, Teeling says, “went from 60 percent of the world’s whiskey market to just 1 percent in the ‘80s. It was just devastating. . . . But since Pernod Ricard has come in and a few other new innovations, Irish whiskey has been the

fastest-growing grain spirit in the world, really blazing a trail . . . in the U.S., it’s been growing double digits for the last 10, 15 years.” In fact, according to DISCUS, since 2003, gross revenue for Irish whiskey is up more than 1,000 percent, with the biggest gains at the high end of the category. Clearly, plenty of Americans like Irish whiskey. Do you? That depends on your tastes, of course, but if your ideas about what Irish whiskey is have been shaped by sports-bar party shots from one particularly ubiquitous bottle, you’re in for some surprises. Pages of legalese and distillerese go into defining types of whiskey and how they’re made, but an extremely brief distillation: “Irish whiskey” must be distilled and matured in Ireland, and be aged in wood for a minimum of three years. The whiskeys fall into one of three types: pot-still, malt or grain (a fourth category, blended, can be made with these three varieties). Pot still is made from a combination of malted barley, unmalted barley and other unmalted cereals; malt is made from 100 percent malted barley (“single malts” are malt whiskeys from a single distillery); grain whiskey from malted barley and other unmalted grains. Beyond those legalities, as whiskey writer Lew Bryson points out in his book “Tasting Whiskey,” as soon as you say try to define Irish whiskey, you notice exceptions. Not all Irish whiskeys are triple-distilled, not all Irish whiskey is blended. “Knock your head against it long enough, and you’ll realize the glib answer is the correct one: Irish whiskey is whiskey that’s made in Ireland,” Bryson writes.

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That’s Life By Nell Musolf

Buy those concert tickets

right NOW


here are a few select things I’ve done in my life that have made me incredibly happy. Getting married. Staying married. Having my sons. And seeing Frank Sinatra in concert. My husband and I were never all that into going to concerts when we were younger, something I heartily regret now when everyone we’d like to see in concert has either retired or died. That regret is made all the stronger when I remember how many times we drove past a venue called the Holiday Star Theater located in Merrillville, Indiana, way back in the 1980’s. We lived in southern Indiana at the time and as we zoomed down the

Herman-Leonard-Photography-LLC 38 • APRIL 2018 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

highway we’d note that the Captain and Tennille were appearing at the Holiday Star Theater or maybe John Denver or possibly Liza Minnelli but we never stopped, never even thought about stopping, because we thought we had all the time in the world to do things like go to concerts. We’d go when we weren’t so busy. Someday. Besides, many of those acts seemed corny or has-beens, not cool like 80s rockers who had big hair and bigger attitudes. I still cringe as I remember seeing that Tom Jones was a coming attraction and thinking, “Who would want to see Tom Jones?” Yes, I actually thought that and being young and stupid was no excuse. Now I’d give my

eyeteeth to see Tom Jones along with the Beach Boys, the Monkees, even the Captain and Tennille but now it’s too late. The Beach Boys aren’t really the Beach Boys anymore, Davy Jones died and effectively killed the Monkees, at least for me, and the Captain and Tennille got a divorce. Yes, Tom Jones is still touring but there’s no way I’m ever going to catch him in Indiana or any other part of the Midwest again, especially not at the Holiday Star Theater which permanently closed its doors in 2017, thus ending an era that’s never going to come back. So I’m extraordinarily pleased with myself that there was one moment in my life when I wasn’t a colossal dope. That would be in the summer of 1990 when I heard Frank Sinatra would be giving a concert in Milwaukee and I called up Ticketron to order two tickets immediately. They weren’t front row seats but that didn’t matter. What mattered was that we were going. The concert was held on a balmy summer night at a venue perched on the edge of Lake Michigan. Frank was in his seventies at the time and when he opened with “Strangers in the Night” we all knew we were part of something special. “We need to do this more often,” I told my husband as we drove home after the concert, the final notes of “My Way” still lingering in our ears. “We do,” he agreed. But we didn’t. Life in the form of kids and work and everydayness made us put our concert-going plans on the back burner. By the time we had the time to start going to concerts again there weren’t that many performers left from our era to attend. Tony Orlando, Donny and Marie and Herman’s Hermits are still making the rounds but not too often. Neil Diamond just announced he’s no

longer touring and we’d have to take out a third mortgage to see Barbra Streisand in concert. Who’s left? The lesson has been learned: Buy tickets while you can. Unfortunately it’s a lesson we learned a little too late. This lesson can be applied to other areas of life as well, such as eating dessert first in case you die during the course of dinner. Or not attending parties you aren’t interested in attending because life truly is much shorter than you think it will be. So take my advice and, if you hear Donny and Marie are playing at Mystic, don’t hesitate because their show is on a work night. Just go. Take it from someone who knows and who could have seen Robert Goulet in person but didn’t. My husband and I had our chance in the 1980’s to rock in the audience at the Holiday Star Theater with some of the best musical acts around and we blew it. Regrets, I’ve had a few… But not about missing Frank in concert, thank goodness.

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Nell Musolf is a mom and freelance writer from Mankato. She blogs at:

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ƫƥƘƨƩƲ ƧƬƥƷ By Jean Lundquist

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Jean Lundquist is a Master Gardener who lives near Good Thunder.

Mankato: 507-345-4828 | Rochester: 507-289-4874


Your style By Ann Rosenquist Fee


Not worst. Definitely not worst.


onestly I didn’t travel 10,000 miles just to get my hair done and then engage in a whole bunch of compassionate and appreciative cross-cultural eye contact, but now that that’s how it went down, I can’t believe I didn’t get to it sooner. I was in Johannesburg anyway with my professor-husband who does the same things there as he does here, i.e., teach about and participate in the betterment of the built environment. Ten years and 20 or so visits into that enterprise, the enterprise of teaching and doing in two different cultures, he’s quick to say that South African ingenuity and entrepreneurship and innovation are the teachers, the models. Not the other way around. He’s not importing a damn thing of value, showing up in a township ready to explain how or why to stop building out of scrap material and start using vinyl siding. Which is to say, that’s not what he does. He connects with people around some universal tenets of project management, and from there, it’s like a cascade or volcano or tidal wave of watching and learning how they do what they do, with a whole different set of resources and obstacles and beliefs about what’s important/what’s not. Then he comes back to Mankato and boom next thing you know we give about half of our possessions to Goodwill. Actually it was our kid who led that charge after the three of us lived there together in 2010. And it wasn’t due to feeling bad about how much we had versus how much some Africans didn’t have, it was about the fact that we’d lived in basically an expanded dorm room in international faculty housing with about four suitcases full of stuff, and we were just fine, so when we got back it seemed imperative to get rid of what we didn’t need while we still had the feeling of needing relatively little. That’s the thing about going somewhere new, or returning to somewhere familiar after time away.


Johannesburg Botanical Gardens, Jan. 1, 2018, post-Artistic Dreads Designer Hair plus worsted extensions. Photo by Scott Fee. Fresh eyes. It’s a tiny window of time, sometimes, before your eyes go back to normal-non-noticing, so you have to act fast. This is how, when I got to Johannesburg last December wearing a head full of wool dreadlocks I’d made myself and braided into my otherwise unremarkable thin limp dirt-gray hair, I was able to notice and I mean getknocked-out-by the ubiquitousness of hair extensions, and braids, and dreadlocks, and endless combinations of those things, on just about every single African (vs Afrikaans or British, the majority of the white folks in South Africa) woman. I can’t say I felt like “these are my hair people,” because my braided-in deal felt like a little baby starter kit compared to what these women had going on. But I wasn’t a total outsider, either, because first thing off the

plane, like I hadn’t even stepped off the actual plane yet, the airport staff standing at the exit, all with braids or dreads or both, were like “that’s worsted” “you think?” “ definitely worsted.” Which I initially mis-heard as “worst.” And thought, oh my God, I’ve just offended people who have excellent hair, I am a faker and an ass. But then I remembered how to listen through the accent, and also that “worsted” means wool, and oh my God in a whole different way, I am in a land of connoisseurs. They weren’t impressed or unimpressed, they were just remarking as fellow connoisseurs do, about materials and technique. It became, then, my first and really only order of business to find and get myself booked at a salon where my vision of hair which blurs into dreadlocks which blur into extensions

— which could then be twisted into soaring coils shot through with chopsticks, or left to hang to the waist while prancing around the house pretending to be Jadis the White Witch from Chronicles of Narnia, as one does — was business-as-usual. Artistic Dreads Designer Hair right smack in downtown businessdistrict Johannesburg makes a point of advertising that “any and all types and textures of hair can be permanently converted to dreadlocks,” which I took to mean they’d worked with limper stuff before. On Jan. 31, over a single eight-hour appointment, Sir Silence and Majestic crocheted my natural hair into seventy-eight tiny tight locks, onto which I promptly re-installed my fat fluffy extensions, which, honestly, I don’t know how people deal with new dreadlocks without those, because minus the extensions right now my head looks like a tight pink ball with gray pipe cleaners sticking straight out. But nobody had to witness that except Sir Silence, and Majestic, and me, and my husband, who watched the whole process and then waited for me to weave the wool back in and then drove us to AfroPunk, a onenight music festival that drew just who you’d imagine it to draw, the coolest hottest most trend-busting style connoisseurs in that hemisphere and probably also in this one. The music was good. The hair was amazing. The eye contact and the nods and the warmth I experienced from fellow hair-as-sculpture-wearers was bliss. It lasted after AfroPunk, like for the whole rest of my time there. Mostly unspoken, just a flicker of a second of connectedness that struck an easy, lovely tone for a whole lot of interactions with a whole lot of otherwise-strangers. I don’t know if this is transferable in any way, in terms of donning something generally associated with one culture and assuming it’ll function as a good thing, versus an offensive or weird thing, out in the wide wide world. I am just saying that my hair looks so good right now. So good. I am saying that flights leave daily, it’s about twenty-two hours total travel time, and if you want I’ll message Majestic and Sir Silence and see if they can get you in tomorrow.

287 St. Andrews Drive • Mankato 507-720-0250 1170 E. Frontage Rd • Owatonna 507-455-1000 405 E. Main St • Blooming Prairie 507-583-2141 3110 Wellner Drive NE • Rochester 507-536-7700 Less Than Excited 132 N. Broadway • New Richland About A Trip To The Dentist? 507-463-0502


Ann Rosenquist Fee is executive director of the Arts Center of Saint Peter and a vocalist with The Frye. She blogs at MANKATO MAGAZINE • APRIL 2018 • 43

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5-7, 12-15 Minnesota State University

Theatre presents: “Bye Bye Birdie,” 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. 14-15 — Ted Paul Theater — MSU — Mankato — $22 regular, $19 discounted (over 65, under 16 and groups of 15 or more) and $15 for current Minnesota State Mankato students —


Good Thunder Reading series: Nicole Walker 10 a.m. workshop — Emy Frentz Gallery — 523 S. Second St. — Mankato — 3 p.m. craft talk — First Congregational UCC — 150 Stadium Court — Mankato — 7:30 p.m. reading — room 253 Centennial Student Union — MSU — Mankato — free and open to public —


Lyra Baroque Orchestra performs “Music for a King,” 3 p.m. — Trinity Chapel — Bethany Lutheran College — Mankato — $10 per person —

8 Mankato Symphony Orchestra:

Igniting the Right of Spring, 3 p.m. — Grand Hall — Verizon Center — 1 Civic Center Plaza — Mankato — $35 or $30 adults; $5 students; free 11 and under —



Minnesota Valley Chorale Concert 7 p.m. — Trinity Chapel — Bethany Lutheran College — Mankato — $12 at door or $10 advance —

15 Music on the Hill: Mill City String Quartet, 2 p.m. — Good Counsel Chapel — 170 Good Counsel Drive — Mankato — $17 or $12 —


95.7 The Rock Presents: Bobaflex with Strange Daze, 6:30 p.m. — Red Rocks — 12 Civic Center Plaza — Mankato — $14 —21+ event —

18-21 Minnesota State University Theatre

presents: “Melancholy Play,” 7:30 p.m. — Andreas Theatre — MSU — Mankato — $10 —

19 Eric Paslay with special guest

Ben Gallaher, 7:30 p.m. — Taylor Center — Minnesota State University — Mankato — $30 VIP or $15 public —


Another Lost Year with No Resolve and Locust Grove, 8 p.m. — The What’s Up? Lounge — 118 E. Rock St. — Mankato — $5 — 21+ event —

20-22 Gustavus Adolphus College

presents: “The Marriage of Figaro,” 8 p.m. and 2 p.m. on 22 — Gustavus Adolphus College — $9 for public, $6 seniors and Gustavus students —

20-21, 27-28

Bethany Lutheran College presents: “The Importance of Being Earnest,” 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. on 22 — Lee Theater — YFAC — Bethany Lutheran College — Mankato — $10 for all ages —



A B9 aH AfZ, ;,q 1. Music teachers from Mankato West and Mankato East appreciated all the support from the community for their inaugural collaboration. Shown here are (from left) Eberhard Engel, Claire Baker, Brady Krusemark, David Urness, Robin Hughes and Craig Kopetzki. 2. Supporters of the Mankato West and Mankato East music departments enjoy hors d’oeuvres provided by Pub 500 before the band starts. 3. The band Neon-Live performed for the fundraiser. 4. (Left to right) Nancy Drummer and Marvis Waterbury 2 look through silent auction items and make bids. 5. (Left to right) Robin Hughes, Bianca Ziegler and Edie Leasman work the wine table. All profits go to the music departments. 6. Anna Wilcock (left) helps Heather and Dion Quiram sign up for the event’s door prizes.







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Jenny Zak MANKATO MAGAZINE • APRIL 2018 • 47

Faces & Places: Photos By SPX Sports 1


1. Owen Schunkwiler holds still while Karina Rose paints his face. 2. Eylah Peterson plays with magnet blocks at the YMCA booth. 3. Troop 423 represents the American Heritage Girls as one of the vendors to earn a patch. 4. Cate DeBates with Greater Mankato Area United Way provides free books for children and their families. 5. (Left to right) Melissa Hinton makes Quinn Lamon giggle with a bunny puppet at the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota activities station. 2 3 6. Kenzie Emich stops at Mayo Clinic’s activities station to get some jumps in. 7. Delana Othoudt takes part in the Dunkin’ Donuts Dunkin’ Dash. 8. Many people gathered for the 11th annual Baby and Kid Expo.








Jennifer Marr Nurse practitioner

Allie Metzler Physician assistant

Ken Weimer, M.D.

New providers Jennifer Marr, nurse practitioner, Allie Metzler, physician assistant, and Ken Weimer, M.D., care for children from birth through their late teens. Whether it’s a routine exam or a diagnosis of an illness, they provide exactly the care each child needs.

Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato Call 507-594-4700 to schedule an appointment. MANKATO MAGAZINE • APRIL 2018 • 49

Faces & Places: Photos By SPX Sports



1. Volunteers and men enjoy a game of poker. 2. (Left to right) Anne Norgaard and Chris Bertrand represent Patrick’s On Third. 3. Volunteers take a deserved break. 4.Kevin Velasquez shoots a puck in the hockey area. 5. Dan Cole, “The Common Man,” entertains the crowd with his stand-up performance. 6. Long lines form for the many vendors at this years United Way Men’s Event.







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From this Valley By Pete Steiner


n San Francisco, the waitress was refilling my coffee. She casually inquired, “So where are you from?” “Minnesota!” “Cold there,” was her curt reply as she moved on to the next table. “Cold There.” A good name for a new band, or a first novel. Yet what the waitress said reveals much about how the greater world perceives us out here in Flyoverland.

the ‘80s. Yet even in the stupendous Super Bowl blizzard of 1975 (see Bryce Stenzel’s article in the January issue of this magazine,) we were fully back up and running in just three days. Heck, Floridians have to evacuate their homes every four or five years for a hurricane, and it’s weeks before they can even come back. Still you know and I know, there’s lots of ex-Minnesotans living in Florida and very few who have moved the other way. And the reason is??



I actually love a crisp, clear January day with brilliant sun gleaming off fresh snow at 10 below. That’s the extreme beauty of Winter. It’s just that the season, and especially the cold, tend to last too long for my liking. Winter in the Northland is an acquired taste; skiers, snow-shoers, snowmobilers and ice-fishers are sad to see it go. The first of April, of course, does not mean the end of cold or snow. We all have memories of a 12-inch snowfall right at tax time, or a day of wind and rain and 35 degrees (which, IMHO, is more miserable than 10 below.) The thing is, by April, you know it’s not going to last. The great greening and pleasant temperatures are on the way. Bold North I began scribbling these thoughts around the time of the Super Bowl. I had been watching and reading about all the wonderful volunteers who assisted visitors in getting around during the big week (no stories of anyone getting lost in the Minneapolis skyways!), and about the accommodations we made to enjoy the super-hyped events DESPITE the cold. Lots of people told the national media, we just deal with it. The problem was, this year, after a few “wimp winters,” we got the real thing — actual temps persistently in the single digits, windchills of minus-20. Visitors remarked about how helpful and cheerful we can be — we call it “Minnesota Nice.” But one Super Bowl attendee was quoted by AP as saying he felt “like I was being punished. Minnesota is where they send you when you’re bad.” Ouch! Another said, “The game used to be played in fun, warm places like New Orleans and Miami.” You know what they say, it takes ten positives to overcome one negative.

More so than “nice” or “friendly,” the word I’d use to describe a Minnesotan is “hardy.” Able not only to deal with our “cold-there” problem, but also to endure 120 degrees of temperature swing between January and July. And you have to be able to deal with all those negative perceptions. When a Minnesotan travels and people ask where you’re from, if they know anything about Minnesota at all, first, it’s probably about winter cold, and then it might be that our sports teams endure years of miserable failure or disqualification. (Even when we do get to the “big game,” we usually lose.) Or maybe they regard you like the hicks portrayed in “Fargo,” but you say, hey, Fargo’s in North Dakota! They smile condescendingly. Still, your state mascot is a rodent, so like the gopher, you are persistent and say, hey, Bob Dylan and Prince and Jessica Lange and Tippi Hedren and Kevin Sorbo and Robert Bly and Judy Garland are all from Minnesota, and they say, “Well, maybe, but didn’t most of them leave?”

■■■ It probably wouldn’t fly to tell non-Minnesotans, we mostly have wimp winters now, in the age of Global Warming. That it used to be much worse, in the ‘70s and 52 • APRIL 2018 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

■■■ I love my state, I’m proud of it. But I am forced to conclude that unless your product is refrigerators or air conditioning, it’s really hard to sell COLD. Personally, I think it’s easier to escape or endure the cold than to escape or endure HOT. But I think I’m in the minority. Anyway, it’s the first of April, and I’ll stop going on about this. If only they’d played the Super Bowl in May or September or October, all would be raving that Minnesota’s the nicest place on Earth! Come to think of it, I’m actually optimistic about what they’ll say about us one year from right now when we welcome College Basketball’s Final Four. So watch us get an April Fool’s blizzard!

Peter Steiner is host of “Talk of the Town” weekdays at 1:05 p.m. on KTOE.

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