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LEADING BY EXAMPLE

Seniors are setting the tone for community engagement

JAVENS’ WINERY perseveres

Fatherly musings by

TERRY DAVIS

Up close and personal with COLEY RIES

LIVING 55 PLUS

Buying, Partnering and Feeding

Local

Kathy Hauser, a volunteer with PACT Ministries AUGUST 2017

The Free Press MEDIA

$2.95


Speaking of Health:

Get Active

Mayo Clinic Health System is proud to support health and wellness in our community.

This month, take time to think about what being active means to you, and consider ways to step up your game. Whether you’re building up strength, gearing up for the fall sports season or training for a run, being active in a way that works for you is good for your physical and mental health. Physical activity helps improve your cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, strengthens bones and muscles, prevents heart disease and gives you more energy. Being active is also an important way for you and your family to connect with others, have fun and try new things. Remember to increase your activity level gradually and check with your provider if you have any health concerns.

Expert Insight Being active is an essential part of a healthy life. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days. Be mindful of aches and pains when exercising or playing sports. Take a break if needed, and talk to your provider if an ailment persists. — Robert Freed, D.O. Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Mayo Clinic Health System

Give your family a health boost:

Getting active is for everyone Mayo Clinic Health System is happy to support opportunities for those of all abilities to get active. Some ideas:

Check out the range of Mankato Marathon events. From My Bold Walk, to the KidsK, all the way to the full marathon, the October event has something for everyone. Try mall walking at River Hills Mall. Mall walking is ideal for those who prefer a climate-controlled environment and need a predictable walking surface.

Pick up a summer health and wellness challenge booklet at the Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota for ideas on how to keep active all summer long.

Reminder — It’s not too late to get a sports physical. Call 507-594-4700 to schedule an appointment.

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F EATUR ES AUGUST 2017 Volume 12, Issue 8

24

Javens Family Vineyard and Winery

It would have been easy for Heather Javens to give up after her husband died. But that’s not where this story goes.

16

Leading by example

We focus this month on seniors who refuse to stop making the community a better place.

20

As Gravity Does ...

North Mankato author Terry Davis chronicles his curious relationship with his father.

ABOUT THE COVER Kathy Hauser is our cover model this month. A volunteer with PACT Ministries, she was photographed at The Neighborhood Thrift Store by Jackson Forderer. MANKATO MAGAZINE • AUGUST 2017 • 3


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

Marjie Laizure

10 Beyond the Margin Remembering the

9

‘Apple Crisp Incident’

12 Familiar Faces Coley Ries 14 Day Trip Destinations

Two Harbors

28 Then & Now The Battle of Guadalcanal 30 That’s Life Better early than never 34 Living 55 Plus

10

49 Food, Drink & Dine 50 Food

Eatz ‘N Treatz

52 Wine

Wine on the road

53 Beer Big beer, small talk 54 Happy Hour

12

28

A fine Negroni spinoff

56 Garden Chat Creativity counts in a tiny garden 58 Your Style “To dream of eyebrows represents

dignity and self respect.” Dare to dream.

60 Coming Attractions 61 Faces & Places 64 From This Valley Catching up

50 4 • AUGUST 2017 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

60

Coming in September

We take you on a tour through some of Mankato’s poshest and most humble abodes.


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MANKATO MAGAZINE • AUGSUT 2017 • 5


From The Associate EDITOR By Robb Murray AUGUST 2017 • VOLUME 12, ISSUE 8 PUBLISHER

Steve Jameson

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

Christina Sankey

ADVERTISING Phil Seibel MANAGER ADVERTISING Jordan Greer SALES Josh Zimmerman Marianne Carlson Theresa Haefner Thomas Frank ADVERTISING Barb Wass ASSISTANT ADVERTISING Sue Hammar DESIGNERS Christina Sankey CIRCULATION Justin Niles DIRECTOR

A guy to look up to W

hen I was a kid, sports into his 70s because he loved the was about the only thing game, loved the kids. I did. So if I was going to I was lucky to play for Wes one encounter an older role model, it year. I left his team, but never forgot how much he gave of was going to be on a ball field or hockey rink. himself to make sure the kids — And as I thought many of whom were castoffs or cut from about the role model’s in this month’s issue of high school programs Mankato Magazine, I — had a hockey family immediately thought to go to. about a hockey coach This month in Mankato Magazine, of mine. we’re bringing you His name was Wes the story of several Barrette. If you’ve spent a ny t i m e i nvo lve d community volunteers in youth hockey on who haven’t let age get St. Paul’s East Side, in the way of making you couldn’t go long Mankato a better place. without hearing his Also in this issue, name, usually spoken w e b r i n g yo u t h e bittersweet story of in reverent tones. And if you played for him, you’d boast the Javens Winery. If you haven’t about that fact every chance you been to this place yet — southeast of town near St. Clair — I suggest got, especially in a crowd full of you give it a try. And after reading St. Paulites. He was selfless. Like any true our piece on the place, you’ll no volunteer he was never paid doubt want to shake Heather a dime for what he did for us. Javens’ hand … or give her a hug. He had a handshake like a Vice Terry Davis returns to the pages Grip, and loved to rub is stubble of Mankato Magazine this month, against your cheek when you least this time with an essay about his ® expected it. father. You’ll see that Terry — the author of “Vision Quest” hasn’t Wes had rules. If you were going LUXURY VINYL— TILE | PLANK lost a step. to play for him, there would be no referring to your mom or dad as Finally, I Featuring want to direct your a wide array of styles, designs, attention to our Familiar Faces “my old man” or “my old lady.” and possibilities, Adura® combines feature. This the month There was no drinking or smoking look of realwe woodtracked or tile with the during hockey season. And when down the inimitable Coley Ries, of exceptional durability and performance a premium luxury vinyl floor. the weather got cold enough to who exhilarating performance at flood the hockey rinks, you took the Division II national softball your place on the watering hose tournament helped bring home a and helped Wes turn a field into a national title for Minnesota State hockey rink. University. He coached for more than 40 years until one day, while coaching a bunch of teens at a St. Robb Murray is associate editor of Paul rink, he slipped and fell on Mankato Magazine. Contact himImprint at the ice trying to jump over a puck. Retailer 344-6386 or rmurray@ He hit his head, entered a coma mankatofreepress.com. Follow him mannington.com and would never wake. Coached| 1.800.356.6787 on Twitter @freepressRobb. ©Floor Designs Copyrighted by Mannington Mills, Inc. ®©™Mannington

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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 rmurray@mankatofreepress.com. For advertising, call 344-6364, or e-mail advertising@mankatofreepress.com.

6 • AUGUST 2017 • MANKATO MAGAZINE


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MANKATO MAGAZINE • AUGSUT 2017 • 7


This Day in history

Printing That Brings Your Images To Life

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makes your mouth water!

By Jean Lundquist

Tuesday, Aug. 19, 1945 City tense waiting for surrender Wants to see it “in print” this time Mankato residents were glued to their radios this morning, waiting tensely for confirmation of the report that the Japanese had accepted the surrender terms of the Allied nations. People in many large cities had started premature celebrations in the wee hours, while the White House remained silent. There were varied reactions to the morning’s radio reports in Mankato from preparations for a celebration to “I’ve got to see it in the paper before I believe it.” Generally, people had smiles on their faces, and work at businesses in the city was slow. Many people took their radios to work, in case the announcement came over the broadcasting systems. Meanwhile, expecting a public announcement of V-J soon, the City Council adopted a resolution aimed at checking the disorder which might result from great excitement and confusion. The Council ordered all liquor stores closed and lock up, and that no liquor sales be made for 24 hours after the announcement. This includes the sale of nonintoxicating 3.2 beer Wednesday, Aug. 10, 1977 Disa n’ Data Some Elm trees in the Lincoln Park neighborhood that are obviously diseased are in too-close proximity to the Lincoln Park Elm. The nearly three-centuries old estimated Lincoln Elm, which is number two on Minnesota’s heritage tree list, gets an annual shot of anti-Dutch elm disease serum, but there is no guarantee of immortality. Both the city and the nearby residents have an obligation to sanitize their properties to give Sir Elm every advantage. (The tree did succumb to Dutch elm disease, and was cut down in 1980. It was estimated to have taken root in 1665.) Friday, Aug. 19, 1921 Remarked by Mayor No one in administration drinking moonshine, hence, maybe more Mayor W.A. Beach, who is just back from a vacation spent at one of the nearby lakes, said today that he was very much amused when he heard the recent story in The Free Press to the effect that there was a recall on foot, and that the city was full of moonshine. The city’s chief executive smiled when he said that The Free Press might have been right in regards to the amount of moonshine in the city now, as compared with the past. “Possibly there may be more moonshine in the city than formerly,” said Mayor Beach, “for none of the current administration or police force drink any of it.” The mayor didn’t say it, but he might have hinted that some of the those involved in the city’s business in the past might have consumed a wee drab of it.

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Saturday, Aug. 19, 1989 Escaped exotic bird proves elusive to would-be captors A rhea, a flightless ostrich-like bird, has been roaming around rural Janesville for the past week, leading its would-be captors on a wild goose chase. Even with the incentive of a $50 reward for its capture — alive — those who have tracked the rhea have had no success. “I don’t know how you’d catch him,” said Walt Quade, a rural Janesville farmer who spotted the bird on his land Monday and Tuesday. “They run 40 to 50 miles per hour, you know. They can’t fly, but they can run. It looks like one of those things you’d see on television on that Wild Kingdom show.” The bird escaped last weekend from Tom Borneke’s hobby farm in Alton Township. Borneke, a road construction worker, said the only way to catch it is to corner it. “If you chase it, you won’t catch it.” (Betty Goodrich, a volunteer at the Blue Earth County Historical Society, says the bird was captured at Farm America a few days later.)


The Gallery: Marjie Laizure Story by Leticia Gonzales

Fresh air as inspiration Painter put her own creativity on the back burner while she taught. But now Marjie Laizure’s focus is right at home

S

ince her 2016 retirement from a 23-year career teaching art in various schools in Mankato and Eagle Lake, Mankato resident Marjie Laizure has spent the last few years as a Studio and Plein Air Painter. “I didn’t have art classes in school growing up until I was a senior, so most of my formal art education came from college,” said Laizure. “I have a BS in Art Education and an MS in experiential education. The second degree was a way to get credit for self-learning. I consider myself to be mostly self-taught.” She was first introduced to oil painting as a student at Minnesota State University. “I took a lot of painting classes in which I painted with oils, so it became my mother tongue for art making,” she shared. “I love it for its luminosity and sculptural qualities. Laizure said she was happy to put her art “on the back burner” while she guided her students through their own art experience. “During the last several years before I retired, I found myself returning to paint,” she said. “I think the motivation came from my interest in the daily painting movement and a need to say something with paint about my travels. Painting daily sort of revolutionized the way I was looking at art making.” Over the years, Laizure said her art has moved from abstract expressionism to realism, which spurred her to seek out workshops from other professional artists in the field “The first workshop I attended was with Kevin MacPherson in Taos, N.M.,” said Laizure. “At the time, I barely knew who he was, but that experience launched my interest in plein air

painting.” Plein air, Laizure described, “is a French term that simply means painting outside.” Last spring, she continued her exploration of the medium by attending the Plein Air Convention and Expo in San Diego, thanks to a grant she received from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, where she had to opportunity to paint outside with nearly 1,000 artists. “I’ve had the good fortune of traveling to many places in the world,” Laizure said. “Travel kind of reboots my point of view, so I come back excited by the things I’ve seen and with fresh eyes for my home turf too.” Her travels have also proven to be fruitful for many of her recent projects. “In addition to receiving a PLRAC grant this year, I received an ‘Award of Excellence’ from the Carnegie Art Center Juried Exhibition,” said Laizure. “It was for a painting I did from a photo of some tango dancers I saw in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I saw this couple practicing in the plaza in front of our hotel, so I called it ‘Afternoon Tango.’” As a member of the Outdoor Painters of Minnesota, Laizure said she sets aside time each week to paint with the group. Her work is on display at the Blue Earth County Historical Society until Sept. 27 in a group show called “A Brush with Plein Air.” “I like urban scenes and often seek opportunities to include figures,” said Laizure. “Alla prima and plein air painting are befitting my creative intention to express impressions of everyday beauty and my immediate response to conditions I encounter or set up in the studio.” MANKATO MAGAZINE • AUGUST 2017 • 9


The Reporter student newspaper carried stories on Miss America and Gloria Steinem in the same issue in 1981. 10 • AUGUST 2017 • MANKATO MAGAZINE


ƦƩƼƳƲƨƷƬƩƱƥƘƫƭƲ By Joe Spear

Young population makes Mankato more “interesting” ÕÕ¼—Ø«ÜՁãき¹Ê¡ȺɂɁȺ“—Áã«ÊÁ¼¨—“¼«Ã—Ü

lue Earth County and the city of Mankato have one of 㨗¨«¢¨—ÜãÕÊÕ輁ã«ÊÃÜÊ¡ȺɁʢȻȽú—Øʢʼ“Ü«Ã㨗Üãã—ʈ xÊ荁Ãܗ—«ãÕ¼úÊèã—ó—Øúè¢èÜãô¨—ÃÜã蓗ÃãÜ move in — 200 underage drinking tickets are issued and decibel levels rise. èãô—ܨÊ輓ÃʰãÊÃÜ«“—Ø㨫܁עã«ó—ʈ B—Ø¼ú¨¼¡Ê¡㨗«ãúÊ¡AÃ¹ãÊʰÜÕÊÕ輁ã«ÊÃÊ¡ׁØ Ƚɀʃȹȹȹ«Ü“—èÕÊ¡úÊè⁓è¼ãÜʃÊؓ«Ã¢ãʁؗ—Ãã ؗÕÊØã Œú 㨗 Üãã— Ê¡ A«Ã×ÜÊãʈ ¼è— Ø㨠ÊèÃãúʰÜ úÊè⁓è¼ãÕÊÕ輁ã«ÊëÜȻȼ՗؍—ÃãʃÂÊؗ㨁ÓÊ茼—㨗 Üãã—ô«“—ó—؁¢—ʈa¨—¼—ó—ÜèÜô«ã¨¼ÊãÊ¡«Ãã—Ø—Üã«Ã¢ ¼Êʹ«Ã¢úÊèâ՗ÊÕ¼—ôÃ“—ثâØÊèÓʃ¨Ã¢«Ã¢ÊèãʈÃÊã looking like they’re from here. a¨—úÊè⁓è¼ã܁ؗŒÊèÓãʨó—Ã«ÂՁãÊÃ㨗¡——¼ Ê¡㨗è،ÃÃ“Øè؁¼Ø—Üʈ,၍ãʃÜã蓗Ããʢ“—ó—¼Ê՗“ Õ¨—ÃÊ—Á¼¼—“㨗ʭ ¼è—Ø㨠¼¹Êèãʮ¨Ü¢Ø×ؗ“ Üãã—ô«“—Ã“Üʍ«¼—“«ãã—Ãã«ÊÃʃÃÊããÊ—Ãã«ÊÃ㨗 ãã—Ãã«ÊÃÊ¡㨗Õʼ«—ʃAÃ¹ãÊ«ãúÊèÍ«¼Ã“ ¼è—Ø㨠ÊèÃãú ʁؓʈ a¨——ó—Ãã«Ãóʼó—Ü“ثù«Ã¢ʃÂèÜ«Ã“ÂÊܨÕ«ãÜʈa¨— ¼¹Êèã¢ØÊèՁÕÕ¼«—“¡Ê؁՗Ø«ããʨʼ“㨗ÂèÜ«¡—Üã ô«ã¨¼Ê¨Ê¼ãØè؁¼¼Êã«ÊÃׁØAÃ¹ãÊʈa¨—ú¨«Ø—“ ܍¨ÊʼŒèܗÜãÊã؁ÃÜÕÊØãՁØ㫍«ÕÃã܁Ó¨“ܗèØ«ãúÊà ¨Ã“ʈa¨—úÜʼ“ȺʃȾȹȹ㫍¹—ãÜʈ a¨— Ê¡¡««¼Ü ÕÕØÊó—“ 㨗 ՗Ø«ãʃ ã¨Ê袨 ¡ØÊôד “«ÜÕÕØÊó«Ã¢¼úã㨗ʭ ¼¹Êèãʮؗ¡—ؗÍ—ʃÃ“㨗—ó—Ãã ʍèØؗ“ô«ã¨ÃÊÂÊؗ“؁㨁Á¡—ôă¢¨ã«Ã¢ØؗÜãÜʈ èãúÊèâ՗ÊÕ¼—¨ó—ÃʰぼôúÜŒ——Ãô«¼¼«Ã¢ãÊŒ—¨ó— ô«ã¨Êèã“؁«ÃAÃ¹ãÊʈ r—Êüúח“ãʢʌ¹ãÊ㨗¡¼¼Ê¡ȺɂɁȺãÊăӁ¶ÊØ cultural controversy making national headlines right here in Mankato. ,㨁Õ՗ד«Ã㨗ÊÃã—ùãÊ¡ÜãØ袢¼—ŒÊèã㨗ó«—ôÜ Ê¡ôÊ—Ã «Ã Üʍ«—ãúʈ "Â—“ ¡—«ëÜ㠁Ó —“«ãÊØ Ê¡ AÜʈ A¢ÿ«Ã—#¼ÊØ«Z㗫×ÂôÜ¢Ê«Ã¢ãʁÕ՗Ø«ÃAÃ¹ãÊ “èثâ㨗܁—ã«Â—՗ثʓÜ¼«ÿŒ—ã¨rØ“ʃ㨗ؗ«¢Ã«Ã¢ Miss America. Z㗫×ÂÜÕʹ—ãʁ¢ØÊèՍ¼¼—“SØʶ—ãȺȼʃ“—܍ثŒ—“Ü ʭA«Ã×ÜÊãÃÜÊÕÕÊܗ“ãʁÃú¼—¢«Ü¼ã«ÊÃŒú㨗¢Êó—Ø×Ãã ؗ¢Ø“«Ã¢ŒÊØã«ÊÃʃŒ«Ø㨍ÊÃãØʼÃ“ܗù—“荁ã«ÊÃʃʮÃ“ ÊÕÕÊܫ⁍ÊÃÜã«ãèã«ÊÁ¼Â—ӗÃã㨁ãôÊ輓Üãã—¼«¡— Œ—¢«Ã܁ãÊ͗Õã«ÊÃʈ Z㗫׍ث㫍«ÿ—“㨗¢ØÊèÕʭAÊ؁¼A¶ÊØ«ãúʮÊ¡7—ØØú "¼ô—¼¼¡Â—ʃ܁ú«Ã¢ʭr—ʰó—Ê—ãÊèӗØÜãÃ“㨁ã㨗 ¢Ø—ã—Üãô—ÕÊÃÊ¡èã¨ÊØ«ãØ«ÃÊØ¢Ã«ÿã«ÊÃÜ«Üãʁ¹— èÜ¡——¼ô—ʰؗÃÊã«Ã㨗¶ÊØ«ãúʈʮ A«ÜÜ—ث¼Üʨ“¨—Ø“ú«Ã㨗ÕؗÜÜʃÃ“«ãôÜ ÜÊ—ô¨ã¼—ÜÜÕʼ«ã«¼Œèぼ«ã㼗ÂÊؗ“Ã¢—ØÊèÜʈ r¨—ÃA«ÜÜ—ث“—ÃÕ՗ØÃ—ãr—Üã)«¢¨ Z¨Êʼʃ ܨ—ôÜ ãき¹—“ ʄô«ã¨ ÕÕ¼— Ø«ÜÕ ÊØ ÕØ«Ê㠍ʌŒ¼—ØÊØaã—ØaÊãÜʈa¨—ÜãÊØú¢—ã܍ÊÂÕ¼—ù¡ØÊÂ㨗ؗʈ Zã蓗ÃãV—ÕÊØã—؍ʼèÂëÜãã㨗ã«Â—Zã—ó—#؁󗼼—ܗãÜ the scene:

r—“×ܓúʃ—Ø¼ú¡ã—ØÃÊÊÃʂĝ—×ôȺɂɁȺA«ÜÜ—ثʃ while on a visit to a local high school at lunch hour … is the object of a sudden attack, as a student guerrilla launches what —Ø¼úؗÕÊØãÜ«“—Ãã«ă—“ÜʭÕÕ¼—Ø«ÜÕʮã—ثʰÜ"óÊØ«ã— "¼è̗“ʃ܍Êث⁓«Ø—ã¨«ãÊè—Ø¡ÂÊèÜ㨫¢¨Üʈ A«Üܫܫ—“«ã—¼úÜèØØÊèӗ“ŒúÕ¨¼ÃùÊ¡ܗèØ«ãú agents as she makes a hasty withdrawal. ĝã¡ã—ØÃÊÊÃʃĝ—"ؗ—SؗÜÜʃ㨗Ձ՗Ø㨁ãÊó—ØÜAÃ¹ãÊ like a chicken wire blanket, reports that the weapon in question was indeed apple crisp. Thursday morning: The Minneapolis Tribune hits the street with a page one, below-the-fold story, with photo, of the attempted assassination by fruit dessert, but with one key “«ĕ—ؗÍ—¡ØÊ—Ø¼«—ØؗÕÊØãÜʠ㨗Ąú«Ã¢¡Øè«ã«Ü«“—Ãã«ă—“Œú 㨗aØ«ŒʰÜÜÊè؍—܁ÜʭÕØ«ÊãÊŒŒ¼—Øʈʮ ĝ«Ü«Â—“«ã—¼ú¢«ó—܍ؗ“—Í—ãÊô¨ãŒ—Ê—ܹÃÊôÃÜ 㨗Z—ÊÓ—ÜܗØãĝ—ÊØúʃô¨«¨ôÊ輓«Ã“«ã—ÊÃÜի؁ú ÊÃ㨗¼«¡—ʠÊ؁㼗Üã㨗“Øú¼—Ã«Ã¢ʠÊ¡A«ÜÜʈ ĝ—aØ«Œʰ܁áèØ㨗ØؗÕÊØãÜ㨁ãA«ÜÜʰÜʭˌȽȹȹÜ藓— ܼ¹ÜʮØ—ãÊぼ¼ÊÜÜʈ ĝèØܓú¡ã—ØÃÊÊÃʂĝ—"ؗ—SؗÜÜؗÕÊØãÜ㨁ã㨗—“«Œ¼— weapon was neither apricot cobbler nor apple crisp, but what is ÊÂÂÊüú¹ÃÊôÁÜʭaã—ØaÊãÜʈʮ ĝ—«ÂÕ¼«ã«ÊÃÊ¡㨫ÜؗÕÊØãØ——ÃÊØÂÊèÜʈ,ã«Üô«“—¼ú held that the tator tot is of East European origin, having been developed by Soviet researchers to combat postwar food shortages. What conclusions are to be drawn from this twisted tale of fruit cups and violence in the afternoon? We are left with two solid possibilities: Leftists or Libyans. ,Ã㨗—Óʃ㨗V—ÕÊØã—Ø؁ÁիãèؗÊ¡A«ÜÜ—ث ô¨—à ܨ— ØØ«ó—“ ÊÃ㨗 ¡ØÊÃã Ձ¢— Ã“ ¨ØÊ덼—“¨—Ø “—ÜܗØã«Ã«“—Ãã«ÃÊ¼èÂÁ¡—ô“úܼã—ØʈZ㗫×¢ÊãÃ Ø㫍¼—Ã“ã¨Ø——Õ¨ÊãÊÜʃÜ荍—ÜÜ«ó—Âè¢Ü¨ÊãÜʃÊÃ㨗«ÃÜ«“— Ձ¢—Üʃ«Ã㨗Õ¨ÊãÊÜãú¼—“—ó—¼Ê՗“ŒúS¼úŒÊúA¢ÿ«Ã—ʈ (Irony). ,¨ó—¹ÃÊôÃZã—ó—#؁󗼼—ʃô¨ÊÂ—ãÊAÃ¹ãÊ¡ØÊ A«Ã—ʛ㨗ؗÜÊÃ܁ؗÜ㫼¼ÜÊ—ô¨ãèͼ—Øʜʃ¡ØÊÂã¨Êܗ —Ø¼ú“ú܁ã㨗V—ÕÊØã—؁ÓÜ㫼¼ʍÜ«ÊÁ¼¼ú“«ããÊ ÜÜʍ«ã«Ã¢ô«ã¨¨«ÂʈӁÜãʨ«Üؗ¡—ؗÍ—ãÊa¨—"ؗ— SؗÜ܍Êó—ثâAÃ¹ãʼ«¹—ʭ¨«¹—Ãô«Ø—Œ¼Ã¹—ãʃʮ,ô«¼¼ ãØúãʼ«ó—èÕãÊ㨁ãʈ )«¢¨܍¨ÊʼÜã蓗ÃãÜô¨Êã¨ØÊô“—ÜܗØã܁き—¼—ŒØ«ãúʃ Ã“Ê¼¼—¢—Üã蓗ÃãÜô¨ÊôØ«ã—܍ã¨«Ã¢¼úŒÊèã«ãʃؗ«Ó èÜÊ¡㨗ó¼è—Ê¡¨ó«Ã¢úÊèâ՗ÊÕ¼—¨¼¼—â—èÜ¢——ÿ—ØÜ each and every day. Mankato’s lucky to have the jolt of MSU. And as the èëó—ØÜ«ãúŒ—¢«ÃÜãʍ—¼—ŒØã—«ãÜȺȾȹã¨ú—Øʃ,܁úʂ ثâ«ã ÊÃʃÊüúÂÊؗÜÊʈ Joe Spear is editor of Mankato Magazine. Contact him at jspear@mankatofreepress.com or 344-6382. Follow on Twitter @jfspear. MANKATO MAGAZINE • AUGUST 2017 • 11


Familiar Faces: Coley Ries By Amanda Dyslin

Charging toward the

future, grateful for the

past

Coley Ries had her eyes on the prize.

C

oley Ries had grown up in Eagle Lake playing softball for as long as she could remember and attending college close to home at Minnesota State University. She had never been away from home when she boarded a plane bound for Texas a few weeks ago, further mystifying the completely surreal journey that began at the end of May when she and the rest of the MSU softball team won the NCAA Division II national championship (a first for MSU softball). She could hardly believe the plane she was on was taking her to her new team – The Texas Charge of the National Pro Fastpitch League – making her the first MSU softball player to sign a professional contract. To Ries, none of this was a given. Every step, every victory along the way at every single level was earned with very hard work and then met with incredible gratitude and utter humility. Onlookers who have followed

12 • AUGUST 2017 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

her career are perhaps less surprised. Her resume points are numerous – MSU’s all-time leader in wins (119), strikeouts (1,481), appearances (178) and innings pitched (999 1/3); three-time Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference pitcher of the year; led NCAA Division II with 41 wins, 476 strikeouts and 17 shutouts during her senior season; named player of the year by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association; and the list goes on. Here’s what Ries had to say about the journey to the Charge and beyond. MANKATO MAGAZINE: When did you first start playing softball, and what drew you to the sport? COLEY RIES: I started playing just around the backyard probably when I was 3 or 4, and then travel ball when I was 8. What drew me to the sport were all my family members. Both my mom and dad were into sports, and my dad played slow pitch. I also had an older cousin who played softball

growing up, and she’s quite a bit older than me, so I grew up watching her. With my dad playing slow pitch, we would always go and hang around the other kids, and that’s what really got me around the game early. And there were always softballs laying around that I would pick up and play around with. MM: What’s your favorite pitch to throw and why? CR: I would say my favorite pitch through high school and college was probably my rise ball. I also would say a change-up, and I think it’s just because it can throw people off. Those are the two pitches I’m known for. MM: When did you know you were good? When did you know softball was more than just a school hobby? CR: Well, I think I knew I really loved playing it through all my youth years, but I think it wasn’t until college that I realized how


Age: 23 Name:

Coley Ries

City of residence: Eagle Lake Family: Parents, John and Sue Ries; Brother, Taylor Ries

Degree major from Minnesota State University: Mass Media, with a minor in Communications Studies Job title: Pitcher with the Texas Charge of the National Pro Fastpitch League far I could go with it. I remember my dad and I sat in the stands at an MSU softball game my senior year in high school, and we thought, “Can I pitch at this level?” I knew what I could do in high school, but I didn’t know what I could do at that level. During my freshman year, the upperclassmen were really supportive and motivating, and they were the ones who made me realize the quickest. That motivated me, too, because I wanted to help get them places they hadn’t gotten yet. I’d say I definitely did not expect (how far I could go in the sport), and it definitely came as a shock. I mean, playing in the professional league, I literally only dreamed of it. MM: You’ve obviously done so well in your softball career, and it all led to that national championship this year. What was that moment like? CR: It was a really surreal feeling, honestly. All of us just kept saying we really don’t know how to feel. It just kind of felt like we won another game in a lot of ways. Also, it was weird because the last game of your career usually ends in tears. You’re sad and going through a tough moment with your team, and we never had that because right away there was so much happiness. So we never had that closure either. I mean, it was so amazing, but it was weird. It was surreal, and none of us knew how to feel. It still doesn’t feel real that it happened.

MM: Then the whirlwind continued when you immediately went pro. How did that opportunity come about? CR: I really had wanted to try to get a tryout. My main goal was just to be able to be seen by the coaches and hear what wasn’t there yet, so I really had no big expectations. But open tryouts were mostly during the national tournament, so when our season ended, I didn’t know if it was too late. A lot of the teams were full. I was kind of needing somebody to go out of their way in order to get another tryout. I contacted the Charge, and I got a tryout where they would be in Chicago, and I threw for them Wednesday, and I came back on Thursday to throw to some batters, and after I finished, they offered to sign me. I signed the deal, and then flew home, and I had Friday to pack and then I flew to Texas Saturday. I went to college in Mankato. I’ve never been away from home, and all of a sudden I’m flying to Texas. It really didn’t hit me until I was here.

MM: What are you doing with the Charge this summer? CR: We have games pretty close to every day. We are in the middle of a 17-day road trip (at the end of June). I’ve gotten into four of the games. The season had already started when I joined. Two weeks had already gone by. So I’m still kind of getting used to the flow. I’ve sort of started to figure it out. The season goes until mid-August. MM: What are your feelings about your future in the professional league? CR: I feel like I can’t get greedy at this point. It’s more than I could have imagined to get one year with the team. It’s been so great getting to know the people and playing against people I’ve watched on TV. I’m trying to take it one day at a time. If it works out to keep playing, then great. If not, it’s still a cherry on top of my career to have extended it by a year. MM: When you set your mind on the future, what would be your biggest dream come true? CR: I think it would probably be playing in the league for a few more years, then a college coaching position somewhere close to home and being able to continue to be a part of softball.

MANKATO MAGAZINE • AUGSUT 2017 • 13


Day Trip Destinations: Two Harbors By James Figy

Two Harbors reveals a different side to Lake Superior F

rom food and fun to hiking and history, one city on Minnesota’s North Shore offers a little bit of everything for visitors who dare to leave the beaten path. Visitors to the North Shore may feel tempted to stick to the main drag as they drive north from Duluth. But when they reach Two Harbors, Mel Sando, executive director of the Lake County Historical Society, advises they stray from highway 61.

14 • AUGUST 2017 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

“Every year I meet people in the museums that tell me, ‘We’ve been coming up here for years, and we’ve never turned off the highway toward the waterfront,’” Sando said. “Then when they get down here, they’re usually pretty well shocked at what they find.” Downtown, Castle Danger Brewery sells pints, flights and growlers in its tasting room and encourages customers to order in food from area restaurants. Let the Vanilla Bean Restaurant, Do

North Pizza, North Shore Pizza Cafe, Cedar Coffee Company or Betty’s Pies quash your appetite. However, the North Shore’s main draw is Lake Superior and the abundant nature surrounding it. Gooseberry Falls is 12 miles north of downtown Two Harbors, with Split Rock Lighthouse farther still — but the city has its own natural landscapes worth exploring. Rachel Batt, office and communications coordinator for


the Two Harbors Area Chamber of Commerce, recommends visitors head to the waterfront and walk the Sonju trail, which runs from Paul Van Hoven Park near the historic ore docks to Burlington Bay. Along the way are Agate Bay and two lighthouses, one on the break wall where visitors can watch ore ships come and go. On land, Two Harbors Lighthouse, Minnesota’s oldest continuously operating lighthouse, has a museum that offers tours of the functioning lighthouse. “The living quarters of it are now a bed and breakfast, but part of the tour of the grounds allows you to go up into the lighthouse tower,” Batt said. Two Harbors has two more museums. At the Depot Museum visitors can see locomotives and learn about the area’s history. The 3M Museum provides information about the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing’s founding in Two Harbors where the articles of incorporation were signed in 1902, early in the town’s history. The area’s first viable settlement sprung up in 1884 after the Minnesota Mining Company built docks on Agate Bay for shipping iron ore, according to Sando. At that time, 600 young, mostly Scandinavian workers lived in the isolated town.

“It was really the wild frontier,” Sando said. “Before it became Two Harbors, it was nicknamed ‘Whiskey Row,’ because it was such a rough-and-tumble town.” Whiskey Row’s four icehouses, chilled with ice pulled off the lake in winter, offered brews from Busch, Pabst, Fitgers and Great Northern that were either brewed in town or shipped from Duluth. So Castle Danger definitely wasn’t Two Harbors’ first brewery, Sando said. In 1888, the town was named Two Harbors, and despite its initial rowdiness, it developed rapidly as workers saved enough money for their families to emigrate from Norway or Sweden, Sando said. By 1907 when it was incorporated as a city, Two Harbors had schools, a hospital and an economy that, besides shipping ore, included railroading, logging and commercial fishing. Two Harbors has grown much since then. However, it retains the small town feel, Batt said, and while it offers many attractions that Duluth has, it allows visitors to enjoy them at a slower pace. “Between the trails and the historic sites, it should be a place that people are visiting more as a destination than just passing through on their way up the shore,” she said. “We definitely have a lot to offer.”

Greater Mankato’s Community Credit Union Since 1934

Thank You for voting us #1, 4 of the last 5 years!

Two Mankato Locations 1640 Adams Street 100 Memorial View Court

507-387-3055

Visit twoharborschamber.com/visitors-

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Photos courtesy of the Two Harbors Area Chamber of Commerce

Equal Housing Lender Federally Insured by NCUA NMLS# 504851

information/ & lakecountyhistoricalsociety.org for more information

MANKATO MAGAZINE • AUGSUT 2017 • 15


young,

Kathy Hauser (left), a volunteer with PACT Ministries, bags up items for a customer at the Neighborhood Thrift Store. Hauser says she enjoys the people and what items come into the store.

Staying

MAKING A

difference Mankato-area seniors are serving as community-minded role models to all Story by Brian Arola | Photos by Jackson Forderer

T

hey’re everywhere within the nonprofit realm, yet you can bet there can never be enough of them. To dispel any fears of an extended riddle, the above is referring to retired volunteers. You know, those indispensable contributors at organizations doing good work in communities across the region. 16 • AUGUST 2017 • MANKATO MAGAZINE


They sit on boards of directors, staff thrift stores, deliver meals, offer smiles when clients walk into food shelves and fill any number of other roles. Seriously, go to a nonprofit, you’ll find one keeping busy. Harder to find is one who’ll take credit for their own hard work. If they are willing to talk about what they do, it’s within the frame of encouraging others to get involved. Volunteering, it turns out, gives you an acute sense of an organization’s needs. So they know as much as anyone the need for more help. Kathy Hauser, 74, retired from her bank job eight years ago. You can now find her volunteering at the Neighborhood Thrift Store run by PACT Ministries each week. There, she’s come to know many of the customers by their faces if not their names. “I wanted something to do besides being home,” she said of her decision to start volunteering. “I enjoy it; I like the people that come in.” Like the older couple from Stewart who frequents the store every couple weeks. “They’re the kind of people who you always get a hug from,” Hauser said. “You look forward to them coming.” With Hauser, you get a clear sense of what motivates her to get involved. By helping at an organization like the thrift store, she sees firsthand how much people benefit from the affordable goods. She then got to know the customers personally, built friendships and wanted to keep coming back because of them. Apart from the thrift store, she helps at the monthly Food for All distribution site with a team of fellow volunteers. Hauser also serves on the advisory board for Common Good RSVP, a Catholic Charities program connecting people age 55 or older to volunteer opportunities.

‘Give back, get involved’

Phil Slingsby, 61, is another who sought out volunteering opportunities once he retired. Slingsby, who worked at Scheels until about six years ago, keeps just as busy at the Greater

Kathy Hauser (right) talks with Joann Frank at the Neighborhood Thrift Store in North Mankato. Hoosier has been volunteering at the store for eight years.

Volunteer Phil Slingsby (right) talks with Rande Baker, the resource development director, at the United Way offices. Slingsby said he volunteers in the fall, winter and spring but has too many things going on in the summer, to which Baker replied, “We put it on the calendar the day he gets back.” Mankato Area United Way. Volunteering was always something he wanted to do, he said, and retirement opened up more time for it. “It was a goal of mine to give back to the community and just be more involved, because I do have the time,” he said. He now sits on the nonprofit’s finance committee and

volunteers at Kiwanis Holiday Lights — setting up and staffing the park at night. “I benefit more than I give,” he insists. “And I think you’ll hear that over and over again.” He’s right. Volunteers are quick to note the same when asked. They may be the ones helping, but they feel they’re receiving just as much or more in return. MANKATO MAGAZINE • AUGSUT 2017 • 17


Phil Slingsby is a volunteer for United Way as well as Kiwanis. “This is something that’s a lot of fun,” Slingsby said, “You get more out of it than you put in.” As Richard Melarvie, a volunteer for VINE Faith in Action, puts it: “Being helpful to somebody, it takes you away from yourself.” At 80, Melarvie gives rides to VINE Adult Community Center members who’d have a heck of a time getting there themselves. “The people you drive around are without vehicles, without other means,” he said. “It’s fun to get to know them.” VINE’s transportation fleet includes hired drivers, but most of the 75 rides per day are given by volunteers like Melarvie. Another 10 or so volunteers deliver meals around the community. Adam Massmann, VINE’s volunteer coordinator, and Mary O’Sullivan, education coordinator, said volunteers like Melarvie are critical components 18 • AUGUST 2017 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

“Just go out there and give it a try,” he said. “Don’t just try it once — try it several times — and you’ll find something that’s so enjoyable.”

at the nonprofit. “We couldn’t possibly do what we do without volunteers,” O’Sullivan said. VINE, like other nonprofits, doesn’t have a hard time coming up with examples of dedicated volunteers like Melarvie. They also get an influx of interested helpers at trainings each month, although Massmann said more are always welcome. “We always have a need,” he said. “ … But we are thankful for the volunteers we do have.” It’s a common sentiment from the people who oversee volunteering in the nonprofit realm. The help they get is phenomenal, but more could make quite a big difference. Let’s get down to how aspiring volunteers can get started.


Ready to give back?

Here you are, no longer working full time. Give yourself a pat on the back. You worked your tail off for decades to reach a hard-earned retirement. And you should enjoy it. Maybe at first you bask in the freedom, happily casting off the shackles of your longtime nine-to-five to travel or pick up a new hobby. Then you realize you have a whole lot of time on your hands. The kind of time no hobby could ever hope to completely fill. Massmann hears about scenarios like this all the time at VINE. “We have a lot of people just retire, and then retirement is fine for awhile but they get bored not having schedules,” he said. How to fill that time? If you’ve read this far, you know where this is going. The next question becomes what you can volunteer for. According to longtime volunteers, anything. Care about helping vulnerable youth? Call up The Reach Drop-in Center. Into bicycling? Key City Bike will find you most useful. Slingsby wanted to give back to an organization helping children, so he connected with the United Way. “Just go out there and give it a try,” he said. “Don’t just try it once — try it several times — and you’ll find something that’s so enjoyable.” If not, switch it up, Hauser said. Volunteering works within your schedule, not the other way around, allowing you to choose when and how much you want to help. It’s not like you’re locked into volunteering once you start. You spare whatever free time you can. And you can take a break at anytime, although Slingsby, Hauser and Melarvie all said they didn’t see themselves doing so anytime soon. “It’s better to give than receive,” Melarvie said. “You get a satisfaction in helping someone.” MM

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MANKATO MAGAZINE • AUGSUT 2017 • 19


AY S ES

As Gravity Does By Terry Davis

I

wish my dad had liked me. His name was Roy Davis, no middle name or initial; he said his folks couldn’t afford one. If we’d been friends, I’d have been a different boy; if we’d been friends, I’d be a different man. Dad was six-feet tall and combed his black hair straight back. He said he pressed the wave into it. I always wished I’d inherited his height; five-ten is the tallest I ever grew. Dad never worked out, but he always stayed thin. He was a handsome man. I know what you’re thinking: Oh, boo hoo hoo, Davis. Don’t you baby boomers ever stop whining?

This is weak, all right. But not only is it the truth, it still hurts. Wait: as I look back on it now, I see it’s not the truth. He only seemed not to like me. The truth is that my dad had never seen kids treated lovingly, certainly had never been treated lovingly himself, so he never learned how to do it. He acted like he just flat-out did not enjoy having me around. This was the gravity force of my boyhood, and as gravity does, it pulled me into a smaller, denser thing. If my mother and her folks hadn’t liked me so much, that gravity would have pulled me inside out. Then again, if my mother and her folks hadn’t liked me so much I wouldn’t have grown to think I was a special person in the world and gone on to suffer the painful revelations this delusion creates. I don’t know if the way my father treated me did me more harm; what I do know is that both ways of being treated knocked me a few degrees off center; my bipolar disorder contributed there. Also, I was an only child; I wish I’d had some

20 • AUGUST 2017 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

brothers and sisters. Maybe people who grew up with lots of brothers and sisters wish they hadn’t. I don’t know. Maybe I had it as good as it gets. My mother and I were great friends; I treasure my memories of her. Lucille Bernice Thompson Davis. Ol’ Lucy B — what a gal. I’d give a lot to sit down with her out in the cool dark of an evening and drink a coffee one more time. All my adult life I’ve felt guilty that my dad and I weren’t friends. True, as a child I probably couldn’t have turned that around. But as I got older — as a teenager, maybe — I could have been more loving myself. His constant criticism was tough on me, and I didn’t have the maturity, or the generosity of heart, to get past it. I needed his affection and approval. How different growing up would have been if I’d had it. I remember one thing I did that was particularly unkind. Dad was selling used cars at this time; he was home from work this day because he had shingles. “I’m all shook up,” he said to me from Mom’s bed. I walked out of the bedroom singing I’m All Shook Up in a voice I tried to make sound like Elvis. I don’t know if this hurt Dad, but it was really lousy of me. He worked enormously hard, and selling used cars is a tough job. I was always at the front door when he came home from work, and I’d ask him if he sold any cars. If he had, I would congratulate him profusely; I knew how tough his job was. I also had a sense of how much my mother’s doctor bills cost. Davis, you’re thinking, how can a father not enjoy his son? Fathers love their sons. That’s biology. That’s how life works. Maybe so. My dad said he loved me; and he gave me all kinds of stuff, including money when I needed it, which was often as I grew older. He was in the car business all his working life; first, he sold car


parts, then used cars, then new cars; then he managed a dealership. When I was in graduate school at the University of Iowa in 1972 and my ‘66 VW went to hell, he bought me a used Ford station wagon in Spokane, drove it to Iowa City, and caught a plane back. When I was in Rio de Janeiro in ’73 he sent me a little transistor radio with an earplug so I could listen to music and news in Portuguese and maybe trap more of the language in my dense head. When my entire life went down the toilet in ’80 and I needed to be back in Spokane, he gave me one of his rental houses so I’d have a place to live. It breaks my heart to think back on these gestures of affection he made to me. I still remember the fragrance of cleaning products in the rental house from the work my mom and her friend Helen Jensen did to clean the kitchen after the lowlifes moved out. My son Pascal and I had surpassing good times in that old place when he was little. It was a profoundly modest place, but we had great times there that we still remember. Pascal’s thirtyeight now, and he and his wife and two little girls, Nina and Clea, live in San Francisco. I miss that old house and the tumbling down garage where I worked on motorcycles. My dad had these things working against his ability to treat me like he enjoyed me: as I said, he didn’t learn that parents could treat their kids lovingly and enjoy them; he never saw it or felt it. He grew up in financial and emotional poverty. He and his father and mother and younger brother and sister lived in a two-room cabin on a homestead along Deadman Creek in the mountains a few miles west of the Columbia River. This was before Grand Coulee Dam was built in 1941 and the river rose and became Lake Roosevelt. He rode a horse down a logging road to high school in a wide spot in the

highway called the town of Boyds; the school and a service station were the town. Dad did well in high school. Mom would say with pride that he graduated when he was 16. He was a tremendously hard worker; I bet he studied hard. My father’s father was a logger; he was also quite a drinker. Before Dad entered high school, his mother left the family to cook in a logging camp where she could make her own money. She took Roy east to the small town of Colville to live with her mother, whom he called Ma. Ernie and Ermma, his younger brother and sister, stayed with their father. Dad’s mother, my Gramma Ethel, visited Ernie and Ermma often, but Dad not so much. Ma treated him preciously, and he loved her as much. I remember trips we took from Spokane to visit her. She lived in a tiny one-bedroom house on the western outskirts of Colville near the rodeo grounds. A little creek flowed through her front yard; I always brought my fishing pole and often caught some nice rainbow and Eastern Brook trout in this sweet little creek not more than three-feet wide there in the yard. I don’t know how old Ma was when Dad went to live with her. When I was a boy visiting her, she looked ancient. Her health was good in those days, but I remember thinking she looked like she had crumbled into herself. She always fixed me chicken noodle soup. After we visited Ma we always drove up to visit Dad’s dad, my Grampa Harry, at the homestead on Deadman Creek. Dad would always tell her, “We’re headed up Deadman.” My interest in guns probably began there in that one-room cabin, because there were so many guns, leaning in corners, lying on the kitchen table, lying across the arms of a rocking chair; I never saw a handgun in Harry’s cabin; these were all rifles. Deadman Creek was a good fishing creek, but I MANKATO MAGAZINE • AUGUST 2017 • 21


was afraid to fish it because of the rattlesnakes on the mountain. I loved to fish, so Dad knew something was up with me if I was there in the cabin and not out in the woods along the creek. Harry would tell me, “Now you watch out for snakes.” Dad would walk me to the door and say, “I’ll go with you, Son.” He seldom called me by my name. I made that mistake with Pascal when he was little. We were having dinner with friends one evening, and as we walked to the table, I said, “Come on, Son. One of my friend’s boys asked him, “Why does he call him that?” This was a good lesson to me. Thereafter, I always called Pascal by his name or his nickname, which was Boog, short for Little Booger. Here’s something I’ll never forget about my dad: every Sunday night when he was on the road selling car parts, he’d take me with him to Chase Engineering, the company he worked for, where he planned out the coming week. Chase worked on cars as well as selling parts, and their shop, which had a wooden floor, and where Dad had use of the shop foreman’s office, always exuded that wonderful fragrance of oil soaked into wood. I’ll always love that smell. When he finished his work we headed for home; on the way we always stopped at a little IGA (I never knew what the letters stood for) grocery store on Monroe Street at the bottom of the hill that climbed to the Northside of Spokane, where we lived in the Shadle Park neighborhood. We parked on the street in front of the IGA; I remember we walked first to the coffee aisle and 22 • AUGUST 2017 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

stopped at the coffee grinder. Dad grabbed a bag of coffee beans off the shelf, poured them into the machine and hit the switch. I liked watching the beans filter down into the grinder; the fragrance was wonderful. Dad would pick up what other groceries we needed, and off we’d go up the hill. Some Sundays we’d make it home before Walt Disney Presents was over, and I’d watch it with my mom if she was out of bed and in the front room. ••••

The thing about my dad and me is this: I’d give a zillion times every nickel he ever gave me if I could live my life over as his friend. I think it’s fair to say that my son Pascal and I are friends. What’s it mean for a father to be a friend to his son? It means he can’t keep the smile off his face when his boy walks into the room — like I can’t keep the smile off my face when Pascal or Joshie or Sasha, or my daughter Anissa breaks over the horizon; they’re just too wonderful to have around. A father who’s a friend to his son tells him about his life. I wish my dad had let me know him. He did let me know him by how he lived his life, of course. I saw him work hard and finish what he started; I’ve been a hard worker all my life. I must have asked him in my head a hundred

times if you were still afraid of the dark when you got to be a man. When I was a boy I had not the tiniest inkling of the pain that would tear at the seams of my life, of course. My bipolar disorder didn’t settle in on me until years later, and the stupidity that directed many of my adult choices was slow growing. It is said that character is fate. It was years yet before my character would solidify and move me to make the mistakes that prompt this thin autobiography. I loved sports for the joy of playing, but I played so hard in organized sports to earn the respect and affection of my coaches. Not much made me feel better when I was a boy than to swing my bike up to the baseball diamond and see in Coach Via’s face that he was glad Davis had shown up. Years later when I became a teacher and a coach myself, I tried to put that look on my face for every kid. For some kids the look was a lie, but I held it there as long as I could. “If Rock and Roll Were a Machine,” my second novel, is about the kid I was; “Vision Quest,” my first novel, is about the kid I wished I was, and maybe could have been. The teacher in “If Rock and Roll Were a Machine” is based on me in my high school teaching days. Yes, if rock and roll were a machine, it would be a motorcycle. When the screen rights to Vision Quest sold to Warner Bros for $100,000, which isn’t much for screen rights, Dad barked at me to do something smart with the money, which of course I did not. He didn’t have it in him to share my joy, but I could tell that


he was proud of me in his way. Being a writer — or an artist — to Dad was being a misdirected soul. What a man did was work eight to five — or eight to eight when he was on until closing. But somehow I had hit a winning number with that little book; it’s been in print for 35 years; I wish I had a nickel for every time the movie has shown on TV. I put some money down on 22 acres of land in the beautiful hill country northeast of Spokane, and I’m sure I bought a motorcycle or two. I was going to build a house on the cliff with a stunning view of the farmland to the west. I ran out of money and lost the land when I couldn’t pay the balance; I sold the timber, so I got a few dollars back. One day Dad rode up with me to see the land. We stood on the western edge of the cliff and looked out at all the beauty. I told Dad that right there on the cliff was where I wanted to build the house. “What a view I’ll have,” I said. Dad looked out over the pines that filled the acres below the cliff. “I don’t have that kind of vision,” Dad said. I think what

he meant was that he couldn’t imagine that one of us would ever have such a beautiful place. Dad was so tough that something in me didn’t think about him dying; I did know, however, that the day would come when he wouldn’t be there waiting for me at an arrival gate of the Spokane airport when I came back home yet again. I see him across the big room that passengers enter when they walk through the hallway off the planes; he’s standing and looking for me among all of us walking out of that hallway. I see him now, and I feel the warmth I felt to see him then; I was home. This was before the threat of terrorism, and people could meet arriving passengers inside at the gate. If death could be outworked, Roy Davis would have outworked it. No matter how the emphysema laid into him, when we talked on the phone, his voice still carried that commanding resonance. I wasn’t worried when Mom called and told me that Dad was in the hospital again and that I’d

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better get on a plane. It didn’t occur to me that he might be on his deathbed. I spent two nights with Mom, who had emphysema, too. She was the one who looked like she was dying, but Dad was the one hospitalized. He didn’t look great, but he didn’t look as sick as his wife of 40 years. As I listened to him talk, I heard his strength. He might as well have been at his desk at Barton Oldsmobile writing up another deal on an Olds Cutlass. He sold used cars, then new cars until he worked his way up to managing the dealership. The TV in Dad’s hospital room cut from football to a Mr. Goodwrench commercial. I looked up at the actor in his General Motors blue and white striped shirt. “That’s what I should have been,” I said. “I should have been a mechanic.” “You should have been a writer,” Dad barked. “You should have been just what you are.” I looked at him there, propped up in the hospital bed with metal rails. He was wearing his blue and white striped robe from home. We had the same white tuft of hair sticking out the necks of our T-shirts. Something in me recognized the possibility that my father was affirming me. But he’d spoken in the same tone he’d used with me for 40 years, so I wasn’t able to take that possibility to heart. I didn’t say anything then. I told him good-bye, that I loved him, that I’d see him soon. But there was a phone message waiting for me at the Northwest counter. Mom had called to say that Dad died. My father may have been trying to make his peace with me. In fact, I’m sure he was. Believe me, I wanted to hear it. But it was too late; I’d gone deaf to the possibility. I miss him so much that it’s a physical pain; it feels like something as big as a microwave is expanding in my chest and will break me apart. I miss Mom the same way. MM

Terry Davis is an author from North Mankato

MANKATO MAGAZINE • AUGSUT 2017 • 23


Heather Javens of Javens Family Winery in one of the winery’s many rows of grapes. First planted in 2010, the facility’s tasting room opened last year.

‘Nothing’s

ever easy’ One winemaking family’s labor, love and loss Story by James Figy | Photos by Jackson Forderer 24 • AUGUST 2017 • MANKATO MAGAZINE


TR: Grapes growing on a vine at the vineyard of Javens Family Winery. Owner Heather Javens said the winery grows Minnesota varieties of grapes including La Crescent, Frontenac, Frontenac Gris and Marquette. BR: Barrels of wine in storage at Javens Family Winery in rural Mankato. Parts of the barrels include wood from Minnesota. The winery has roughly two and a half acres of vineyards and it also purchases grapes from other vineyards to make their wines. L: Heather Javens pours a glass of La Crescent wine at the tasting room of Javens Family Winery. The tasting room was opened in 2016 and includes a patio overlooking the vineyard.

F

or a time Heather Javens didn’t want to reopen the winery. She had loved summer 2016 when Javens Family Vineyard and Winery began serving customers after years of hard work. She and her husband Jeff had poured wine for guests who came to their property along the Le Sueur River in southeast Mankato. Customers, imbibing on the patio, would strike up conversation with others at a nearby tables. Pretty soon they’d push the two tables together, no longer strangers. Friends would bring their kids, and they’d play with the Javens kids on the swing set. Their springer spaniel, Charlie, who wasn’t supposed to go on the patio, eventually became the official greeter. It turned out as they’d hoped — a cozy winery where visitors felt like guests to their home. But

after what happened in January, Heather would sometimes stare at the winery and vineyard not a hundred yards from her house and think, ‘Why? Why would I want to do this?’

‘How hard can it be?’

When her father-in-law, Duane Javens, started planting a vineyard, Heather Javens was staying home with her younger children. Once they were all in school, she wasn’t sure what she’d do during the week while Jeff ran Javens Mechanical and attended myriad meetings for Minnesota State University boards, the Associated Builders and Contractors Minnesota Chapter or the Boy Scout troop of which Jeff was Scoutmaster. Heather also liked to keep busy. So when Duane offered her the job of winemaker, she thought, ‘What the heck? How hard can it

be?’ She didn’t know that starting in 2010 she would wake up to plant grapevines in the backyard. Riding a tractor in the early morning sun, she’d wonder, ‘How did this happen? She didn’t know how much science would be involved — and she’d studied social work at MSU in part because it didn’t involve hard science. But eventually a small lab in the winery’s basement housed equipment to test the wine’s acidity and sulfur levels. Late nights found her down there with books and her computer, reading about chemistry. She didn’t know how stressful their first harvest in 2012 would be, how Jeff and the kids and extended Javens family would pick grapes for hours. They’d process their grapes with others bought from southern Minnesota MANKATO MAGAZINE • AUGSUT 2017 • 25


Georgia Boerboom (left) and Connie Wenzel (right) taste the La Crescent wine at Javens Family Winery. Owner Heather Javens said their best-selling wine is New Traditions, which is a blend, but her favorite is Marquette, a red wine. vineyards. She could adjust them before fermentation, but she prefers not to tinker. “You get what you get and work with what you have,” she said. She didn’t know how much equipment they would need. The winery was a gigantic storage shed Duane had built years earlier for a camper, but they stocked its lower level with a bin dumper, destemmer and oak, stainless steel and plastic bulk barrels for fermentation. And she didn’t know how much help she would need, especially from Jeff. It was difficult after every harvest when she had to “punch down the cap” — smashing grapes with a flat metal square attached to a pole as they float in juice. Sometimes the “cap” of grapes would be too thick, too difficult to smash, and she would, reluctantly, call Jeff at work for help. “He’d come in and have a big smile, even though he knew I was probably about to cry because I was so stressed,” she said. “And he’d grab me and just start dancing or something, just to make me laugh. And I’m going to 26 • AUGUST 2017 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

miss that part a lot in the fall.”

Each other’s biggest cheerleaders

Heather took winemaking classes and got help her first year from a local vintner who sells the winery additional grapes. However, the first time she felt confident about the wine was during a focus group of family and friends. The guests gathered around small tables in the Javens’ home with glasses, bottles of wine and small sheets of paper to leave feedback. The positive comments thrilled Heather, but still she had reservations. “They’re family and friends,” she told Jeff once everyone left. “They’re probably just trying to be nice.” But he reassured her, as he often did in her moments of self doubt, saying, “You’re too hard on yourself. You’re doing a great job.” And he was proved right when two of their wines — Frontenac Gris and New Traditions, a mix of Frontenac Gris and Brianna grapes — won medals at the 2014 International

Cold Climate Wine Competition in St. Paul. Jeff provided support and genuinely desired to know how Heather, as well as others close to him, felt. He always offered a smile and an open ear to family and friends. Jeff and Heather met at MSU through friends. She came from small-town Beresford, South Dakota, while he was from the Mankato area. She avoided science classes, while he wanted to be a mechanical engineer. They hit it off and were married in 1996. They worked well together, whether building houses or making wine. They possessed complementary skill sets, and they were each other’s biggest cheerleaders. As their kids grew older, Heather started to see pieces of Jeff in each of the four: Avery, Fletcher, Cole and Nora. She sees — in varying degrees — his math skills, his engineer’s attention to process, his desire to solve puzzles and, sometimes, his goofiness. The kids looked forward to the


winery reopening after it closed for the season in November 2016. Although it consumed their parents’ Saturdays, they liked to see visitors and the results of their hard work helping pick grapes each harvest. “Our family motto every time we did a project was: ‘Nothing’s ever easy,’” Heather said.

Scouts — at that time. But on the night of Jan. 13, all she had was the words of the sheriff, who’d simply said Jeff had died. “When you get that information, your body just kind of shuts down,” Heather said. In the grieving process, she felt anger and guilt for not noticing signs, for not making him see a doctor. “But for the most part, he didn’t have any signs,” she said. So while navigating through grief with her children and family, Heather didn’t want to reopen the winery. She knew she should, but didn’t feel that she could. “Your head and your heart are not always in the same spot,” she said. “The head tells you one thing, and the heart tells you something else. So you have to find a balance.”

January 13, 2017

A knock hit the door around 11:30 p.m. Heather was home, waiting to pick up one son from a school function, but Jeff was gone, camping with another son’s Boy Scout troop. Though she was awake, she felt disoriented when she opened the door to find a sheriff on the porch. The sheriff didn’t tell her exactly how it happened. She’d learn that later after talking to friends in the medical field and to Jeff’s mother, Jean Javens, who had worked as a nurse. A blockage couldn’t pass through Jeff’s heart, they’d explained, which caused a heart attack. She also learned later that Jeff had been with the other scout leaders — in an area separate from the

‘How fast it goes’

Jeff was the planner, the one who filed paperwork and pulled permits. He added new equipment each year to make the winemaking process easier. Without him, Heather said,

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things are different. Some plans have changed, and others, including increased hours and building a larger tasting room over the current patio, are on hold. Right now, Heather simply wants to keep the winery going at a manageable pace. Serving wine is something she enjoys, even if it’s difficult some days. Her sister-in-law, Karmen Javens Bauer, and niece, Mariah Bauer, have helped run the tasting room since the winery reopened April 22. Jeff’s family, she said, has helped her find that balance between head and heart. “I’m thankful to be part of the Javens family. They stick together, and they have done a lot for me and the kids,” she said. She also enjoys being back in the winery and hopes to work more in the vineyard one day, planting and pruning. But not now, not until she has more time to balance with her demands. Making great wine matters to Heather, but not as much as her family. In the tasting room hangs a picture of her and Jeff’s four kids sitting on a John Deere Gator after the first harvest in 2012, a long time ago, before they arrived in an unimaginable future. Soon, the eldest will leave for college in Duluth, and with Jeff gone, Heather wants them, more than the winery, to be her priority. “My kids are important to me, so I want to make sure that I’m not taking away from them and I’m still able to spend time with them,” she said. “It’s hitting now, with the first one leaving, how fast it goes, so I just don’t want to miss that.” MM

Javens Family Vineyard and Winery 20011 589th Ave. Mankato Open Saturdays, 1-9 p.m. Javenswinery.com

422 Park Lane, Mankato, MN | www.NuStarMankato.com MANKATO MAGAZINE • AUGSUT 2017 • 27


Then & Now: The Battle of Guadalcanal By: BRYCE O. STENZEL

The Battle of Guadalcanal August 7, 1942-February 9, 1943

S

eventy-five years ago this month, one of the most significant World War II battles was fought on the remote island of Guadalcanal, in the south Pacific. Its bloody outcome would determine whether or not Australia would come under imperial Japanese rule or whether the United States and its allies would succeed in launching the first major land offensive to stem the tide of imperial Japanese territorial expansion in the war’s Pacific Theater. Allied forces were composed of units from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands and the United States. The Allied navy and 16,000 Allied troops were launched against Guadalcanal itself, with additional landings made on the islands of Florida, Tulagi, Gavutu and Tanambogo. Guadalcanal’s geographic location in the middle of the Solomon Island chain, as well as its proximity to an already established Japanese military base at Rabaul, in the northern Solomons, made it the ideal location for a key defensive role. Control of the entire Solomon Island chain was essential to the overall Japanese military strategy; its forces there could cut off shipping between the United States and Australia. Even though Rabaul itself was in the Solomon Islands, aircraft from Rabaul could not effectively patrol the entire island chain. Earlier in 1942, the Japanese Navy had begun to occupy all the Solomon Islands to create a barrier against any future Allied advance, as well as to build airfields and airbases for land-based patrol bombers. For these reasons, it was critical for the U.S. and its allies to seize Guadalcanal island before the Japanese could complete the construction of an airfield they were then in the process of constructing. 28 • AUGUST 2017 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

On August 7, 1942, the United States’ 1st Marine Division (of which my father was a part) executed an amphibious landing east of the Tenaru River. Initially, the U.S. invasion was unopposed; because only unarmed Japanese construction workers and support personnel occupied Guadalcanal. The U.S. Marines quickly captured the uncompleted airstrip, which they named “Henderson Field,” after Major Lofton Henderson, who had been killed in the Battle of Midway. On Aug. 8, U.S. Navy Admiral Frank Fletcher pulled his transport carriers away from Guadalcanal, taking with him more than half the Marines’ supplies as well as all their heavy artillery. The Marines were left to fend for themselves and live off the land as best they could. This meant coping with the fetid jungle environment of heavy rains, high humidity, temperatures that could reach 130 degrees, trees that rotted standing up, contaminated water, swarms of malarial mosquitoes, trench foot, maggot infested rice (if it was even available), and eventual starvation, as the campaign dragged on, with no relief in sight. As soon as the Japanese authorities at Rabaul realized that the Marines had landed on Guadalcanal, they sent reinforcements from their 17th Army under the command of Lieutenant General Hyakutake Haruyishi to destroy the Americans and take back Henderson Field. The first major battle was fought on the Tenaru River on Aug. 20, when the Japanese Ichiki Detachment attacked the Marines. All of the Japanese troops were slaughtered in this engagement and Commander Ichiki Kiyono, himself, committed ritual suicide. In mid-September, a night assault was launched by


6,000 Japanese against 11,000 U.S. Marines to take back the airfield. It became known as the Battle of “Edson’s Ridge” or “Bloody Ridge,” and lasted from Sept. 11-14, 1942. The Japanese attack was finally repulsed by the Marines. After a short lull in the action, on Oct. 13-14, the Japanese again shelled the airfield. This was followed by another assault by Japanese troops to take the field. The newly arrived U.S. Army 164th Infantry Regiment and 1st Batalian of the 7th Marines defended the positions and finally repulsed the assault. The Japanese 29th Infantry Regiment lost 553 killed or missing and 479 wounded among its 2,554 men. Total Japanese losses during that portion of the Guadalcanal campaign were as high as 2,200. Out of a total of 60,000 U.S. Marine and U.S. Army troops engaged in the battle, 1,592 were killed in action. The Japanese lost 14, 800 men out of 36,000 engaged. The Japanese attempted one last time to reinforce their troops in November. This was thwarted by the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, during which many transports were lost or damaged.

Attrition and the shortage of supplies forced the Japanese eventually to evacuate and abandon Guadalcanal. The United States declared it secure on Feb. 9, 1943. The six-month campaign for control of the island was over. It marked a turning point. Never again was Japan on the offensive. Midway represented standing up

to the Japanese; Guadalcanal represented the beginning of the long series of “island hopping” campaigns that forced Japan to relinquish its territorial empire. Author’s Note: My father, Edward M. Stenzel was severely wounded in the Battle of Guadalcanal: he lost a lung. He earned the Purple Heart. MANKATO MAGAZINE • AUGSUT 2017 • 29


ƷƬƥƷũƶưƭƪƩ By Nell Musolf

Better Early Than Never

M

y husband and I share a lot of 㨫âÜʈ¼Êó—Ê¡ãÜʃ¡—è ¼«ãʃ Ã“ Œ“ èØã V—úÃʼ“Ü ÂÊó«—Üʛؗ“èӁÍúʃ,¹ÃÊôʜãÊÁ— ¡—ôʈr—¼ÜÊܨØ—¼ÊãÊ¡ʃܨ¼¼ô— ܁úʃ՗ØÜÊÁ¼«ãú×è«Ø¹ÜʈH×Ê¡ã¨Êܗ ×è«Ø¹Ü «Ü  Âèã聼 Ã“ ÊÂÕè¼Ü«ó— ח“ãÊ¢—ãô¨—Ø—ó—Øô—ʰؗ¢Ê«Ã¢ã ¼—Üãã¨Ø——¨ÊèØÜ—Ø¼úʃ¡ÊèØ«¡ÕÊÜÜ«Œ¼—ʈ a¨«Ü ÊÂÕè¼Ü«Êà ÂèÜ㨁ó— ØÊÊãÜ in long forgotten childhood traumas ô——¨—ù՗ث—Í—“Œèã«ãʰÜ㨗ؗÃ“ «ãʰÜؗ¼ʈZ荨Üô¨—Ãô—ô—Ø—“ã«Ã¢ Ã“ô—ØØ«ó—“Ü«ù¨ÊèØÜ—Ø¼ú¡Ê؁ Ê͗Øã㨁ãÜãØ㗓ã—«¢¨ãʈaØè—ʃô— “«ÜÊó—Ø—“¼ÊがÊèã㨗ؗÜãè؁ÃãÜʃ ÜãÊؗ܁ÓՁع«Ã¢¼ÊãÜ«Ã㨗Ø—Œèã Œú㨗ã«Â——«¢¨ãÊʰ¼Ê¹ăÁ¼¼úØʼ¼—“ ØÊèÓô—ô—Ø—ÃʼÊâ—Ø«Ã㨗ÂÊʓ ãÊÜ«ãÃ“¼«Üã—ÃãʁÊ͗Øãʈr—ô—Ø— in the mood to go home and have a drink. a¨ã܁—܍—ÁثʨÜÕ¼ú—“Êèã time and time again throughout our ØØ«¢—ʈr—¢—ã«Ãó«ã—“ÜÊ—ô¨—Ø— Ã“ô—¹—Üèؗô—¼—ó—ô«ã¨Õ¼—Ããú Ê¡ã«Â—ãÊÜՁؗÜÊô—«ÃóØ«Œ¼úØØ«ó— ô¨—Ã㨗¨ÊÜã—ÜÜ«ÜÜ㫼¼Üãú¼«Ã¢¨—ب«Ø 30 • AUGUST 2017 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

Ã“㨗¨ÊÜã«Üô¼¹«Ã¢ØÊèӫè«Ü èӗØô—Øʈ B——“¼—ÜÜ ãÊ ܁ú ô— Ø— ܗ¼“ÊÂô—¼Ê—“ô«ã¨Ê՗ÁØÂÜÊà such occasions. H×Õ¼èÜÊ¡¢—ãã«Ã¢Õ¼—ܫÍؗ“«Œ¼ú —Ø¼ú«Ü㨁ãô—¼ôúܨó—Õ¼—ÃãúÊ¡ ã«Â— ãÊ ՁØべ— «Ã ÃÊ㨗Ø ¡óÊØ«ã— ã«ó«ãúʂ ՗ÊÕ¼— ôã¨«Ã¢ʈ  ؗ—Ãã Œ«¢—ó—ëâÊèã¡ÊØèÜôÜãÜ«ÃÊ ô¨—Ø—ÊÃÃúÃ“AØ«—HÜÂÊÓô—Ø— Õ¼ú«Ã¢ʈ Bãè؁¼¼ú ô— ØØ«ó—“ ¡ÊèØ hours early and after overeating at 㨗Œèė—ãʃÃ“ô¼¹«Ã¢¡ØÊÂÊ×—Ó Ê¡㨗Ü«ÃÊãÊ㨗Ê㨗Øʃô—Ü㫼¼¨“ ãôʨÊèØ܁Óă¡ãúʢăó—«Ãèã—Üãʹ«¼¼ʈ We decided to sit in the lounge of the ¨Ê㗼ãき¨—“ãÊ㨗Ü«ÃÊʃ㨗Êüú ÜÕÊãô«ã¨Ê¡ÊØが¼—¨«Ø܁Ӂôú from the smokers at the slot machines. a¨—¼Êè◁¼ÜÊ¡—ãèؗ“ÊèÕ¼—Ê¡ ÊÂÕèã—ØÜʃÜÊ—ó—Øúʼ“¢ÿ«Ã—Ü and a steady stream of guests. r— ÃÊ㫍—“ Ê× ¢è—Üã Ձع—“ «Ã ¡ØÊÃã Ê¡  ÊÂÕèã—Ø ¼Êʹ«Ã¢ ã ¨—Ø "—ŒÊʹՁ¢—¡ÊØ×è«ã—ÜÊ—ã«Â—ʈ Z蓓—üú  Ãʃ ÕؗÜ职¼ú ¨—Ø ¨è܌Ã“ʃÕÕØʁ¨—“㨗ôʁÃÊà 㨗ÊÂÕèã—؁ÓÊؓ—Ø—“¨—ØãÊÜãÊÕ

¼Êʹ«Ã¢ã¨—Ø"—ŒÊʹՁ¢—ʈʭr¨úʊʮ she asked. ʭ —èܗ ã¨Êܗ ՗ÊÕ¼—ʃʮ ¨— ܁«“ ô¨«¼—¢—Üãèثâ؁㨗ØØ蓗¼úãÂú ¨è܌Ã“Ã“—ʃʭØ—ôã¨«Ã¢úÊè Ã“ܗ—«Ã¢ô¨ãúÊèÕÊÜãʅʮ I admit that made me curious to ¹ÃÊô¶èÜãô¨ãܨ—ôÜÕÊÜã«Ã¢Œèã «ãôÜ¼ÜÊ—ÂŒØ؁Üܫâʃ—Ü՗«¼¼ú since neither of us could see that far Ã“ôÊ輓Ãʰã¹ÃÊô«¡ܨ—ôÜÕÊÜã«Ã¢ Õ«ãèؗÜÊ¡¨Ê×ÜãʢãÊʢ#ʓÜՁ—¼«—ÃÜ Êè—Ø"—ŒÊʹՁ¢—ʈ)諼«ã—“ʃô— beat a hasty retreat to the lobby of the è“«ãÊØ«èÂô¨—Ø—ô—Ü՗Ãã㨗ؗÜãÊ¡ ÊèØô«ãべ«Ã¢ÊèØÕ«ãèؗÜ×ùããʁ ¼«¡—ʢÜ«ÿ—“èãÊèãÊ¡ÊÃÃúÃ“AØ«— Ã“ ¨—¹«Ã¢ Êèã 㨗 Êó—ØÕØ«—“ ÜÊèó—ëØÜ ¡ÊØ ܁¼—ʈr— ¼ÜÊ ¹—Õ㠁à —ú—Êèã¡ÊØ㨁ãÜÁؼúÊó—ØʢÕØÊ㗍ã«ó— hubby just in case he still had a bone ãÊÕ«¹ô«ã¨èÜʃŒèã㨁ù¡è¼¼ú¨—×ó—Ø Õ՗Ø—“ʈ I sometimes think my husband and I ÂèÜãܨØ—Âèã聼—ùÕؗÜÜ«ÊÃÊÃÊèØ faces that gets us into constant trouble Üô—Ø—Ê¡ã—ÃŒ—«Ã¢èܗ“Ê¡“ʫâ 㨫âÜ ô— ¨ó—Ãʰã —ó—à ã¨Ê袨ã Ê¡


“ʫâʈZ荨Ü㨗ã«Â—ô—ô—Ø—ã gas station in Indiana and my husband ¢—Üãèؗ“¡Ê؁ôʁÃãÊÂÊ󗁨—“ Ê¡è܁ã㨗ÕèÂÕÜʈZ¨—܁«“㨁ùúÊè Ã“¨—ؗÜÕÊӗ“ô«ã¨ó—Øúܫ͗ؗ ʭxÊèʰؗ ô—¼Ê—ʈʮ a¨— ¼Êʹ Êà 㨗 ôʁÃʰÜ¡—Œ—Â—«úʃÃ“¡ã—Øܨ— ÕèÂ՗“¨—Ø¢Üܨ—¢Ê㌁¹«Ããʨ—Ø ØÃ“ô¨——¼—“«ãèÕ×ùããÊô¨—Ø—ô— ô—Ø—«ÃÃʍ—Ãã¼úô«ã«Ã¢¡ÊØÊèØãèØÃʈ “I can take a lot of things but one 㨫â , Ãʰã べ— «Ü ܁؍ÜÂʅʮ ܨ— ÜÁÕ՗“ Œ—¡Êؗ ՗—¼«Ã¢ Êèã Ê¡ 㨗 ¢ÜÜãã«ÊÃʃ¼—ó«Ã¢èÜÊ՗ÃÂÊè㨗“ behind her. ʭ,ʰ¡ØÊÂA«Ã×ÜÊãʅʮÂú¨è܌Ã“ ¼¼—“¡ã—ب—Øʈʭ,ôÜŒ—«Ã¢덗ʅʮ a¨—Ø— Ø— ã«Â—Üʃ  ¼Êã Ê¡ 㨗 ÕՁؗÃã¼úʃô¨—ëã“Ê—ÜÃʰãՁúãÊŒ— 덗ʃ—ó—ÃA«Ã×ÜÊãB«—ʈ,ãʰ܁¼Êã —Ü«—ØʃÃÊããÊ—Ãã«ÊÃ܁¡—ØʃãÊã؁ó—¼ ʠ Ã“ ØØ«ó— ʠ —ó—Øúô¨—Ø— —Ø¼ú Ã“¹——Õ¨èÃÊÃきããÊ㨗ŒØ— minimum. At least it is for us.

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MANKATO MAGAZINE • AUGSUT 2017 • 31


Reflections By Pat Christman

32 • AUGUST 2017 • MANKATO MAGAZINE


I

f music is the rhythm of life, then it’s up to the drums to keep us alive. Drums keep a band together and drive home the music with each tap of the stick. They can inject a liveliness and pulse into a drum corps’ performance with each rap on the drum. Add in their carefully choreographed marching and you have a recipe for a visual and auditory party. Just ask St. Peter’s Govenaires drum and bugle corps. Each Govie enjoys what they do and projects it through their music and marching. MM

MANKATO MAGAZINE • AUGUST 2017 • 33


LIVING

fifty-five

plus

Buying local Eat Healthy at 50

Diet & Exercise 34 • LIVING 55 PLUS • AUGUST 2017 • Special Advertising Section


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Special Advertising Section • AUGUST 2017 • LIVING 55 PLUS • 35


Buying local, partnering local, feeding local Partnership between Friesen’s, The Lutheran Home: Cedar Haven brings nutritious, locally sourced food to assisted living residents Story and Photos by Amanda Dyslin

A recent lunch at Cedar Haven included a burger, yams, salad and fresh fruit.

36 • LIVING 55 PLUS • AUGUST 2017 • Special Advertising Section


LPN Delaine Carleton chats with residents Ross Hall (center) and David Wilkening during lunch time at The Lutheran Home: Cedar Haven.

O

ne thing’s for sure: The BBQ ribs were quite a hit. “Oh yeah, they were very good,” said David Wilkening. Maria Smith agreed. So did Ross Hall. And others eating lunch at The Lutheran Home: Cedar Haven in Mankato recently nodded along in agreement when the memory of those smoky, tender ribs came up in conversation. These are residents of differing food backgrounds and palates, with differing tolerances for spice and ideas of how food is best prepared. For example, when a recent cheesy casserole came up in conversation, Wilkening offering, “I would have cooked up the bacon and crumbled it on top.” So when a meal goes over as well as those BBQ ribs with so many of the 18 Cedar Haven residents, both Administrator Elli Fuller and Natasha Frost, owner of Friesen’s Family Bakery & Bistro, take note. That’s because Fuller and Frost are at

the beginning stages of a partnership involving Friesen’s supplying most of the food Cedar Haven serves its residents: three breakfasts per week, and seven lunches and dinners per week. The idea is to provide residents with the freshest, healthiest locally sourced foods as possible. The partnership also supports the local economy, as Friesen’s buys so much of its ingredients from local farmers and businesses. “With Friesen’s, they do such a great job,” Fuller said. “There wasn’t even a moment’s hesitation. That’s who I wanted to partner with from the beginning.”

Community Connections

Fuller and Frost came together through a network of community connections, which is part of what they think is so cool about the Cedar Haven/ Friesen’s partnership. Business consultant Nancy Goodwin had helped inspire Friesen’s to begin its

institutional meals program in the first place more than a year ago when the owner/director of Here We Grow early childhood center, Beth Bangert, needed a regular meal service for the children. It was a great opportunity to expand Friesen’s business model, too. “Nancy said, ‘Hey, Beth, you need food for the kids, and hey, Friesen’s provides good quality, locally sourced food,’” Frost said. “So Beth and I and our Executive Chef Sarah Haayer (Friesen’s co-owner) leaned into the work, figured out the menus and what worked and didn’t, and we developed a pretty sound way of doing things.” Since then, Friesen’s expanded to provide meals to various seasonal children’s programs and is finalizing a regular partnership with other child care centers. Then, a couple of months ago, the opportunity to partner with Cedar Haven came along, which is the first non-child-care related institutional meal program for Friesen’s. “It’s a new

Special Advertising Section • AUGUST 2017 • LIVING 55 PLUS • 37


Natasha Frost, owner of Freisen’s Family Bakery & Bistro (left), goes over the Cedar Haven meal plan with the assisted living facility’s administrator, Elli Fuller. adventure for us,” Frost said. eating, Frost said. people inspire me, and that’s who I want Fuller’s son goes to child care at Here “We’re working in partnership to to bring to Cedar Haven.” We Grow, and she and Bangert are identify those things that have been friends who have talked about how the Learning and Growing successful,” Frost said. “The variety, populations that each of them serve in Words like “curry” and “quinoa” can consistency and meal planning has been their occupations – children and seniors be scary to a meat-and-potatoes culture. very exciting, and we’re still learning – have much in common. So in the first month of the partnership together.” “People will dismiss them as not at Cedar Haven, much was learned For Fuller, it’s been great to know being important to society, and we through trial and error. her residents are eating more lean talked about how we can let our “The curry … Well, it was very mild meats, whole grains and fresh fruits communities know the importance of curry,” Fuller said with a smile. “But and vegetables. She knows almost our populations,” said Fuller, who was when you get older, you’re used to what everything they’re eating has minimal invited to join Goodwin’s community you like, and when you don’t know what processing, which means lower amounts leadership group with Bangert to it is, you’re hesitant to give it a try. … of sodium and sugar. learn “how to better ourselves so our But when the residents do try things, “Sodium is really important, as businesses are better.” I think it’s such a fun experience to try people are aging, to really watch. It’s so These connections pointed to the something new at this stage in life.” nefarious. And it’s not just the salt you Things that have gone over well: any answer to a dilemma that arose at Cedar get out of the shaker. It’s from foods that meat and potatoes dish, turkey noodle Haven. are processed,” Frost said. soup, fresh breads (baked by Friesen’s “We had a wonderful cook for 17 Fuller said many residents also are owner Tony Friesen), and salads. years, and when she decided to move diabetic, which makes nutritious food on, I was really nervous,” said Fuller, “Sarah makes the best mashed all the more important. who had been sourcing food from potatoes, and we serve fresh salads, and “Sugar is also tricky, and it can show Reinhart Food Service. “When she then there’s Tony’s baking, so we bring up in ways that are kind of surprising,” moved on, we weren’t quite sure what great bread, and the vegetables are so Frost said, referring to processed foods. we were going to do.” fresh,” Frost said. ¬Not only is sourcing local food good That’s where Friesen’s came in. Fuller “The meals are colorful and vibrant,” for one’s health, it’s also good for the got to thinking about how happy her Fuller said. regional economy, Frost said. Friesen’s Frost and Fuller meet to discuss what son had been going to Here We Grow, buys a great deal of its ingredients menu items went over well and what and part of that had to do with the from regional producers, including the culture there, but she knows food and should be taken off for future offerings. Minnesota Valley Action Council’s Food They listen to what the residents want nutrition play big roles. Hub and Swanson Meats, among many “Friesen’s is a leader in our and adjust accordingly. Haayer, inspired others. community. They are supportive of our by an important elder in her own life, “The dollars you spend locally has been deeply invested in cooking community. They take extra efforts to actually stay local,” Frost said. “It’s a nutritious food with a lot of love that support local farmers, to source local way to invest in our region, to use our she hopes the residents truly enjoy ingredients,” Fuller said. “Those kind of purchasing power to buy the things that 38 • LIVING 55 PLUS • AUGUST 2017 • Special Advertising Section


we can locally to support the health of our community. It’s just as important as the health of our community’s residents.”

Food for the Soul

Before walking out of her room to go on an outing with her daughter, Maria Smith reached her arms out and pulled in Fuller for a hug. “Of all the girls here, she’s my favorite,” Smith said as Fuller clutched at her heart and smiled. It’s clear that Fuller genuinely cares about her residents, and providing them with the best food possible is just one way she shows it. That kind of personal care is important to Smith’s daughter, Maria Bartsch, who said her son has gotten into sustainable farming, so she appreciates the food Friesen’s has been making for her mom. “Even at her age, it is good,” said Bartsch, of rural Rapidan. So far Smith has been a big fan of the fresh salads, and she also liked the turkey noodle soup and sweet rolls. And, of course, those BBQ ribs “were very good,” she said. “One thing great about the partnership is the staff talking one on one with the residents and finding out what they like and don’t like,” Frost said. “Each space and resident and delivery system and partnership is unique, and you have to be nimble and open and have trust. It’s that trust that local partnerships allow for.” Friesen’s delivers hot breakfasts three days per week, and the bulk of the lunches and dinners are delivered several times per week. Fuller said the Cedar Haven staff have done a great job adapting to the new system and heating or prepping meals every day. “We will continue to grow and improve over the next month,” she said. “I feel it has been a really great experience so far.” If the quiet in the dining area was any indication – with the focus dedicated to chewing – the residents seem to think so, too. Although they seem to agree that it’s too early in the process to pick out a favorite meal – aside from the ribs, of course – they’re eager for meal times and to see what will come next. On this particular day, that meal included a cheeseburger, salad with tomatoes, seasoned yams and a dish of watermelon – a great choice for a summer lunch in Minnesota. “I like the food a lot,” Wilkening said.

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Eat healthy at

50 and beyond

A

balanced diet is an integral element of a healthy lifestyle for men, women and children alike. But while kids and young adults might be able to get away with an extra cheeseburger here or there, men and women approaching 50 have less leeway. According to the National Institute on Aging, simply counting calories without regard for the foods being consumed is not enough for men and women 50 and older to maintain their long-term health. Rather, the NIA emphasizes the importance of choosing low-calorie foods that have a lot of the nutrients the body needs. But counting calories can be an effective and simple way to maintain a healthy weight, provided those calories are 40 • LIVING 55 PLUS • AUGUST 2017 • Special Advertising Section

coming from nutrient-rich foods. The NIA advises men and women over 50 adhere to the following daily calorie intake recommendations as they attempt to stay healthy into their golden years.

Women · Not physically active: 1,600 calories · Somewhat active: 1,800 calories · Active lifestyle: between 2,000 and 2,200 calories


Men · Not physically active: 2,000 calories · Somewhat active: between 2,200 and 2,400 calories · Active lifestyle: between 2,400 and 2,800 calories When choosing foods to eat, the NIA recommends eating many different colors and types of vegetables and fruits. Phytochemicals are substances that occur naturally in plants, and there are thousands of these substances offering various benefits. The Produce for Better Health Foundation notes that a varied, colorful diet incorporates lots of different types of phytochemicals, which the PBH says have diseasepreventing properties. The NIA also advises that men and women over 50 make sure at least half the grains in their diets are whole grains. Numerous studies have discovered the various benefits of whole grains, which are loaded with protein, fiber, antioxidants and other nutrients. Whole grains have been shown to reduce the risk for diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer. Another potential hurdle men and women over 50 may encounter is a change in their sense of smell and taste. A person’s sense of smell may fade with age, and because smell and taste are so closely related, foods enjoyed for years may no longer tantalize the taste buds. That can be problematic, as many people instinctually add more salt to foods they find bland. According to the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, older adults should consume no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. That equates to roughly 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Older men and women should resist the temptation to use salt to add flavor to foods, instead opting for healthy foods that they can still smell and taste. In addition, men and women should mention any loss of their sense of smell to their physicians, as such a loss may indicate the presence of Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease. Maintaining a healthy diet after 50 may require some hard work and discipline. But the long-term benefits of a healthy diet make the extra effort well worth it.

Source: Metro Creative Connection

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Diet and exercise needs change as men and women age M

aintaining a healthy weight is important at any age. But avoiding being overweight or obese can be particularly crucial for seniors, considering many illnesses are tied to body weight. Maintaining a healthy immune system also can require eating a balanced, nutritionally sound diet. The Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center at Durham Medical Center in Virginia says people need to change how they eat for every decade they reach. Caloric intake should be reduced because individuals are generally moving around less, have less muscle and their metabolic rates decline. People who find that they are having trouble losing weight in their 50s and older may be basing weight-loss goals on calorie recommendations for younger people. One challenging thing about eating less overall is supplementing with more nutrient-rich foods. Older bodies still require similar amounts of protein, vitamins and minerals as younger ones, but older men and women must balance that need with their need to consume less calories. Consuming more fruits, vegetables and lean protein sources, including beans, and choosing whole grains over refined starchy foods can be the key. 42 • LIVING 55 PLUS • AUGUST 2017 • Special Advertising Section

Watch what you drink, as well. Soft drinks and other sugary beverages may be packed with calories you don’t need. Choose unsweetened beverages and opt for water as much as possible. Protect yourself against dehydration, which can be harder to detect as you get older. In addition to modifying food and beverage choices and reducing their calorie intake, seniors should continue to exercise. Healthy eating paired with moderate exercise remains one of the best combinations for healthy weight loss or weight maintenance. The goal is to consume fewer calories and expend more energy. While cardiovascular exercises can be a good way to get the heart pumping and stimulate your metabolic rate, as you age you should perform strength-training and weight-bearing exercises as well. Muscle mass naturally diminishes with age, and according to the Mayo Clinic if you avoid strength exercises you can eventually lose muscle and increase the percentage of fat in your body. Strength training also helps you develop stronger bones, which can help prevent fractures. In addition, as you gain muscle, your body will begin to burn calories more efficiently, making your time in and out of the gym more productive. Apart from diet and exercise, aging adults may need to


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Home Medical Equipment and Supplies Store at Mankato’s Pathstone Living consult with their doctors about nutritional supplements. Your body may produce less stomach acid as you get older, making it more difficult to absorb vitamins from food, including vitamin B12 and vitamin D. Aging skin is less able to transform sunlight into the vitamin, which can affect the body’s ability to absorb calcium. Deficiencies in vitamins D and B12 and calcium can result in a number of health conditions. Routine blood work can help pinpoint whether you are deficient in key nutrients. The body’s nutritional and fitness needs change as a person ages. Those uncertain about the lifestyle changes they will need to make should speak with their physicians.

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Assistive devices help people remain mobile D

isabilities affect people from all walks of life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that around 55 million Americans have a disability of some kind. Of these people, 33 million have a disability that makes it difficult for them to carry out some daily activities. Statistics Canada states that, as of 2012, 13.7 percent of the population age 15 years or older reported having a disability that could impact daily life. People with disabilities may need assistive devices to reclaim some measure of their independence. For example, millions of people rely on wheelchairs or walking aids to get around. These are called assistive technology and rehabilitative devices, which include tools, equipment or products that can help people with disabilities get around more easily. These devices may be as small as magnifying glasses for reading to as large as wheelchairs. The National Institutes of Health state that 2.2 million people in the U.S depend on wheelchairs for day-today tasks and mobility. More than six million use canes, walkers or crutches to assist with mobility. The following are some of the common types of mobility devices available for purchase.

• Canes: Canes are handheld

devices that provide a little extra stability or support to weakened limbs. Canes are easily transported and can assist those who need only a little help.

• Standard walkers: Also

known as medical walkers, standard walkers offer substantial support and must be lifted to move. That requires upper body strength, which can be difficult for some to maintain on long trips.

44 • LIVING 55 PLUS • AUGUST 2017 • Special Advertising Section


Mkto Magazine – 4.95x2.42 July 2017

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• Rolling walkers: Rolling

walkers are similar to standard walkers. But rolling walkers have wheels, either on the front only or on both sets of legs. They are somewhat less stable than standard walkers. Rolling walkers with wheel-locking devices may offer stability when needed. Some rolling walkers are called “rollators.”

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• Wheelchairs: Standard

wheelchairs must be powered by the person in the chair or by someone pushing it from behind. This can be difficult for people with minimal upper body strength. Mechanical wheelchairs are powered with a lever or button. Some people may opt for motorized scooters over bulkier wheelchairs when possible.

Assistive devices can be highly effective, but only when they are used properly and safely. Assistive devices should be measured for each user. Many walkers are height-adjustable. The width of a device also is important. A walker or another device that is too wide can affect mobility or require modifications to be made around the home. Weight is another consideration. The device should be lightweight so it can be maneuvered, but also weigh enough to provide enough stability to keep users upright. Users should proceed slowly and favor their stronger sides when relying on canes or walkers. Devices should not be used to climb atop other items like step stools. Children should not be allowed to play with or ride on assistive devices. If there are safety belts or locks on any assistive technology, they should be put in place before use to prevent further injury.

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September 6 Great Canadian Cities Tour (thru the 14th) September 20 “Ghost, The Musical” @the Old Log Theater

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October 5 Treasure Island & Riverboat Cruise

October 11 “Monky Business” @ Daytrippers Dinner Theater

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220 South Third Street, St. Peter, MN 56082 Phone: (507) 931-3310 / Fax: (507) 931-2418 www.nicolletcountybank.com 46 • LIVING 55 PLUS • AUGUST 2017 • Special Advertising Section

Adopting a dog or cat later in life C

ompanion animals bring great joy to their owners. The unconditional love cats and dogs provide appeals to people of all ages. While many people associate pets with kids who can’t wait to welcome the first cat or dog into their homes, pets can benefit aging men and women as well. It’s not uncommon for seniors to feel lonely or depressed when they retire, their children move away or they lose a spouse or close friend or friends. The American Humane Society states that studies show pets help seniors overcome loneliness and depression by providing affection, company and entertainment. Pets also provide muchneeded mental stimulation, and many pet owners find their pets help them become more physically active as well. Seniors who adopt pets may also feel a sense of purpose when helping animals who may not have anywhere to live. This is particularly true of older companion animals, which many young families are understandably hesitant to adopt. Mature pets might be an ideal fit for seniors. When seniors are looking to adopt a pet, there are various reasons why older pets or particular animals might be the perfect fit for them. • Adult pets may already be house trained, saving seniors the trouble and effort of training them. • Seniors may find cats fit their lifestyles more than dogs, as cats are less active and do not need to be walked or played with as much as dogs. Cats also are small and easily maneuverable, meaning even seniors who have arthritis or other physical limitations can easily care for cats. Many cats are also content to spend long periods of time sleeping on their owners’ laps.


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• Small dogs that can be active within the house might be a good idea as well, especially for seniors with mobility issues. They’re also easily transported to and from vet appointments. It’s important that seniors carefully weigh the benefits of adopting a pet against any limitations they may have. Having a backup plan for care is advantageous as well. Seniors should not adopt a pet if they anticipate frequent travel or medical care that requires they be away from home for long periods of time.

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M

y idea of a food truck has always been a lot simpler than what we’re seeing these days. The only food truck I had in my day was the kind you could hear coming for miles. And instead of sweet potato tacos or some other clever culinary concoction, it had bomb pops, drumsticks and ice cream sandwiches. When the ice cream truck’s dulcet tones could be heard dancing along the humid air of a Minnesota evening, EVERYTHING stopped. Supper, family conversations – whatever – all took a back seat when the ice cream man came around. And it was beautiful. This month in Food, Drink and Dine, we introduce you to a man whose current endeavor is a food truck. Chances are he’ll chuck it all and go to law school next month, but for now he’s serving up good eats (or should I say good Eatz) behind the window of food truck. Check out his Facebook page. Track him down. You’ll be glad you did.

Enjoy! — Robb Murray, Associate Editor, Mankato Magazine

food, drink & dine

Keep on truckin’!

southern mn style MANKATO MAGAZINE • AUGUST 2017 • 49


Food SOUTHERN MN N STYLE STY YLE Dominic Morrow (second from right) stands surrounded by kids outside his Eatz N Treatz food truck, which mostly travels the Highway 169 corridor.

Eatz ‘N Treatz Renaissance man brings Chicago cooking to Minnesota By Amanda Dyslin

D

ominic Morrow is one of those people whose lives have unfolded like a map of back-country roads, curving  ǔ ǕĨ Ǖ ŰǕ  different directions, but always leading to somewhere new and exciting. He’s a husband and father of űĨǕǕ ǔŇŇ ŇŎ\ He’s an ordained minister. He’s a former Chicago gang member. He’s an orator. He’s a graduate student. He’s a chef. He’s a business owner. He’s born again. 50 • AUGUST 2017 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

Most people who see him and his family coming down the road in their bright orange or green food trucks have no idea that the man behind the the glass window has such a storied past. They just know he makes one hell of a Chicago style hotdog. “That is our number one seller,” Morrow said of his business Eatz N Treatz, headquartered at the Morrow home in Elmore. Morrow’s journey to the food truck business last year is a long and complicated one that began

growing up in uptown Chicago. He was in a gang (for the needed protection, he said), and he sold drugs. “Where I grew up is pretty rough,” he said. College was his escape. Morrow came to Minnesota State University, Mankato, to study criminal justice and political science and went on to study at Prairie View A&M University in Texas. Morrow said he never intended to make a career out of criminal justice, but rather


The work space is small, but the flavor in Morrow’s food is not, he says. studied it for personal research so he could do something to combat the various problems and political issues in Chicago. Finding his faith also made a huge impact on his life and direction, he said. “That changed everything for me,” he said. “I started seeing the things all around me, and I gave up and gave everything to ( Jesus).” In the years since Morrow has grown his family and moved them to Elmore. He’s written three motivational books, the latest of which, “Spiritual Currency,” is available this month on Amazon. com. He also became an ordained minister, and he speaks in jails, to youth groups and at colleges about his story. He is pursuing a master’s degree in psychology from Ohio Christian University to become a chemical dependency counselor. And in the midst of it all he decided to start his own business. “I always loved cooking; it’s one of the therapeutic obsessions I

have that I enjoy,” Morrow said. “I’ve always wanted to own my own restaurant.” Morrow saw an abandoned, beat  

    Ű  to buy it. He refurbished the truck, got the proper certificate and licensure, and “I haven’t looked back since,” he said. Morrow and his family launched Eatz N Treatz in 2016. For five months the family focused on cities along the Highway 169 corridor, going where word had spread and the demand had arisen for his Chicago-inspired cooking. In addition to the Chicago-style hotdog (diced tomatoes, onions, mustard, pickled peppers and absolutely NO ketchup), Morrow makes cheddar-bacon beef dogs, cheddar-onion burgers, ribs, spiced chicken and walking tacos. The Treatz part of the business consists of slushies, popcorn, sodas and chips. The addition of a second food truck (the bright green one) focuses more on sweets, such as ice cream. Catering jobs, festivals and

parties have become a big part of Eatz N Treatz’s business, Morrow said. Word has spread, and requests have poured in for the truck’s presence at various events. “I am more than surprised (by the sudden success),” he said. “I feel blessed. It feels like I’m dreaming, to be honest with you.” Morrow hopes the business could lead to a brick and mortar place sometime down the road. Being a chemical dependency counselor wouldn’t deter him from his dream of owning a restaurant, he said. There are plenty of hours in the day. In the meantime, Morrow and his family have been busy for their second summer in business. 1 ű     orange or green Eatz N Treatz trucks, or to request a visit to your event, call (224) 240-0053. Or search for “Eatz N Treatz Elmore” on Facebook.

MANKATO MAGAZINE • AUGUST 2017 • 51


Wine & Beer

wines

By Leigh Pomeroy

The challenges of

wine on the road

southern mn style

D

rinking wine at home is a pretty easy process. You can choose from what you have on hand — presumably what you like, unless it came as a gift from Aunt Mabel of something you abhor, like sweet muscatel. ( Just remember: It’s the thought that counts.) Or you can go to the store and pick out a bottle that matches what you’re planning for dinner. But wine out in restaurants or in the air while you’re flying is another matter. I have come across far too many restaurants, both local and on the road, that offer good to excellent meals compromised by mediocre to abysmal wine lists. Why? The first reason is lack of knowledge. Many restaurateurs simply don’t know and don’t want to know about the intriguing options out there. The second reason is laziness. Some restaurateurs want to go with one or two distributors to keep their operations simple, and take whatever the distributor rep suggests, especially if the distributor offers to print the wine list for free — a common practice. The third reason is to go with the flow. If the restaurateur believes that Kendall-Jackson is the end all/be all of Chardonnays because it’s highly requested, then that’s what he’s going to highlight on the list. Frankly, if I see one more wine list that features Kendall-Jackson or Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay as its top selection, I’m going to throw up. The fourth reason is corporatism. Big restaurant chains like to do business with big wine companies. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. This obviously limits selection and excludes the far more interesting offerings from smaller wine producers. That said, there are exciting exceptions to restaurant wine list mundanity. My family and I recently dined at The Kenwood restaurant, situated a block or so from the Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis. It offers great, inventive, mostly locally sourced foods combined with an equally inventive wine list. Add to this an attractive atmosphere and, in good weather, outside seating — what’s not to like? (The only downside is that the restaurant does not take reservations for parties smaller than eight. Because it’s popular, don’t even try to go there on a Friday or Saturday evening unless you’re really early or really late. Call ahead for wait times.) My wife and I each year take a road trip to Colorado and California, usually stopping in Lincoln, Nebraska, along the way. Interestingly enough, there are two Indian restaurants there, owned by the same family, offering both splendid cuisine and outstanding wine choices. So, if you find yourself in Lincoln, check out The Oven downtown and The Oven East.

52 • AUGUST 2017 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

Flying is another matter. Recently I’ve found myself on flights to Colorado, California and Hawaii. (Note: The flight to Hawaii was on an urgent family matter, unfortunately not for vacation.) Flying Delta from Minneapolis, of course, is the default option due to airline aggregation. In both steerage and first class, which one can swing for even cheaper than steerage if one knows how to play the airline online game, the wine I sampled was memorable only because the word “ordinary” would have been a compliment. United, on the other hand, from Honolulu to San Francisco, offered a rather nice, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc from southern France. Regrettably, it’s virtually impossible to find out online what airlines are serving for their wine choices. But then wine choice should be the last criteria for choosing any particular flight. In all my flights, I default to soda water with a wedge of lime — much better to combat the twin challenges of altitude and dry air. My advice to wine lovers: If there’s a restaurant you like and frequent often but doesn’t carry the wines you like, gently ask that they add your suggestions to the wine list. Or, when making a reservation, inquire if they allow you to bring your own bottle(s). Most do but charge a corkage fee, which ranges from acceptable to ridiculous. A wine-friendly restaurant will be reasonable, even encouraging, as long as it’s not something they already have on their wine list. There are many excellent taste experiences are out there, provided you’re willing to do a bit of homework in finding them.

Leigh Pomeroy is a Mankato-based writer and wine lover.


Beer

By Bert Mattson

Big beer, small talk H

ow’s an introvert to anticipate something called National Night Out? The prospects for small talk for something named that seem insurmountable. I’m imagining the shaky opening, “So... two eclipses this month, eh? Oh, and one is total!” What are the odds of getting from that to something tolerably substantive in a short enough span as to avoid going to Plan B: spending two hours cooing at neighborhood pooches during extended ear scratching sessions. That’s more or less how we introverts approach an event like this. Though, these days, craft beer poses a pretty good icebreaker. Lots of folks are at least craft-curious, and artisanal stuff tends to run to the deeper layers of discussion. That’s not to say one won’t run afoul the random militant “macro” enthusiast — though normally the cans tucked in his front pockets dependably predict one ought not pursue that twist in conversation. Even so, that alone would probably promise a pretty memorable exchange. But these days a fair contingent goes in for chatting about craft beer. What August lacks in quantity of seasonal craft beer releases it more that compensates for in quality and intrigue. True, Imperial Stout might seem a counterintuitive conversation piece in the August heat. On the other hand, after two steady months of hot weather releases the fever starts to rise for a heartier brew. Boulevard Brewing Co. releases their Imperial Stout around August. It comes keen with conversation points. If the style’s backstory — akin to IPA — isn’t interesting enough, there’s this particular version’s grain bill —ingredients used to create an extract with flavors and sugars desired as a foundation for fermentation. It could be called

extravagant, not to in anyway knock the espresso and dark chocolate character it yields. Then there are ripe dark fruit features inspired by the Scottish Yeast strain. Beyond that it’s blended — previous batches are barrel aged and added to round out the current release. Enough talking ... Beer run! I find collaboration beers tease segues into rock talk, which tends to keep fanatics chatting long enough leave the impression I’m a competent conversationalist. That is if I don’t spoil it by letting any coarse honesty slip. Boulevard’s Collaboration #7, from their line of limited release items and slated for August release, is an eagerly anticipated Oak-Aged Lager crafted in concert with Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company out of Gilbert, Arizona and Creature Comforts Brewing Company of Athens, Georgia. The grapevine has it that the juice of Riesling grapes and purée of peach will be employed to emphasize a citrusy, fruity, and herbal hop selection. Corn grits are an alleged adjunct and, as the name suggests, it’ll sit on oak awhile at fermentation. If that fails to get the conversation flowing, perpetuate the buzz about The Steves: the rumored collaboration between Steve Winwood, Stephen Stills, and Stevie Nicks, imagined to achieve ethereal harmonies. Imagined, because I just made it all up. Better a little embellishment to lubricate conversation perhaps, than a hunk of crude honestly to end it flat?

Bert Mattson is a chef and writer based in St. Paul. He is the manager of the iconic Mickey’s Diner. bertsbackburner.com

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Drinks

ĆŹĆĽÇŤÇŤĆźĆŹĆłĆ¸Ć˜

By Carrie M. Allan | Special to the Free Press

SOUTHERN MN STYLE

The Negroni spinoff that’s a clear winner for hot weather T

here was a line to get into the Galleria dell’Accademia, where clots of tourists peered up at Michelangelo’s luminous David, his every line a rebuke to those of us neglecting

 Ç•  Ç•Ç•Ĺą\ There was a longer line to get inside the hulking Duomo, its glowing interior of saints gesturing toward centuries of struggle and grace. There were Ç• 2ųǕ)  Palazzo Vecchio, even for the tubs of gelato I wanted to plant my face in. There were lines, in fact, for virtually every Florentine delight we wanted to visit when we were in Italy last year - save one. We  Ç•Ç• (Ĺ°)Ç• Ĩ formerly Caffe Casoni, reputed birthplace of the Negroni. The Negroni may not be the Sistine Chapel or Neapolitan pizza, Ç•Äź  ğǕǎ] a three-part harmony of gin, sweet vermouth and bitter Campari, typically served over ice with a slice of orange. My husband ordered the classic, while I swerved toward the white Negroni, and we spent the hour sipping our drinks and eating salty snacks that complemented them perfectly, watching the lines-to-be pass us by. I’ll drink a Negroni any time of year, but I find bitter spirits particularly appealing in these sweltering months. On the tongue, bitterness can balance sweetness, cut through fat and add intrigue to salt (think of how Ç•   Ç• Ĺą Ç•  matched with sharp provolone). These are matters of the palate, but I find bitterness also slices through heat and humidity, a sharp slap to the system. 54 • AUGUST 2017 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

Much has been written on the history of the Negroni, the most credible story being one of an Italian count Negroni who, in ŇĹ?ŇĹ?Ĩ   (Ĺ° Casoni to boost his Americano (Campari, vermouth and soda) by subbing gin for the soda. In the years of the cocktail renaissance, t h e Ne g r o n i h a s s p a w n e d hundreds of variations. These bitter apples sometimes fall far from the tree. Once I started encountering “negronisâ€? with banana liqueur, muddled basil, lemon soda and so forth, I began to fear the nomenclature of the Negroni was drifting the way the martini did in the ‘80s, when people started hanging a “tiniâ€? on the end of any drink served in the same kind of glass. And as bartender and author ) /   Ç• Ç• ĹˆĹ†Ĺ‡Ĺ‹

Ĩŀ1- ǕĨĿŀ1Ź

 ÇŽ  Ç•Ç• drinks (but, I’d argue, rarely better ones).â€? I tend to concur: Last fall when someone pitched me on a “pumpkin spice Negroni,â€? a small part of me died. 0Ç•Ĩ-Ç•!Ĩ  ÇŽ plays with bitter liqueurs (known in Italy as amari) in his role as spirits manager at Iron Gate Restaurant in Washington, points out, “you can’t ever really be super pedantic and draw bright lines and say ‘Well, this one is a Negroni and this one isn’t,’ because it is a drinking culture, and it all gets ÇŽÇ•\Äż .ĨÇ”- Ç• Ç• Ĺ° worth investigating; the “whiteâ€? Negroni itself is one. Invented by bartender Wayne Collins in ĹˆĹ†Ĺ†Ĺ‡Ä¨Ç• Ç•Ĺ•  split of gin, the aperitif Lillet Blanc and Suze, a bitter gentianbased liqueur — and it too is now

regularly spun into new drinks. At Caffe Giacosa in Florence, I ordered the white Negroni  Ç•Ĺą    taste its Suze substitute, a golden liqueur called Biancosarti, which isn’t available in the States. Salers, the oldest of the gentian liqueurs, and Avèze are accessible here, and at Iron Gate, Farrell likes to make a white Negroni with an American gentian, Breckenridge +Ç•\ǕŹǕ- Ç• made by the restaurant’s former  Ĩ"Ĺ°!Ç•Ĩ     the gentian liqueur in favor of gin, white vermouth, and the bittersweet Cocchi Americano. Despite their similar builds, the original and white Negronis are  Ç•Ĺ°Ĩ ǕǔǕ  the bitterness of gentian liqueurs is quite distinct from that of Campari. Due to brand secrecy around the specific botanicals, it’s hard to be certain about components of these liqueurs, but although Campari likely contains some gentian — the plant that lends bitter bite to countless amari — liqueurs such as Salers and Suze specifically highlight Ç•Äź  Ų  Ĩ where Campari leans toward the bitterness of citrus and spice. If you put a classic Negroni and a white one beneath the nose of a blindfolded bartender, she’d be able to tell the difference based solely on their aromatics. When I’m composing drinks   Ç• Ç• ǕŹǕ   bitterness I want, I tend to think of the red bitters as variations of Brooding Orange, the gentians as variations of Angry Lawn. This has been complicated by Luxardo’s new Bitter Bianco, which places gentian more subtly Ç•Ç• Ç”  Ų ]


The Bitter Bianco is citrusy on the nose, like freshly cut orange peels, and has citrus and pear and an almost honeysuckle-like note in its bitterness. Matteo Luxardo, a sixth-generation member of the family and export director for the company, told me they infuse the liqueur with some wormwood at the end of the process, giving it a lingering bitter finish. By design, it’s closer in flavor to Luxardo’s own red bitter than it is to the gentian liqueurs it visually resembles. It certainly provides a new means for exploring the Negroni g format.

Negroni Bianco

1 serving A va r i a t i o n o f t h e w h i t e Negroni recipe originally invented by Wayne Collins, this adjusts the classic proportions to accommodate the Luxardo Bitter Bianco, a clear bittersweet liqueur that’s milder and more citrusy than many gentian-based liqueurs. You’ll want a juniperforward gin for this — Junipero is a good option, but a classic like Tanqueray or Beefeater will work, too. The celery bitters are optional, but add great aromatics. Luxardo Bianco is available Luxa at Ace A Beverage and Batch ŇʼnĨ Ǖ*ǕǕ\ Ňʼn Adapted from a Luxardo-branded recipe.

Ingredients Ice Ň  

 Ǖ Ň  Ů Ǖ ǔ  Ň nce Luxardo Bitter Bianco liqueur (see headnote) 2 dashes celery bitters (optional) Grapefruit peel or orange slice, for garnish

Steps Place a large ice cube in a rocks glass and hold in the freezer while you make the drink. Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add the gin, vermouth, liqueur and the bitters, if using, and stir for about Ňŋ  Ĩ ǕǕ \ Strain into the chilled rocks glass. Express the grapefruit peel over the surface of the drink (by twisting it) and drop it in, or simply add the orange slice). -ǕǕ ş.Ǖ]ŇŎņ ǕĨņ   ǕĨŌ  ĨņĨ 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 ǔ

ǕǔĨņ Ǖű Ĩņ

Thank You Greater Mankato. Proud to Serve You.

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MANKATO MAGAZINE • AUGUST 2017 • 55


ƫƥƘƨƩƲƧƬƥƷ By Jean Lundquist

Creativity counts in a tiny garden Photo by Pat Christman

T

his past spring, I laid out my garden keeping the rotation of my crops in mind. Since I’m not growing pile beans, I needed more space to work in my bush beans. I weaned myself down to five tomato plants, plus the one planted in the “grow bag,” also called a “potato bag” by the company that sells it. I obviously don’t have as many varieties as I once grew, but really, when is the last time a family of two needed 46 tomato plants? I tried to justify that number by offering CSA subscriptions, and then by going to the Farmers’ Market, but that’s still a

56 • AUGUST 2017 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

lot of tomatoes. I put in only six pepper plants, two varieties of green beans, beets, carrots, kohlrabi, mesclun, spinach cucumbers, radishes, and a small plot of baby corn, just because I had the room. ,ăëܨ—“Õ¼Ãã«Ã¢«ÃؗÊؓã«Â—ʃ and walked back to my greenhouse ãÊܨèã«ã“ÊôÃô¨—Ã,܁ô㨗ĄãÊ¡ onions sitting there. “No problem,” I thought, “When the first radishes are done, I’ll set the onions in.” That worked great, and I was proud of myself for being so creative. However, a few days later I found my zucchini seeds. I had two varieties

of zucchini, and I had planted neither. A vegetable skewer on the grill needs zucchinis. ,¨“ãôÊ¢ØÊôŒ¢Üʃ¼Ø—“úă¼¼—“ʠ one with my Brandywine tomato, and 㨗Ê㨗Øô«ã¨ÕÊããʗÜʈ,¨“ĄÊô—ØÜʃ herbs and shallots in all my pots. The only thing that had nothing in it yet was the box we had just had custom welded for the planter by the front door. Why not? It would provide a unique visual, I thought, truly showing that a creative gardener lives here. So, I planted two seeds of each variety, watered and felt pretty smug. I always plant two seeds, in case one fails to


germinate. It took less than 24 hours before the chickens had found some bare dirt to scratch around in, and that was the planter by the front door. I had put chicken wire in all my other pots to keep the scratching out, but never gave it another thought about this box. With another custom cut bit of chicken wire, and four more seeds, I forgot about it, and just kept watering. As soon as the seedlings emerged, Bitey the cat thought it looked like a lush bed to take a nap in it. With broken seedlings, but chicken wire in place, I planted four more seeds, and on top of the chicken wire I put a custom cut pit of “Cat Scat Mat” on top. Cat Scat Mat is plastic with half-inch ¼ÊâÕʹ—ØÜ«ÃØÊôÜʈ,ãʰÜó—Øú—ė—ã«ó—ʅ It also works well on the couch in the house for my dog. So today, all 12 zucchini plants are alive and doing well. They are producing like crazy, as all zucchini do. Vegetable skewers on the grill, brushed with garlic butter, are now sometimes comprised completely of zucchini. Fortunately, I have room in the freezer, and in the wintertime chickens love to peck at frozen zucchinis. If it’s

too cold, I just make sure they are laid by the water heater in the coop so they thaw out enough to be pecked. Getting the squash to the mature size that chickens like has been a challenge, though. In the small box, there never seems to be enough water. I water in the morning before work. I water immediately when I get home from work, and I water before I go to bed. I probably should get up at least once during the night to water, and come home from work at noon, all to water. I know I could pull a few out, or ÂÊؗ¼«¹—¼úèã㨗ÂÊėʃŒèã㨗úØ— such nice, healthy plants; it seems it would be a waste. And in my 23 years as a recycling coordinator battling waste, it almost causes me a physical, if not psychological pain to be a part of waste. I could see if the chickens like zucchini leaves and stalks, but I don’t want to encourage them to eat my plants. It might be better to just waste them.

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

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www.cimankato.com MANKATO MAGAZINE • AUGUST 2017 • 57


Your style By Ann Rosenquist Fee

Primer, powder, dignity. Welcome back, eyebrows. H

ere’s a fun game. Take a thing that happens in your real life, a small and ordinary but somewhat surprising thing like seeing a skunk or tripping over a rock in your driveway, and look it up in a dream dictionary. Because, why reserve meaning-seeking for the imagery our sleeping brains conjure up? Why not take what the real world throws our way and consider it just as rich, in terms of symbolism we can fold right back into our conscious daytime mindset, and then walk around with a little more insight or awe? For instance. Saw a real-life skunk? Might be time to confront repressed anger. Tripped over a rock? Leading dream dictionaries suggest you might be sabotaging yourself. Or, to choose just another completely random example, do your eyebrows appear to be falling out in tiny patches that don’t match each other, giving your pre-makeup face an expression of crazed lopsided surprise? “To dream of eyebrows represents dignity and self respect. To dream of losing eyebrows represents a loss of dignity and self-respect,” says Dreambible.com. So, so useful. Not useful as in “maybe I’m losing my actual dignity,” but useful as in confirmation that intact and symmetrical eyebrows do in fact signal something like dignity or authority or confidence, and if you want to project those things rather than a constant low-grade context-free freakout, you’re going to need some product. And not cheap drugstore-makeup pencil in the 58 • AUGUST 2017 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

catch-all (it doesn’t) color “brown.” Not that. Dignity is real and for this you’re going to need some hard-core products, plural.

Product one: Eyelid primer. Which, if you’ve ever used

this, you know that one of its powers is to make even cheap flaky eyeshadow blend better and stay in place all day. It’s the “stay in place all day” feature that’s most valuable in service to your seemingly healthy and confident, not weak or panicked, eyebrows.

Product two: The highest-quality brow powder your

budget can handle, which you’ll select with help from sales professional at Ulta or Sephora or any place where you can try things out before you buy. Because, I’m telling you, you go your whole life with super-dark prominent brows — so dark and prominent that one time backstage at a community theater production some stage mom told you to wipe off some of your eyebrow makeup and you were like BUT I’M NOT WEARING ANY — you live your life like that, and then all of a sudden you need to fill in some missing chunks, and of course you automatically think “dark brown.” Until you try it on and step back and see that the filled-in patches stand out like black permanent marker dots, so you must not be a true “dark brown” after all, which brings into sharp focus the concepts


that 1) everything is relative, and 2) you need experienced professional help to get through this. And you will. Buy the powder she suggests, after trying it on and stepping back to verify that neither you nor she can perceive a color difference between for-real eyebrow and filled-in patch.

Product three: A better brush than

whatever came with the powder. I know, it seems like it wouldn’t make a difference. It makes a difference.

Product four: A cheaper version of the same color as the powder, in pencil form, to keep in your glove compartment for when you get in the car and look up in the rear-view mirror and realize you completely undershot or overshot the missing chunks today, and there’s no time to go back and do it over yet there’s enough happening today that “dignity” would be a nice thing to convey versus “clown” or “dirt on face.” A quick fix is better than nothing. Product five through infinity:

Iron supplements, vitamin B complex, vitamin D, levothyroxine, and/or a good topical corticosteroid. All of these are antidotes to conditions that can cause eyebrows to get patchy. There’s also just basic aging, for which there’s no antidote except being like, well, this is how things look now, let’s see what kind of art project I can make out of it versus resenting it and despairing the fact of mortality. I’m not saying a chill conversation with a sales woman at Ulta should replace a visit to your physician/ pharmacy/supplement aisle. Not at all. I’m just saying, much like the Urban Decay Long-Lasting Eyeshadow Primer Potion currently adhering my brow powder while also giving me a softly pearlescent glow and solid peace of mind, it’s a worthwhile first step.

Ann Rosenquist Fee is executive director of the Arts Center of Saint Peter and a vocalist with The Frye. She blogs at annrosenquistfee.com.

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MANKATO MAGAZINE • AUGUST 2017 • 59


Coming Attractions: August 2

Primus with Clutch 7 p.m Vetter Stone Amphitheater — Mankato — $74, $59.50, $45, $35 — www.verizonwirelesscentermn.com

25 Doll Skin, Next to None and Diskord

8:30 p.m. — The What’s Up? Lounge — 701 N. Riverfront Drive — Mankato — $10, $8 — 21 plus— www.whatsuplounge.com

3-6 Ribfest with music by Travis Tritt, The Wallflowers, Better Than

Ezra, Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, and The Chris Hawkey Band 5-11 p.m. Thursday; 5-11:30 p.m., Friday; 12-11:30 p.m.,Saturday; 12-5 p.m. Sunday — Vetter Stone Amphitheater— Mankato — $10 Thursday and Friday, $10 after 3 p.m. Saturday and free admission Sunday — www.verizonwirelesscentermn.com

9-13 Brown County Free Fair

New Ulm — www.browncountyfreefair.com

9-13 Nicollet County Fair

Nicollet County Fairgrounds — St. Peter — www.nicolletcountyfair.com

10 Screaming For Silence, Arms For Elephants and Cold Kingdom

9 p.m. — The What’s Up? Lounge — 701 N. Riverfront Drive — Mankato — $10 — 21-plus— www. whatsuplounge.com

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Wing & Brewfest with IV Play 7:30 p.m. — Franklin Rogers Field — 601 Reed St. — Mankato — $15 — www.mankatomoondogs.com

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Boyz II Men with En Vogue 7 p.m. — Vetter Stone Amphitheater — $69.50, $42, $47 — www.verizonwirelesscentermn.com

10, 17, 24, 31

Alive After 5 5-7:30 p.m. — Civic Center Plaza — Mankato — Free — www. citycentermankato.com

12 Vines, Wines and Good Times in the Vineyard

12:30-8:30 p.m. — Indian Island Winery — 18018 631st Ave. — Janesville — $2 — www.indianislandwinery.com

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Church of Cash 7 p.m. — Mankato Brewery — Mankato — $10 — 21 Plus — www.mankatobrewery.com

18-19

Buttered Corn Days 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday; 6 p.m. Grand Parade Saturday — Allison Park N.W. — Sleepy Eye — Free — www.sleepyeyechamber.com

19 Adrian Barnett

8 p.m. — The Grand Kabaret — 210 N. Minnesota St. — New Ulm — www.thegrandnewulm.com

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Faces & Places: Photos By SPX Sports

ST. CLAIR DAYS 1. Mikeayla Stadler and Johnny Marks, with radio station 96.7 FM, arranged music for the carnival. 2. Children line the starting line of the half-mile kids’ race. 3. Amara Cords bounces through the inflatable castle. 4. Justin Millhone helps his daughters, Jocelyn Sue and Jaylee, collect candy at the St. Clair parade. 5. After Hannah Brekke was done with her duties as Little Miss St. Clair, she watched the parade with her family. 6. Linnea Wolf and Lily Stoltzman showed off their new balloon hats from the carnival.

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MANKATO MAGAZINE • AUGUST 2017 • 61


Faces & Places: Photos By SPX Sports

NORTH MANKATO FARMER’S MARKET 1. Zac Webb of Hansen Horticulture had many vegetables and decorative plants available to buy. 2. Christa Wolner was assisted by Kaelyn Platz, of Platz Family Produce, at the North Mankato Farmer’s Market. 3. Shama Singh sells handmade, one-of-a-kind greeting cards and bookmarks. 4. Kaylee Carnahan, with Moody Bees Honey, sells organic products made from beeswax. 5. The Garman family was among the vendors. 6. It was a beautiful day at the North Mankato Farmer’s Market.

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Faces & Places: Photos By SPX Sports

EAGLE LAKE MOVIE

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1. Joe and Brynlee Bakken enjoy complimentary popcorn before the movie. 2. This group arrived early for a front-row spot in front of the portable movie screen. 3. Saige McKenna and Blake Atherton arrived early for the movie. 4. A good-sized crowd showed up for showing of “WALL-E” at Eagle Lake Park. 5. Moviegoers (from left) Katie Hoeper, Daevya Ganon and Brett Gardner found a great spot. 6. Shown here are (from left) Ashlyn, Angela Demartini and Kadon Springe. 7. Brianna Anderson and Brad Potter made popcorn for the event.

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MANKATO MAGAZINE • AUGUST 2017 • 63


From this Valley By Pete Steiner

S

Catching up

ummer was once a time to catch your breath. Long, lazy evenings in the backyard (if the mosquitoes weren’t too bad), get to the to-do repair list, an impromptu weekend road trip, maybe a spontaneous picnic. But it’s not just students’ lives that are overscheduled in 2017. At least judging by my life, adults have joined the coterie of those who need to consult their digital devices just to find the next free minute. With graduations, dance recitals, weddings, family reunions and other special occasions filling up June, the Fourth of July had arrived before I could even break out my one pair of cargo shorts (don’t wear ‘em often since a woman once told me my legs were the whitest she had seen...) But now the calendar tells me, it’s already AUGUST??? August: time to clear the deck, get ready for a busy fall. Finally time to catch up! **** Jerry Lager died last May. Not only was he a great salesman, he was a colorful showman! I remember spending lots of Saturday mornings helping him hawk cars over the radio. He’d have the popcorn popping and “tube steaks” broiling, and once a year he’d stage his renowned “Ketchup sale.” “That’s right, Pete, every car we sell today gets the new owner a FULL CASE OF KETCHUP!” My radio colleague, Don Rivet says, ketchup can make just about ANYTHING edible. Still, I have wondered, how long would it take the average family to go through a CASE of ketchup? Unless of course you are hosting a graduation and a wedding and a reunion, all in the near future. Speaking of catching up, I got an unusual amount of feedback on my May article on old Madison Avenue. Joe Miller, whose own Modern Garage currently occupies space along Madison Ave., fondly remembers Baskin Robbins, with its famous 31 flavors served up right there in that little whitewashed brick storefront. He also remembers the Stone Toad, precursor of Tav on the Av, as a 70’s hangout with lots of great music. Ardella Pemble wrote to say not to forget the Red and White grocery store in the 1950’s, near where KFC is today. Tom McGlaughlin regrets that he no longer has his ’57 Chevy, but he remembers cruising in it past the 64 • AUGUST 2017 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

TRAX station, the [first] Clark station, Sambo’s, the Dairy Freeze, the Sunset Motel and Goldfine’s (Madison East). And of course, more than one person remembered driving out Madison Avenue as it morphed into old 2-lane Highway 14: the last stop on the right before you were “out in the country” on Rural Route 4 (about where the Armory is now) was the Kato Outdoor drive-in theater. Did someone really sneak someone in in their trunk? Security was more lax back then! It’s a powerful meme: Places that Are No More — one that I have regularlyexplored since I began writing for Mankato Mag more than a decade ago. The power of a special place seems inescapable, the association of that very important event or period in your life that’s indelibly connected to where it happened. Often when I dream, even half a century later, the events in the dream still occur in and around the house where I grew up. **** So how many photos do you store on your smartphone? I have 1,099. Until I checked just now to get that number, I hadn’t looked at them for four or five days, so sometimes I question why I keep them. When people see me coming with my phone out, they say, uh-oh, here comes Steiner to bore us with more pictures. Still, it’s the function of my phone that I like the most other than the weather app. I feel compelled to record certain moments and events. Someone else said this: the Smartphone has made EVERYONE A PAPARAZZI. It seems every moment of every day must be being recorded by either smartphones or security video. I am reminded of Jim Carrey in “The Truman Show,” when Truman’s entire life was being filmed and streamed live to the world. With camera-equipped, insect-sized drones now able to peer into just about any imaginable space, it’s a great time to be a spy! But please don’t call me paranoid. **** Last thought for today: If Olga Viso is still COO of Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center by the time this is published, I would suggest she come to Mankato next month for the annual PowWow. Talk about living inside the Beltway: anyone here could have told her and the sculptor of the now deconstructed “Gallows” how explosive the events of 1862 still are. Local PowWow organizers, both white and Native American, have spent nearly five decades at efforts toward reconciliation.

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


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MANKATO MAGAZINE • AUGUST 2017 • 65


READING SERIES

2017–2018

Fall 2017

Spring 2018 February 21–22

September 13–14

Stephen Graham Jones

Juan Felipe Herrera

Fiction Writer

Nadine B. Andreas Visiting Writer

Alyssa Striplin

2017 Nadine B. Andreas Graduate Assistant

March 13–16

Lesley Nneka Arimah Eddice B. Barber Visiting Writer

October 12

Marcus Wicker

Jessica Guess

Poet

2017 Robert C. Wright Award Winner

November 9

April 5

Meg Day

Nicole Walker

Poet

Creative Nonfiction Writer and Poet

For more information on the Good Thunder Reading Series visit our website: gt.mnsu.edu All Good Thunder Reading Series events are free and open to the public. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. The 2017-18 Good Thunder Reading Series also receives support from the Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of English, the College of Arts and Humanities, the Office of Institutional Diversity, the Nadine B. Andreas Endowment, the Eddice B. Barber Visiting Writer Endowment, the Robert C. Wright Endowment, and individual donors. The Twin Rivers Council of the Arts, First Congregational UCC, and

Barnes & Noble Bookstore at Minnesota State offer additional assistance. Minnesota State University, Mankato is a member of the Minnesota State system and an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity University. Individuals with a disability who need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this event, please contact Diana Joseph at 507-389-5144 (V), 800-627-3529 or 711 (MRS/TTY) at least three working days prior to the event. This document is available in alternative format to individuals with disabilities by calling the above numbers.

66 • AUGUST 2017 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

Mankatomag 8 17  

People, Places, Lifestyles of the Minnesota River Valley

Mankatomag 8 17  

People, Places, Lifestyles of the Minnesota River Valley

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