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Check Out Our New Website www.FocusOnMagazine.ONLINE

NEW!! ht r ts Spotlig o p S l o o h Sch


STONE SOUP COTTAGE A Sophisticated Farmhouse Restaurant Nestled in the Heart of Cottleville, Missouri

2| focusOn Magazine

MUD JACKING 636-544-1696


We Fix Concrete Problems

St. Charles County Municipality Mayors Sally A. Faith, Saint Charles 636-949-3268 sally.faith@stcharlescitymo.gov Len Pagano, Saint Peters 636-278-2244, ext. 1233 LPagano@stpetersmo.net Bill Hennessy, O’Fallon 636-379-5500 bhennessy@ofallon.mo.us Nick Guccione, Wentzville Nick.Guccione@wentzvillemo.org 636-639-0354 Kathy Schweikert, Lake St. Louis 636-561-4366 kathyschweikert@yahoo.com Jim Hennessey, Cottleville 636-498-6565 Ext. 100 jim.hennessey@cityofcottleville.com Donald D. Licklider, Weldon spring 636-441-2110 ext. 101 dlicklider@weldonspring.org David C. Zucker, Dardenne Paririe 636-755-5306 mayorzucker@dardenneprairie.org

5055 HWY N Suite 107 Cottleville, MO 63304

David Rollins, Augusta 207-626-2300 loretta.lathe@augustamaine.gov Richard West, New Melie 636-578-9574 caninekopz@msn.com Mark Warner, Portage De Sioux 636-899-0640 mark@warnersgarageandguns.com William Richter, West Alton 636-899-0808 willie@richterfarms.com Doug Wynn, Flint Hill 636-327-4441 cityofflinthill@centurytel.net

5th Street Pub

Vernon Bauer, St. Paul 636-980-1063 mayorbauer@gmail.com

5205 5th Street, Cottleville, MO 63304 636-928-5455

Wanda M. Donnelly, Foristell 636-673-2355 mayor@cityofforistell.org focusOn Magazine | 3

TABLE OF CONTENTS St. Charles County Municipality Mayors.....................page 3 Volume 3 - Issue 1 Spring 2019 FocusOn Magazine 5377 State Hwy N Cottleville, Missouri 63304

www.FocusOnMagazine.ONLINE 636-566-0004 contact@FocusOnMag.com Advertising Information Patty@FocusOnMag.com © 2017 OpenBeast, LLC

Publisher’s Note | Meet the Team.............................page 5 Advertiser Directory..................................................page 4 Up Coming Events....................................................page 6 Time Traveler - Archer Alexander.............................page 12 Tapped - Missouri Brewing Co / Dave Johnson..........page 16 The Up and Downs of Being Married to Alzheiner’s...Page 20 Stone Soup Cottage - A Shining Star........................page 24 Exercise for a Healthy Sustainable Weight Loss..........page 27 Platinum Rock Legends - A Whole Lot of Fun..............page 28 First Responder - Chief John Schneider......................page 32 Medical Corner - Common Golf Injuries....................page 36

Distribution Cottleville • O’Fallon Lake St. Louis • Dardenne Prairie Weldon Spring • Wentzville St. Peters • St. Charles New Town

Top Bites - Stone Soup Cottage................................page 43 Sports Zone - Wrestle Like a Girl?............................page 39 Ken Karl Drawing & Illustrations...............................page 40 Chasing the Dragon - This is Ashley’s Story...............page 44 New Business Listing..............................................page 49 Movie Review - Cold Pursuit....................................page 50

Advertiser Directory

A Midsummer Night’s Dream..... page Alzheimer’s Association............ page Bemo’s ................................... page Cat’s Garden........................... page Coach Coletta CBD Hemp Oil... page Cottleville Wine Seller.............. page Get Connected........................ page Grace Church.......................... page Green Street Project................. page Hairy Elephant......................... page Jo’s 5th Street Pub................ page 3, Judy Bateman - Realty............... page Hooks & Ladders Golf Scramble... page KETO Class..............................Page KETO It Works......................... page KFAV Hot Country.................... page Kristy Flood - Realty.................. page Main Street Diner..................... page Maninno’s Market.................... page Midwest Maifest...................... page Missouri Beer.......................... page 4 | focusOn Magazine

19 23 51 30 26 31 49 45 38 42 47 11 42 11 15 34 26 42 30 14 17

Moolah Shrine Circus................. page 2 Mud Jacking.............................. page 3 Hairy Elephant......................... page 42 LBB - BRRR Bash....................... page 18 Ozzie Smith iMac Regeneration... page 38 PB&T Cottleville........................ page 18 Photography by DeClue............ page 34 Piazza Messina....................... page 22 Plank Road Pizza..................... page 47 Print Shop, The........................ page 11 Quick Hit Fitness Lab................ page 46 Rack House, The...................... page 30 Sherry Ruyle - Realty................. page 42 Spectrum Glass........................ page 15 State Farm Insurance.................. page 3 Stone Soup Cottage................... page 9 Susan Brewer - Realty......... page 47, 52 Tap House............................... page 42 Turtle Creek Pub & Grill ........... page 10 Two Shamrocks........................ page 48 White Hare, The...................... page 25

Greetings and I am delighted to present FocusOn Magazine’s 2019 spring edition. To capture a complete springtime excitement, we have featured STONE SOUP COTTAGE in our cover page. And to top it, Kelly Gardner’s “Top Bites” is all about the Cottage. To our history fans: get ready to be treated! Dorris Keeven-Franke’s Time Traveler, spotlights “The Slave From Dardenne Prairie”, and is indeed an eye-opener. I am also excited about Missouri Beer Company’s article by our good friend Andy Appelt. Page 28, Platinum Rock Legends, and yes, you heard it right! Then again, we recently partnered with Ozzie Smith’s iMAC Regeneration Center and rightfully so, our “Medical Corner” has been invigorated by Doug Bouldin. Nonetheless, our surprise element for this edition is SCC Sports Zone by Pat Callihan, with inaugural article “Wrestle Like A Girl”. These Fort Zumwalt West High School Senior are two amazing young ladies. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Saturday May 18th, is our annual gala to benefit Alzheimer’s Association and an event never to me missed. Join us for a fun evening of recognition and VIP networking. It is always our goal to present our county with a magazine that captures the spirit, lifestyle and as well highlight social issues, of its diverse readers. Many thanks for your continued interest if you are joining us again - and if this is your first time to pick up an issue of FocusOn, cheers and welcome. Your feedback and ideas are our heartbeat. Stephen Thompson, Ph.D. Publisher/Owner

Until next time,

shopping | dining | entertainment | news

Steve Naugher

Print Coordinator/Owner

Andy Appelt Tapped

Jeff Bateman FocusOnTV

Kelly Gardner Top Bites

Doug Bouldin Medical Corner

Debbie DeClue Photographer

Darlene Fischer Chasing the Dragon

Skip Stephens First Responder

Patty Taylor

Katy Kruze

Director of Ad Sales

Music & Special Events

Dorris Keeven-Franke Historian

Pat Callihan Sports Zone

Kevin Ziegemeier Movie Critic

Kaylee Adams Social Media

focusOn Magazine | 5

O’Fallon: Green Cottleville: Red Lake Saint Louis: Pink St. Peters: Blue Dardenne Prairie: Orange St. Charles: Purple Wentzville: Aqua Augusta: Yellow MARCH 7th - 10th St. Charles Boat Show

St. Charles Convention Center Thursday: 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm Friday: 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm Saturday: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Adults $9.00 Children (6-12) $5.00 5 & Under Free

9th Moolah Shrine Parade

Riverside Drive, St. Charles Parade starts at 11:00 am Come watch the famous little cars of all colors; of course Moolah’s famous little Yellow fleet will be there. Listen to bands of all types and interact with clowns of all shapes and sizes. www.moolah.org/shrine-circus-parade/

10th Sunday Sips

Piazza Messina, Cottleville 11:30 am - 3:30 pm Music by: Brian & Dawn Duo Join us for Sunday Sips featuring live music, Italian inspired dishes, craft beers, premium wines & cocktail selections. www.piazzamessina.com

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16th Shamrock Run & Parade The Shamrock Run is a 7k

Performance Times: March 21st: 7:00 pm March 22nd: 10:30 am 7:30 pm March 23rd: 10:00 am 2:30 pm 7:30 pm March 24th: 1:00 pm* 6:00 pm

30th & 31st The White Hare Open House

1010 Miralago Way, Cottleville race around Cottleville. We also have a 2-mile fun run Saturday,10:00 am - 5:00 pm that is untimed and starts and (First 100 receive FREE gift!) ends in the same location. Sunday, 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm The race begins in front of the Cottleville Fire Station #1 and *Hearing Impaired Performance Join us for discounts, refreshends in Downtown Cottleville. ments, raffles & more! Runners will receive a Fleet 22nd Feet RFID running bib. RegisSpring Dance 30th tration includes a commemoSt. Peters Cultural Arts Centre Seniors Meals On Wheels rative shirt and refreshments at 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm the finish for runners over 21 Dance years of age. Krekel Civic Center, Individuals, couples and 305 Civic Park Dr., O’Fallon groups are invited to the St. For more information and/or 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm Peters Cultural Arts Centre’s to register for this race, go to Spring Dance! Everyone is enwww.shamrockparade.com/run Dance the night away at the couraged to dress up for the new Krekel Civic Center and occasion. Juke Box ProducThe Shamrock Parade will help Meals on Wheels, too. tions’ DJ will play music that begin at noon and the route will get you springing up onto runs down Highway N from Admission: the dance floor! Warren Elementary to Francis $10 for ages 64 and under. Howell Central High School. $8 for 65 - 79 with ID. Tickets are $7/person at the For more information go to Free for age 80+ with ID. door. www.shamrockparade.com/parade The fun includes music, a Bringing your own food and 17th 50/50 drawing, door prize snacks is encouraged. Soda Sunday Sips drawings and a free dance will be available for purchase. Piazza Messina, Cottleville lesson from 6:15 pm – 7:00 11:30 am - 3:30 pm pm. Snacks will be available 24th Music by: Mad Beats Duo for purchase. No alcohol or Sunday Sips carry-ins allowed. Piazza Messina, Cottleville Join us for Sunday Sips featur11:30 am - 3:30 pm ing live music, Italian inspired 31st Music by: Scott Laytham & Karl Sunday Sips dishes, craft beers, premium Trickee Holmes wines & cocktail selections. Piazza Messina, Cottleville 11:30 am - 3:30 pm Join us for Sunday Sips featuring www.piazzamessina.com Music by: Graven & LaDuke live music, Italian inspired dishes, craft beers, premium wines & Join us for Sunday Sips featur21st - 24th cocktail selections. ing live music, Italian inspired Moolah Shrine Circus dishes, craft beers, premium Family Arena, St. Charles www.piazzamessina.com wines & cocktail selections. Tickets: $18.50 - $38.50 www.piazzamessina.com Parking: $10.00

O’Fallon: Green Cottleville: Red Lake St. Louis: Pink St. Peters: Blue Dardenne Prairie: Orange St. Charles: Purple Wentzville: Aqua Augusta: Yellow APRIL 5th Underwater Egg Hunt Renaud Center, O’Fallon 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Kids will be divided into age groups to search for eggs. Bring swimming goggles and a waterproof basket or container for gathering eggs. Parents should register kids by Friday, March 15th.

6th Adult Easter Egg Hunt CarShield Field, O’Fallon 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm and 6:30pm – 9:00 pm

Ages 21+ only. Choose to register for an afternoon hunt or a nighttime hunt! Bring your own flashlight for the evening hunt. Adult beverages will be awarded when the eggs have all been collected. All participants will receive a commemorative souvenir and other awesome door prizes. Food trucks will be on-site!

5th - 7th Builders St. Charles Home Show

St. Charles Convention Center Friday: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm Saturday: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm This event gives you the opportunity to see, learn about and buy the latest home improvement products and services. No admission or parking fees.

11th Bus Tour: Jefferson Barracks 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Spend the 75th Anniversary of D-Day by visiting Jefferson Barracks Park, museums and cemetery. Enjoy lunch at the awardwinning Café Telegraph. To register, call 636-939-2386, ext. 1400

13th Easter EGGstravaganza Heartland Park, Wentzville

There will be thousands of eggs filled with candy and prizes. Don’t forget your basket to collect your goodies. Children will be grouped according to their age. Registration in advance is $4 per child. The day of the event is $5. 9:15 am: Ages 1-2, 7-8, 9-10 9:45 am: Ages 3-4 & 5-6

Bunny Run

Heartland Park, Wentzville In addition to the Bunny Run 5K, there will be a 1-Mile Fun Run/Walk. Enjoy a visit from the Easter Bunny, post-race food and drinks, a chocolate bunny finishers prize for all participants, as well as overall and age-group awards. Costume contest for team, best female and best male. Registration starts at 5:30 am. Race starts at 7:00 am. The first 100 5K entrants will receive a custom race shirt.

Bone Hunt

Rotary Park, Wentzville Your dog will bark for bones when all kinds of dog treats and bones will be hidden for your furry friends. Dogs must remain on leashes at all times. Bring a basket to put your treats in! After the hunting ends, each dog will receive a “doggie bag” to take home. We will also draw for door prizes.

16th Food Truck Event

Sports Complex 3801 Mueller Rd, St. Charles 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm Enjoy live entertainment as you indulge in a variety of delicious food options. Some trucks at this event may be cash only. It is recommended that you bring your own lawn chair or blanket.


$8/$10 per dog in advance Hooks & Slices Golf or $15 for day-of registration. Tournament You must turn in proof of vaccinations when registering your pet.

Easter Egg Hunt

Founders Park, Lake St. Louis 10:00 am - 12:00 pm Includes bounce houses, pony rides, face painting, a balloon artist, games, activities, visits from the Easter Bunny, and much more! Children 10 and under can participate in the Easter egg hunts.

Service First Real Estate Easter Egg Hunt Legacy Park, Cottleville

Pictures with the Easter Bunny begin at 9:45 am. Easter Egg Hunt at 10:00 am

14th World’s Largest Garage Sale

Family Arena, St. Charles 7:00 am - Early Bird 8:00 am - General Admission $10.00 (Early Bird) $5.00 (General Admission) 12 & Under Free

Links of Dardenne

This 4-Man Scramble will benefit The Alzheimers Assoc. For more information, contact Pat Callihan 314-223-9845

Easter Egg Hunt, Earth Day Festival, and Arbor Day Celebration City Hall Park, Dardenne Prairie

Easter Egg Hunts will be divided by age and begin at 10:00 am with the 0-2 and 3-4 age groups. Ages 5-6 and 7-8 will follow. Join us for our Earth Day Festival and Arbor Day Celebration from 9:00 am 11:00 am.

23rd Taste of the Country

The Meadows at Lake St. Louis 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm Featuring an impressive list of food vendors, live music and fun! $20 per person for ages 12 and up. Call 636-327-6914 to reserve your tickets.

7 focusOn Magazine | 11

O’Fallon: Green Cottleville: Red Lake St. Louis: Pink St. Peters: Blue Dardenne Prairie: Orange St. Charles: Purple Wentzville: Aqua Augusta: Yellow MAY 4th Founders Day

Fort Zumwalt Park, O’Fallon 10:00 am - 2:00 pm Celebrate O’Fallon’s history with demonstrations of heritage skills, hands-on activities and more!

4th and 5th Main Street In Bloom Main Street, St. Charles 10:00 am Saturday 12:00 pm Sunday

Decked out in flowers and color, Main Street will come alive with the Lewis and Clark Fife and Drum Corps performance on Saturday and Sunday starting at 1:30 pm and Maypole Dancing in Berthold Square on Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm.

10th RecNite

Renaud Center, O’Fallon 6:00 pm 8:00 pm This new, family-friendly open house features free admission and activities, including a bounce house, balloon artist, face painting and rock wall climbing. Food will be available for purchase.

O’Fallon’s Project HOME Golf Tournament

The Falls Golf Club, O’Fallon Doors open at 10:00 am. Shotgun start at 11:30 am. $400 per foursome. To register a team, be a sponsor, or to donate, please call 636-379-5411 or email ajaegers@ofallon.mo.us.

12 | focusOn Magazine

11th Midwest Maifest

New Town Amphitheater 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm A one-day festival to celebrate the arrival of Spring and the rich German heritage in St. Charles County. The festivities will include: Product samples from local craft breweries, wineries, spirit distilleries, and live German entertainment.

17th Outdoor Summer Concert Series City Hall Park, 2032 Hanley Road, Dardenne Prairie.

These free outdoor concerts have provided a great way to enjoy the summer with family and friends. The series features an exciting line up of bands and takes place on the 3rd Friday of each month starting May 17th, from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.


14th Bus Tour: Warm Springs Ranch

Visit with the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales at their new breeding farm, Warm Springs Ranch, near Boonville, Missouri. Learn all about the horses and get close and friendly with the young colts.


Gala to End Alzheimers Mid-Summer Night’s Dream Piazza Messina, Cottleville This is the premier annual event in St. Charles County to benefit the Alzheimers Association.

24th - 26th Missouri River Irish Fest Frontier Park, St. Charles

Friday: 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm Saturday: 10:00 am - 11:00 pm Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Irish vendors, food/drink, live music, children’s area and more. The largest FREE Irish Festival in the Midwest!

27th Cobblestone Nationals Car Show

Fast Lane Classic Cars 427 Little Hills Blvd, St. Charles The 31st Annual Cobblestone Nationals will take place on Memorial Day from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Spectators are encouraged to stop by for fun, food, and entertainment! Our shows are always fun for the entire family.

Join us for this mystical Memorial Day Ceremony themed gala with gourmet Enjoy a lunch consisting of O’Fallon’s Veterans Memorial food, open bar, music, and salad, deli meats, chips, Walk at 11:00 am more. cheeses and sandwiches at the Les Bourgeois Winery Tickets can be purchased Bistro, overlooking the Misthrough www.eventbrite.com souri River near Rocheport. Sample wines and spirits on For more information, go to your own at the Les Bourgeois www.focusonmagazine.online Winery tasting facility and gift shop. Lastly, explore some of the quaint shops and the Katy Trail while visiting the historic village of Rocheport, Armed Forces Day Ceremony Missouri. O’Fallon’s Veterans Memorial Walk at 11:00 am To register, call 636-939-2386, ext. 1400 22nd

17th - 19th Wentzville Days Fair and Music Festival Join us for food, music and fun on the streets of downtown Wentzville! This threeday, family-friendly event will include carnival games, a kids stage, kids activities, food, craft and art vendors and much more.

O’Fallon Public Works Fair

Ozzie Smith Sports Complex 10:00 am - 2:00 pm Both kids and adults will enjoy seeing big trucks and specialized equipment used to provide City services, such as a street sweeper, recycling truck, snow plow, paint striper and more. A free hot dog lunch with chips and water will be available.

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focusOn Magazine | 9

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focusOn Magazine | 11

Time Traveler The History of St. Charles County

Archer Alexander the slave from Dardenne Prairie By: Dorris Keeven-Franke

When Missouri entered the Union in 1821, it entered allowing that “peculiar institution” called slavery. Those from Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee saw the opportunity to expand their horizons. And when the Germans observed the great migration, they took advantage as well. That set up a conflict that would make Missouri a microcosm of the Civil War itself. And while the story of a slave named Archer Alexander is the story of both slavery and emancipation, most of all it is the story of freedom. And unlike any other story of the Civil War, the slave is the hero, and rightly so. Archer Alexander, or Archey, was a slave born in Virginia, that was first brought to Missouri in 1829, by his master James H. Alexander, who settled on Dardenne Prairie, in St. Charles County. Unfortunately, James died shortly afterwards, and Archey would become the property of the Pitman family. The Pitmans were what was called then, a “Haystack” because while they owned slaves, they were for the Union. What a “secessionist” family like the Alexanders, or Campbells, or the Naylors most likely disliked. The Germans had arrived in the St. Charles County at about the same time, looking for the same thing that the slaves dreamed of – Freedom. They had fled a country of oppression, famine, and a monarchy. Here they found it ironic that the Missouri debate was all about that same issue. A debate that they saw no reason for, because the Constitution declared all men were created equal. 12 | focusOn Magazine

Being immigrants, they understood how prejudice felt, but were determined to see democracy rule. This was now home, and they were part of the neighborhood too. Archey’s wife was a slave of the Naylor family, who ran a mercantile on the Boone’s Lick Road, today’s Hwy. N as it crosses the prairie. John Naylor had come from Kentucky early on, a Presbyterian Minister who was one of the first Elders of the Dardenne Presbyterian Church. When he died, his son James would carry on and inherit the family slaves. James Naylor owned Archey’s wife, Louisa, mother of his ten children. Nearby John Gill had established the mill in 1821, and across the road from him was the home of William Campbell, an attorney and brother-in-law of Archey’s original owner James Alexander. This peaceful hamlet lay where today’s Hwy K and Hwy N intersect, south of Arnold Krekel’s O’Fallon, and west of Cottleville. The father of Archey had been sold south when he was young, because he was considered uppity. A trait that Archey had inherited. However, broad minded Pitman, considered it a good thing and even believed in education. Even though after 1847, it was illegal to teach a slave how to read or write, many managed to find a way to learn. And they listened. They knew who was a Confederate, who was a haystack and who was a German. Then on February 28, 1863 Archey’s world would suddenly change, when those worlds

collided. He overheard the neighborhood men, plotting to undermine the Peruque Creek bridge that carried Union troops, and did the bravest thing a slave could ever do. In the dark of night, he took off and ran five miles north to warn “Krekle’s Dutch” stationed there, of the impending disaster. Soon realizing that fingers would point, and it would be realized who warned Krekel and his men, Archey took fled. A fugitive slave utilizing St. Charles’ County’s underground network of German abolitionists he made his way to St. Louis, and the safe house of William G. Eliot. A Unitarian Minister, and founder of Washington University, he not only took Archey into his home, but attempted to secure his freedom. Although a fugitive slave, when Archey reported the traitorous work to destroy the railroad, the Provost Marshall granted him a temporary restraining order, to investigate. When Eliot tried to secure Archey’s freedom, by offering to purchase him, those accused sent Slave Catchers to try to snatch him and sell him south. Archey was badly hurt, but was rescued, and sent to Alton to live for a while. He made enough money while working in Illinois, that he wanted to buy Louisa from James Naylor. However, “Master Jim” refused to sell Louisa, saying it would only be at the tip of a bayonet that she would be freed. A German immigrant would secretly aid Louisa, and her youngest daughter, and help them make their way to St. Louis and the Eliot home. Soon thereafter though, all Missouri slaves would be emancipated on January 11, 1865, through Missouri’s Constitutional Convention. O’Fallon’s founder Arnold Krekel, was President, and the first to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. After the war ended, Louisa died, and Archey remarried. He and William G. Eliot would remain friends, with Archey working as a gardener and tending the home. A former slave named Charlotte Scott, had started a drive for a monument to Abraham Lincoln. However, the plan was sidetracked for a while until Eliot became involved. He shared the plan with sculptor Thomas Ball, and in 1879, was able to revive the project. On April 14, 1876, Archer Alexander was the first African American to ever be memorialized in Washington, D.C... There the St. Charles County slave would forever be the face recognized. Kneeling below Lincoln “the Great Emancipator” he is shown breaking his own chains.

Julia would die in 1879, and Archey would follow in 1880. Recently their graves were discovered to be in St. Peter’s U.C.C. Cemetery in St. Louis, contrary to Eliot’s biography “The Story of Archer Alexander from Slavery to Freedom, March 30, 1863”. Eliot’s book, published in 1885, shares the story of Archey’s life, but works to protect those still living, by changing the names of some of those involved in his life. Caught up in a tumultuous time, a participant in history changing events, the story of the “uppity” slave from St. Charles County, would become a national symbol forever memorialized. Recently, the family of Muhammed Ali would discover through the wonders of modern DNA, that they too are descendants of Archer Alexander. The tradition continues with another African American who against all obstacles would achieve greatness. St. Charles County has recently recognized Archer Alexander’s heroism, with renaming Tributary C, a small stream that flows through the former farm of the Pitman’s, by renaming it Archer Alexander Creek.

Emancipation Statue in Park Square

(Photograph from the Boston Public Library Collection circa 1877-1895)

focusOn Magazine | 13

14 | focusOn Magazine

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By: Andy Appelt

St. Charles County is...



CRAFT BEER PUBS & BREWERIES Missouri Beer Company 22 W Industrial Dr. O’Fallon, MO 63366 Phone: (636) 294-6672

Beer Times... They is a-Changin’ January 31, 2019 - It’s the coldest day of the year in Missouri and I stop in at the Brewery after 4pm for an interview with the Brew master. As I walk in, I notice that the door is open to all and the brewery is warm and bright with lights and there is a sense of accomplishment in the atmosphere. Freshly Brewed Beer has been canned and kegged over the course of the past few days. Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like for you to meet Dave Johnson.

Dave is the Owner and Master Brewer of Missouri Beer Company. Located in O’Fallon Missouri just off of Hoff Road and the North Service Road between Bryan Rd. and Lake St Louis Blvd. Missouri Beer Company was founded in April of 2016 and started serving beer in April of 2017. Regular tasting room hours are 11:00am until 5:30pm and 16 | focusOn Magazine

there will be extended hours for a newly expanded tap room from 3 pm until 9 or 10 pm. They are also open on most Saturdays just check on Facebook or give them a call to be sure. The tap room is set to open up early this spring. This will be a great way for patrons to get involved with the Brewery and enjoy the best moments in time with family and friends. I’ve been sitting at the bar drinking a Red Rye IPA talking to Dave for almost an hour now. I’m not sure that he even knows I’m giving him an interview. It’s that type of atmosphere here. It’s such a down to earth and cool place to drink a pint and meet the maker of some of Missouri’s most “True to Style” Craft Brew. Dave and I have been talking about everything but beer for a while now. Everything from the newly installed 84” fans in the Brewery to the grains that were not delivered due to the -20 temps in Chicago this past week, to the fact that Dave has been a musician most of his life and has a current band that plays out when they have time to. They’ve been known to be found in the Wentzville area for a jam session recently. He plays Bass Guitar and the band he’s in plays classic rock with a few newer songs thrown into the mix. Dave plans to have a Mic and P.A. system wired into the Tap Room when completed so his band can practice there and other musicians from the area will feel welcome to sit in for an open jam or mic night from time to time. The new addition has a high ceiling and large tables

perfect for a group of your best friends to gather and wide-open tap room experience. By: have SteveaNaugher

Now we get into the Makers style and Missouri Beer Company Craft Brew. Many Craft Beer Connoisseurs know, Dave. Dave has a great story and a long history in Craft Beer making. Dave’s Brewing style is to brew each of his beers as “True to Style” as possible. When you order a Kolsch style Ale you are getting true German craftmanship right down to the ingredients. Yes, these ingredients are from Germany! Every ingredient except for the water! When you order an

English style Dark Mild Ale you are tasting English Malt, Hops, and Yeast. Even the Pilsner has European ingredients. These European “True to Style” Craft Brews are not Americanized. Here is a short list of Brews that Missouri Beer Company has to offer. English Style Dark Mild Ale, Kolsch Style Ale, Berliner Weiss, Pilsner, Eastern MO IPA, Red Rye IPA, Dry Stout, and the list goes on and on. Dave has a plethora of knowledge in beer making and its current and past history. He is also a member of the Missouri Craft Brewers Guild. Even if you are just discovering craft beer and what it is all about, Dave’s humble and down to earth personality will have you feeling welcome to the industry and wanting to join in to raise a toast to the accomplishments of Craft Beer in the Midwest. ~Beer Time’s They Are a-Changin’! These local craft breweries of today are what the original founders of beer brought from the old world of beer making from places such as Germany and England to America truly intended. We are investing in our people, work forces and local townships such as it once was so long ago. All the while partnering and socializing with our family, friends’ neighbors and companions in a true “cheer” to the future of beer.

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The Ups & Downs of Being Married to Alzheimer’s:

by: Katy Kruze

Pam & Billy D...

a love story

It is 12:45pm on an icy Sunday when I pull up to the home of Billy and Pam Dawson. I was asked to meet with them, as Billy has a story to share about living with Alzheimer’s, a story he is more than happy to allow me to scribe, then share with all of you! Let me clarify, it is not Billy that suffers from this disease that ever so slowly and cruelly destroys the memory and thinking skills of those afflicted, it is his Love, his Life, his Wife Pam. When it comes to Alzheimer’s awareness, most of us need no further education there, we, Joe Q Public, know much of what this disease is and the deeply sad side effects it has on those who can only stand idly by and watch, as their loved ones are taken away from them. Billy’s story is more a peek behind the curtain of what it is like to be on the front lines, as a spouse. As I enter their home I see Pam sitting on the couch, she is frail, but all smiles and being closely guarded by their adorable furry family member Penny. Penny, is the 10-year-old family dog, sitting closely to Pam and she is a bit anxious that a strange face has entered the room as she is very protective of “her Mom”! With focused eyes on “the stranger”, Penny is now clearly tense, but Billy hands me a doggie treat as a peace offering and it worked, as she is now much more at ease. Billy walks over and strokes Pam’s hair, joking that he did his best to style her as she would have liked, but Pam now has a fear of water, so sometimes simple grooming is not so simple. Day to day bathing has become more of a three times a week endeavor because to Pam water has become dangerous and scary. As Billy turns to sit in his recliner he jokes about it and Pam laughs along softly. I am now sitting across from Billy, or Billy D as he is better known, and we start the “get to know each other” conversation. He, like Pam, is all smiles, but also very relaxed and easy to talk to. Not surprising that he has these personality characteristics, given he’s lived quite a life working in some pretty cool professions! Billy D was a nationally touring musician through the 70’s and early 80’s, then a Firefighter for well over 2 20 | focusOn Magazine

me & Pa

m at the l ake with April 12, Sarah and Emily 2015

decades, he is currently one of the Owners of the highly successful ‘Mr. Fix It’, and is just launching a new business, a nice compliment to “Mister Fix It” called ‘It’s Just Routine’. He’s definitely a “people person”, and a very busy one at that! As our conversation unfolds, Billy tells the story of how Pam was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2009. She collapsed suddenly with a seizer while they were on vacation. There were no warning signs they can directly point to, making this even more frightening! The early diagnosis from Doctors regarding “issues” Pam started having outside of the seizer itself, were a bit shocking, their conclusion, “it’s all in her head”, “she was making things up”. It is noteworthy to tell you that at this time, Pam is a highly successful Career Woman making a very comfortable $100,000 annual salary as a fairly high level Manager at a Corporation, while also working as an occasional Wedding Planner and Grief Counselor at their Church. There was no way this was “all in her head.” As odd as it sounds, many months passed before the Doctors finally realized what was really going on. Billy D and I talked about a variety of things such as Pam’s new found unwillingness to eat, probably because she has lost all sense of taste, she also no longer feels pain, something that is more of a curse than a Blessing. As many conversations in life go, ours went from serious to sad but at times lighthearted and funny. In those “funny moments”, Billy D and I shared some laughs with Pam which lead me to wonder……….. is

she there, is she with us? At this stage in my life I have been very Blessed to have had no personal experience with Alzheimer’s, this was all new to me, but it sure seemed as though she was following our dialogue. I asked Billy D if I could ask Pam some questions? His response was “Oh, yeah, ask away, she just won’t have any answers for you, at least not correct ones.” With that I had to ” test the waters”, and of course he was right, she did have very brief answers, and they were what she believed to be true, nothing close to reality. One big truth in all this is that for Billy D, dealing with Alzheimer’s is nothing new, his Maternal Grandmother, Mother and late in life, his Father were all victims. Upon Pam’s diagnosis, he was obviously devastated, but also confident, confident that he knew “what to do”, having dealt with so much of this in the past. Then Billy D was quick to admit, “he had no clue”. Even dealing with his parents and Grandmother, everything is different when you are married to Alzheimer’s. He goes on to say that as his wife’s disease progressed he found himself more and more “in Pam’s world”. He has learned to translate what her needs are because any sort of clear communication is a thing of the past. He plays fun little games with Pam, along with silly things like spontaneously tickling her, anything to keep her engaged. As I continued to spend time with Pam, I noticed her behaviors were a mix of typical and not so typical. I was drawn in, and continued to want to believe she was “with us”, and actually understanding what we were saying, I wanted that so badly, but it just was not the case. Billy D went on to explain that Pam does have her “moments of clarity”, and where I saw that as a glimmer of hope, those moments are, in reality, the hardest times for both of them. Even though Pam’s Alzheimer is advanced, she has break throughs when she is fully aware of exactly what she can no longer do. She gets angry out of sheer frustration, until she “disappears” again and all is calm. Billy D tells me how every day from 3pm until around 5pm her “Sundowners sets in”. Sundowners is a word used by people who care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s and other “ Like” afflictions, describing the part of the day when they are “just not there”. Billy tells me that Pam’s eyes are green, but in those times she is “not there” they actually turn black. One of the things that jumped out to me during my visit was when Billy D looked at me and said, “Oh, and……everybody leaves”. He was referring to their ever dwindling circle of Family and Friends that lend a hand with Pam’s care. He goes on to explain that over the years’, people just stop coming around and his only best guess as to why is that they stay away because of fear. Fear of not knowing what to do, what to say, how to act or how to feel. Fear of facing Pam, who is now only someone that they used to know. “No one comes here anymore”, he said, with a steady strength that as-

tounded me, but showed me again why he is her Rock! Thusly, they never go anywhere, anymore, ever. They can’t, Pam has become so afraid of the outside world that life now exists in the space of two bedrooms, a kitchen and a living room. In all of this uncertainty, one this is clear, Billy D makes the most of the space they have and the time they have left. Together they laugh, joke, and simply survive day to day. As you can imagine, keeping things “normal” 9 to 5 is a Must for Billy D! Again, he helps run successful businesses, businesses he needs to make sure stay successful, because the bills for Pam’s care only increase with the progression of the disease. During the day Pam has Hospice care, but it’s all Billy D, all other waking and non-waking moments that are left. He also says that every day there is a ”grieving process”. Some days are tolerable, some days he goes through all five stages of grieving. He is involved with a support group called ‘Purple Sherpa’s’, a global support community that offers a platform to vent, cry, laugh, lean and learn more and more that Alzheimer’s is as individual as the person it effects. Treatments or therapy’s that work for some don’t work for others, there is no consistency with the disease at all, even within the person afflicted. What might work one week, does not work the next, it’s always a game of “what’s around the next corner”. Through everything Billy D is not bitter or angry about his and Pam’s situation. He has learned how to cope the best he can with the lowest of lows and how to enjoy the small things in life. Sometimes he’s even at peace with the frustrations that go along with caring for someone, who’s personality can change from hour to hour. The only thing that is consistent with Alzheimer is its destructive nature. It is an equal opportunity stealer of lives and dispenser of heartbreak. It also shows us that in the darkest of times there stand Hero’s like Billy D who when he found himself Married to Alzheimer’s still believes in love, loyalty, and Till Death Do Us Part…………but not without a fight!


me ,

ny -

Pen d n a m Pa

1, 2 2 y r a u Jan

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For Alzheimer’s First Survivor At the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s®, people carry flowers representing their connection to Alzheimer’s — a disease that currently has no cure. But what if one day there was a flower for Alzheimer’s first survivor? What if there were millions of them? Help make that beautiful day happen by joining us for the world’s largest fundraiser to fight the disease. Register today at act.alz.org/sccwalk2019.


Stone Soup Cottage 10 Years as Cottleville’s Shining Star By: Kelly Gardner

In 2017, St. Louis Post Dispatch food critic Ian Froeb named Stone Soup Cottage the Number 1 restaurant in the St. Louis area. To be fair, Stone Soup Cottage had received numerous plaudits locally, regionally and nationally over its first 8 years of existence. But when Mr. Froeb tagged a restaurant in Cottleville, MO at Number 1, almost everyone east and south of the Missouri river started to ask, “Where is Cottleville”? This is a story of how Carl and Nancy McConnell’s dream restaurant became the North Star for Cottleville, MO.

Carl’s dad was a career GM executive and loved to cook, but because of his job and travels their time together was precious and he knew his dad loved his down time. They spent much of that down time watching TV and loved to watch cooking shows featuring the Cajun Chef Justin Wilson and Julia Childs. Carl laments the fact that these were chefs that became celebrities based on their culinary skills, in stark contrast to today’s world where celebrity many times becomes the goal, at the expense of making great food.

Chef Carl McConnell is a dichotomy. He describes himself as the most liberal looking conservative he knows, although it’s really the perfect fit. He bounces between right brain and left brain tendencies, creative and artistic at the same time well organized, analytical and disciplined. The reality is that Carl is a product of a diverse background with multiple influencers and mentors that shaped him into one of the top chefs in the Midwest.

Later in his teens he loved watching channel 9, and his parents would let him watch Graham Kerr, Julia Childs and the Frugal gourmet, postponing homework until the 4-5:30 programming ended. It was during this time that he fell in love with Great Chefs of the World, a show he considers the best cooking show ever and he still goes back and watches episodes on YouTube for his own professional development. He loves the fact that these shows focused on food as simple but elegant, and the show defined the elegance and class of restaurant cooking as an educated professional endeavor defining culinary culture.

Some of Carl’s earliest food memories come from his time in Grafton, Massachusetts from 1982-1989. He lived next door to two African American ladies he affectionately refers to as Aunt Bev and Aunt Joanie. Aunt Joanie was an incredible cook and would solicit Carl’s help to prepare for their big summer parties with family from Atlanta. For five days he would help prepare, and learned how to make bouillabaisse, greens and ribs and he still has a fondness for southern cooking from this experience. One day the aunts took Carl to Chinatown in Boston, while walking down the street holding hands with this young boy, they engendered some funny looks. Bev and Joanie simply said, “Carl, you shouldn’t see color, we see you as a sweet young man”. It was a life lesson Carl carries with him and shares with his team today. 24 | focusOn Magazine

He mentions that Anthony Bourdain’s book, Kitchen Confidential, changed everything. He was in culinary school at the time and he felt like it glorified the rebellious, bad boy approach so often celebrated today. Carl harkens back to the kinder, gentler days where class, elegance and respect are the rule, inside the kitchen and out. Before Carl’s senior year in high school, his family moved to Michigan where he tried out for the wrestling team. The coach was a former WWF wrestler known as The Orange Crush. He remembers those workouts as the most intense workouts of his life. He learned how to fight, to persevere and to never quit.

Today he regularly meets his staff at the gym in the morning to stay fit so their performance in the restaurant can be at its best. In 10 years, Chef McConnell has never missed a dinner service, and he acknowledges that the work ethic and discipline he learned as a teen rings just as true today as an adult. After finishing culinary school, and anxious to see more of the world, Carl began an extended career working as a chef in the travel industry. He cooked on ships, on private planes, at exotic locations around the globe. One of the ships he served on as an executive chef was an ice cutter traveling in arctic waters near Spits Berg, or Spitsbergen, far north of Sweden. It was there that Carl met “this beautiful, bad ass woman” driving a zodiac for travelers that went out on polar bear viewing expeditions. Carl asked Nancy out and one of their first dates was near Longyearbyn on Spitsbergen. Later that year Carl and Nancy moved to the Central West End and in 2000 were married at St. Ambrose by Msgr. Vince Bommarito. Carl and Nancy McConnell still had an urge to travel and worked for the same travel company in Seattle for a couple of years before moving back to St. Louis. Carl fondly recalls his time working for two of the titans of the travel industry, Barney Ebsworth and TC Swartz at different times of his career. He mentioned that anytime Barney came in town he would treat Carl like he was the most important person in the world and said both of these uber rich CEO’s showed him that they valued their people and treated them with respect, regardless of their role. Another lesson learned, another principle of business adopted. In 2002, Carl and Nancy moved to this small, rural town in St. Charles county, called Cottleville, where they wanted to raise their family. Still working for INTRAV, Carl continued to travel and cook, many times turning those work trips into cultural and culinary detours that he recounts with laughter and great detail. In 2008, like many other companies at that time, INTRAV had a reduction in their workforce and Carl found himself without a job for the first time in years. Being healthy, with a strong skill set, Chef McConnell felt strongly about not collecting unemployment and instead put his energy towards finding a new job. His son’s soccer coach mentioned that he was opening a restaurant in Cottleville and the chef that was originally going to join the restaurant changed their plans. Carl became the chef at Sherlock’s in November during the restaurant’s early days and would serve in that role until March when he and Nancy decided that they would together open their own restaurant.

called off late, 3 late reservations added on, and one of the new reservations showed up 15 minutes early with the kids still in the kitchen. To add to the stress, a crash of wine glasses rang in the dining room while Carl was greeting the early arrivals. To give the staff time to clean up he invited the guests to tour the house and gardens prior to the scheduled dining time. A couple of weeks later they received a phone call that St. Louis Post restaurant critic, Joe Bonwich, had visited the restaurant and would be reviewing Stone Soup Cottage the following week. Carl remembers being sick all week, anxiously awaiting a review he hoped wasn’t a knock out blow for the business. Instead, the 3.5 star review was just the catalyst needed to vault the restaurant forward as one of top dining destinations in the St. Louis area. Shockingly, Joe mentioned with fondness being given a tour of the house and gardens, something Carl had never done before, but was compelled to on that stressful night weeks earlier. Much recognition would follow including being named St. Louis Magazine’s Restaurant of the Year, Post Dispatch’s Best New Restaurant followed by James Beard nominations and eventually named the #1 Restaurant in St. Louis for 2017 & 2018 by the Post Dispatch. In 2012 the McConnell’s made the move to their new location on a farm in Cottleville, a decision that was as much about the product they delivered as the fiscal opportunity it presented. They were able to build the restaurant they wanted, and the business has prospered. Reservations are booked months in advance and the rave reviews continue.

On June 19th, 2009, Carl and Nancy took what he dubs a very scary plunge and opened their own restaurant in a small house they rented in Cottleville. The challenges were immense, even for a couple with considerable experience in hospitality and cooking. They were launching a chef’s tasting menu that was unheard of outside of downtown St. Louis or Clayton, while raising two young boys, with Nancy managing the front of the house and Carl the kitchen and service.

Carl points back to many of the life lessons and talks about how the focus on the customer experience is at the core of what they do at the Cottage. “It’s a very simple thing. Every night we focus on the 40 people. It’s a game, perform better than the night before, perfect culinary techniques, perfect service techniques. Also, try to never have a disaster”, he says with a laugh. “It’s not how we do it, it’s the way we do it”, he points at his head, “it came from here”, he points at his heart, “it’s delivered from here”.

There were some very slow evenings when the McConnell’s might call in some friends or family to keep the place from looking empty for the guests that had reservations. Carl remembers a particularly stressful day in early August when the baby sitter

When I meet people from around the region they often ask where I live, when I tell them Cottleville, they almost always say “Isn’t that where Stone Soup Cottage is?”. Yes indeed, Cottleville, MO has truly found its North Star. focusOn Magazine | 25

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by: Courtney Tucker Online Coach Founder of EMPOWER U Courtney@empoweru.life

In addition, heavy resistance training results in EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption), or an afterburn effect . In other words, your body will continue to burn calories even after your lifting session is over. Picking up just any weights won’t cut it. Lifting light weights for a high number of repetitions can improve your muscular endurance, but it won’t allow you to effectively build muscle or improve your body composition. If weight loss is your goal, you must challenge your muscles differently. Here are 4 tips to maximize your lifts! EFFECTIVE RESISTANCE TRAINING FOR WEIGHT LOSS

How to Exercise for Healthy & Sustainable Weight Loss On January 1, many people set a new year’s resolution to lose weight. They commit to regular exercise, which typically consists of hours of cardio and some light weight training. A few weeks in, most people become discouraged and “fall off track,” because they don’t see any real progress. If this sounds all too familiar to you, it’s time to change things up and make better use of your precious time. Because the truth is, you won’t significantly change your body composition, build a toned physique, or increase your metabolism by doing cardio and light weight training alone. If you are serious about losing excess body fat, and keeping it off, then moderate to heavy resistance training should be the main focus of your workouts. In this article, I’ll share how heavy resistance supports healthy and sustainable weight loss and 3 tips for getting more out of your workouts.

1. Focus on form first. It’s imperative that you perform an exercise correctly before increasing the load. Using improper form will not target the muscles properly and can easily lead to injury. If you are new to resistance training, it may be beneficial to hire a trainer or at least do some research on your own. Bodybuilding. com has an extensive database of videos and exercise explanations. 2. Challenge yourself between 5-12 repetitions per set. For each exercise, choose a weight that allows you to perform no more than 12 consecutive repetitions. If you’re consistently pumping out more than 12, it’s time to increase the weight. 3. Progressively overload your muscles. As your muscles get stronger, you should be able to lift more weight. As you increase your resistance, your reps will likely decrease, but you’ll gradually work your way back up. For example, if you performed 3 sets of 10 at 50 pounds on week 1, then by week 4, you may be able to do 3 sets of 8 at 65 pounds. The idea is to gradually increase the overall training volume (reps x sets x weight), while using proper form and staying within the 5-12 rep range.


4. Prioritize compound exercises in your workouts. These are movements that work multiple muscle groups, as compared to isolated exercises which only focus on one muscle group. Some common compound exercises include squats, deadlifts, lunges, leg press, bench press, shoulder press, pull ups, dips, and rows.

imply put, resistance training burns more calories than cardio alone. Effective resistance training will strengthen your muscles. (Ladies, don’t worry, you will NOT get bulky!) Because muscle is more metabolically active than fat, the more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn throughout the day, even atcomplete rest, making it easier to lose unwanted body fat.

If you want to get the most out of your workouts, and start seeing changes in your body, it’s time to ditch the treadmill and pick up some heavier weights. When combined with a healthy diet and an appropriate calorie deficit, effective resistance training is the most efficient way to lose body fat and keep it off (not to mention the many other benefits it will have on your health)! focusOn Magazine | 27

“It’s kind of like they’re the Avengers of Tribute Bands!” - Rolling Stone Magazine by: Katy Kruze

The House lights go out, the stage lights come up, and as the music starts, everyone in the club has devoted their full attention to the stage. Now, if you have spent any time at all watching live music in a club, you know it's not typical for an entire audience to turn their focus from what they are doing, to what is happening on a stage, however, tonight, all eyes are on the stage, on the men ready to perform, and those men are……..Platinum Rock Legends!

Video Superstore, transformed into 'The Phoenix' nightclub by a few area Firefighters, who turned the space into a place where over a thousand local Rockers could meet, party, and celebrate the decadence of the 80's and "Studz" fans could not get enough of what they were delivering! Whether Fans or "first timers", everyone was guaranteed that a Metal Studz show would include the band in full 80's rock regalia, a night of "80's Rock" music, and plenty of stage antics.

Platinum Rock Legends, or, PRL to their Fans, are pretty much the hottest band in the area, and If you have seen them first hand, you understand why large crowds form any place PRL brings their game. To better understand the rise of Platinum Rock Legends is to take a look at where they came from. PRL is the "Brainchild" of Founder and Band Leader Will Lackey. The first hints that PRL was destined to become one of the 'Premier Live Shows' in the state, came in the days of St. Louis sensations, Metal Studz. Metal Studz was a band that Will and longtime friend Tim McKee created in 2003, fellow PRL member Eric Johnson, joined them in 2008. At their peak, Metal Studz had it's own set of frenzied followers, who would spend their weekends pushing or exceeding maximum capacity limits at Helen Fitzgerald's or another the hugely popular club known as 'The Phoenix'. Let me emphasise that pushing maximum capacity limits at a place like Helen Fitzgerald's or The Phoenix was no small feat, especially The Phoenix. The infamous Club was an abandon Blockbuster 28 | focusOn Magazine

What threw things over the top for the Metal Studz, was not only were they good looking, campy, silly, and theatrical, the band was a really good, and they had powerhouse vocals. For most bands, this would be enough, but not for Metal Studz, especially Will, so to "up their creative game", they began creating full length, "storyline" style videos they would use to further amuse the crowds. Both Will and Eric had backgrounds in video/film production, which enabled them to handled every aspect of the process, but even better, it became another

"playground" for their artistic creativity. What evolved were short films that were hilarious, ridiculous, raunchy, and the cleverly written scripts, mostly mocking Pop Culture, became a massive hit with the crowds as Metal Studz continued to incorporate them into their shows. It was now clear, Metal Studz was doing something no other band in town could. They had elevated their "fan experience" from simply just going out to "Rock" with their favorite "live band", to giving them a fully choreographed, multi dimensional show. However, as the story so often goes, there is an expiration date on greatness. Sadly, 'The Phoenix' ended up closing and along with growing conflicts within the band, Metal Studz with Will and Eric, was no more as of 2012. So now the question, what next? Now, more than ever before, Will was driven to entertain, and he saw the end of his era with Metal Studz, as the beginning of bigger and better things. After a brief break from the "band world", Will went to work on the formulation of his next great thing. With

Eric Johnson still along side him, the two took their time creating a band of top notch area musicians, now the band was even better than before. They added multiple singers and broadened their musical scope well beyond just the 80's. These moves created the ability to transition into numerous musical styles, "personas" and "characters", it also vastly broadened their Fan base. The result is something that comes very close to a Las Vegas caliber show, and PRL Fans come out in droves to see re creations of mega music legends like 'Prince', 'Bruno Mars', 'Queen', 'Journey', 'Kid Rock', 'Poison', and even a 'Boy Band' experience known as 'Pen15'. Simply put, much of the charm and appeal of PRL is, as it has always been, that they never take themselves too seriously. I remember talking to Will when his vision of PRL was becoming a reality, and he has always stood by these words, "Hey, if we can make them laugh, everything else falls into place." That said, if laughter really is the best medicine, and music really is good for the soul, then the PRL recipe for success, was guaranteed. Or, perhaps their success was somewhat predestined in that, much like " The Phoenix from the flames", there rose a...

Platinum Rock Legends!

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The First Responder Police • Fire • EMS Skip Stephens, Assistant Chief Cottleville Fire District Contributor

Sit Down with Fire Chief John Schneider of Wentzville Fire Protection District...

”Get Out of Your Comfort Zone” John Schneider was promoted to become the Fire Chief of Wentzville Fire Protection District just a few short months ago, but Chief Schneider is certainly no newcomer when it comes to serving and leading in his community. John was hired by WFPD in January of 2014 to become their Assistant Chief and has spent the last five years working hard to help the District progress forward. A driving force of positive energy, both within WFPD and out in our community, Chief Schneider is a visionary leader. Knowing John for many years, I can tell you that he is a big picture thinker at a level that most people aren’t. He looks at what something is and wonders, “what could it be?” I had the pleasure of sitting down with Chief Schneider in his office and asked him a series of questions so that both you and I could get to know him a little better. Chief, give me the background on where you grew up and how you got into the fire service. Chief Schneider: “Like many St. Charles County residents, I’m originally from Florissant. I went to Sacred Heart Elementary, then to CBC High School, then to the fire academy and EMT school. I became interested in becoming a firefighter because of the local firefighters when I was a kid. As kids, a group of friends and I would always go to the firehouse and play basketball with the guys at Florissant Valley Fire Protection District. They were great guys and taught us a lot. They became informal mentors to me and my friends. I realized then that firefighters are great people and that’s what led me to the fire service. All of those childhood friends that were playing basketball with me at the firehouse all became firefighters too and remain close friends to this day.” John, you are coming up on your 24th year in the fire service having served the City of Ferguson, Metro North Fire Protection District and now Wentzville. Tell me about the craziest call you have been on. Chief Schneider: “It’s hard to say just one as many were interesting. But one that comes to mind is a basement fire 32 | focuson Magazine

we were up on Halls Ferry Circle in North St. Louis. There was an old style, gravity fed oil burning furnace that malfunctioned and started this basement on fire. They had just had the fuel tank filled the day before. We were in the basement and I was on the nozzle when it flashed over the celing. The guys on my crew yelled at me to open the nozzle, but I already had it open and was flowing water like crazy, but it was not having any impact on the fire. The fire was so hot, the water was doing nothing. We knew we were in a dangerous situation as it kept getting hotter and hotter. At that point we just had to retreat. We were extremely fortunate to make it out uninjured.” In your 24 years in the fire service, what has changed and what have you learned? Chief Schneider: “The biggest change is the nature of the service demand. When I was a new firefighter, in the 1990’s, we used to climb on the truck and run fire and EMS calls. Today,

there is a lot more of a wide variety of responses and needs for service. What I learned is that it is never about us, that it is always about the people we serve. That is why we are here – to serve. That is what drives Wentzville Fire District. We want our citizens to know that we put our citizens first in both emergency and non-emergency situations. We ensure that our firefighters receive the most advanced training and expect excellence will preforming their job.” Why do people follow your lead? Chief Schneider: “I think it’s because people realize that I’m willing to jump in, roll up my sleeves, and get my hands dirty. I’m ready to work elbow-to-elbow with everyone and firefighters are very receptive to that.” What do you consider to be a leadership “No-No”? Chief Schneider: “Micro-managing. Constantly watching over people and ordering them to do something a certain way instead of allowing them to create their own path to the desired result. You have to realize that your way isn’t always the best way.” John, what’s is your current focus in regard to your new position as Fire Chief? Chief Schneider: “A lot of things. One of the biggest is concern for our firefighters. Especially with ice and snow on the ground and working so many motor vehicle accidents on the highways. It’s so dangerous out there and the worry weighs on me. So, one of my focuses is on making sure everyone gets home at the end of their shift. Another big focus is on the fact that we protect the largest area of growth in our county. We are expected to cross over 100,000 residents in the next census. We are working hard to keep up and it’s why we just added two additional full time staffed firehouses. We are working every day to ensure our service will meet the demands of the population growth. We monitor response times and ensure that we are well positioned for the future. We are collaborating with Wentzville School District, sharing information with each other, as they are facing similar challenges.”

not black and white. It’s a challenge to always remain calm and execute a plan that isn’t always pre-determined.” Tell me about your biggest mentors. Chief Schneider: “I have had two great mentors. First, was my captain at Metro North, Frank Grassmuck. He taught me so much. But most importantly he taught me how to conduct myself. He taught me professionalism and the importance of training. Another great mentor is Chief Bob Corey, retired from Florissant Valley. He not only gave me a lot of administrative knowledge, but also taught me how to handle various situations and how to treat people like a leader.” If you could go back in time and give advice to the 25 year-old John Schneider, what would you say? Chief Schneider: “Get out of your comfort zone. Think outside of the box and do things you aren’t comfortable doing. That is where growth occurs.” Can you give me something that many residents may not know about you? Chief Schneider: “I was born 2 months premature and I’m missing 3 fingers on my right hand. I spent the first 6 weeks of my life in Children’s Hospital. I struggled with it a little as a kid. It was hard to get other kids, and myself, to fully accept it. As I became a firefighter, it took some time to figure out how to do my job as efficiently as other firefighters. But I was able adapt. I found ways to handle the hose and work the rescue tools just as well as everyone else.”

What is your focus away from the job? Chief Schneider: “It’s definitely my two kids. I’m the father of a high schooler and an eighth grader. I am focused on preparing them for young adulthood and making sure they have opportunities to succeed in life. The biggest thing is teaching them how to be respectful – to give a firm handshake, to look people in the eye when speaking. I’m focused on preparing them to be productive citizens and teaching them how to give to others.” What challenges do you face as a fire chief? Chief Schneider: “Wearing two big hats of taking care of people internally and taking care of the residents. I have found that most problems go away when you are fair and consistent. Another word that has been on my mind a lot is balance. You have to have a balanced approach and have the ability to adapt to various situations. We work in a time and profession of constant change and I am usually facing situations that are

Lastly, what do you want people to know you and Wentzville Fire Protection District? Chief Schneider: “I know it’s cliché, but I want to leave Wentzville Fire Protection District in a better position than where I found it. I’m really proud that WFPD accomplished the goals of our 5 year plan and achieved what we told our residents we were going to achieve, and then some, and under budget. As we continue to grow, I want to manage the growth of our organization in a responsible way and balanced way that is aligned with the growth of our community. I feel extremely honored to serve the residents of this great community and to serve the men and women of Wentzville Fire Protection District.” focusOn Magazine | 33

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Charity Golf Tournament to Benefit...




Spring Classic 2019

The Alzheimer’s Association of St. Charles County

4 - Person Scramble Saturday - April 20, 2019

Links at Dardenne Golf Course Registration 12:00pm • Shotgun Start 1:00pm

7000 Brassel Dr, O’Fallon, MO 63368

$100.00 per person (includes 18 holes, cart, beer, soda, water, gatorade and dinner)

Est. 1961









• Closest to the Pin Prizes on All Holes • Putting Contest for an Odyssey Putter • • Longest Drive Hole (men & women) • Silent Auction Items • Raffle Baskets • Prizes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd in 3 Flights

Team Captain: Player #2: Player #3: Player #4:

___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________

Captain’s Phone #



o Donate a Basket o Donate an Auction Item o Hole Sponsor: $100.00 o Vendor Tent: $200.00 Call for details

Entry Fee must be paid by Friday April 12, 2019. Please make checks payable to FocusOn Magazine. Mail checks to 13 Wood Park Ct. O’Fallon, MO 63368. Entry Fee can also be paid via PayPal to FocusOnPayment@gmail.com (please list all players names and a phone # in the “add a note” section) For more information contact Pat Callihan Phone: 314-223-9845 • email:patiosports55@gmail.com www.FocusOnMagazine.Online / www.linksatdardenne.com focusOn Magazine | 35

medical CORNER with Doug Bouldin, FNP-C

Common Golf Injuries 263 Salt Lick Rd, St Peters, MO 63376 • (636) 244-9871

Have you heard that a dose of prevention is worth a pound of cure? That’s never been truer for those of us who dream of the weekend when we can get out and play golf. Most of us never imagined that the sport that we enjoy so much could have the potential of causing injury. Whether those injuries are accidental or self-inflicted, they are a result of excess repetition, poor form or a lack of proper preparation. Those injuries have the same potential to take us out of work or away from golfing.

Ozzie Smith IMAC Regeneration Center

13353 Olive Blvd, Chesterfield, MO 63017 • (314) 200-4955

legs can sometimes be a result of a disc herniation or bulging. Although some disc issues will get better with time, most lead to chronic instability of the lumbar region and are more debilitating that muscle strains. Low back injuries can often represent a mix of ligamentous and muscular injury and it is the presentation of symptoms that often leads to a targeted diagnosis.

We often injure ourselves by overdoing it or playing with a younger crowd, trying to prove we can still drive the ball 200+ yards. Today, I want to talk to you about the most common injuries sustained in golf, how to treat them and how to prevent them. Here is a list of the most common injuries: • Low back pain • Elbow pain • Shoulder pain • Knee pain Low Back Pain Low back pain is the most common injury that occurs to golfers. The dynamic forces of energy that are created during back swing, ball striking and follow through all have singular potential for creating injury. However, when coupled with poor form, lack of stretching and warm up as well as hitting from sand, rough or uneven lies, increases the potential for ligament sprains and or muscle strains. • Sprain - injury that occurs to the ligaments that are responsible for attaching bone to bone. Sprains are a result of overstretching the ligaments of joints and can often result in multiple ligaments of a region being injured and contributing to chronic laxity of a joint. • Strain - a result of injury to muscles or the tendinous attachment points of muscle. The primary role of tendons is to attach muscle to bone and serves as the anchor attachment between muscle and bone which enables our skeleton to have range of motion by contraction or relaxation of the muscle groups. When muscles are strained by over use or torn by excess force it often results in pain, stiffness and swelling. These injuries typically will heal on their own but can take weeks to improve. When the ligaments of the low back are over stretched, they can become inflamed and create pain. They can also contribute to disc issues that typically result in numbness, tingling and pain being referred to the hips, lower legs and feet. Weakness of one or both lower 36| focusOn Magazine

Treatment: Regardless of the type of low back injury sustained, allowing your body time to heal is very important if you want to get back to action as soon as possible. Most medical professionals will assess low back injuries to rule out disc problems first and if none are apparent…most will treat with a combination of anti-inflammatory medication (Ibuprofen, Aleve, Naproxen), muscle relaxers, ice and rest initially. Chiropractic adjustments can also help to relieve pain and inflammation as well as restore normal range of motion. A combination of Physical Therapy and Chiropractic providers can monitor for potential complications of disc issues if a person fails to improve over time. As you recover, they can also suggest stretching and strengthening exercises to prevent future issues. A true disc issue can often be suspected by the constellation of symptoms and exam findings but diagnostic imaging via MRI is the gold standard for identifying disc bulging vs herniation. Treatment can range from injections, medication, Physical Therapy, Chiropractic, Decompression and Regenerative Medicine and lastly surgery. Elbow Pain Tendonitis of the inner elbow is the most common Golfers injury specific to the elbow. It is an acute and sometimes chronic inflammatory condition resulting from overuse of the attachment points of the muscles of the forearm that are responsible for grip and rotation of the wrists during follow

through. As a result, pain at the inner elbow and decreased grip strength are common. It is easily diagnosed on physical exam and seldom requires and diagnostic imaging to diagnose. However, getting rid of it can be complicated and it can be one of the most painful and chronic conditions a golfer suffers. Treatment: Initially, rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medications can be helpful. Bracing with a strap (bandit) placed over the upper forearm to stabilize the tendon and reduce inflammation can also help. In some cases, injectable steroids placed at the attachment point of the tendon can help but, multiple steroid injections at the same site can weaken the tendon and make matters worse. Again, Physical Therapy and even some Chiropractors can help. However, one of the most successful treatments is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). The use of PRP can be very useful because it involves the harvest of a person’s own platelets which are rich in growth factors, natural anti-inflammatory factors, fibrin, elastin, and collagen. This natural autologously (from the person themselves) harvested biologic product is 3-5 times more concentrated if harvested properly than the persons own blood. This treatment does not pose a risk of tendon weakening as do steroid injections. It is injected at the attachment point of the forearm muscles at the inner elbow and typically provides relief in 10-14 days. Follow up injections may be necessary to fully relieve the inflammation but seldom does a person require surgical intervention for this condition. Shoulder Pain Most shoulder injuries in golf involve overuse - creating inflammation of the tendons that make up the rotator cuff. In more rare circumstances, a chunked hit or striking a immovable object like a sprinkler head or tree can create rapid decelleration forces creating injuries to the rotator cuff or other muscle/tendon groups. Inflammatory conditions will cause pain in many positions including sleep and creates a constant aching that worsens with use. The unfortunate side-effect of many shoulder issues is that is causes a shortening of most golfer’s back swing. In order to compensate, many golfers will increase the force of twisting at the low back or transfer more weight through their hips, which increases the potential for low back and knee issues. Rotator cuff injuries occur as a result of excessive force and over loading of the muscle beyond the capacity of strength of the tendon attachment. This results in tearing of the tendon attachment at the bone or a shearing of the region where the tendon transitions to muscle. These injuries cause pain, inflammation, and weakness in strength of the shoulder. Most people sense an inability to lift or raise objects due to weakness and pain as well as decreased range of motion. Treatment: Most treatment options consist of…you guessed it! Rest, ice, anti-inflammotory medicaitons. In many cases if the typical measures are not enough to improve the condition a steroid injection into the joint may provide benefit. A thorough physical exam can also provide clues as to the origin of the shoulder problem. Significant weakness can indicate a potential rotator cuff injury in which case a MRI may be necessary to determine the orgin of the problem. In other cases, the degree of osteoarthritis may be apparent by feeling the shoulder as it passes through range of motion, flexibility and strength testing. In those cases simple x-ray may provide

the orgin of the problem. However, not all rotator cuff tears require surgical fixes. In most cases Physical Threrapy, stretching and strengthing exercises may restore functionality. Regenerative Medicine in the form of Platlet Rich Plasma (PRP) or Stem Cell treatments may also provide relief without the need for surgical intervention. Maintaning range of motion is very important in preventing severe decreases in strength and functioning. “Frozen shoulder” is one of the potential outcomes if the originating condition is not corrected or diagnosed in a timley manner. Knee Pain The knees are one of the primary weight bearing joints in the human body. In the mechanics of a golf swing they are the foundation on which the back and hips aid in the transition of back swing to follow through. The knees require the ability to support weight in a flexed position and must exhibit stability through the medial and later collateral ligaments to aid in a full pendulous swing. If significant osteoarthritis is present in the joint, pain will be elicited during the course of the back swing causing a shortened swing or a straightening of the back and lifting of the upper body causing a host of mechanical issues. It can also cause a tremendous amount of discomfort simply walking, particularily up or down inclines or declines. The meniscus is a hard piece of connective tissue that serves as a shock absorber between the bones of the knee. Tears in that surface cause uneven wear patterns that create friction and inflammation resulting in pain as well. Diagnosis in most cases can be made on physical examanition. Occassionally a MRI may reveal information about the condition of a meniscus tear but often plain X-rays are adequate to reveal the orgin of pain.

Treatment: Consists of relieving inflammation and correcting alignment and stability issues. Rest, ice, and anti-inflammatories are the best initial approach. Bracing can also unload parts of the knee that are abnormally aligned. It is imparitive that Bracing be fitted by a trained Physical Therapist or bracing provider. The wrong brace can make things worse. Treatment with Physical Therapy, injectable steroids and viscosity supplement injections are all reasonable alternatives. At times surgical intervention is also prudent but should be the last option. The most promising non-surgical option is Regenertive Medicine using Platelet Rich Plasma and Stem Cell therapy. Regenertive Medicine treatment helps to remodel the interior of the joint while growing new cartiledge and connective tissue in many cases. Adults who suffer multiple health focusOn Magazine | 37

continued from page 37 conditions and are not surgical candidates due to risk can still engage in Regenertive Medicine safely and comfortably. Golf Injury Prevention The key to injury prevention is taking a proactive approach to maintaing a healthy body overall. • Maintenance of weight helps to prevent over-compression of weight bearing joints leading to injury and early development of osteoarthirtis. Diets that focus on anti-inflammatory benefits will not only produce weight loss but reduce inflammation. For examples, go to www.drweil.com for more information. • Stretching and strengthing exercises are also vital to maintaing range of motion, flexibility and strength in all the joints we discussed above. Go to www.pga.com to review a video of stretching exerecises to do before playing golf. • Lastly, pay attention to your surroundings, uneven surfaces, slick surfaces, etc…Play your game not one of trying to out muscle the other guys/gals drives. As I said from the start, most injuries are self-inflicted. Not paying attention, too much sun, too much alcohol and thinking you are Tiger Woods (avg drive 285 yards) or Nelly Korda (avg drive 271 yards) on the tee box…can create potential injuries. Remember that most of us still have day jobs we return to on Monday. While you get ready for Spring, we’ll help you get ready for golf. Stay safe and have fun--see you on the course.

PROJECT GREEN STREET is not your typical 501C3. PGS provides a multitude of eclectic services to our local communities with an emphasis on Saint Charles county. A Green Street is a happy, clean, healthy place. Through collaboration with local organizations and businesses, we are able to promote recycling, upcycling, downcycling and eliminating waste by finding uses for underused and overlooked resources. Our resource center and organization has been established to rally our community to eradicate a plethora of community concerns With an emphasis on helping the homeless and foster children aging out of the system through empowerment and love. projectgreenst@gmail.com www.projectgreenstreet.com 636-697-3476

Is PAIN keeping you from doing things you enjoy? “When my shoulder cartilage was worn down, I would wake up in pain and it was affecting simple daily activities. I just wanted to get back to golf and participate in Spring Training. Well...thanks to IMAC Regeneration Centers, I’m swinging my clubs and throwing the baseball again without pain!” -- Ozzie Smith, Cardinals Hall of Famer-

The goal at Ozzie Smith IMAC Regeneration Center is to restore your body’s normal function without surgery or prescription pain medication. Our expert team of medical doctors, physical therapists and chiropractors work together to create a customized treatment plan for each patient. Spring is almost here, schedule your

VIP appointment today!

Devin Bell, D.O. www.OzzieSmithCenter.com

13353 Olive Blvd • Chesterfield, MO 63017 • (314) 200-4955

38| focusOn Magazine

263 Salt Lick Rd • St. Peters, MO 63376 • (636) 223-4040

Kiersten Noonan Vivian Madrid

Wrestle Like a Girl?

These Two FZW Seniors Take That as a Compliment! In early 2018 the Missouri State High School Activities Association voted 202 to 41 to make girls wrestling an official high school sport. The vote allows the girls to compete in a gender separated sport instead of coed. The 2018-2019 season was the inaugural season for Missouri and eight other states. The season began in late 2018 and will culminate with the State finals in Columbia February 14 through February 17. St. Charles County and the Gateway Athletic Conference have been a force in Missouri wrestling since the early 70’s. I attended the District 2 tournament on February 2 and it appears the tradition of GAC power will continue with the girls division. The GAC conference was very well represented at districts and I had the opportunity to speak with a couple of the wrestlers from Fort Zumwalt West. I first spoke with Kiersten Noonan, a senior at Fort Zumwalt West. Kiersten had played basketball at West until the girls wrestling program started. Having wrestled in the junior program in elementary school grades, she was excited to give wrestling a try in her senior year.

Kiersten was looking to use her strength and wrestling skills to find success in an individual sport and control her own success and opportunity. And did she ever. Kiersten finished first in multiple tournaments this year. She won first place at the GAC tournament and the prestigious Thrasher tournament at Francis Howell. Kiersten entered district competition with a 24-3 record on the season. She took first place at districts and will be a very high seed in the upcoming state tournament. Kiersten hopes to continue wrestling in college and looks at Lindenwood and Iowa State as possible landing spots.

I also talked with Vivian Madrid. Vivian is also a senior at Fort Zumwalt West. Vivian was invited to come out for wrestling by her coach, Jerry Kile. Coach Kile was aware that Vivian had been practicing and competing in jiu jitsu for six years. Vivian saw wrestling as a chance to use her jiu jitsu skills in competition. Apparently the jiu jitsu training translates very well. Vivian has also won multiple tournaments this year. Placing first at the GAC tournament and the Thrasher tournament at Francis Howell.

Vivian entered district competition with an 18-1 record on the season. Vivian came up just short at districts and finished in second place. She will also be a very high seed at the state tournament. Vivian does not think she will pursue wrestling in college. She would like to attend Logan University and study Athletic Nutrition in their nationally ranked nutrition program. Coach Jerry Kile managed to lead both the young men and young women teams this year. I think it benefited the young women tremendously to be coached and mentored by a veteran and knowledgeable coach. The program appears to be in a good direction under Coach Kile and the pipeline of wrestlers will continue as Freshman Jessie Deane will be the third in the trio headed to the state tournament. Good luck to all of you!

focusOn Magazine | 39

by: Pat Callihan


Drawings & Illustrations I sat down with Ken Karl in his home workshop. Ken is a local artist specializing in sports portraits of his favorite athletes and icons of sport. Ken does most of his work with colored pencils. He developed this technique in high school because colored pencils were readily available and inexpensive. Ken began drawing comic book characters as a kid and his hobby started to become a passion. Ken told me his inspiration had to Stan Lee and other comic book illustrators. Ken began to notice he had a talent in high school. After high school, Ken enrolled at Missouri State graduating with an Image Production degree in 1993. Ken went to work for St. Louis Sportswear drawing and designing sports art for T-shirts. He continued drawing his favorite athletes and comic book heros in his spare time. After posting some work on the internet, people started contacting Ken and wanted portraits of their child athletes. The families would choose a photo or pose and Ken would draw the athlete in that pose. Over the years Ken has added acrylic paint and screen printing 40 | focusOn Magazine

into his artwork. The blending of pencil and shading mixed in with acrylics brings a sense of action to the work. Almost as if they are in motion. In the last few years Ken has began drawing sport cards. These are 2.5” x 3.5” sport portraits. These are basically the size of a baseball card. He uses colored pencil and marker to create fantastic creations of some of the best local and national talent. Ken began posting these on the internet for sale and found it hard to keep up with demand. He has drawn for Topps Trading Cards and Beckett Trading Card Value Company. He has also drawn a few UFC cards. The success through his portraits and the growth with the sport portrait cards has allowed Ken to draw full time. “I am blessed to combine my love of sports with my passion for art”.

Ken has many wonderful portraits in his workshop. When i asked which was his favorite, he had two. One of the first portraits he did was Kurt Warner handing off to Marshall Faulk. It was the portrait that first captured his unique technique. He considers this his first child. The one he would hang in his home is Albert Pujols in swing. He loves the pose. Ken has continued to expand his skills with the colored pencils, acrylics, screen printing and markers. In the near future he plans to incorporate paint into his work. Ken has lived in St. Charles County his entire life. He is married and has three children. If you would like to see some of Ken’s work you can go to kenkarlart on Facebook or www.kenkarlsportsart.com. You will also see some of his work displayed at our inaugural golf charity tournament at the Links at Dardenne on April 20.

Progression of a Ken Karl Drawing - Ozzie Smith

focusOn Magazine | 41


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in st. charles county with kelly gardner

STONE SOUP COTTAGE 5809 Highway N • Cottleville, MO 63304 • Tel: (636) 244-2233

It’s impossible to talk about St. Charles County’s top bites without talking about Stone Soup Cottage. The real challenge is deciding which of their dishes at each dinner is your favorite favorite, something my wife Pam and I constantly discuss after each meal at the Cottage. To be honest, I can’t even decide which of the half dozen visits is my favorite meal, although it feels like it gets better every time, no small feat for this highly decorated restaurant. Therefore, I’ll focus on my most recent visit in October of 2018. October’s menu featured a Smoked Mussel Chowder, Cannellini Bean Salad, New England Haddock, an intermezzo of Huckleberry Sorbet, Butternut Squash Ravioli, Sauteed Pheasant Breast and a Pear Clafouti. Let’s start at the top, the chowder was smoky, creamy and comforting but delightfully bright at the same time. Chef Carl McConnell has mastered the art of making something familiar and homey stand out with nuance and grace. I could have eaten a pot of this soup, but then I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the yumminess that was to follow. The cannellini bean salad was made much more glamourous with the addition of zucchini, peppers and, oh yeah, fresh truffles shaved over the top. Since Pam is not a big truffle fan that means double for me, so bonus points for this dish.

elevate the crispy haddock rather than mask the flavor. Sitting on top of creamy risotto, this was definitely a contender for the title of St. Charles’ Top Bites. The butternut squash ravioli had me at “crispy pork belly”, mushrooms and taleggio cheese. The final savory course featured a delicious pheasant breast sitting on top of a carrot and ginger flan, another perfect example of making the ordinary, extraordinary. The pear clafouti, a baked French dessert with fruit, brought another amazing meal to a culinary crescendo. It was served warm, with a scoop of spiced honey gelato on top. Somewhere between a soufflé and a pie, this magnificent creature was created. Hot and cold, sweet with just a touch of savory, it was awesome. Bye, bye, American Pie is all I could say. So, which one was my favorite bite? Definitely the chowder, unless it was the haddock, but you can’t forget about that ravioli, and of course the dessert. I definitely would have to consider the pheasant and I’ll never count out the truffles on that salad. Maybe it was a six-way tie? We can’t wait to go back to see if we can find a tie breaker.

Anytime Chef McConnell calls something New England style, you will want to eat it as he honed his craft for a time in Massachusetts. Again, perfectly balanced with brown butter providing depth and silkiness with a lemon punch of acidity to create a virtual harmony of flavors to

kelly’s Insider

Insiders Tip: Make your reservations early as the calendar is typically filled weeks in advance. Get there on time to enjoy a glass of bubble’s or a cocktail on the patio overlooking the lake and gardens prior to dinner. Would you like to your restaurant featured in TopBites? Contact us to for details.

focusOn Magazine Magazine | 43 focusOn


by: Darlene Fischer

Chasing the Dragon: The Heroin Epidemic is Here! This is Ashley’s Story... Recently I attended a conference where a young lady named Ashley stood to tell her story of trauma, pain and addiction. By the time she had finished, there was not a dry eye in the room. This is her story… Ashley grew up as the ninth child in a family of ten. She describes her dad as a “rolling stone.” An absentee father who was always traveling around. Her mother tried her best to single handedly raise all the children, and although the family always had everything they needed, it hurt Ashley to see her mom so overworked and stressed out.

As a young girl, Ashley was somewhat shy and very laid back. She liked school and enjoyed reading, writing and drawing. She regrets not pushing herself to do better, but still made average grades with very little effort. Sometimes bullied by the other girls because of her small size, most people were drawn to her and she was well liked. People were always telling her how pretty, smart and nice she was. Unfortunately, at that time, Ashley didn’t believe them. When she was 14, an older sibling introduced her to smoking pot, and that same year she met her first boyfriend and became an “adult.” She thought she was in love and began staying out later and later with him. She describes his home life as “very rough and dark.” His mom was an addict and he had some gang affiliations. The relationship lasted for 5 years before he decided he wanted to move on, without her! Ashley was devastated! Crushed and feeling abandoned, she began to act out in a very unhealthy way by going to lots of parties and hooking up with whomever showed any interest in her. Alcohol and many other drugs were always available at these parties and eventually she was introduced to pain pills and told, “these will relax you.” So she tried them and liked them. Although she didn’t get hooked on them right away, it did become a normal part of her party lifestyle. One night, when she was in her early 20’s, as she was walking to her friends house, she was attacked, physically assaulted, and robbed at gun point. So traumatized by this event, Ashley began experiencing lots of anxiety, some manic episodes, bi-polar symptoms, and severe depression. A couple years later she got married and had three children but the emotional pain was always there. Her third child had to be delivered by C-section so the doctor prescribed Ashley opioids for pain. It

44 | focusOn Magazine

was then that her past recreational drug use turned into a full blown addiction. Coupled with the pain from her past and additional post-partum depression, the opioids gave her the escape she was still desperately seeking. They became her daily lifeline. Her first doctor had no problems overprescribing them, until Ashley’s OB-GYN found out and put a stop to it. So she began what she describes as “E.R. Hopping.” She knew exactly what to say when she went to the various emergency rooms to get them to prescribe the pain pills for her. Other times, she just went to area drug dealers. They provided her with the names of local doctors who were all known for prescribing opioids “under the table.” She said it was “scary easy” to get as many pills as she wanted. As her addiction escalated, so did the depression, manic episodes, bi-polar symptoms and anxiety. Her life was going down a dark path and she was losing a lot of weight and unable to sleep. Over the next couple of years, she only averaged 2 to 4 hours of sleep a night. Ashley was getting worse! She was now desperate to do or find anything that could help her to get some sleep. One day, as she was searching through the medicine cabinet of a family member, she found her “answer.” There, in plain sight, was a bottle of an oxy-morphine combo, so she took some. They brought her the nighttime sleep her body needed and immediately became a regular part of her life. Her life became a blur of sleeping, drugs, and more depression. She realized she was spiraling out of control and it was all beginning to effect the lives of her children. So she left! Out on her own and alone, thoughts of suicide began to seem like the only answer. Not long after, as she peered out the window watching the rain fall to the ground, she decided it was time to put an end to it all. However, before carrying out her plan, she decided to make one last phone call to her mom and sister and tell them everything. They listened intently, and sprung into action immediately! They took her to the hospital for treatment and then placed her in a rehabilitation program where Ashley stayed for 6 weeks, graduating the program. From there she began attending a “Freedom in Christ” ministry, which she says was also invaluable in her recovery.

Ashley, her husband and three children today. ing how instrumental they were in helping her heal, she is now paying it forward by leading her own “Freedom in Christ” small group. And she writes her own blog at “HarotianEssentials.org,” where she seeks to inspire and motivate others who have suffered from trauma, addiction and mental illness. Ashley says she has finally come to believe what everyone kept telling her when she was young; she now believes people when they say she is pretty, smart and nice. And she says she is finally loving and valuing her life which she now gets another chance to live!

Ashley was finally able to see hope for the first time in a long time. She went back to school and got her medical assistant degree, met and married a wonderful man and is finally enjoying freedom from the chains of addiction and mental illness. She has been free now for about 4 years and is very active in her church helping others to overcome. RecallfocusOn Magazine | 45



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www.connection-exchange.com focusOn Magazine | 49

MOVIE REVIEW with Kevin Ziegemeier

Cold Pursuit Starring: Liam Neeson Rated: R

What was I thinking when I decided to go to the movies to get rid of the winter blahs and seeing a movie called Cold Pursuit? Well, I wasn’t thinking, but that was the point of seeing this particular movie. I wanted to see an action/adventure movie where I could just curl up in my seat and be entertained by car chases, explosions, and maybe some extreme smooching. Absolutely no thinking involved. Liam Neeson is the poor man’s James Bond. Not exactly the sexy international spy that fascinates the male audience while titillating the female viewers, but an everyman with deadly skills acquired in a secret past life. The previews for Cold Pursuit led me to believe that his character would again be the mild mannered family man who eventually would need to use his secret can of whoop ass to take down a powerful crime organization. Neeson plays Nels Coxman, a snowplow driver in a small town outside of Denver. Nels is known around town as a quiet family man who prides himself with keeping the streets and backroads free and clear from the never ending snowfall. His life is turned upside down when his son is found dead of an apparent drug overdose. Finding out that his son was at the wrong place at the wrong time and did not overdose, Nels sets out to avenge his son’s death. With a local

drug kingpin in his sights, Nels takes out anyone connected to his son’s murder. With the help of a friend with past drug connections as well as a rival drug supplier, Nels is able to confront the drug kingpin and exact his revenge. Action/adventure movies are not my favorite kind of movie, but I enjoy some of Liam Neeson’s past work. I really thought this movie would be a decent way to spend a dreary afternoon. I was very wrong. Cold Pursuit could not decide what kind of movie it wanted to be. At times it seemed like it was trying to be a dark comedy, but there was not enough humor to elicit a chuckle or two. The story line was somewhat hard to follow and had many questions that were never answered. Laura Dern played Neeson’s wife in the movie, but her part was over early with no explanation for her disappearance. Many of the other actors are familiar faces but not well known. With a poor script, uneven pacing, and a cast of c-list actors, Liam Neeson just could not rise up to make this movie remotely watchable. Unfortunately for Neeson, some controversial comments in a recent interview may lead to the end of his leading man status. It is a shame that Cold Pursuit could be the movie on which his career ends.

I do not recommend this movie to Liam Neeson fans. I do not recommend this movie to action/adventure fans. I do not recommend this movie to a ceiling fan. Stay away. You’ve been screwed... Do not waste your time or money

Rating scale 50 | focusOn Magazine


Good, Wait for video release

Average, Wait for Netflix release

You’ve been screwed… do not waste your time or money

Profile for FocusON St. Charles County

FocusOn Magazine - St. Charles County Spring 2019  

FocusOn Magazine - St. Charles County Spring 2019