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F R E E SUMMER

2015

Special Edition: le Expo 2015 y t s e f i L 50+

Carl Eller The living legend and former Viking player, Carl Eller speaks at Lifestyle Expo

Also in this issue: Riverfront Park Classic Car Roll-In Pickleball


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Contents

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10

MATURE LIFEST YLE • SUMMER 2015 • VOLUME 7, ISSUE 3

FEATURES 6 Carl Eller Comes to Mankato Pro Football Hall of Fame and former Vikings player will speak at the Lifestyle Expo.

8 Riverfront Park Summer Events For 6 years Riverfront Park has proven to be a popular concert venue, mark your calendar for this summer.

14

10 Classic Car Roll-Ins Motor heads rejoice as the area’s summer roll-in schedule starts in Southern Minnesota.

14 People sweet on Pickleball Pickleball is gaining popularity in America, and is looking for more Southern Minnesota players.

DEPARTMENTS

16

16 Travel 20 Book Reviews 22 Calendar of Events

Mature Lifestyle SUMMER 2015 3


PUBLISHER’S NOTES

I

Welcome to the summer edition of Mature Lifestyle…

have to make a confession: I am a fairweather fan. Some may think it’s a really bad attitude to have, that I need to be loyal to one team and follow them through thick and thin until the play-off season and further yet, have a loyalty to them for many years. But I just can’t do it...EXCEPT when it comes to the Minnesota Vikings! I do watch Vikings football. I just can’t give up the hope or the dream that maybe someday, they’ll win the Super Bowl. Then of course, I will brag and say, “They’ve been MY team for years.” So, I am pretty excited to hear former Minnesota Vikings player, Carl Eller at the 50+ Lifestyle Expo. For those of you that don’t remember, he was part of the “Purple People Eaters” era for the Minnesota Vikings. These “eaters” included: Carl Eller, Alan Page, Jim Marshall and Gary Larsen. Carl Eller (nicknamed Moose, back in the day) will be the featured speaker at the 50+ LifeStyle Expo held at the Verizon Wireless Center in downtown Mankato on Tuesday, May 12. He will speak at 6 p.m., and I will be there. Yes, this fair-weather fan wants to hear what the Viking alltime sack leader, 2004 Pro Football Hall of Fame recipient, and one of the players that lead the MN Gophers to a Rose Bowl victory has to say. It is important to take note that Carl Eller began playing for the Vikings the year I was born, 1964. He is a living legend. And I loved Wally Hilgenberg (left).

My dad picked up Wally from Flying Cloud Airport in Minneapolis and flew him to Algona, Iowa to speak at the Kossuth County Cattleman’s Banquet when I was wee young one. Unfortunately, Wally died in 2008 at age 66 from ALS, but I still have his autographed photo that he gave to me. That was all it took for me to be a total Viking fan, one simple autograph. Be sure to stop at the entrance of the Expo and say hello to me and my staff. We will have a booth with copies of Mature. Even if you already have one, you may want another for Carl Eller to autograph! Plus there will be some great take-away items to fill your bag. Along with the stories about Eller and the Expo, read about the car rollins throughout southern Minnesota this summer. Put the car top down and hit the road, there is always somewhere to go and something to see. For those of you looking for some physical exercise, check out the story about Pickleball. This sport is gaining in popularity, especially if you want to guard your knees and joints. Plus it can be played with any one from age 5 to age 95+. Finally, look and see what Riverfront Park has in store for you this summer! Although the schedule isn’t final, there is still plenty of time to grab bug spray and listen to some great outdoor music. We are so fortunate to have a venue of this caliber. And don’t miss the sections of travel getaways, book reviews, and community events. This issue is packed with stories that will keep you smiling while you wait for real summer weather to come our way. Enjoy! Kelly Hulke, Publisher

Mature Lifestyle is a Quarterly Publication of the Home Magazine, Mankato, MN. A Property of Community First Holdings, Inc.

Publisher Kelly Hulke Sales Manager Mary DeGrood Sales Executives Yvonne Sonnek Kim Allore Deena Briggs Dorothy Meyer Editorial/Photography Amanda Dyslin Graphic Designer Deb Granger Production Heather Zilka Sirena Tanke Business Manager Ron Bresnahan Advertising Information: Home Magazine 1400 Madison Ave., Suite 610 Mankato, MN 56001 (507) 387-7953 fax 387-4775 homemag@homemagonline.com

On the cover: Eller was a first-round draft pick of the National Football League’s Minnesota Vikings. Photo courtesy of ProFootballHOF.com

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CARL ELLER

Vikings legend

Carl Eller is set to speak at the Lifestyle Expo in Mankato on Tuesday, May 12 at 6 p.m. Inset: Eller was a 6-foot, 6-inch, 247-pound defensive stalwart, according to the Hall of Fame. Photo courtesy of ProFootballHOF.com

6 SUMMER 2015 Mature Lifestyle


to highlight expo By Amanda Dyslin

T

his summer marks the 50th anniversary of the Minnesota Vikings coming to Mankato for Training Camp. The folks behind the 50+ Lifestyle Expo (formerly Senior Expo) thought that was a pretty cool milestone to celebrate. So Eric Jones, marketing manager for the Verizon Wireless Center, reached out to the Vikings to see if they could recommend a guest speaker to headline this year’s event, to be held May 12 at the Verizon. The Vikings had a great recommendation: Vikings legend and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Carl Eller, who will headline this year’s expo. Jones said Eller will be the main speaker of the event. Jones said Eller should be a big draw. Several years ago, when Bud Grant appeared at the expo, a lot of area residents came out to see him. “I know people like the classic Vikings players,” Jones said. “I think most Minnesotans have fond memories of Mr. Eller playing on the Purple People Eaters Vikings teams.” The 50+ expo is a major event in Mankato, featuring more than 100 vendors from 2-7 p.m. and attracting thousands of people. This year’s 11th-annual expo focuses on wellness and aging and will include medical screenings, door prizes and refreshments. Admission is free. Eller will speak at 6 p.m. Here’s a bit more about the legendary defensive end from the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Eller was born Jan. 24, 1942, in North Carolina and attended college at the University of Minnesota in the early 1960s. A consensus

All-America with the U of Eller played a final season M, Eller was a first-round with the Seattle Seahawks draft pick of the National in 1979. Football League’s MinHe was named to the nesota Vikings and the Vikings’ 40th Anniversary Buffalo Bills, which was Team in 2000, and in 2010 then of the rival American he was named to the Vikings Football League. He was a 50th Anniversary team. 6-foot, 6-inch, 247-pound In the years since Eller’s defensive stalwart, accord- Carl Eller will be guest speaker football career, he has ing to the Hall of Fame. worked for NBC as an at this year’s event. Eller chose to stay in NFL color analyst. He also Photo courtesy of ProFootballHOF.com familiar territory and was a licensed drug and signed with the Vikings and became a alcohol counselor and founded a group of fixture for the next 15 years, through 1978, substance-abuse clinics in the Twin Cities, in “one of pro football’s most effective called Triumph Life Centers. defensive alignments,” the Hall of Fame After earning a degree in human serstates. The Vikings’ ferocious defensive vices from Metropolitan State University, line at the time was known as “The Purple he worked for the Minnesota Department of People Eaters,” and Eller was the left end Human Services. of a line that included Jim Marshall, Alan He has worked to raise awareness Page and Gary Larsen. of substance-abuse issues, which he Beginning in 1968, Eller’s fifth camhas spoken openly about having dealt paign, Minnesota won 10 NFL/NFC with himself. Central Division titles in the next 11 Eller also has worked to promote sleep seasons, his Hall of Fame biography states. apnea awareness. The Vikings won the 1969 NFL championship and NFC crowns in 1973, 1974 and 1976 and played in four Super Bowls. “Extremely quick and mobile for his size, Tuesday, May 12, 2:00-7:00 PM Carl was an excellent defender against the Free admission run and superb as a pass rusher,” states his biography. “Super-stardom was predicted Verizon Wireless Center for Eller from his first day in training camp 1 Civic Center Plaza following the 1964 College All-Star Game. Mankato, MN 56001 He didn’t disappoint as he went on to (507) 389-3000 become one of the most honored defensive players of his time.”

50+ Lifestyle Expo

Mature Lifestyle SUMMER 2015 7


RIVERFRONT PARK

Past, present, and future of

W

illie Nelson, George Thorogood, Merle Haggard, Pat Benatar, Blues Traveler, Rick Springfield, Trampled By Turtles, Jason Isbell … the list goes on. Riverfront Park has undoubtedly been a great addition to the summer Mankato entertainment scene, drawing thousands of people from across the region to attend outdoor festivals and live concerts by the river. Having been open five years already, many residents have had the opportunity to make some pretty great memories. “I’ve been to a number of shows at Riverfront. They’ve all been great, but the one I enjoyed the most was an opening act for an unnamed ’80s band. I actually went to the show to hear the opening act. They’re a band very few people will remember: Jason & the Scorchers. Not only was Jason Ringenberg and his band awesome live, but he (Jason) was super gracious and chatty after their set. I talked with him for five minutes and got a photo with him.” – Lance Schwartz “Nothing more amazing than sitting in the summer night air listening to the Indigo Girls and Big Head Todd (separate

8 SUMMER 2015 Mature Lifestyle

Riverfront

Riverfront Park has proven to be an asset to the Mankato community, bringing diverse entertainment to the area and attracting a wide range of individuals. concerts) in a setting so intimate you can look them in the eye!” – Michelle Scholl Laven “I never miss a Ribfest. There’s just something so quintessential summertime Mankato about eating ribs outside in the heat. There’s always a great band to look forward to, too.” – Dave Schultz Chris Frederick, a Mankato City Council member who lives within walking distance of the park, said Ribfest is also his favorite event. He and his family have walked down to Ribfest and other events since the park opened. “We go down there a couple of times a year,” Frederick said.

Frederick said Riverfront Park has proven to be an asset to the Mankato community, bringing diverse entertainment to the area and attracting a wide range of individuals. Looking forward to the future of the park, Frederick said the city will continue to invest in it, including looking at upgrading amenities and adding fixed structures for vending. As for the near future, Eric Jones, marketing manager of the Verizon Wireless Center, has been hard at work planning the upcoming Riverfront Park season, which will be the sixth season of offerings since the park opened in 2010. Every year has been a little different, he said, depending upon what acts are touring and will be in the Midwest. Putting together the lineup is always a bit of a puzzle. But Jones said he always tries to offer shows that appeal to a variety of tastes and interests. Without many students in the area during the summer, Jones said the Riverfront Park lineup is usually tailored to the over 30 crowd. “We’ve spent the last few years just figuring out what works and what doesn’t work,” he said. “We’ve got a pretty good


Park

by Amanda Dyslin

feel for what will work now and what we can afford to put out there.” So what can people expect this summer? Jones is still hard at work filling the schedule, but there are a few things already nailed down. So go buy that bug spray and sun screen, and mark your calendars for the following: ✿ The Old Crow Medicine Show, with special guest The Devil Makes Three, will be at the park 7 p.m., May 28. ✿ Fourth of July fireworks will be held at the park again this year. ✿ Ribfest 2015 will be Aug. 6-9 (with live entertainment to be announced). ✿ Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion: America The Beautiful Tour” will be at the park for the first time 7 p.m., Aug. 19. ✿ The Charlie Daniels Band will perform 7 p.m., Aug. 21. ✿ And the popular Hairball returns 7 p.m., Aug. 28. Riverfront Park opened in 2010. Photo courtesy of Visitgreatermankato.com

(top) Willie Nelson is one of the biggest names to have performed at Riverfront Park the past few years. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

(middle) Many great bands have played at the Vetter Stone Amphitheater in Riverfront Park the past five years. Photo courtesy of Mankato-mn.gov

(bottom) George Thorogood performed at Riverfront Park last summer. Photo courtesy of MTV.com

Jason Isbell performed at Riverfront Park last summer. Photo courtesy of Witsradio.org

Mature Lifestyle SUMMER 2015 9


ROLL-INS

Many vehicles will be on display during Buster’s Classic Car Roll-In. There will also be special events and other community roll-ins scheduled throughout the summer.

10 SUMMER 2015 Mature Lifestyle


Roll-Ins Roll On by Amanda Dyslin

W

hen Kenny Venberg was 12 years old, growing up on the Iron Range, he helped work on a neighbor’s classic car, and that’s when the bug bit. By age 15, he owned his first one, a 1928 Model A. Now, decades later, that classic Ford has long left his life, as have numerous other classic cars that have come and gone. How many? “Oh, a hundred of ’em,” estimated Venberg of Mankato. “They were all favorites of mine,” he said, adding that he once owned a 1924 Model T that was made into a roadster that he was quite fond of. For Venberg, working on the cars is what he loves most, which is why letting them go isn’t too heartbreaking. And for the cars he does have in his possession at any given point in time, he enjoys taking part in the classic-car gatherings and events that happen throughout southern Minnesota in the summertime, including Classic Car Roll-Ins at Buster’s. Venberg and his fellow classic-car enthusiasts used to go to the roll-in events at Ruttles about 15 years ago, and then switched to Buster’s when they started being held there. He’s been going ever since. Teri Totushek of Radio Mankato took over coordinating the events about four years ago. Although she doesn’t own a classic car herself, she had always thought they were really cool, and she was excited to take over the Roll-In nights, held 5-8 p.m. every Thursday from the beginning of May to the end of September. “I just wanted it to be fun for everyone,” said Totushek, who added that owning a

Roll-Ins are family events that offer close up looks at the vintage cars from yesteryear.

1967 Camaro is on her bucket list. “I just wanted to make it bigger and better.” About 100 classic cars can be found outside Buster’s on those Thursdays during the warm months, which is quite a spectacle to those driving by on Madison Avenue. Even more people swarm the parking lot as spectators to get a closer look at some of their favorite old vintage models and talk to the owners about all the work they put into them. “People bring their kids; it’s a family event to get them out of the house,” Totushek said. “Grandparents bring their grandkids, too.”

Wanna Go? Buster’s Sports Bar & Grill 1325 Madison Ave Mankato, MN 56001 May-Sept. on Thursdays, 5-8 pm bustersrollin@gmail.com

(continued on next page) Mature Lifestyle SUMMER 2015 11


Roll-Ins Roll On (continued from previous page)

This year Totushek said several special events will be held to broaden the Roll-Ins’ audience even more. ✿ To attract more women to the event, a Vendors Night will be held May 21, with everything from food to jewelry being sold. ✿ A Cars and Canvas night will be held June 25. People who attend can do a canvas-painting session and take the canvas home. ✿ A Military Appreciation Night will be held July 2. Free hotdogs will be given to military members, and hotdogs will be $1 for others. Service members will be honored throughout the night. ✿ A Customer Appreciation Night and meal will be held Aug. 20. Totushek, even enlisted the help of her father, who designed the roll-in logo in 2013. Since that year, Tom Little with One Little Shirt Shop in Waterville has designed the logo. Enlisting the help of others, seeing all the new additions to the schedule, plus the opportunity to see new faces is what drives Totushek year after year. Venberg and his 1934 Roadster will be making appearances at Buster’s this summer, he said. Showing off the car, however, isn’t why he’s looking forward to going. “It’s not so much that we go there for the cars. We go there because our friends are there,” Venberg said.

Right: There are always plenty of classic beauties to see at the summer Roll-Ins around Minnesota.

12 SUMMER 2015 Mature Lifestyle

Check out Southern MN Car Roll-Ins 1. Unique Specialty & Classics, 1000 S. Victory Drive, Mankato MN (Thursday, April 30; May 14 and 28; June 11 and 25; July 9 and 30; August 13 and 27; 5-8 p.m.) 2. Henderson Classic Car Roll-In, Main Street, Henderson, MN (Beginning Tuesday, May 19 through Tuesday, Sept. 15; (6 p.m. – 9 p.m.) 3. Cleveland Classic Car & Motorcycle Roll-In, Main Street, Cleveland, MN (Friday’s: May 22, June 5 and 19; July 3, 17, 31; August 4 and 28; Sept. 11 and 25; starting at 5 p.m.) 4. Culver’s Roll-In, 1680 Commerce Drive, North Mankato (Wednesday’s: 6 p.m.- 8 p.m.)


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PICKLEBALL

People growing sweet on

pickleball by Amanda Dyslin

J

ulia Taylor Snelson has a unique way of describing pickleball to people who have never played it. “When I explain it to people, I say it is a cross between racquetball, ping pong and badminton, but it’s most like tennis,” Snelson said. “It’s very easy to pick up if you have hand-eye coordination.” In fact, she said, the most complicated aspect of the sport is the scoring, which according to the USA Pickleball Association, goes as follows: ✿ Points are scored only by the serving team. ✿ Games are normally played to 11 points, win by 2. ✿ Tournament games may be to 15 or 21, win by 2. ✿ When the serving team’s score is even (0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10), the player who was the first server in the game for that team will be in the right-side court when serving or receiving; when odd (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) that player will be in the left-side court when serving or receiving. “After a game or two, it’s easy to pick up and play,” Snelson added. Snelson is a newer member of the Mankato Area Pickleball Association, which has continued to grow as the sport has experienced a surge in popularity. Many pickleball enthusiasts attribute the uniqueness of the sport, as well as the fact 14 SUMMER 2015 Mature Lifestyle

that anyone of any age can play, as reasons for picking it up. “I’ve been playing for several years now,” said Cora Johnson, who is not a member of any official organization, but rather plays the sport in her spare time with friends. “I wanted an activity that would keep me active in my senior years and that wouldn’t be hard on my joints and knees.” Johnson said she was thrilled to find so many people her age, in their 70s, playing the sport around southern Minnesota. Many cities and towns across southern Minnesota have courts or equipment available to residents. For examples, the YMCA in Mankato offers pickleball, as does the Lake Crystal Area Recreation Center. (Many also have specific classes for seniors.) The city of Eagle Lake purchased a net and equipment for residents to use

whenever they like at the hockey rink location during the warmer months. Brad Potter, city administrator, said he wanted to find unique and interesting activities for residents that also wouldn’t break the bank. Paddles, pickleballs (kind of like wiffle balls), a net and a few lines painted or taped down on a hard surface are all that are needed. Potter said he’d noticed people playing pickleball in other towns and thought Eagle Lake residents would get into it if they had a place to play close to home. The sport also has the potential to serve the broadest range of residents than most other sports, considering people ages 5 to seniors can play it. “There’s not as much running and not as much impact (as other sports),” he said. “It’s


also something different. It’s not the same old stuff in every park across the area.” Snelson started playing pickleball last fall with her husband. They had heard about the sport through her husband’s tennis league. One of the reasons Snelson likes the sport so much is the same reason many seniors do. Snelson was coming off of injuries from playing hockey, and she needed a sport that would keep her active but with less impact on her body. Through the Mankato Area Pickleball Association, Snelson usually plays weekly at the Lincoln Community Center, which the association organizes through Community Education and Recreation. She also plays at the outdoor courts at Tourtellotte Park, and sometimes she plays at the YMCA on Sunday afternoons. She hasn’t played in any tournaments yet, but she’s considering it in the future. For now, she enjoys the more casual nature of the Mankato Area Pickleball Association, which is always looking for new players.

Pickleball has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years, with cities and towns across southern Minnesota offering the sport in various locations. Photo courtesy of the Mankato Area Pickleball Association Facebook page

“You show up, you play, and it’s very casual; you play whenever you want to play,” she said. Snelson said her whole family enjoys staying active together. They golf together,

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play tennis as a family, and now they play pickleball. “It’s grown a lot just since last fall,” Snelson said of the sport’s popularity in Mankato. “I’m excited about it.”

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Mature Lifestyle SUMMER 2015 15


TRAVEL

Summer foodie destinations L

et’s face it: The best part

Providence, Rhode Island

about summer vacations

No one is sure who coined the phrase “boat-to-table,” but Providence does it right. Many upand-coming restaurants have fish delivered daily from the docks to their tables. If you are looking for an exquisite creation with Italian, Portuguese or simply New England roots, Providence will serve you up in style. Save a special corner of your stomach for Providence’s fabulous hole-in-the-wall cafes and tucked away bars. In discrete, sometimes rough-around-the-edges locations, you’ll find the burgers, pizza and beer that sustains locals whether they are out sunning on the patio or hunkered down for a gale. And,

is the food, and it seems

every region in the country has something different to offer. With their incredible res-

taurants seemingly appearing overnight, cities such as Brooklyn and Portland have long since been discovered as foodie destinations. If you want coalfired pizza ovens, craft beer or artisan doughnuts, you only have to stroll down the street a few blocks. But while these destinations have been basking in the limelight, other cities across America have been transforming their food scenes to much less fanfare. If you’re searching for the mod craft cocktail bar, the boat-to-table seafood, or the next big thing in fusion cuisine, pick up a fork in these cities: 16 SUMMER 2015 Mature Lifestyle

Providence, RI

while it makes some people shudder, you can’t leave town until you sample the residents take on pizza – it’s grilled, not baked.

Santa Fe, New Mexico. Santa Fe doesn’t have the big-name restaurants, but that suits the locals just fine. Santa Fe has always been

Santa Fe, NM

known for its homey and rich southwestern cuisine, which you can still enjoy in abundance. When you are being served, waiters will ask whether you want red, green or Christmas referring to the color of the chili sauce you want placed on your order. However, many new restaurants are subverting these old favorites to make them lighter and


airier. Instead of heavy sauces, you’ll find cuisine being served with delicate infusions of southwestern flavor. Many chefs are blending the flavors they’ve grown up on with influences from Mexico, France and the Mediterranean. The result is a delicious collection of Southwest fare prepared in new and innovative ways.

Memphis, Tennessee Memphis is legendary for its barbecue, which you can enjoy everywhere from honky-tonks

And closer to home... Minneapolis, Minnesota If you’d prefer staying closer to home, the Twin Cities actually have a lot of new food going for it. Sure you’ll find things like artisan SPAM bites tucked onto menus, but you’ll also be able

Minneapolis, MN

to sample fresh grilled walleye pulled from a lake near you, delicious Minnesota-grown produce, wood-fired pizza, local craft beer and mouth-watering French pastries. Food trucks have also taken the city by storm with everything from burritos to lobster rolls. If you are looking for Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine in particular, neighboring St. Paul has an enormous collection of authentic, inexpensive and just plain delicious family-run restaurants.

Memphis, TN

to famous restaurants. With an exquisite plate of ribs before you, you may be tempted to look no further, but Memphis also has an amazing collection of up-and-coming restaurants that showcase some of the South’s other best food traditions. Be sure to try New Orleans-style redfish, succulent Lowcountry shrimp and grits and delicious servings of hominy, succotash and other Southern favorites.

here. But be warned, Las Vegas does have a dearth of neighborhood restaurants, farm-to-table operations and farmers markets.

Savannah, Georgia Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas, Nevada While everyone was busy gambling away the 1990s and early 2000s, Las Vegas was slowly developing a chef-driven food scene. If you don’t mind paying top dollar, you can have an incredible meal in Vegas. Fresh seafood, premier sushi, heritage meats, caviar – it can all be found

Savannah is rightly famed for its coastal fine dining, so be sure to sample scallops, crabs, shrimp and (continued on next page)

Savannah, GA Mature Lifestyle SUMMER 2015 17


Travel

(continued from previous page)

redfish while you are in town. In Savannah, bounty from local producers is transformed to dishes served everywhere from your local neighborhood cafe to the up-andcoming downtown bistro.

San Diego, California So. Cal’s foodie up-and-comer has the market cornered on amazing fish tacos. Set right against the Mexican

fresh doughnuts, artisan coffee and elevated casual fare that will make you never want to go back to your old greasy hamburger joint again.

Traverse City, Michigan Portland, MA

town’s microbrews while exploring the cobblestone Old Port. Dig in to slow-foods movement creations and sample the Maine lobsters that encourage diners to return again and again to the seacoast.

Downtown Traverse City’s restaurant boom is in part due to the growth of local wineries. When you visit, you’ll have to divide your time between good food, wine and the beach. What could be better? Like so many foodie areas, Traverse City

Durham, North Carolina

San Diego, CA

border and the Pacific Ocean, inspiration flows both from the South and the sea. San Diego’s warm climate helps small farms thrive and you can be sure that restaurants are taking advantage of the locally sourced meat and produce that have become the mainstay of trendy new dining.

Southern Living called Durham the “South’s Tastiest Town,” so you’ve got to bring your appetite and check out the city’s new foodie appeal. Served to you in the city’s old tobacco warehouses or on roaming food carts you’ll find exquisite pies,

Traverse City, MI

takes it local. You’ll be dining on locally grown cherries and apples, foraged morel mushrooms and fish pulled right from Lake Michigan. – Brandpoint All photos courtesy of Wikipedia

Durham, NC

Portland, Maine Not to be confused with its western counterpart, Portland, Maine has a formidable food scene bolstered by its close proximity to fresh seafood and its long history of farm-to-table dining. Sample the

18 SUMMER 2015 Mature Lifestyle

Traveling abroad to satisfy your food cravings? Visit DreamPlanGo.com to find Europe’s 2015 Foodie Destinations.


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BOOK REVIEW by Terri Schlichenmeyer

Bettyville: A Memoir by George Hodgman c.2015, Viking $27.95 / $32.95 Canada 279 pages

T

hroughout your life, your parents ignored many things. That time in high school when you snuck out to party? They knew, but they looked the other way. Same thing with wearing make-up, missing curfew, and that one regrettable hair style. They often “didn’t see” more than you’ll ever know. Problem is that sometimes, they ignored too much. Did they, for instance, know who you really were? In the new book Bettyville by George Hodgman, one man wondered…. Elizabeth Baker Hodgman – Betty, to most people – didn’t sleep much. At age ninety, she was prone to wandering, fussing at the kitchen, piling and restacking paperwork, and playing the piano in the middle of the night. She was “suffering from dementia or maybe worse.” Unfortunately, that also meant her son, George, didn’t get much sleep, either. An out of work editor and freelancer, George Hodgman had moved to Paris, Missouri from New York for what was supposed to be a week. Or a month. Or a year to take care of his mother. Betty didn’t like it; she hated needing someone. Hodgman didn’t like it, either; too much had changed. “I was Betty’s boy,” he says, and he’d been that way all his life. Hodgman loved his father fiercely, but he absolutely favored his mother. Still, he desperately wished he’d been able to tell his parents he was gay, that he felt alone, that he’d survived too many failed romances, that he’d had substance abuse issues. Surely, they knew but no one ever talked about it. Now, as he cared for her, there were times when Betty infuriated Hodgman. 20 SUMMER 2015 Mature Lifestyle

She could be rude and stubborn, prone to fits of anger for no reason, and loud. She flatly refused any thoughts of nursing homes or assisted living. The problem was her dementia, Hodgman reminded himself repeatedly. He understood that she was rightfully fearful because she knew she was losing herself and “I can only imagine how scary it is…” And yet, “I think I have survived because of Betty, more than anyone,” Hodgman said as she eased away. “There are so many things I will carry when I leave Bettyville with my old suitcase.” Without a doubt, you’d be forgiven for reaching for a tissue while you’re reading this book. Heck, you might want a whole box of them – but there’s a lot more to Bettyville than heartstring-tugging. I found joy inside this story, in between its inevitable sadness. Author George Hodgman keenly remembers his small town childhood from all sides: churchgoers and alcoholics, kindness and bullying, adolescent crushes, baffling foes, and off-limits subjects that no small-townie discusses. We meet, through the eyes of Hodgman, Betty’s friends and family and we’re told

a story about a time past, a life well-loved, and losing a mother long before she’s really gone. Be prepared to laugh a little, but be prepared to cry, too, as you’re reading this fine memoir – especially if you’re a caretaker for an elderly parent. For you, for sure, Bettyville is a book that can’t be ignored.

The Undertaker’s Wife by Dee Oliver with Jodie Berndt c.2015, Zondervan $15.99 / higher in Canada 224 pages

I

t’s supposed to go like this: You are born, you grow up, graduate from high school, then college. You fall in love, get married, have two-point-five children and a mortgage with a two-car garage, you grow old, then you die. It’s supposed to be like that. But, as they say, if you want to see God laugh, make plans – and in the new book The Undertaker’s Wife by Dee Oliver with Jodie Berndt, He surely saw plenty that was funny. Dee Oliver was destined to marry a wealthy doctor. That’s what she thought, growing up in Virginia Beach. Doctors had money, and who doesn’t appreciate money? Plus, they were good with that in-sickness-and-inhealth stuff, and Oliver was not. A doctor, she decided, would be a perfect husband. And that was the plan – until Oliver met Johnnie. He was an older (35-year-old) man, handsome and charming. He was also a funeral director and on their first date, he was on-call – which meant that before they reached their destination, they had to retrieve a corpse which accompanied them on their evening. Still, Oliver fell in love and, though their early romance was on-again-off-again, she


married Johnnie, birthed three children, and they lived happily ever after. Almost. When Johnnie suddenly had a stroke and died, Oliver wasn’t sure what to do. She’d only ever been an undertaker’s wife and a mother, so she prayed about her dilemma – and then she found an application for mortuary school in a pile of bills on Johnnie’s desk. God and Johnnie, she figured, were sending a message. She returned to school, got good grades, and eagerly anticipated her internship. And that, she thought, would naturally be done at Johnnie’s family’s funeral home. Why not? She loved the staff, understood procedures, and knew the clientele – but Johnnie’s brother, the business’s new CEO, inexplicably sent Oliver packing. None of his nearest competitors would hire her, either. And so, with temporary license in hand and three daughters to feed, Oliver became “a widowed [Southern] white socialite working in an all-black funeral home in a most definitely all-black neighborhood…” Oh, how I loved this book. And oh, how I hated it. First of all, you can throw out every stereotype you’ve ever heard about funeral homes: there’s nothing at all morbid or stuffy inside The Undertaker’s Wife. Author Dee Oliver (with Jodie Berndt) made me laugh again and again, in fact, and I was completely captivated by her amazement at the turns her neatly-planned life took. There’s so much charm here, so much gratitude, and a much-needed change of heart and race-based attitude inside an unusual story. And yet, there’s the irritation. Oliver leaves readers hanging off the steepest of cliffs and with no apologies, which almost made me regret this book – almost, but not enough to say it’s not worth reading, because it definitely is. So look for it and hold the growls. Instead, do what I’m doing: wait for the sequel while you laugh with The Undertaker’s Wife. Just maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be.

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HEADLINE WHAT’S HAPPENING HERE

11th annual 50+ Lifestyle Expo 5/12; 2 p.m. Featured speaker: Vikings legend Carl Eller Verizon Wireless Center www.verizonwirelesscentermn.com Pie & Coffee 5/12; 3 p.m. Heritage Meadows 1302 Traverse Rd, St. Peter 507-931-8545 The Choir of Christ Chapel Home Concert 5/12; 7:30 p.m. Christ Chapel, Gustavus marketing@gustavus.edu The Birds and the Bees...and the Beetles? 5/14; 1:30 p.m. Blue Earth County Library Meeting Room herbsthelms@hotmail.com Bill Haley and the Comets 5/15; 6 p.m. Kato Ballroom, 200 Chestnut St. larry.bowers@katoballroom.com A Toast to Spring Annual Educare Spring Benefit 5/15; 6 p.m. Chankaska Creek Ranch & Winery info@educarefoundation.org Merely Players’ “Guys and Dolls” May 8-10 and 15-17 http://www.merelyplayers.com 2015 Annual Spring Author Brunch 5/16; 9:30 a.m. Gustavus Adolphus Jackson Student Center Dining Rooms tskinner@stpeterschools.org

Where To Go & What To Do This Summer! Mankato Symphony Orchestra: Kiss Me, Kate - A Broadway Classic 5/17; 3 p.m. Mankato West High School 507-625-8880

Songs on the Lawn presented by Xcel Energy 6/4-6/25; Thursdays, 11 a.m. Civic Center Plaza, Mankato info@greatermankato.com

The 2015 BrassWorks! 5/17; 3:30 p.m. Bjorling Recital Hall, Gustavus marketing@gustavus.edu

Lake Crystal Dualthlon 6/6; 8:15 a.m. Lake Crystal Area Recreation Center lcarc1@live.com

Mystery Author Erin Hart Visit 5/18; 6:30 p.m. New Ulm Public Library kwiley@tds.lib.mn.us

Pie & Coffee 6/9; 3 p.m. Heritage Meadows 1302 Traverse Road, St. Peter 507-931-8545

“The Foreigner,” Highland Summer Theatre 5/26-5/30; Daily, 7:30 p.m. Andreas Theatre, Earley Center for Performing Arts theatretix@mnsu.edu Old Crow Medicine Show Special guest: The Devil Makes Three 5/28; 7 p.m. Vetter Stone Amphitheater, Riverfront Park www.vetterstoneamphitheater.com The 2015 Season Finale, with Gustavus Wind Orchestra and Concerto/Aria Winners 5/30; 8 p.m. Bjorling Recital Hall, Gustavus marketing@gustavus.edu Mankato Symphony Orchestra’s Blazing Star Winds 5/30; 9:30 a.m. New Richland Public Library 507-625-6169

“Xanadu,” Highland Summer Theatre Daily, 6/10-6/13; 7:30 p.m. Ted Paul Theatre Earley Center for Performing Arts theatretix@mnsu.edu Relay For Life of Nicollet County 6/19; 4 p.m. Gorman Park and St. Peter Community Center (Indoor and outdoor activities between park and Community Center) avolk@gustavus.edu ArtSplash Art Fair 6/20; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 1001 Belgrade Avenue, North Mankato llowry@nmlibrary.org “Doubt,” Highland Summer Theatre 6/23-6/27; Daily, 7:30 p.m. Andreas Theatre Earley Center for Performing Arts theatretix@mnsu.edu

summer Triplet: A Benefit for Mankato Symphony Orchestra 5/31; 7 p.m. Mankato Golf Club mso@hickorytech.net

Find more events, and more information, at greatermankatoevents.com. 22 SUMMER 2015 Mature Lifestyle

Henderson Sauerkraut Days 6/26-6/28 Bender Park, Henderson sjmmb@yahoo.com


Deep Valley Homecoming A Celebration of Maud Hart Lovelace & the Betsy-Tacy books 6/26-6/30, Downtown Mankato btsmankato@gmail.com Blooming Pretty Garden Tour Self-guided tour of Mankato area gardens 6/28; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. zontamankato@gmail.com “The Addams Family,” Highland Summer Theatre 7/9-7/11 and 7/14-18; Daily, 7:30 p.m. Ted Paul Theatre, Earley Center for Performing Arts theatretix@mnsu.edu Golf Classic Wine and Beer Tasting 7/13; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. New Ulm country Club valh@mvlhs.org Paddlefish Days 7/23-7/26, Main Street, Madison Lake 507-243-3011 Nicollet County Fair 8/5-8/9, Nicollet County Fairgrounds nicolletcountyfair@gmail.com Ribfest 8/6-8/9 Riverfront Park, Mankato www.vetterstoneamphitheater.com Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion: America The Beautiful Tour” 8/19; 7 p.m. Vetter Stone Amphitheater Riverfront Park www.vetterstoneamphitheater.com The Charlie Daniels Band 8/21; 7 p.m. Vetter Stone Amphitheater Riverfront Park www.vetterstoneamphitheater.com Hairball 8/28; 7 p.m. Vetter Stone Amphitheater Riverfront Park www.vetterstoneamphitheater.com River Hills Women’s Weekend Show 9/19; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. River Hills Mall mankatomnshows@gmail.com

Travel benefits for older adults

O

ne of the best things about aging is being able to enjoy the fruits of your labor without as many obligations as you might have had when you were a younger adult. And many of today’s older adults have a wealth of discretionary time and the money to fund a recreational lifestyle. AARP Services, Inc. has long been a trusted resource in seniorbased information and resources and continues to broker relationships with various companies to arrange deals on travel-related services and products for older men and women. Members of AARP can link directly to deals through the organization’s website. Many other travel companies have discounts or other perks available to men and women over 50. All consumers need to do is inquire about such benefits. When in doubt, log on to the company’s website or give their customer service department a call. Here are some other ways to secure deals on travel and other services. ✿ Do some networking. Fellow seniors who log in to chat rooms or who are members of social clubs may have the inside scoop on age-based travel deals. ✿ Read the fine print. Understand the details of senior discounts and compare them to other promotions offered to anyone, regardless of age. You may be able to get a better deal or combine offers if you’re not locked into a senior plan. Also, check the dates when deals are valid to ensure you can travel when you want to. ✿ Always carry proof of age. Whether it is a driver’s license, AARP card, passport, or birth certificate, carry proof of your age at all times. You do not want to miss out on a discount because you cannot verify you are 50 or older. ✿ Explore airline perks. Men and women 55 and older may be eligible for “golden-agers” discounts at major airlines. Such deals are not typically advertised, so you may need to speak with an airline representative to secure the discount. Seniors also can request special services, such as baggage assistance, priority seating, etc. ✿ Try negotiating with vendors. If you cannot find a senior discount, consider negotiating with vendors for deals. Local hotels or businesses may prove more flexible than national chains. ✿ Embrace flexibility in scheduling. Seniors tend to have freedom with regard to the days of the week when they can travel. Use this to your advantage and travel during off-peak times when crowds will be small and rates may be lower. Don’t feel down if you’re approaching another milestone birthday. Entering into your golden years gives you access to a variety of perks and discounts that can save you time and money on travel. Mature Lifestyle SUMMER 2015 23


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Mature Lifestyle Magazine Summer 2015  

Mature Lifestyle Magazine Summer 2015  

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