Inspire(d) Fall 2014

Page 1


NO. 39 • Fall 2014


free! Self-Guided ART Tours: A Primer





Finger Puppets!

paper project One Pan(ish) Wonders

Making a Scene Vesterheim is Besterheim!

The OK Factor

Chef Ruth Hampton

Pilot Odyssey CR-V


Fit Civic


Crosstour Insight CR-Z

Fuel Efficient. Environmentally Sensible. You’ll Love More Miles Per Dollar! Check us out! Phone: 877-751-0179

Downtown La Crosse, WI at 4th and Cameron Streets

FALL 2014 contents What We’re Loving RIGHT NOW


The OK Factor


Self-Guided Art Tour Primer


Be a Mover and a Shaker


Chef on the Block: Ruth Hampton




Paper Project: Finger Puppets!


Brent Grinna – EverTrue




Making a Scene


Vesterheim is Besterheim


Mississippi Mirth


Probit: Lorena Ellingson





...and more!



Did you get it right away? Movers and Shakers seemed appropriate for this issue - so many great people doing so many great things! Photo by Aryn Henning Nichols \ Fall 2014


Be at the

Center of It All

Center Stage Series 2014-15 Saturday, September 13 The Intergalactic Nemesis Target Earth

Friday, OctOber 4 John Ball’s In the Heat of the Night

thurSday, September 25 Rhythmic Circus: Feet Don’t Fail Me Now!

thurSday, NOvember 6 Anonymous 4 Grace and Glory

tickets on sale Sept 2.

tickets on sale Oct 10.

Saturday, OctOber 4 San Jose Taiko

Friday, NOvember 14 Sybarite5

tickets on sale Sept 11.

tickets on sale Oct 16.

a live-action graphic novel tickets on sale Sept 2.

L.a. theatre Works tickets on sale Sept 25.

Preview all the artists on Youtube! Search for Center Stage Series 14–15.

Get your tickets and join us! (563) 387-1357

A heartfelt ovation to all of our performance and media sponsors for investing in the arts for our community! 2014–15 Center Stage Sponsors Luther College Diversity Council The Decorah Newspapers

Grants The

Media Supporters

Decorah Newspapers

From the Editor

Inspire magazine


hen the idea for the pun on the cover came to me, I couldn’t stop smiling. Those of you who know me (or have liked Inspire(d) on Facebook), know I love a good pun. I, of course, love a good story too, and there are few better stories than those featuring folks out doing good stuff. You know: Movers and shakers. I was excited to get to interview one of the best of them. My childhood friend, Brent Grinna, is the founder and CEO of successful Boston tech start-up EverTrue. They develop mobile apps that help schools connect with alumni. It’s pretty cool. (The company just received $5.25 million in investment capital last year! Woo!) Benji was also in his element with his story, Making a Scene. He got to interview five regional leaders in the live production business – you know…the people making the scene! Inspire(d) intern Ingrid Baudler interviews a couple of literal movers and shakers too – Luther alums Olivia Hahn and Karla Dietmeyer of the musical duo The OK Factor (page 14). They’re on the road a lot, and living in separate states, but that doesn’t stop them from making great music and lots of plans. We hope you make lots of plans this fall too – maybe you’ll hit the road for all the artist studio tours? We put together a little infographic to help you prepare to enjoy it to the fullest. Chef Ruth Hampton knows a little – actually, probably a lot – about enjoying life to the fullest. I mean, good food is the secret, right? She puts together not only amazing dishes, but amazing experiences as well. You can read her Chef on the Block on page 26. And while we’re on the topic of food – make sure you check out Jim McCaffrey’s Mississippi Mirth this issue. It’s all about “Keeping it Simple”, and we couldn’t be more on board. He puts together a couple of great one pan (ish) wonders on page 60. Finally, we’d love for you to check out all the fun stuff going on around the region this season – especially all the great exhibits and events at Vesterheim Museum right here in Decorah. We put together some of our favorites in honor of one of their major fundraisers, Deck the Tables (page 54 – pssst: the enamel exhibit is amazing and you better make plans to see it!). So. Try to make a little time this fall for you. Pop up some popcorn (read about it on page 40), get your turkey finger puppets ready for the Thanksgiving table (page 33), and schedule a date night (might we suggest a the Pepperfield Diversity Dinners or the Northeast Iowa Montessori’s Around the World in Five Plates fundraiser?) before those crisp fall days turn quickly into winter (wah!). Enjoy, my friends! Looking forward,

Aryn Henning Nichols

Who are we? Co-founders: Aryn Henning Nichols / editor & designer Benji Nichols / writer & advertising sales (& husband, support team, dinner-maker)

We couldn’t do it without: Sara Friedl-Putnam/ contributor Ingrid Baulder/ contributor Jim McCaffrey/ Mississippi Mirth

Inspire(d) Magazine is published quarterly by Inspire(d) Media, LLC, 412 Oak Street, Decorah, Iowa, 52101. This issue is dated Fall 2014, issue 39, volume 7, Copyright 2014 by Inspire(d) Magazine.

support inspire(d) Although Inspire(d) is free on the newsstands, you can have it sent to your door for only $25/year. Email for a membership or visit for more info.

Write inspire(d) Want to make a comment about something you read in the magazine? Email Interested in advertising? Contact Benji at or call 563-379-6315.

Visit our website: “Like” Inspire(d) Media on Facebook! 05

What We’re


right now

Driftward Press Decorah friends Cerrisa Snethen and Jeanine Scheffert have launched a cool new project that we’re really excited about: Driftward Press. It is “an awesomely affordable regional art subscription.” They kicked the whole thing off with an Indiegogo fundraiser that pulled in more than double their goal! Their mission is to deliver great regional art AND writing, right to your mailbox each month– much like a CSA from a farmer, but this time for art! A subscriber – for about the price of a monthly Netflix membership – gets a lovely, frame-able work by a local artist, along with a totally unique piece of local writing. It’s a great way for an average person to build a local art collection (their radius will extend 150 miles around Decorah). Artist submissions may be entered for review at submissions@ As the Driftward Press ladies say: “Art is good for you!”

Lanesboro Arts Campus The Lanesboro Arts Center is on a mission to make this Minnesotan town – the entire town (population 743) – the perfect place to experience some creativity. After 21 years of bringing art to the community, the Lanesboro Arts Center is launching a new arts campus with three components: art in public spaces, buildings that house the arts, and pedestrian walkways. Instead of bringing the community to the arts center, they’re making the arts center the community! One of our favorite new projects this fall is parking poetry. What could be better than a drive-in haiku? Although, their surprise sculpture project comes close. Community members work together to create a sculpture and then display it in a public space for everyone and anyone to happen upon. And they keep it fresh – continually creating new work so they can switch out the old and bring in the new. Check out a Night of Poetry on September 13, Swingsation Gala Fundraiser November 8, or the Art Center’s year-round exhibition gallery! Pumpkin Patches/Corn Mazes Fall is an exciting time at Inspire(d) HQ – for lots of reasons, but especially because we love all that the season brings with it! Pumpkin patches, corn mazes, haunted houses, bon fires, football games, hot chocolate, Oktoberfest beers – we could go on. Our friends at Pinter’s Gardens & Pumpkins just west of Decorah do it up big in the fall. Kick-off for the Pumpkin Patch and all of its glorious fun is Saturday, September 20 and runs through October 31st. Meanwhile, just east of Elgin, Iowa – the Maize Maze kicks into action each Saturday & Sunday through Halloween. This year’s theme is “Udderly Amazing” featuring a tribute to Iowa’s dairy producers. The Maize Maze is located at the Gilbertson Center, 22580 A. Ave. Elgin, IA. More information

Driftless Area Art Festival Celebrating the Visual, Performing, and Culinary Arts of the Driftless Area 80 Visual Artists Live Music Local Foods

Saturday, September 20 10:00—5:00 Sunday, September 21 10:00—4:00 Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin

Free Admission and Parking \ Fall 2014



Spring Grove


Holiday Lights, Magical Nights Celebrates 10! Christmas time is a magical time, and so is the tradition of the “drive-thru” lights at Decorah’s Pulpit Rock Campground each year. It’s fun, AND supports a good cause! But we also want to make sure you know about the annual Holiday Lights 5k Run November 29th – folks get to say “I’m not staying in yet” to winter, put on a holiday costume, and run it out. Families are encouraged to join in on the fun, awards, and bon fire. It’s pretty great. This year, Helping Services of NE Iowa celebrates 10 years of Holiday Lights Magical Nights. The display opens Thanksgiving night (11/27) and runs through December 27. Santa makes nightly appearances, prizes are given away, and funds are raised for all that Helping Services provides to the region. Many opportunities for volunteering and donating in special ways to Holiday Lights also exist – check it all out:

October 4, 2014

(Early registration ends Sept. 26, 2014; guarantee your t-shirt by Sept.18)

OCT 3-4



Choose a 1 or 2 mile mowed trail, which is open all year that crosses meadows and deciduous woods going past ponds and streams. Scan QR codes to hear bird songs on over 50 signs identifying local birds.

133 W. Main, Spring Grove



Fall 2014 /

Sigmund Årseth & Giants of the Earth Giants of the Earth in Spring Grove will be celebrating a Giant in the Art World this fall: Sigmund Årseth. The legacy of this Norwegian artist is the highlight of the Giants of the Earth Bicentenary event October 18-19, 2014. Arseth was one of the most wellknown Norwegian painters of his time. Locally,his murals cover walls at the Spring Grove Heritage Center (above) and in Vesterheim buildings in Decorah. He was a renowned rosemaling artist and teacher as well. He passed away in 2012. There will be receptions both days of Bicentenary Celebration, with performances by the Luren Singers and Thankful Brass. In addition to the unveiling of a life-size bronze sculpture of Årseth in the Enger Garden, an exhibit of art created by Sigmund Årseth students will be on display all weekend. (Call for artists and works deadline October 11 email: Organizers are also reaching out to all artists who studied with Sigmund, encouraging them to come with their art and be part a documentary being prepared for the Årseth Family. The documentary filming of students and public recalling of Sigmund memories will occur throughout the weekend and then be presented to the Årseth family. Finally, a celebration dinner and auction of rare Sigmund works will cap off Saturday evening. Complete schedule at:



What We’re




Y :

DIVERSITY DINNERS AT PEPPERFIELD The Pepperfield Project partners with Seed Savers Exchange to offer educational, themed dinners at the Pepperfield Farm – this fall there will be three left you can attend! To celebrate the immigrant origin of heirloom foods in America, they will be featuring ethnic themes: Vietnamese, Mexican and German cuisines (Italian was in August). Celebrate the rich bounty of these regional heirloom vegetables with these several course dinners paired with education about varieties grown in Pepperfield gardens. While each meal will feature a type of meat, there will always be several vegetarian courses available. Dinners start at 6pm, but guests are invited to come early to enjoy the gardens. Cost: $50 per person. Bring your own beverage of choice. Reserve space by calling Pepperfield at 563-382-8833 or emailing


right now

September 13 – Vietnamese This menu will include many varieties unfamiliar to most Americans: mustard greens with tongue-twisting names such as Peking Ta Ching Koo Pai Sai, and Yu Choy Sum; yard-long beans; serpent, bitter, and winter melons; Pingtung Long and Laotian eggplants; Diakon radishes; edamame soy; Shishito and Thai Hot peppers; Kikuza and Hyuga winter squash; and a variety of lovely Oriental herbs. Fish and possibly other seafoods will be featured. September 27 – Mexican Held the same evening as Seed Saver’s Harvest Festival, there will be authentic recipes beyond the usual “Tex-Mex”. Heirlooms stars may include Poblano, Izeta, and Negro de Valle peppers; tomatillos and the ancient Mexican Ribbed tomato from the Zapotecs; Mitla Valley black beans and green dent corn from Oaxaca; hominy corn for posoli from Santo Domingo; and various styles of salsa. Pork in various forms will be the featured meat. October 11 – German Happy Oktoberfest! A good hearty beef Sauerbraten and German sausage will usher in a fall harvest including winter squash, German cabbage and kale, leeks, German Butterball potatoes, rutabagas, Diane Whealy’s family German Pink beefsteak tomatoes, breads from our own wheat, and a variety of cheeses. They might even manage to brew a tasty German beer!

Friday, October 17

doors at 6 / show at 7 Nob Hill, Decorah, Iowa Tickets at, KDEC Station & the Hotel Winneshiek. Decorah's Daily News


Featuring the Memory Brothers, prizes, refreshments, swing dance lessons, KDEC employees past and present, fellow hall of famers and more!



cla s s es

Looking for more details about events on the calendars? Check out these fun fall activities! In chronological order, each event’s number coincides with its number on the calendar!

w ork s h ops e vents 508 W. WATER ST. DECORAH . 563.382.5440

1. September 3: Saint Mary’s Page Series presents Rosanne Cash, Americana-roots singer-songwriter, daughter of legendary Johnny Cash, 7:30pm, Page Theatre, $30/$27, Winona. www. 2. September 13: Lanesboro Arts Campus Festival 2-6pm & Night of Poetry 7:30pm. Live bands, gyotaku (fish printmaking), refreshments, haiku poetry contest winners, stage performances - FREE! Lanesboro, MN 3. September 14: The Awful Purdies (Iowa City) play a free afternoon show at Seed Savers! Pre-cursor to Spring 2015 Luther Center Stage “All Recipes Are Home”. 1pm-3pm, SSE rural Decorah,


licensed massage therapist + zone therapist & yoga instructor 303.913.6326


September 27

FALL HARVEST SCHOOL* full day of workshops

including: seed saving • planting garlic with re winter gardening • cider making canning and fermenting *Registration Required


Seed Savers Exchange

3094 North Winn Road, Decorah, IA • 563-382-5990

4. September 14: Oneota Co-op 40th Fall Frolic with the Foot Notes (AND PIE!) 6:00 pie serving begins 7:009:00 pm dance. Winn. Fairgrounds Community Building. $5 per person

25W/ $25B

5. September 19: ArtHaus Poetry Slam, 8pm at the Elks Lodge. Come share or just enjoy. $5/$3 students. Signup to perform at Sponsored by Dragonfly Books 6. September 19: Put on your dancing shoes and enjoy the lively Norwegian/American music of the FootNotes. $5 cover includes a beverage. Food available. See for more information. 7. September 20: United Way Used Book Sale! Good Shepherd Church, Iowa Avenue, Decorah Support 18 local non-profits while snagging terrific used books/magazines for suuuuuper great prices. 8AM-12PM 8. September 21: The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is returning to Northeast Iowa. Join us as we fight for the millions of people suffering from this disease. Winneshiek Medical Center – 1pm. 9. September 25: Taste the Local Harvest at the Oneota Food Coop - meet local producers, sample local products. 4:30-6:30 pm. Free. 10. September 27: Decorah Rotary 3rd Annual Charity 5K/10K/Half Loop de Loop Marathon. Staggered start times, Trout Run Trail route, Decorah VFD pancake breakfast at finish. Visit



Lunch & dinner Monday - Saturday • 563-382-3067 10

Fall 2014 /

11. September 27: Chelsey & John Get Married!!! Welcome friends & family - we hope you enjoy your stay in beautiful Decorah! Share memories using #CandJ2014

fun stuff to do








Rosanne Cash, Page Series, Saint Mary’s University, Winona, 7:30pm


Free Vesterheim First Thursday, Vesterheim Museum, Decorah








Charmings, Haymarket

Over the Back Fence radio show, St. Mane, Lanesboro, 7:30pm



Lanesboro Arts Campus Festival, Lanesboro


The 6 Mowgli’s, Sept 5-6: Luther CFL, La Crosse 8pm Story Telling Lanesboro Fest, Myrick Live, St. Mane 7:30pm Park Jaybone Bell & The Restless Light, Haymarket



Pokey LaFarge, Englert


Sept 25-28: Boats & Bluegrass Festival, Winona, MN



Järvelä, Dee Williams, Fiddle Tiny Houses!, Workshop Valders 4pm, Concert 206, Luther, 7:30pm, 6:30pm Vesterheim, Decorah


SEPT 20-21: • NE Iowa Cycling Experience, Decorah • NE Iowa Antique Show & Flea Market, Winn. Co. Fairgrounds

8 21 Walk to End Alzheimer’s, WMC, Decorah

14 15 3 Awful Purdies One Year in Concert, Later, The Seed Savers, Warehouse, 1pm-3pm La Crosse FREE

Lowest Pair, Courtyard & Cellar

10 27 9 26 25 Night (out) At Taste The Decorah Harvest, The Museum, Rotary Loop de Loop Half Oneota Coop, Children’s Marathon Decorah, Museum of 4:30-6:30pm 11 La Crosse Rhythmic Amos Lee, Chelsey & John Circus, Luther Get Married! The Englert 7:30pm Welcome!

Sept 21-27: Banned book week! Upstart Crow Theatreworks performs all week…

SEPT 27: • Love & Theft, Gloriana, Luther Regents Center • Prudence Johnson & Dan Chouinard, WideSpot Arts Center, Stockholm WI, 7pm


16 18 5 19 7 20 17 John Raymond Sept 18-21: Mary ArtHaus United Way & The “Roots Applefest, La Gauthier & Poetry Slam, Used Book Trio”, RootNote, Sam Baker, Crescent, MN Elks Lodge, Sale, Good Englert, Iowa La Crosse, 8pm Shepherd Decorah, 8pm City, 8pm Church, 6 Footnotes live at Decorah, Oneota Co-op 40th Fall Frolic, FootNotes & Pie, Winneshiek Wildberry 8am-12pm 4 Winn. Fairgrounds Community Buildling, 6pm Winery, rural Decorah

Sept 20: Civil War Winona Zombie presentation Crawl! Mark with Dr. Ed Mallman, Ed’s No Tebbenhoff, Children’s Name, Winona Decorah SEPT 13: Museum of Library, La Crosse, $1 • The Intergalactic Nemesis, Luther CFL, 7:30pm 7pm off Sundays • The Color Run, La Crosse, WI • The Sex Rays, Ed’s No Name, Winona 12-5pm

Sept 5-7: HesperMabel Steam Engine Days


“Carved by the River: Woodcut Prints by Nick Wroblewski”, through October 10, MN Marine Art Museum, Winona,


September Wednesday

1 Free First Thursday

2 Vesterheim





Rusty Olde Crows Junk & Craft Show, Central Park, Charles City, 9am-5pm


San Jose 4 Taiko, Luther CFL, 7:30pm

Reefuel Saturday Indoor Cycling Classes EVERY Saturday, Decorah, 9am

ArtHaus First Friday, Works by Dave Hart, ArtHaus Decorah, 7-9pm



Sharon Van Etten, The Englert

NE IA Montessori Around the World in 5 Plates, Hotel Winneshiek, 5-9 pm


Children’s Museum of La Crosse, $1 off Sundays 12-5pm


15 Los Lobos, The Englert,


15 24 23 Creole Choir In the Heat of Cuba, of the Night, Saint Mary’s CSS, Luther U, Winona, CFL, 7:30pm 7:30pm




17 Wanda Jackson w/ The Memory Brothers – KDEC Wink-I Pepsi Party!, 7pm, Nob Hill, Decorah


Archers & Illuminators, The Warehouse, La Crosse


Ralph Nuzum: Oct 25: Brainy Boo-Seum Animals!, Halloween Party, Children’s Kickapoo ValMuseum of La ley Reserve, IA State Archaeologist La Farge, Crosse, 5:30Elizabeth Reetz on Water 6:30pm 7:30pm Trails, DPL, 6:30pm


OCT 17: • Winneshiek Co. Celebration of Life, T-Bocks Upstairs, 4-7pm • Night (out) At The Museum, Children’s Museum of La Crosse


OCT 31: Absolute Hoot, T-Bocks Upstairs, Decorah General B and The Wiz / Ali & The Scoundrels, Ed’s No Name, Winona



OCT 11: • Todd Snider w/ Elizabeth Cook, The Cavalier, La Crosse • Crystal City, Haymarket, Decorah


Oct 24-26: Flyway Film Festival, Stockholm, WI


Marjane Satrapi Dist. Lecture, Luther CFL, 7pm, Free Joni Finnegan artist demo, Lanesboro Arts Center, 1-4pm

Ani DiFranco, First Ave, Minneapolis

18 Hero Jr, Haymarket

9 David10 D.A.S.Y. 11 7 Mystery 8 Joe Artz History 6 Theatreworks 25th Party Author Home Free, Bromberg, w/ “Blue USA: Curious William Kent of the Upper Children’s Englert, Iowa The Englert, Mississippi” Iowa River George, St Museum of Krueger, City, 8pm 8pm Valley, Decorah & guests, InMary’s U, WinLa Crosse, $1 Decorah wood, Spillville ona, 6:30pm Public Library Library, 6:30pm off Sundays 12-5pm Oct 3-5: Northeast Iowa Oct 10-12 – Hoot on the Oct 9-11: A Thread In The 14 Root Music/Art Festival, Studio Tour 36 artists at 28 Dark, Luther Theatre & Dance locations near Decorah, IA! Lanesboro, MN 5

Scandinavian Modern Design: Norwegian OCT 4: Enamel, • Bluff Country Artists Gallery Run for the Arts Vesterheim, • Kickapoo Valley Reserve Dam Challenge –runs through • Lanesboro Live, St. Mane Theatre, 7:30pm Spring 2015 • Los Lobos, Mayo Civic Aud, Rochester, MN


OCT 3: • People Brothers Band, Haymarket • Autumn Night Skies, Kickapoo Valley Reserve, 6:30 pm




fun stuff to do








Nov 6: Anonymous 4, CSS, Luther College CFL, 7:30pm






NOV 21: • Charles Walker Band, Haymarket, Decorah • Horse Feathers, Cavalier Theatre, La Crosse


NOV 15: • Kids in a Victorian Kitchen, Villa Louis, Prairie du Chien • Intelescope, Haymarket, Decorah • Beginner Stargazing, Kickapoo Valley Reserve, La Farge, 5pm

$1 off 30 Sundays COMING UP: 12-5pm “Chicago Norske Klub” exhibit opens December 6, Vesterheim Museum, Decorah

Children’s Museum of La Crosse,


ELF the musical, GBPAC, Cedar Falls, 2pm/7pm

NOV 8: Ralph Nuzum: • Breakfast in a Victorian Kitchen, Villa Louis, Bobcats & Prairie du Chien Cougars, • Mike Munson & Jack Klatt, Haymarket Kickapoo • DHPT Night Mountain Bike Race, Decorah Valley Reserve, Swingsation Gala Fundraiser, Lanesboro, 6pm La Farge, 6:30pm


Nov 7-8: Vesterheim Deck The Tables, Multiple events Friday & Saturday, Hotel Winneshiek Steyer Opera House,



Children’s Museum of La Crosse, $1 off Sundays 12-5pm


“Classic Images: Ansel Adams Photographs” through January 11, MN Marine Art Museum, Winona,

“Love Norway X” on view Nov. 1st, Vesterheim Museum,






Sybarite5, CSS, Luther College CFL, 7:30pm


WSM: Chet Baker, In a Blue Room. ArtHaus Decorah, 7:30pm & 9:30pm


Nov 7: We are The Willows, Ed’s No Name, Winona


28 Nov 28-30: Victorian Home for the Holidays, Villa Louis, Prairie du Chien





Rosanne Cash, Englert, Iowa City, 8pm


Raise the Roof La Crosse Habitat for Humanity Concert, Cavalier Theater


DEAR Camp at Bluff Country Artists Gallery, trunk show, sales, treats!


Three Mississippi, WideSpot Arts Center, Stockholm WI, 7pm


Leisa Luis Grill Artist demo, Lanesboro Arts Galleries, 1pm-4pm


Nov 22-23: Allamakee Wood Fired Pottery Holiday sale, 10-4 Sat, 12-4 Sun

Happy Thanksgiving!


ArtHaus Yemen Blues, Cedar Cultural Poetry Slam, Elk’s Lodge Center, Minneapolis Decorah, 8pm



Taste of the Holidays fundraiser dinner, Oneota Coop, Decorah





fun stuff to do

25W/ $25B












Inspire(d) World’s Greatest Party


Date (not included in word count): Worlds Greatest Party! 7-10 pm. Inspire(d) invites you to the greatest party ever! We’ll have amazing amounts of fun! See you there!



Questions? Email

Details at

See - we told you about our amazing fictional party in less than 25 words! On the visual calendar (like the one at left), your event will be listed along with a number that corresponds. People can just scan on over to the following pages to get the details!


Simple! We get an email with all your details exactly as you’d like to see them in the listing, and then we add it to the calendar!

It works like this: 1. Go to and click on the 25W/$25B link 2. Enter your information in our online form 3. Click through to PayPal to complete the transaction

Thus we’ve implemented a simple, expandable list of events for the pages following our regular calendars. Those who are planning “fun stuff to do” get a guaranteed spot on the calendar and in that event listing by purchasing “25 Words/$25 Bucks.”

We know it’s a tough racket to put on live music, activities, and special events, so we want to give you a chance to get the word out without breaking the bank.

Calendar time is always an exciting time at Inspire(d) Headquarters. “Just how much can we fit on there this month?!?” In recent years, what we had chosen for these lovely pages had been entirely editorial and subjective. We figured, hey, you like our magazine, so you’ll probably like the fun stuff to do that we pick out from around our region. But we’re running out of space and want you, our lovely readers, friends, and fellow event planners, to be able to tell us a little more about your fun.

25 Words/$25 Bucks


Looking for more details about events on the calendars? Check out these fun fall activities! In chronological order, each event’s number coincides with its number on the calendar!

open decorah

coworking community

Join us! 1–day pass: $15

10–day pass: $90 (valid for 60 days)

Monthly: $100 12. Saturday Indoor Cycling Classes – EVERY Saturday (9am) at Reefuel: Indoor Cycling and Yoga Studio! All levels welcome. More info at 13. October 3: ArtHaus First Friday, Depth: Works by Decorahnative Dave Hart. Reception 7-9pm. FREE! Wine tastings compliments of the Oneota Community Co-op. Artwork on display throughout October.

25W/ $25B

14. October 10-12: Hoot on the Root Music and Art Festival – three days of great music and art located at Smokey River BBQ on the Root River in Lanesboro – FREE admission. More info www. 15. October 23: Saint Mary’s Page Series presents the Creole Choir of Cuba, ten member group w/musicians sing of their heritage, 7:30pm, Page Theatre, $27/$24, Winona. www.

open for:

Work. Collaboration. Fun. Convenience. 24 hours/day.

...for a light breakfast or lunch, long coffee, or afternoon treat. Now serving homemade bagels & English muffins! • Free wi-fi throughout • Indoor/Outdoor seating • From scratch pastries

400 W. Water St., Decorah • 563-382-5690 • See website for hours and daily specials

contemporary women’s clothing unusual gifts RAYGUN TEES RIEN DE NOUVEAU CONSIGNMENT

17. November 7: Water Street Music Series presents Chet Baker: In a Blue Room. Vivid new work for jazz trumpet, dance, and actor. Arthaus Decorah. 7:30pm & 9:30pm. $10 adults/$6 students.

19. November 15: La Crosse Area Habitat for Humanity “Raise the Roof” benefit with The Smokin Bandits, T.U.G.G., Gregg Hall & the Wrecking Ball, and more. $10 advance/ $15 day of. www. 20. November 21: ArtHaus Poetry Slam, 8pm at the Elks Lodge. Come share or just enjoy. $5/$3 students. Signup to perform at Sponsored by Dragonfly Books. 21. November 22- 23: Allamakee Wood Fired Pottery Holiday Sale. 10-4 Saturday, 12-4 Sunday. Find the perfect gift! Hundreds of pots & beautiful pieces for sale! Specials & holiday treats all weekend. www.allamakeewoodfiredpottery.com2121

It’s like coming home..

16. November 6: “Taste of the Holidays” food pantry fundraiser/holiday meal at the Oneota Co-op. Register for meal by calling 563-382-4666. $20 suggested donation per person.

18. November 8: DEAR Camp at BCAG Spring Grove! Hunt for bargains--5% off green artwork, hot cider and treats, and one-day jewelry trunk show with Bijoux artists! Check out www.

Includes mail & package service, 24/7/365 access, website listing & access to 3rd floor break room.

FANCY PANTS -from silly to frilly-

411 W Water, Decorah Perfect for weddings, showers, birthdays, graduations... or just for you!


Jennifer Sullivan . Decorah, Iowa 563.419.4016 . \ Fall 2014



Fall 2014 /

Everything is Gonna Be

ok By Ingrid Baudler

Photos by Honor Heindl \ Fall 2014


Karla Dietmeyer (left) and Olivia Hahn (right) are the O and K that make up The OK Factor. (Photos by Honor Heindl.)

Olivia Hahn and Karla Dietmeyer have come a long way since starting cello/violin duo The OK Factor in 2012. And yet the two Luther alums still have a long way to go.


With the night’s gig all wrapped up, they grab their gear and hit the road, this time leaving Georgia in the rearview mirror. They head north, with shows in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Olivia usually does the driving while Karla navigates, but tonight it’s the other way around. “I kind of like it,” Olivia says about all the traveling, “I feel like we’re paying our dues.” For most of this past year, Olivia (O) and Karla (K) have had to operate from different states, but that hasn’t stopped them from making great music together. They meet up to perform at different venues, hold workshops, and have even been recording. But it was Decorah that made everything OK.




OCT 9: 7:30 PM OCT 10: 9:30 PM OCT 11: 1:30 & 7:30 PM


NOV 13: 7:30 PM • NOV 14: 9:30 PM BY SARAH RUHL . NOV 15: 1:30 & 7:30 PM • NOV 20: 7:30 PM DIRECTED BY DR. BOBBY VRTIS NOV 21: 9:30 PM • NOV 22: 1:30 & 7:30 PM

Theatre & Dance



16 Fall 2014 /


Full 2014-15 season details at


he OK Factor was really an experiment,” Olivia says. “It was something that we wanted to do but the community was really what spurred us forward. It’s amazing how talented and eclectic one small town can be.” “No one ever told us no, and that was huge for us,” Karla adds. “I think it takes good people to really make great music and that is what we found in Decorah.” Both women picked up instruments at an early age – Karla started the violin at five and Olivia was four when she first sat at a cello. They met at Luther College, where they majored in music performance, and formed The OK Factor in 2012 with the goal of “challenging their formal training.” The duo has since found their way around the Midwest and the U.S., and from classical to bluegrass, jazz, and pop, finally arriving at a musical style they dub “alternative/progressive folk”. “You can always hear a classically-trained musician in their tone or the way they play certain melodies,” Olivia says. “We don’t want to undo that. We like that aspect of our playing. We want to throw that into the mix with other genres. There’s a lot to explore there.” Their first gig was part of the Water Street Music Series at ArtHaus in Decorah. Post-college, each was planning to go to graduate school for music performance and pursue a career as a classical musician, but all that changed after that first show. “The combination of how extremely satisfied and full we both felt, as well as the overwhelming support and positive feedback we got from the audience – people whose opinions we trusted greatly – made us feel as though this was no longer something we ‘just did for fun,’ but something we could do more permanently,” Olivia says. “We couldn’t really believe we were considering taking a different path than we had envisioned, but we knew it was what we really wanted.” The two had only written a few songs together before that performance, and they knew they had a lot of work ahead of them if it was going to work. “I had very little experience in the music industry, but my passion for the DIY, grassroots movement really gave me confidence that The OK Factor had what it takes to go somewhere,” Karla says. (Continued on next page)

Good clothes take you great places


211 W Water Street Decorah, Iowa M.T.W.Fr.Sat 9-5 Thurs. 9-8 563.382.8940 \ Fall 2014


They planned to move to Minneapolis the summer after graduation, and explored regional performance possibilities. “I found applications to the Iowa State Fair and Stone Arch Bridge Festival,” Karla says. “We were both surprised to discover that by the end of our senior year we had been accepted to play at both events. This boosted our confidence to find other places to play throughout the summer.” Cold calls and asking around landed them a full performance schedule for the summer of 2013. They had gigs lined up at jazz clubs, weddings, wineries, and more. Next came the goal of recording a full-length album – with a writing method that isn’t exactly traditional. “We just sit down and make it up,” Olivia says, only half joking. “We never write anything down.” While they were still working on the album, Karla migrated from the Midwest back home to Georgia. Longdistance composition seems like it would be impossible, but, luckily, they worked it out. “It’s not this way friendship-wise, but musically, we know exactly where the other fits in,” Olivia says, smiling. “Musically, we can finish each other’s sentences,” Karla agrees. One of them brings up an idea and the other fills in their part.

“We send arrangements back and forth, piece by piece,” Olivia says. “Karla will start with the melody and I will add harmony and a baseline and Karla mixes it all on her computer.” As a tribute to their beginning, they named their first album, released in February of 2014, after Decorah’s main drag: Water Street. Most of the tracks – such as Switchback and Trout Run ­– are inspired by the area. “Trout Run evokes the feeling you get when you think about Decorah – Trout Run Trail, switchbacks over the cornfields, and that feeling of grandeur when you’re looking out over the bluffs,” Karla says. “The beauty of the Driftless Region.” It was this connection to the Driftless Region that kept the two connected. “Water Street was really the glue that held us together through the summer, and pushed us through the nine-month long distance from Atlanta to Minneapolis this past fall,” Olivia says. Going forward, the two will continue to be in different cities – Karla’s moving to Colorado and Olivia’s staying in Minneapolis – but don’t worry: The OK Factor will be okay. They’ve already got gigs and plans set for the this fall, including a new EP and a music video. “We trust our instincts and try every way possible to spread the word and get our music out there, because we believe in it. We also take risks and get out of our comfort zones, taking what would

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be ‘long shot ideas’ and going for them,” Olivia says. “Our motto has been, ‘If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.’” The two, unknowingly, leave the obvious pun – and perfect life lesson – hanging: When you do ask, sometimes the answer is – what else? OK!

PAGE SERIES 2014–2015 All tickets on sale now!

9/3 9/12 10/7

Rosanne Cash Robot Planet: The Intergalactic Nemesis Theatreworks USA: Curious George 10/23 The Creole Choir of Cuba 1/15 Janet’s Planet 1/28 Hector Del Curto Tango Quintet 2/5 Monkey Mind Pirates 2/25 TU Dance Company 3/16 Cherish The Ladies Rosanne Cash For more information, visit us online or call Performance Center Box Office Winona, Minn. (507) 457-1715

250 artists. 7 days a week. 1 gallery. Ingrid is a recent Luther College graduate and has been inspired enough by Decorah to stay. She remembers Luther’s Chips newspaper covering The OK Factor’s first performance at ArtHaus and had a great time catching up on what they have been doing since.

Wanna Hear More (Literally)? To check out The OK Factor and listen to their music, visit or Like and follow them Facebook and Twitter to enjoy the sometimes silly things they post after long hours on the road. \ Fall 2014


-Guided Art Tour f l e S : A Primer. The

ART! Text and infographic by Aryn Henning Nichols

Fall in the Driftless Region should be called fall in love with the Driftless Region. It’s beautiful not only for its scenic vistas and lovely (fingers crossed) weather, but also because of all the amazing art we can view through open studio tours. Artists welcome you into their workspaces for these nifty behind-the-scenes tours. If you’re at all interested in art, road trips, or even just people in general, it’s something you really should experience. We’ve shared a lot about these tours in the past, but not so much about what YOU should do to enjoy the events to the fullest. So! We decided to (what else?) put together an infographic! Make sure to mark your calendar for these art tours this fall! Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio Tour Where: Decorah, Iowa, and 35-mile surrounding region When: October 3–5, 2014 For more information: visit Fresh Art Tour Where: Lake Pepin and the Chippewa Valley of Wisconsin When: October 3–5, 2014 For more information: visit Sheep and Fiber Farm Tour Where: Southeast Minnesota When: October 11–12, 2014 For more information: visit

Fall Art Tour Where: Southwest Wisconsin (Baraboo, Dodgeville, Mineral Point, and Spring Green) When: October 17–19, 2014 For more information: visit Coming up this spring: Bluff Country Studio Art Tour Where: Winona, Minnesota, extending into Northeast Iowa and Southwest Wisconsin When: April 25–27, 2014 For more information: visit BONUS: Not tours, but… The 2nd Annual Farm Crawl is sure to be lots of fun and follows the same mentality of the open studio tours. Where: Northeast Iowa When: September 27, 2014 For more information: If you’re into art… Driftless Area Art Festival Where: Beauford T. Anderson Park, Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin When: September 20-21, 2014 For more information: visit

Turn the page for some fun art-on-the-go road trip tips! Have fun! \ Fall 2014


Steel Cow

Allamakee Wood Fired Pottery

Karen Woodbury

Jeanine Scheffert


-Guided Art Tour f l e S : A Primer. The



TIP: Try taking screenshots of your directions!

Have your route plugged into your phone or gps, but just to be sure (service can be spotty out in the country!) bring along a paper map.


CASH! Most likely the artists you’re visiting will have options for you to pay with credit card or check, but it’s always nice to make sure you’re covered (and it’s polite to pay for things under $10 with cash).

Stop by the local CVB or Chamber of Commerce & see what else should make it onto your tour!

TIP: A small cooler keeps chocolate from melting & cheese from squishing!

SPARE KEYS You don’t want to get locked out… that will certainly spoil the fun!

TIPS FOR THE FIRST TIMER 1 It’s okay not to buy anything! Don’t feel guilty, just enjoy the art and let the artist know that you’ve enjoyed it. But if you DO want to buy something, don’t hesitate! This art is the most “local” you’re ever going to get: You’re standing in the artist’s studio!


IT’S NICE TO HAVE: Sunglasses, baby wipes, sunscreen, bug spray, a blanket, an umbrella…

Like cell service, you never know when radio will get spotty. Make sure you have some jams that’ll keep it light & happy.


Make sure your car is up to inspection, that you have a working spare tire, and gas in your tank.

Your path to

Fall Family


Sept 20 - Oct. 26 Sat 9-5 Sun 9-4


Your phone might spend a lot of time searching for towers, leaving you high and dry when you need it most. Make sure you’re covered with a back up!

haunted attractions big slides • tetherball farm animals giant jumping pillow pedal carts with track

While you shouldn’t take photographs of artists’ work without first asking permission, you should definitely take time to pull over and get that great photo of a beautiful valley or flowery field. You never know – you might get an “art” shot yourself!

pumpkin blaster

The Bakery

concessions available all day plus homemade fudge, cupcakes and seasonal treats


It’s always more fun to hit the road on an adventure with a good friend.

3 Printed material is expensive! If an artist has cards, publications, or pamphlets out and you’re not seriously interested in putting it on your fridge/giving it to a friend/calling for more information, just pass on taking them – you’ll be doing the artist a favor!

corn maze • corn box

goat walk


2 PLEASE don’t be afraid to ask questions! You won’t look silly, we promise. In general, artists love to have folks interested in their work, processes, and studio. Everyone has a story, and – boy – stories are fun to hear (that’s why we started this magazine in the first place)!

wagon rides to pumpkin patch

4 Negotiations: In general, we don’t live in an area that encourages negotiations on pricing. That said, if you’re looking at a piece but can’t afford to pay the price, be up front about it. See if there are any options for payment plans or if the seller might be willing to budge a smidge on the price. You’ll know quickly enough if they will. If not, move on and know you tried everything you could to bring the piece home. Make sure you are clear that you meant no offense, quite the opposite: you loved their work!

4.5 miles west of Decorah, IA

563-382-0010 • 2475 State Hwy 9 for seasonal hours \ Fall 2014



grocery • bulk • produce café • meat • cheese bakery • wine/beer supplements • body care

We get a little excited about GoOD Food.

Water Street Caf é f r e s h .

o r g a n i c .

l o c a l .


312 West Water Street • Decorah 563.382.4666 • Monday-Saturday 8:00 am-8:30 pm • Sunday 10-7

everyone can shop 24

Fall 2014 /

everyone welcome

no membership required


FOOD COOPErative decorah, iowa





all is really the perfect time of year. Crunchy leaves underfoot, an earthen smell to the air, and (usually) cooler temps all make it a great time to be out and active in our region. From the Trails of Winneshiek County, to the Kickapoo Valley Reserve, to the everentertaining Coulees of the Mississippi River Valley – the Driftless Region is full of fun ways to keep you moving this fall. Whether you’re considering your first 5K, are a seasoned marathoner, or are just keeping active, there are options for everyone. See you out under the beautiful autumn sky!



Trails of Winneshiek Bike Maps! Did you know a super-awesome pocket size trail map of both the Trout Run Trail and Prairie Farmer Trail is now available? Inspire(d) helped design the handy maps alongside Winneshiek County Conservation and the Winneshiek County CVB. You can pick up a copy at various locations in Decorah (hotels, restaurants, the Chamber/CVB/Visitor Information office) or just download a copy from our website at: Saturday, September 13: The Color Run. La Crosse, Wisconsin. The original “Happiest 5K”! Benefits Children’s Museum of La Crosse. Saturday, September 20: Bridge to Bismarks 5K/10K, Camp Tahigwa, Dorchester, Iowa Sunday, September 21: Tri-Quest Golf-RunBike, Drugan’s, Holmen, Wisconsin, benefits Children’s Museum of La Crosse, Saturday, September 27: Decorah Rotary 3rd Annual Loop de Loop Half-Marathon /5K/10K Run-Walk. 563-735-5570



Saturday, October 4: Kickapoo Valley Reserve Dam Challenge. 7-mile paddle, 14-mile pedal, 3-mile run. La Farge, Wisconsin 608-6252960 /
 Saturday, October 4-5: Annual Big Muddy Run, La Crosse Myrick Park. Saturday, November 15: Children’s Immersion Workshop, Reg. deadline: 11/1. Ages 8-12. Kickapoo Valley Reserve, La Farge, 608-6252960 / Saturday, November 29: Holiday Lights 5K Run/Walk. Celebrate Helping Services 10th anniversary of Holiday Lights Magical Nights with a fall 5K! Costume contest, families welcome, awards, bonfire, and more!

406 W. Water St. • Decorah, Iowa • \ Fall 2014


Est. 1961

People you can trust. Quality you can depend on.

Monday: 9am - 8pm Tues - Fri: 9am - 5pm Saturday: 9am - 3pm 3 goldsmiths, a graduate gemologist, and a watchmaker on staff!

31 West Main Street Waukon, Iowa 800.932-7028 • 563.568-3661

26 Fall 2014 /

Read more about Ruth and her food at the blogs and sites she runs, where she posts recipes and tales of exciting catering and cookery.

riftless Gardens Maintenance & Design





TROUT RIVER CATERING Intro and interview by Benji Nichols

Jeff Scott . 563-379-1101


uth Hampton has been known for years around the Driftless Region as a creator of good, honest, and delicious food. From her early days in Minneapolis at the Seward and Loring Cafés, to running the Oneota Co-op kitchen, to her adventurous journeys brought to life with the Edible Alien Theatre (her totally unique, local pop-up dinner theatre of sorts), on to her current gig as head of her own Trout River Catering company, Ruth has always brought amazing dishes to the lucky people sitting at her table. The talented chef dubs Trout River Catering’s offerings as a “unique and delectable dining experience that is a dash eclectic, a splash elegant, and a dollop rustic…bohemian meets fusion cuisine meets Iowa farmgirl.” Her food has a focus on real, whole ingredients – local whenever possible – with flavors that stretch across boundaries, all while still being accessible to your grandparents. We’d say Ruth Hampton is an artist of food, yes, but perhaps more importantly, she specializes in wonderful, memorable culinary experiences. Photos by Ruth Hampton and Hannah McCargar

Design Maintenance Installation Plant Sales Hardscape Consultation Education

(Continued on next page)



MARKETING \ Fall 2014


Name: Ruth Hampton Age: 47 Businesses: Trout River Catering and Edible Alien Theatre Number of years cooking: Since I was 14 years old? 33 years…


HOMES Sustainably Beautifully Efficiently

David J. Wadsworth • 563.419.0390 •

Jo Iverson | 563-382-4445

Decorah, Iowa

Special Orders Available • Try us at the Oneota Food Co-op!

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563-382-4010 • 563-380-5851 28

Fall 2014 /

Formal training or live-andlearn? Definitely live-and-learn. It started at Scattergood Friends School, a Quaker boarding high school near Iowa City where the students do all of the cooking and cleaning (yes, they even make the breakfast and bread!). I fell in love with stainless steel and cooking for others. Then I moved to Minneapolis where it was easy to find work in restaurants: first at the collectively run Seward Café, and then I had the good fortune of cooking with incredible cooks at the Loring Café (when it was still on Loring Park), many of whom went on to open their own restaurants. They were great guides to both the world of food, and how you work well in a kitchen. Earliest or most significant memory of cooking? I remember finding a recipe for Chicken Cacciatore when I was around 10 or 11. We mostly ate hearty farm comfort food, so this was a stretch. My mother helped me assemble the ingredients then let me cook the meal by myself for some kind of occasion, maybe Christmas eve. I’m sure she must have hovered in the background but it still required a lot of trust on her part to turn me loose in the kitchen, especially with a recipe that she did not know. Why did you decide to become a chef? Not sure I really decided it, but when decades have passed I have to give in to the fact that this is what I love to do. I’ve had a soft spot for commercial kitchens, seasonings and knives since cooking while at Scattergood School. I am most at home in the kitchen alone or with a small crew while the party is going on, behind the scenes prepping deliciousness for the enjoyment of the group. But I also love other aspects of food. The theater of dining: taking people on little journeys in the performance-art dinners of Edible Alien Theatre (E.A.T.), and writing about food. I’m about to complete year three of my food blog and have discovered that I enjoy the process of writing and sharing about edibles. What’s the best thing you’ve ever made? Hmm. Last summer for the wedding of a friend I slow-roasted chuck roast (six hours) with North African seasonings like cinnamon, cumin, coriander, currants, lemon with zest, and nutmeg. The steer was from her parent’s farm, and six hours of roasting made it melt in your mouth tender and the flavor was incredible. But a funnier quote was from a wedding guest many years ago. I served a vegetable and rice noodle salad with toasted sesame oil and Southeast Asian seasonings, and this well-lubricated guest kept repeating to me, “That salad was AWESOME – I could eat it ‘til I puke!!” I took that as a high compliment.

Any monumental food fails? It was more like hanging by the thread of disaster. The first wedding I ever catered on my own was in the spring of 2000. It was four hours away at a park near Okoboji for a family of lawyers from Cedar Rapids. The prepped food was incredible, but on the drive over my Bronco II (that was pulling the full trailer) overheated. I stopped and immediately two cars of friendly locals stopped to help, eventually discovering I had no transmission fluid. After first offering to use their pickup to haul us and the trailer the remaining two hours, they drove and bought more fluid, helped find the leak, and sent us on our way. We arrived at the park four hours late and with only an hour to prep and serve the evening’s prewedding meal for 125 people (did I mention they were lawyers?!?). All the guests showed up to help us unload and do whatever needed to be done. It was utter chaos, but we were able to serve the meal a little over an hour late – and the longer their happy hour was stretched the happier they got, so all turned out well. That night they set up a pig roast and I would use the meat for the noon wedding meal. In the morning I discovered the spit had slipped out of its rotator during the night so half the pig was fully cooked and half was raw. I tried unsuccessfully to fix the spit using my car jack, and then proceeded to have a complete meltdown in the park – oh the poor morning joggers that had to listen to my colorful sobbing tirade! But help came, we turned the pig over, and it was fully cooked in time for the wedding lunch. It’s amazing that I continued to cater after that! How about secret food indulgences? Burgers. Big fat juicy burgers. I love stopping at little diners when traveling and having a burger with lots of ketchup, mustard and pickles. That has been probably the most difficult part of living gluten free, that I can’t have my indulgences sated at these little greasy spoons in small towns…or at least not with the bun. But I still eat burgers. What’s your favorite: Ingredient: Parsley. Such an underdog, this potent green bitter gives both depth and brightness to any dish. A close second and third would be nutmeg (which I add to almost everything) and leeks for their savory-sweet creaminess. These three buddies make everything taste better. But then again…so does bacon! Dish: It’s a tossup between real sauerbraten and a savory sweet potato pie with smoked cheddar. Though I’m pretty sure they would go well together. Cookbook: Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. I am by no means a vegetarian, but she has such simple and elegant combinations that have become some of my staples. Random kitchen tool: I love my knife, but it is not random so next to that would be the food scoop ‘prep taxi’. I like to keep my gadgets to a minimum but I’ve come to love these little scoopers to transport a pile of chopped veggies from the cutting board to the pot or container. Vegetable: Beets. Beets beets beets. Fabulous color with that deep rich earthy sweetness. Roasted or in salads with a little reduced apple cider syrup drizzled on top –divine! Fruit: Raspberries – I’m not really a fruit person but I’ve been known to gorge myself during raspberry season. Raspberry puree can be served on nearly anything.


You’re buying that shirt for him.


But when it looks that good… we know it’s really for you.


Great brands, service, & prices: local shopping = local fun! 130 W. Water St. Decorah, Iowa 563.382.5761

Mon - Fri 9-5 Thursday 9-8 Saturday 9-5

small appliances . pots & pans . kitchen tools . glassware . dishes . accessories . gift registry . & more!

106 E. Water St Decorah, Iowa • 563-382-3544

Thoughtfully designed, handcrafted, timberframe buildings. . 563 382 6245 . Decorah, Iowa

THE DEPOT OUTLET Monday-Friday 9-5 • Saturday 9-3 Thrift awesome clothing, books, & household goods! 563-382-2700• 510 Montgomery St, Decorah, Iowa Check out our awesome new location! or find us on Facebook \ Fall 2014


convenient sustainable lodging



Also available online!

Soon-to -

The Norwegian

Trav e





521 W. Water St. Decorah . 563-277-1061 .

to theh stars

S On View August 22, 2014 - April 19, 2015 Featuring Norwegian enamel design from the mid-twentieth century, including designer Grete Prytz Kittelsen. Sponsored by Mary Mills Dunea, Isabelle and R.L. Dyck, and Becky and Bob Shaw, with additional support.


The National Norwegian-American Museum & Heritage Center

Decorah, Iowa • 563-382-9681 •

even years of positive news – wheee! As they say, time flies when you’re having fun, and we like to have fun. Here at Inspire(d), we’ve worked hard to make the magazine you are holding (or reading online!) a unique piece of positive journalism. We’re also a very small, very independent company, so we can get away with a few more quirks here and there and let our funflag fly! That said, we are always eager to hear what you like, what you’d like to see different, and what ideas you have for us to make this magazine even better. So: Fire away! We’d love to have your feedback to this survey – fill out this page and mail it back to the home offices in East Decorah (412 Oak St.), or fill it out online (find the link at Everyone who answers the survey will be registered to win a few amazing (but small) thankyou prizes! (Uff-Da mug? Gift certificate to the Courtyard & Cellar? Oneota Co-op goodies? You’ll have to fill it out to find out!) Thank you to each and every one of our readers – and to our amazing advertisers. You all are the reason we are able to do this each quarter. Support local businesses, and they will support you! Thank you! Aryn, Benji, & Roxie


Fall 2014 /

Email address: Male or Female: Age: Zip code:

If you do keep Inspire(d), how long?

Highest level of school or degree you’ve received: How did you hear about Inspire(d)? Do you read Inspire(d) (check all that apply) In print Online On Facebook On Pinterest

Is there a section of Inspire(d) you love the most? (Check all that apply.) Positive features Calendars Chef on the Block Science, You’re Super Mississippi Mirth Paper Projects Probituary Do you notice the advertisements in Inspire(d)?

If you read the print version, where do you get it? What do you do with your Inspire(d) Magazine once you’re done reading? Recycle Put it on your coffee table Return it to a rack Give it to a friend None of the above

Do you find them interesting?

Anything new you’d like to see in future Inspire(d)s?

What do you do for fun? (Check all that apply) Traveling Cooking Reading Exercising Outdoor Adventure Insert your own… If you have a minute, would you like to give us a testimonial? Feel free to use additional paper if you’d like. Thank you!

Have you purchased, visited or contacted an advertiser in Inspire(d) Magazine because of their advertisement?

Travel Shows

E!! FREIndividual and Group Touring / Refreshments and Prizes Sept. 9

Ames On Stage Alaska Show – 6:30pm

RSVP by 9/3! Scheman Bldg., ISU Center, Lincoln Way

Sept. 11 Decorah Shows – 2:00 & 6:00pm Country Inn & Suites, Hwy 9 Sept. 16 Cedar Rapids Shows – 2:00 & 6:00pm Best Western Coopers Mill, 100 F NW Sept. 17 Cedar Falls Shows –2:00 & 6:00pm Clarion Inn University Plaza, 5826 Univ. Sept. 18 Rochester MN Shows – 2:00 & 6:00pm Country Inn & Suites South, 77 Woodlake SW Sept. 23 Newton Shows – 2:00 & 6:00pm Hawkeye Stages Office, 300 E 17 St S Sept. 24 Ft. Dodge Shows – 2:00 & 6:00pm Northland Travel Office, 2911 7 Ave S


2911 7th Ave. S., Fort Dodge, IA 50501


703 Dudley Street, Decorah, IA 52101 \ Fall 2014


Bicentenary Celebration

Celebrating Sigmund Årseth’s Legacy in America

October 18 - 19 Giants of the Earth Heritage Center

Downtown Spring Grove, MN 507-498-5070 |

Saturday, October 18 2:45PM

Gather at the Cinema; Welcome from Giants Introduction of Special Guests: Enger Family • Årseth Family Royal Norwegian Honorary Consul General Gary Gandrud Welcome from Honorary Consul General Introduction of Steve Kemp, Enger Garden Designer


Ribbon Cutting at Enger Garden Gate Dedication Remarks by Irene Navarre Garden Tour narrated by Steve Kemp


Introduction of Craig Bergsgaard, Sculptor Unveiling of life-size bronze of Sigmund Årseth by the Årseth family. Sigmund was chosen by the King of Norway as the most revered Artist of 2010 Coffee and Norwegian cookies on the decks of the Heritage Center Exhibit of art created by Sigmund Årseth students and reception to honor the students. Filming of students recalling their teacher and his unique methods of teaching painting, to be documented and presented to Ingebjørg.


Music by the Thankful Brass on the Deck Open Cash Bar and light hors d’oeuvres


Bicentenary Celebration Dinner with tributes honoring the life of Sigmund: Sallie DeReus, Norma Wangsness Auction of Rare Sigmund Creations

Sunday, October 19 9:15AM

Worship at Trinity Recognition of Enger and Årseth Guests Coffee Fellowship


Bicentenary Celebration Concert at Trinity Church by the Luren Singers, oldest Norwegian-American Male Chorus in the world, directed by Dr. David Judisch

4:15PM 6:00PM

Reception at the Heritage Center Filming of artists continues Closing of Exhibit of art created by Sigmund Årseth students


Talk turkey this Thanksgiving!


step-by-step instructions at

Paper Project! \ Fall 2014

02 33

An interview with Postville, Iowa native Brent Grinna, founder and CEO of SUCCESSFUL BOSTON TECH START-UP, EverTrue By Aryn Henning Nichols

Brent Grinna


Fall 2014 /

Some of the EverCrew

Avatars by EverTrue’s Creative Director Pin-Bo Tsai


itting at Pike’s Peak State Park in McGregor, Iowa, Brent Grinna looks outwardly comfortable in his surroundings, despite his business-casual yellow polo, flip-flops, and a tablet complete with EverTrue branding on the back. There were folks dressed in Harley leather, others in yoga pants, and the requisite high-end hiking gear all strolling by, so to be fair: he isn’t really out of place. In reality, though, the founder and CEO of EverTrue – a Boston tech start-up that develops mobile apps to help schools connect with alumni – is right at home. \ Fall 2014


2nd Annual Taste of NE Iowa



SATURDAY September B 27, 2014 Sponsored by NE Iowa Food and Farm Coalition and NE Iowa Food & Fitness Initiative The 2nd Annual Farm Crawl will be held in Northeast Iowa area on Saturday, September 27, 1-5 pm. Learn how local farmers grow your food and manage their farms on this self-guided tour. You might even find fun kids' activities and local foods to buy and cook up for dinner! Visit the NE Iowa Food & Farm Coalition’s home page ( for a map and details about each participating farm. Plus: Buy a VIP Pass for bonus savings at each stop!

Map & details: 36

Fall 2014 /

rent graduated from high school in Postville, Iowa, in 2000. He grew up on a long gravel round just outside of tiny Frankville, Iowa (pop. 486). Summers were often spent at the River, while the rest of the year was filled with studying, sports, and farming. He, like a good Midwesterner, is genuine. He’s smart, but humble. It’s a background that has created the foundation for the EverTrue business. “The first slide in my investment presentation is a photo of me with my 4-H pigs,” Brent says with a smile. “People like to know where I come from. They want to know – are you gonna quit? Are you gonna face the challenge? Where I’m from helps – investors realize I know how to work hard, and that I’ve come a long way.” Neither of his parents had the privilege of going to college, so they encouraged their three boys – Brent being the oldest – to work hard, be smart, and plan ahead. Brent was a tremendous high school athlete, so, along with his good test scores and grades, he was recruited to play football at Ivy League Brown University. “Brown football changed my life. And if it weren’t for its financial aid and donor contributions, I wouldn’t be where I am now,” he says. “That’s a huge reason why I want to help these non-profits with their fundraising. So that more kids like me can have these opportunities.” Brown’s football program connects freshman with alumni who act as mentors and guides through their college experience. “These people were 20 years down the road from us. They looked at resumes, helped navigate career paths,” he says. “It’s so hard to know what you’re going to do. I didn’t even know what options were out there, really.” Post-graduation, the program helped to land Brent an investment-banking job with William Blair and Company in Chicago. He didn’t know anyone in the Windy City, though, so he got involved with the Brown alumni chapter there, which led to his second job at private equity fund, Madison Dearborn Partners. “I learned so much at both of these places. I was surrounded by brilliant people every day. And every day I was pushed beyond my comfort zone,” Brent says. So why an MBA (masters of business administration)? “I mean, this is the stuff we’d talk about at lunch – everyone had an MBA. So I decided to apply. I was fortunate to be accepted at Harvard,” he says. “The application part was really fun for me. I was able to reflect on my past, present, and future. I mean, coming from a farm, going to the East Coast… football… Chicago. I was 25 years old. I thought, ‘Where do I want to go from here’?” Between his first and second years of business school, Brent worked a summer internship in Mexico exploring a way to get his backgrounds in language,

international business, and finance to work together in one career. He came back to the East Coast, uncertain that he wanted to make his home so far away from… well… home. It was back at Harvard that Brent had the idea that would change the course of his career. He volunteered to help with his alma mater, Brown’s, reunion fundraising campaign. Simple enough. Unfortunately – or, perhaps, fortunately –much of the data given to him was out-of-date and inaccurate. “There were so many opportunities for this important process to be more efficient,” he says. “These schools, these non-profit entities, they have two main avenues of income: tuition and endowments. People donate 300 billion dollars to non-profits annually. Brown has 90,000 alumni all over the world. It’s extremely difficult to keep track of them. There had to be a better way.” Brent knew his idea of streamlining this process had to be mobile. For that, the timing couldn’t be more perfect. It was 2009. Mobile technology was ramping up – Facebook was maturing, along with other related social media – Twitter was relatively new, LinkedIn had become the new alternative to a rolodex. “People were living their lives on social media, but there was this disconnect. I just felt like if

you could connect the dots between what alumni did in school and who and where they are now, you could better segment how to approach them,” he says. “The fundraising business hasn’t changed. What’s different is the amount of information available to do that kind of work,” he continues. “These people need resources. Say X College has a Facebook page – certainly they would. They share a beautiful photo there. People start liking it, sharing it. But fundraisers aren’t hearing them. They have people raising their hands, saying ‘I love it!’ But not donating yet.”

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Thus, EverTrue was born. The mobile application is offered as an alumni-networking platform for colleges and high schools. Customers – those schools – send their data to EverTrue, where it’s put into a system to make it accurate and user-friendly. Alumni can then download the app for free to seek out mentors, reconnect with classmates, and learn more about what their fellow alums are up to. The app utilizes data from LinkedIn and Facebook. For schools, the complementary GivingTree app uses data to help connect fundraisers to donor databases.

Apple Products. Apple Answers. All in person.

iPhones iPods iPads Apple TVs Special order Mac laptops & computers Apple accessories

Cost difference: $0. Added value: Convenient in & out shopping, questions answered, & no games or gimmicks.

Why shop anywhere else? 563-382-CELL (2355) • Mon-Fri 8am-6pm • Thurs ‘til 8pm • Sat 9am-5pm • Sun 12-5pm


NOV. 20-23: Holiday Open House NOV. 28: Day After Thanksgiving Doorbusters

DACC: 90 years of loving local Decorah businesses!


Fall 2014 /

Like Brent, EverTrue has come a long way. After just four years, the company has grown exponentially, and garnered millions of dollars in investment capital. Things kicked off (football pun intended) through Techstars, the number one – and incredibly selective – startup accelerator in the world. Techstars offers seed funding and also provides three months of top-notch mentorship and perks, with the chance to pitch to investors at the end of the program. “We had what they liked to call ‘good traction,’” Brent says. “At first we weren’t going to pitch… then we decided to try, with $500,000 in our minds. When we saw there was some interest, we bumped it up to $750,000. Then a million. We finally settled on $1.3.” This is called seed money. It sets the ball rolling for a start-up. “We didn’t look at it like, now we’ve got all this money,” Brent says. “We looked at it like, now we can invest in great people.” In 2011, they went on to win $50,000 at the startup accelerator/competition, MassChallenge. More investors continued to become, well…invested. Angel investor Ty Danco wrote a passionate blog titled “Why I Invested in EverTrue” (goo. gl/OZMI3n), making it clear that he not only liked EverTrue, but the people behind it too. “We’ve got these investors who invest not just because they see an opportunity to make money, but because they’re passionate about fostering new entrepreneurs,” Brent says. “The lines get a little blurry. They’re our friends, they’re our mentors, and they’re also our investors.” Then, in the spring of 2013, they landed a 5.25 million investment from Bain Capital Ventures. They are now a 40-employee company – stocked with top talents – with an evergrowing roster of customers happy to relate their pleasure in working with the “EverCrew” team.

“It’s amazing,” Brent says of his work. “There are highs and lows every single day. You just don’t know what it’ll hold. There are so many moving pieces…always something new. It’s not for everybody.” “The emotions of parenthood are similar,” he says with a laugh. He and his wife – high school sweetheart, Katie – had their first son, Gunnar, in October of 2013. His schedule, while shifted, is still EverTrue through and through. There’s a reason it’s cliché to say “if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.” Although most entrepreneurs will scoff at that, it really can be true. Brent surrounds himself with employees who are talented… and fun. “Just like there are blurry lines with investors, the same thing applies with team members at the company. We all hang out outside of the office…which is great,” Brent says. “One of the worst things about the business getting bigger is that I don’t get to spend as much time with them. I like every single one of them so much.” Looking back over the past five years with EverTrue, and the 15 years since Brent was in high school, it’s wild to think about how far everything, really, has come. Postville schools switched from typewriters to computers while Brent was attending. The Internet was born after he was. It would have been nearly impossible for Brent to say “I want to develop an app when I grow up.” “You just can’t anticipate it,” Brent says, shaking his head. Coming back to the Midwest to visit family, Brent says he looks around and sees opportunity everywhere. So what’s his advice for folks who want to launch a business, try something new, or pursue a supposedly far-fetched idea? “For most people, it’s unrealistic to just quit your job and start a new venture, so I would encourage people to try it out first,” he says. “Test things on a small scale. Get feedback. And keep going until you’ve got something that works. The biggest risk is the one not taken… Inertia is a powerful force.” For Brent, what was most surprising was that others really do want to see you succeed. “When you put yourself out there, it’s amazing how many people are willing to help,” he says. “It makes me want to help others too.” It would go right along with the EverTrue mission: “We are building relationships in pursuit of a better world. We are EverTrue.”

Aryn Henning Nichols and Brent were friends growing up. Our moms were close, and we were “neighbors” in the country; his family lived just a few short, gravel miles (!) away. We rode the same school bus for almost an hour, explored the countryside with our siblings, and were all pretty happy to be in 4-H (for the most part).

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Fall 2014 /

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Sandwiches & Salads Delicious Desserts Signature Cocktails Connoisseur Beer Selection

Elkader, Iowa • 563-245-1992 • Monday - Saturday 9am - 5pm | Thursday 9am - 8pm

By Sara Friedl-Putnam Photos by Aryn Henning Nichols


hether we’re enjoying a bucket at the movies or a bowl in front of the TV, popcorn is one of America’s favorite snack foods. Plus, it’s fun! Listening to the pop, pop, pop on the stove, in an air popper, or in the microwave is one of coolest ways of cooking a grain. Ever. And by ever, we mean forever. Popcorn has been popping up for thousands of years! About 8,000 years ago, maize was cultivated from teosinte, a wild grass that doesn’t much resemble the corn we know today at all. (5) Corn varieties – including popcorn – were cultivated by the Aztecs and Mayans in Central America and Mexico, and by the Incas in South America. The oldest ears of popcorn were discovered in west central New Mexico in the late 1940s, estimated by archaeologists to be about 5,600 years old. (1) Scientists’ best guess is that popcorn originated in Mexico. By the time Columbus discovered America, more than 700 types of popcorn were being grown on the continent. Popcorn’s role in American culture continued to grow when Charlie Cretors invented the first steam-powered automatic popper in 1885. Popcorn became a ritual part of many festivities, such as sporting events, fairs, and circuses. Folks found popping corn to be not only delicious, but entertaining too! (5) By 1914, packaging of popcorn for home use had begun, and in 1925, the creation of the electric popcorn machine allowed theaters to begin popping corn. And finally, by the 1970s and ‘80s, hot air and microwave popcorn had emerged onto the marketplace, making homemade popcorn the norm. (2) But what makes popcorn…pop? Native Americans believed that a spirit lived inside each kernel of popcorn and that, when heated, the spirit would become angered and eventually burst into the air as a puff of steam. Over time, folklore gave way to science, and the popcorn plant was named zea mays everta, identified as a type of corn (maize) as well as a member of the grass family. (3) Scientists eventually discovered that popcorn is a whole grain with three main components: endosperm (startch), germ (the


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Purl Up & Knit for a Spell Yarn, Knitting & Fiber Art Supplies, Classes, & More! Tues-Fri: 11 am – 5 pm, Sat: 10 am – 4 pm Monday: Drop In & Knit Night 6-8 pm 563-517-1059 • \ Fall 2014


Project Care says


On behalf of First Lutheran Church of Decorah and the Project Care Committee, We would like to extend our heart-felt thanks to all of the individuals, businesses, organizations, and families who joined together to make Project Care 2014 possible! The goal and mission of Project Care, is to recognize area students who are not only graduating from high school, but also “aging out” of Iowa’s Foster Care System. This dedicated effort raised money to help equip 3 area young people in the next phase of life, that of independent living as well as host a wonderful graduation celebration on May 22. Most everyone can relate to this overwhelming time for these young students, and can’t imagine navigating this transition alone or with little assistance. These young people have endured much, persevered, and we wish them well in all that is ahead for them. We also hope that Project Care illuminates and brings to light, the need of all children in the foster care system. This INSPIRING endeavor would not have been possible without the kindness and generosity of those in our community listed below! We thank you for your support and willingness to reach out and CARE! Individuals and Familes that donated to Project Care 2014 Jud and Connie Barclay Steve and Jennifer Larson Gloria Carpenter Larry and Diane Grimstad Elwin and Helen Farwell Otter Dreaming Diann Martin David and Kirsten Heine Jeff and Marilyn Roverud Owen and Linda Christianson Carol Birkland and Tom Woxland John and Ann Glesne Ken and Ruth Nesset Jim and Sandy Hoeg Georgiann and Doug Eckheart Grace Peterson Pat and Karen Trewin Roger and Jane Kolarich Pastor Chad and Cheryl Huebner Jon and Mary Hart Dan and Carol Edmondson Ben and Padrin Grimstad Dan and Jenny Werner Heather Armstrong Spencer and Carol Bolson Olga Wangsness

Irene Lovstuen Adrienne Storm Steve and Patti Davis Peter and Linda Becker Dawn Deines-Christensen Andy and Brenda Rix Rich and Linda Svenson Luann Smith Mark and Mary Johns Francis and Marilyn Peterson Marge Rix Dennis and Paula Olejniczak Rita Tejada Jane Tollefson Dan Huebner Patricia McClure Sharon Lillie Martin and Mary Lou Mohr Shannon Winkle Corey and Ann Landstrom Dennis and Carol Tack Allen and Janice Vik Jeff and Sue Johnson Jim and Sue Haemker Richard Simon Hanson Dave and Brenda Carlson

Connie Arnburg Marilyn Wahlberg Jim and Karen MartinSchramm Steve and Katie Shepherd Will and Ruth Bunge Jeff and Sue Johnson John and Arlene Nelson Jenine Jordahl Pastor Melissa Bills Monica Koth Jim and Rita Friest Adrian Walter Helen Meehan Myrv and Anne Christopherson Troy and Michelle Whitehill Laurie Worchester Paul and Norma Dirks Diane Sadler Jackie Wilkie Steve Hubbard and Lindy Borske-Hubbard Pastor Harris HostagerIn memory of Luetta Hostager

living part of the kernel), and the pericarp (hull). The hull is usually white or yellow in color, though the range of colors includes red, black, and many colors in between. What makes popcorn unique among corn varieties is that hull: It has just the right thickness to allow it to burst. Every kernel of popcorn contains a small amount of water inside a circle of starch, and the kernel’s hard surface encases that starch. As the kernel heats up, the water inside the “starch bag” expands. At around 347 degrees Fahrenheit the pressure reaches roughly 135 pounds per square inch -- and that’s when it finally explodes. As the now-liquidsoft starch bag becomes inflated and spills out, the kernel turns inside out. As it quickly cools, it becomes what we know to be popped popcorn, measuring 40 to 50 times its original size. (3) The vast majority of popcorn is grown in the cornbelt states – Nebraska, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, and Illinois. It is a relatively cheap grain, so popcorn has – literally – exploded across the world market. These days, many folks don’t just pop plain popcorn in oil over the stove. In fact, flavor choices now abound for microwaveable popcorn (cupcake or beer-flavored popcorn, anyone?)--although it’s still fun to go old-school and watch those kernels pop, pop, pop on the stovetop!

Thank you to these businesses and community groups for their generous support of and assistance with Project Care. Subway (West)- Kim Zweibohmer Whippy Dip-Rosie Carolan Culver’s Decorah Hatchery-Drew Stevenson & Maria Jones Luther College Bookstore-Deanna Casterton Gundersen Health System Decorah Bank Story People-Annette Laitenen Pizza Ranch-John Dambek Walmart-Mitch Link Winneshiek Medical Center Dough and Joe-Molly Pedretti Decorah PTO Friest and Associates Realtors Family Care Clinic-David Heine First Lutheran VBS and Sunday school students

Kwik Trip Beta Tau Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi Caseys NICC JCPenney Davis Family Foundation Inspire(d) Magazine KVIK radio KDEC radio Decorah Newspapers Rubaiyat-Andy and Kim Bonnet Rockweiler Appliance & TV-Dean and Heidi Rockweiler Ace Kitchen Place-Julie Spilde Decorah Greenhouses Decorah Area Photographers Westside Study Group Xi Zeta Omicron Sorority Decorah News

“Be Not Forgetful to Entertain Strangers: for Thereby Some have Entertained Angels Unawares” Hebrews 13:2 42

Fall 2014 /

Sara Friedl-Putnam has fond childhood memories of popping corn on the stovetop and dousing it with butter and salt. She admits that her flavor selections are not very adventurous, often settling on butter light. One day, however, she vows to get more adventurous with her palate and to try jalapeno-flavored popcorn.

SOURCES: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.


g e o t t a n w o s a a y e s ! t c e f r e p the 2 Bike the Trout Run Trail or the area singletrack

t h g i e Take five


1 Take a class at ArtHaus or the Clay Studio

this fall in

Plan your trip at

7 Catch the Winneshiek Farmers Market Wednesdays & Saturdays


3 Take a stroll through Phelps Park

4 Pick a pumpkin at Pinter’s

or call 800.463.4692

Take a float down the 6 Upper Iowa River

5 Take the NE Iowa Studio Artists’ Tour October 3-5

No matter where you go, enjoy the leaves! Peak viewing is late September, early October!

Inspire(d) interviews Five Movers & Shakers in the Live Production Biz


Fall 2014 /



Photo by Bob Good \ Fall 2014





By Benji Nichols

One of our goals here at Inspire(d) is to help keep the arts “Scene” alive, and… well... kicking. We all know how great seeing a live performance can be, whether at a regional performing arts center, or your neighborhood tavern, but we don’t always think about the countless folks literally behind the scene, making those moments happen. Of course there are the performers, their support crew, audio and lighting techs, publicity folks, bartenders, door staff, and so many others. But what about the people who are at the helm of deciding who and what shows to bring to our region? Inspire(d) caught up with five different leaders in the Driftless Region who are making some of these amazing performances happen. From fine art performances, to rockabilly queens, to alcohol-free rock and roll, and the Blues, these are the people who truly make it happen. Hats off to these fine folks and the amazing people that work with them to “make a scene” – say thanks the next time you see them (just look for the wizard behind the curtain – or more likely running around making it all happen!). Better yet, buy a ticket and go see the shows!

n the past 25 years, James “JR” Ronan has had one mission: promote and support live music. Blues, rock, reggae, rock-a-billy – you name it, DASY has touched on it in some way. A music-lover to the core, Ronan has helped bring countless regional and national acts to Northeast Iowa, including 14 Halloween shows with the Dustbowl Blues Band. From being the partnering force behind McCaffrey’s Dolce Vita nights – bringing great roots music to Twin Springs Road every Saturday night of the summer season, to having a huge hand in preserving Iowa’s ballroom culture, and promoting the Iowa Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – Ronan is shamelessly committed to “the scene.” He’s claiming to be hanging up his promoting shoes with a 25th Anniversary DASY blowout this October 11th at the Inwood Ballroom in Spillville – featuring “Blue Mississippi” – a conglomeration of the rock & roll hall of fame founding members of the Blue Band as well as the Mississippi Band. Other artists like Paul Kaye and the Blues Cartel and Lew Klemish will also be on the bill. If you know Shameless James, you know he won’t be able to sit still for long, but the word is out that this is (a­­lmost!) it for DASY. See you on the dance floor at the Inwood October 11th! How’d you get into presenting events? I got bit by the bug early – helping other people out. John Matter, Ear Food Magazine out of La Crosse, the radio stations – there weren’t that many venues, and artists needed and deserved to be treated well. So on Halloween 1989, I put the Dustbowl Blues Band in the Highlandville School House – costume show, the whole deal. They were my “good luck band” for 14 years in a row with Halloween shows. Highlandville, The Elks, Matters downstairs and then upstairs when it grew. But the name came from when I was just a kid, 10 or 12. I remember standing on the dance floor of a ballroom – and seeing “Dance and Stay Young” up on the wall. It stuck. “DASY”, shortened, didn’t come until later – but it seemed right. Dance and Stay Young - that’s how it started. Quality and class acts – that’s what I’ve always looked for.

A brighter smile in only 20 minutes



563-382-3657 . 108 Fifth Avenue, Decorah, Iowa . 46

Fall 2014 /

Do you have a most “exciting” live moment? The biggest highlight of the last 25 years was Canned Heat at the Inwood – I tried for months to put that together and didn’t get anywhere. Finally I got through to Skip Taylor and it clicked. There’s also a whole book’s worth on Commander Cody at the Inwood in 2007. Bringing David Honeyboy Edwards to Decorah – twice – is right up there too. He loved playing at Chase the Adventure – said it reminded him of the places he started out in the south. That’s also how I met Paul Kaye, who’s come back several times and is playing on the show October 11. If you could present one show with anyone in the world – past or present – who would it be, and why? I’d love to see Tony Joe White come to Northeast Iowa. I saw him play on Beale Street for his birthday – just him and his drummer BoomBoom - and in Iowa City once years ago, opening for Richie Havens. He just doesn’t get out much anymore – doesn’t have to I guess.

FREE EVENT! Details at

Photo by Tracey Martin Stumme

What are you excited about in the near future? Oh man, I’m excited about the Blue Mississippi show at the Inwood in Spillville. The Inwood is great – a lot of new life being put into that room. And I’m working on bringing some of the Matter’s nostalgia back to the Inwood – its just too bad that Matter’s is gone. But there are a lot of memories from there and we’re focusing a lot of energy on the Inwood now – it’s such a neat place. Most of all, though, I just have to thank the bands, all the local music lovers, and the countless businesses that have supported these DASY shows over the years. They’re the real reason any of this has happened – I can’t thank them enough for 25 years of Dancing and Staying Young! \ Fall 2014




Drive-through Christmas Light Display Pulpit Rock Campground, Decorah

Logistics S




Nights Open










Nov 29-Holiday Lights 5K

30 1




























Thanksgiving to Christmas Week 5:30-9:00 p.m.|Freewill Donation


Dec 23-Santa’s Last Visit Visit with Santa every night before Christmas Eve.

Sponsors Thank you to our local and regional sponsors for making this event possible. Go online for the list of generous supporters.

Cause For over 40 years Helping Services, a local non-profit, has been serving children and adults in NE Iowa. Holiday Lights raises need dollars to support this local mission: ending domestic violence and child abuse; building healthy families and relationships; and reinforcing positive decision-making about alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use. 48

Fall 2014 /

DEC FM 100.5 and KDEC AM 1240 have long been a part of the Decorah Community. Since the mid-90s, the stations have been run by Bob and Colleen Holtan, along with their daughter Jeni (and David) Grouws. KDEC was inducted to the 2014 Iowa Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and will be throwing a Wink-I Pepsi Party with the Queen of Rockabilly, Wanda Jackson, on Friday, October 17 at Nob Hill near Decorah. The Memory Brothers and special guests will back Ms. Jackson in what will certainly be a memorable night of celebrating. Bob Holtan’s roots in live productions run deep in the Upper Midwest, and more than a bit of that has rubbed off on daughter / KDEC Morning Show host / talented performer Jeni Grouws, who has spun the pieces together for the October 17 party! Find details at How’d you get into presenting events? I got into show promotion as a radio station manager at WAXX in Eau Claire Wisconsin in 1976. I promoted Country music shows mainly (the list of artists runs about 100), and also several oldies and Standards shows (Glen Miller Band, Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey Band, etc). I began with a Conway Twitty, Barbara Mandrell and Waylon Jennings Show in Eau Claire in 1976, when my thenboss moved to a new TV job in Austin Texas and I had to pick up the pieces. It was a great success, and I was hooked. Do you have a most “exciting” live moment? Lots and lots of them. Maybe the best moment was 1991 when I booked Brooks & Dunn in Fargo. I contracted them for $3500 in the spring, and when they got to the show in the fall they were on their third #1 Country song and were commanding a price of over $50,000. The Civic Center held 3000, and the atmosphere was electric! It was the first time I found scalpers at one of our shows. Maybe the worst moment was when I had to come out on stage in the middle of his performance to tell country singer Johnny Rodriguez to quit singing to his piano player and turn around to face the audience or he wouldn’t be getting paid. It worked. He got his money and I never booked him again. Another good and bad moment: I came out on the stage at UWEau Claire to introduce Johnny Cash. I was blinded by the spotlight and decided to walk directly out on a proscenium stage to the microphone, taking the shortest direct route. I stepped out onto thin air, dropped six feet, but landed right and bounced back up onto the stage before the audience quit gasping. If you could present one show with anyone in the world – past or present – who would it be, and why? Tough question. Probably ABBA, since my wife continues to play their greatest hits 20 years later. We saw them on their final U.S. Tour in… I think 1979, at the St. Paul Civic Center. Of today’s artists, maybe Van Morrison. He’s still making great music 47 years after Brown Eyed Girl.

What are you excited about in the near future? The Wanda Jackson show KDEC is producing at Nob Hill in mid-October. It’ll be a thank you show for fans, particularly of our AM station 1240 KDEC, following the station’s induction in the Iowa Rock & Roll Hall of Fame over the Labor Day Weekend. They don’t call her the Queen of Rockabilly for nothin’.





he Luther College Center Stage Series has anchored the touring performing arts in Northeast Iowa for decades. Since 2005, Tanya Gertz has been the Director of Campus Programming, rounding up staff to juggle hundreds of events moving through various spaces each year. The 2014-15 Center Stage Series kicks off September 13 with The Intergalactic Nemesis, and continues September 25 with the tap-sensation Rhythmic Circus. San Jose Taiko brings the beat October 4, and LA Theatre Works presents “In the Heat of the Night” October 24. A special primer concert with The Awful Purdies focusing on local food and farming will take place Sunday September 14 at Seed Savers exchange – the discussion after this show will be part of a theatrical production from the Working Group Theatre on the Center Stage Series this coming Spring entitled “All Recipes Are Home (April 11, 2015). There’s way more fun, Center Stage Series show info, and online tickets at:

steR RecoVeRy. sMalleR incisionper. Fa lly form many surgeries using minima s Gundersen Decorah Clinic surgeon er ll incisions. This means less pain, few sma very invasive techniques through stay l pita hos rter scar. It also means a sho risks of complications and barely a back to living your life sooner, just like get can and quicker recovery so you Michelle. Health Center, Regional Health Surgery performed at Palmer Lutheran Memorial Hospital and Winneshiek Services of Howard County, Veterans Medical Center. the Gundersen Decorah Clinic, To schedule a surgical evaluation, call (563) 382-3140. ealth.oRg/suRgeRy Read Michelle’s stoRy at gundeRsenh

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How’d you get into presenting events? I have been presenting events in this big, whole-hearted way since I started at Luther. However, looking back, I should have seen the possibility long ago as I was often in leadership roles for special events at my high school and college. When I had very few funds in Chicago, I saw everything I could that was free and then all the theatre I could by volunteering anywhere that would take me! Do you have a most “exciting” live moment? A few years back, the dance company Diavolo was at Luther. They had this big ship-like set element and there was a moment a dancer intentionally flew off it and the entire audience gasped. It was pretty wonderful to experience that as a presenter – helping to create such a dramatic moment that everyone was connected. If you could present one show with anyone in the world – past or present – who would it be, and why? Oh, this question! I care first and foremost about the experience and gifts from each artist to our series. But if I had to choose, it would probably be some kind special gathering of great artists like Dolly Parton, Joshua Bell, Aretha Franklin, Martha Graham, and some young inspiring folks with them like Abigail Washburn and/or Time for Three (who have been here)! And, then once we’ve all had our hearts filled to the brim with great art and our faces lit up with joy, they would come out and greet the great people in our audience!

What are you excited about in the near future? I am in love with the new series and the energy of it! I am very excited to have San Jose Taiko here and offer not only the evening performance, but also a show for our local schools and multiple workshops in town and on campus. I love that they are the longestrunning taiko group in the US, and that the artistic director is a woman. And, though it is next spring – I am unbelievably excited about our premiere of All Recipes Are Home… grown from the stories of the land, food, and farming in Iowa with the setting being at a Decorah family farm.

Come on in! We’ll fix you something to eat!


Join Chef Tom & his culinary team as they bring you locally-sourced, made-from-scratch dishes – three squares a day.

Winneshiek Make a reservation online at • 104 E. Water St. Decorah, Iowa • 1.800.998.4164

Tom Fassbender – Boats & Bluegrass Festival


en years ago Tom Fassbender threw together an idea to help promote a fledgling outfitter company – take some great regional bands, have them play on the backwater of the Mississippi near Winona, schedule some paddle time…see what happens. What was created is a source of local magic that has magnified into one of the best small festivals in the Midwest: Boats & Bluegrass. The 2014 edition features more than 40 bands, plus paddling trips, family outings, and all the regular festival fun. Located on Prairie Island, with camping just a skip and a jump from the festival site, this event has grown to be a regional favorite. Boats and Bluegrass runs September 25-28, 2014. How’d you get into presenting events? I guess helping with events all started back in High School with “field parties” on summer nights. So that puts me at about 25 years. I’ve always had a desire to make people happy. Music has always played a huge roll in that and in my life. I enjoy making places where people feel comfortable and can relax – so being able to present music really ties it all together. Do you have a most “exciting” live moment? I have been blessed to see and be a part of many shows (good and bad). I learned more from the bad ones than the good ones, but I would have to say the one that has stuck with me the most was one of my first experiences at a show. I was maybe 12 and fighting my way to the front at an Iron Maiden show. I bumped into a big guy with long hair who stood over six feet tall – he turned and looked down at me and gave me what I thought was a big thumbs up. I returned the thumbs up, but before I knew it he had picked me up and swiftly plucked me on his shoulders – turns out I had accepted his invitation. His desire to help a kid enjoy the show has stuck with me, and been a bit of a mantra for me.

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2-5 pm bass pond parking lot - music by reina del cid and the cidizens / the Slick Newhouse Band, gyotaku fish printing, insta-poems, spoken word... 5-7 pm Gallery - live music, wine & cheese 7:30 pm St. Mane Theatre - “Night of Poetry” - Ed Bok Lee, local poets, Dave O’mara jazz...all FREE!

If you could present one show with anyone in the world – past or present – who would it be, and why? My first thought is Jerry Garcia, just on a selfish note. On a more practical note, I guess I would say Bill Graham (1960s promoting legend, owner of the Fillmore / Winterland /Fillmore East, etc). Over the course of his life he was able give the world the gift of music – not always in a way I necessarily agree with but I think he cared about the “show”. Today I think that can get lost, and it would be great to experience how he did things. What are you excited about in the near future? This year’s 10th anniversary lineup is exciting. We are also planning to release a live compilation album from this year’s Boats & Bluegrass festival to celebrate 10 years. I’m looking forward to working through this process and hope to release the album around the first of the year.

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Fall 2014 /

Stephen Harm The Warehouse, La Crosse, Wisconsin


ince 1992 the Warehouse in La Crosse has provided an alcohol-free venue for thousands of cutting-edge touring acts like the All-American Rejects, Everclear, Mudvayne, Descendents, Static-X, Frank Black, Fall Out Boy, the Dead Milkmen, Veruca Salt, and many more. Over the years there have been many hands to help run the venue, but one person has kept the door at the bottom of the 49 steps on Pearl Street open: Steve Harm. Self-proclaimed “in-house talent buyer, soundman, poster-maker, and soda expert,” Harm has accomplished something in the past 20+ years that few others have. In fact, the Warehouse is one of the longest-running all-ages alcohol-free venues in the country. There are plans in process for the venue to become a 501c3 organization so The Warehouse Alliance can help promote and provide events, shows, workshops, classes, and learning opportunities to the greater Driftless Region. But like many things, the clock is ticking – the pressures of bills and real estate development continue to threaten the existence of this regional rock & roll resource. Fractured Atlas, a NYC based arts advocacy organization, has recently accepted the Warehouse Alliance as a fiscal sponsorship project, so if you’d like to help, your donations are tax deductible – check out more and find a schedule at How’d you get into presenting events? I first started presenting shows when I was 15, in my first band. Obviously young bands have to scramble to find places to play, and it just fell on me to find the room and make the arrangements. That was 1979.

What are you excited about in the near future? We are really hoping to be able to expand our offerings here at the Warehouse, with expanded daytime hours, internship, a studio, and more. That hinges on getting our non-profit status. Our recent partnership with Fractured Atlas Photo by Bob Good arts organization enables donations to be tax deductible, just like contributions to the Boys & Girls Club, Pump House, or Community Theater in our city. (Details at

If you could present one show with anyone in the world – past or present – who would it be, and why? I would love to do a Depeche Mode show at the La Crosse Center. They’re one of my top three favorite bands, and I have seen them around 20 times in the past 28 years. I’d love to see them and not have to leave town, for once!

Benji Nichols was bitten by the big-boomaudio-bug at a young age. He’s been professionally involved with noisy things since the mid 90s. He would like you to support live music by buying tickets, going to shows, and supporting venues wherever way you can.


Do you have a most “exciting” live moment? After a 10-year hiatus, DESCENDENTS did their first show as a reunited band here in La Crosse at the Warehouse. Rolling Stone magazine sent a photographer and a writer. That was pretty exciting, watching a Rolling Stone photographer getting squashed in the front (we have no barricade) while trying to take usable shots (that was the film days – he had to make the shots count, not like digital photographers with their spray and pray), the band on stage after a decade, and people from all over the US who had come to the show going crazy.

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Fall 2014 / \ Fall 2014


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Fall 2014 /

Boy, do we love Vesterheim!


n a recent traipse through Vesterheim Museum (when you’re a member, it’s free entry, so you can totally traipse anytime), I thought, “What a great little museum.” Then I stopped myself. No. It should simply be: What a great museum! Every fall there’s a major fundraiser for Vesterheim – Deck the Tables – so we thought it would also be a great time to share with you some of the things we love most about this wonderful place right under our noses. Are you a member yet? Sign on up! There are lots of great perks! Vesterheim is Besterheim! Amazing rotating exhibits: We are, obviously, super excited about the Scandinavian Modern Design: Norwegian Enamel, exhibit. (Did you see that giant photo on the previous page?) Guest curator Kate Martinson helped source pieces from the area and beyond (and added some to her own personal collection) to put this exhibit together. Featuring artist Grete Prytz Kittelsen – known as the “Queen of Scandinavian Design” – the trendy designs are stunning by themselves, but especially cool en mass. And, lucky for us, they are a part of Norwegian history and thus perfect for Vesterheim! The exhibition will showcase enamel jewelry, cookware, and tableware. We’re enamored (groan)! Flora Metamorphicae – on display through November 16, 2014 – is SUCH a cool exhibit! It’s hard to describe, so just check out the pictures at right. The project was created by a group of six contemporary Norwegian ceramic artists. They worked individually to shape their own ceramic flowers, that, once brought together, open in a carpet of 4,000 flowers. Vesterheim is one of the first venues in the United States to host an installation. Tradewind Guys: There’s a giant boat inside Vesterheim. This is surely one of the first things folks will mention when Vesterheim Museum comes up, but rightly so. The 25-foot Tradewind is the smallest sailboat known to have crossed the Atlantic Ocean without assistance, but it still looks pretty big to me. You can’t get in it, but at the top of the stairs you can look through a telescope to see inside the cabin! There are real houses you can walk into! INSIDE the museum. It’s like MTV Cribs for 1850s cabins. Sweet.

Learn traditional Norwegian crafts at Vesterheim’s Folk Art School! Revive the busserull! Sew a comfortable Norwegian work shirt for men and women.

Open Air Division There are also other houses and buildings surrounding the museum that you can explore. I always forget about this, so I’m reminding you here! Vesterheim’s Open Air Division is a collection of 12 historic buildings – such as a log school, blacksmith shop, pioneer houses, and a restored stone mill – located behind the main building. It is open from May 1 to October 31, and guided tours occur daily at 1:30 pm, included with admission (free for members!). These tours are subject to guide availability, though, so please confirm tour departure place and time with a Vesterheim desk attendant. Basement Speaking of places I forgot / didn’t know about: Did you know you can visit the basement of Vesterheim? Anytime? It’s part of the museum! I didn’t know, so maybe you didn’t either. There’s a Christiansen altar, the WWII 99th Battalion exhibition, along with a lot of other interesting things. You can access it via the elevator or any stairs (huh, seems obvious now....).

Learn the exceptional artistry of building a traditional Scandinavian timber frame.

Sign up today!

Find a schedule at Call 563-382-9681 to register.

Visit Vesterheim’s Museum Store for an amazing selection!

While you’re taking the stairs… Ole Bull in the Stairwell We always make sure to go between the first and second floors via the south stairwell. There, you’ll find a giant painting of famous Norwegian violinist and composer Ole Bull! Say hi from us, please. Do you love Vesterheim too? You can help support Vesterheim! While you can become a member any time, you could also take part in fun events and fundraisers! Learn more at (See events on next page)

T-shirts • Jewelry Nor wegian Sweaters Recipe Books Folk-art Supplies and great gifts


The National Norwegian-American Museum & Heritage Center Decorah, Iowa • • 563-382-9681

Deck the Tables: November 7 and 8, 2014. Friday evening – Blue Jeans and Bling 6 – 8 pm $12 door / $10 in advance. Tasty appetizers, raffles, silent auctions, door prizes, games. Saturday morning – Open House 9 am–12 pm $12 door. No advance tickets. Carriage rides, raffles, door prizes, pastries and coffee, discounts to local stores, live music. Saturday afternoon – Luncheon in the Lobby 12–2 pm $25. Advance ticket sales only. Reservations must be made by October 25, 2014. A lovely luncheon in the lobby of the Hotel Winneshiek, private viewing of the tables, raffles, door prizes, discounts to local stores. Saturday evening – Gala Dinner and Live Auction 5–9 pm $50. Advance ticket sales only. Reservations must be made by October 25, 2014. Scrumptious meal at a distinctive and beautiful decorated table, live auction, raffle, door prizes. “Deck the Tables” is a fundraiser for Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum organized by a volunteer committee. For more information contact Stephanie Johnson at or call 563-382-9681, ext. 103.

Tradition of Deceit

Chloe Ellefson Historic Sites Mystery # 5

From Kathleen Ernst, the bestselling author of Heritage of Darkness, comes the eagerly awaited sequel…

Curator and occasional sleuth Chloe Ellefson is off to Minneapolis to help out a former college classmate facing a monumental task. Together they must write a winning proposal for a controversial and expensive project: convert an abandoned flour mill complex, currently occupied by homeless people, into a history museum.

When a body is found at the complex, stuffed down a grain chute, Chloe's attention turns from milling to murder. Back in Wisconsin, her love interest Roelke McKenna gets awful news. His best friend, a Milwaukee police officer, has been shot dead in the line of duty. Separated by hundreds of miles, Chloe and Roelke must sift through clues from the past and present. Alone, each takes risks that threaten their growing trust in each other—and their very lives. The Chloe series is for adults and mature teens who like books without explicit sex, violence, or gore. They are available from independent bookstores, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and publisher Midnight Ink as trade paperbacks and as e-Books for reading with iPad, Kobo, Nook, and Kindle apps and devices. 58

Fall 2014 /

Knowledgeable staff • Great Gifts • Book Signings

Bestsellers plus special interest: gardening, Scandinavian, cooking, poetry, children’s books & more…even e-books! 563-382-4275 • 112 West Water Street, Decorah

Other events: Vesterheim hosts Free First Thursdays, which includes free museum admission and a special event on the first Thursday of each month. On September 4, there will be a presentation by Jane Nichol, Norse storyteller/Viking woman. On October 2, Glenn Borreson will present “The Significance of Ole Rølvaag for Today.” Järvelä Concert and Workshop Vesterheim is very excited to welcome back Finnish fiddler Arto Järvelä, this time with his cousin Antti on guitar and vocals. They will offer a musician’s workshop at 4 pm and a concert at 7:30 pm on September 29. They hail from the famous Järvelä family from Kaustinen, Finland, and have been making music together over many years with world-renowned JPP and other bands active in Nordic roots music. Knit-In: Get out your knitting projects and join Vesterheim on November 8 and 9 for a Knit-In. Everyone is welcome to knit, chat, enjoy behind-the-scenes tours, and hear presentations about Norwegian and Norwegian-American knitting. The Knit-In is made possible by gifts in memory of Ann Swanson and Grace Rikansrud. Norwegian Christmas Celebration On December 6, Vesterheim shares Scandinavian holiday traditions with Norwegian Christmas Celebration. This festive oneday celebration features a variety of music, folk art demonstrations, and food.

Deck the Tables Celebrate the Seasons November 7 & 8, 2014 at the Hotel Winneshiek Blue Jeans & Bling Fri., Nov. 7, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Open House Sat., Nov. 8, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Luncheon in the Lobby Sat. Nov. 8,12:00 - 2:00 p.m. (Reservations required for luncheon.)

Spark your decorating ideas with inspiring tablescapes. Raffles, Home Décor Showcase, door prizes, auctions, carriage rides, music, food, and more!

Like our Facebook Page — Deck the Tables Visit for details \ Fall 2014





Fall 2014 /

JUST KEEP IT SIMPLE By Jim McCaffrey Photos by Aryn Henning Nichols \ Fall 2014


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Fall 2014 /


y lovely wife, Brenda, and I have been hanging out together for nearly 36 years. Wow! Seems like only yesterday that we were making googly eyes at each other while shooting pool at the Cavern bar on Winnebago street. Now there’s a blast from the past. Speaking of blasts, we used to entertain a lot. As a matter of fact, when I was writing my first cookbook, Midwest Cornfusion, there were people at our house every weekend for the better part of a year helping taste-test the recipes I had come up with during the week. Sometimes we would have 15 or 20 people show up on Sunday afternoon to indulge and voice their opinions. And perhaps partake in a favorite beverage or two. I have a friend, Eric, who was working on the road for three years. On weekends he would come with his son, Sern, and we would both cook for the kids and all of their friends for a couple of days. Young men growing up and having a couple of dads feeding and nurturing them: It doesn’t get any better than that. Now, because of our crazy schedules at the restaurant, entertaining is virtually at a standstill. In fact, just making something at home for the two of us on our scarce time off can prove to be a challenge. I suspect that we are not the only rowers of the upstream boat-of-life who do not have time to lift the paddle out of the water, take a break, and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. These days it seems everybody is working full time, raising two and a half munchkins, being soccer moms and dads, and – in other words –just being busy. So I decided we should look at making dinner a little less challenging. In other words: Let’s keep it simple, baby.

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I happen to follow the food blog Iowa Girl Eats. Kristin, the blogger, is a busy mom with a one-year-old son… same age as my grandson, Rowen. Brenda and I babysat him the other day for about six hours. Whew! I don’t know how young parents can manage all of that energy! Anyway, Kristin posted a wonderful recipe called One Pan Mediterranean Chicken Pasta. Everything cooked in the same pan – no muss, no fuss. I will pass it on to you at the end of this column. By the way, Kristin was recently diagnosed as having Celiac Disease, meaning she is on a gluten-free diet. Her recipe used Barilla gluten free penne. I have been working on a gluten-free mac and cheese for the restaurant and tried Barilla elbows. I liked them better than wheat noodles. The gluten free industry has come a long way, baby. Well, at least Barilla has. Be adventurous, try some. You may have a new road to follow. Back on the blasts from the past, Brenda and I traveled to Rome and Naples, Italy probably 10 years ago. We booked the trip through a company called Tourcrafters out of Chicago. The trip was for sightseeing but also to study making pizza in wood-fired ovens. So when Tourcrafters found out we wanted to stay in Naples, they got us a room at the Grand Hotel Oriental in the downtown area. Reasoning being we were coming in by train and apparently there was a lot of pick-pocketing activity at hotels near the train station. So, after we got settled in, we went to the front desk and asked if there was a restaurant that served wood-fired pizza for lunch within walking distance. “Sure: Bellini’s.” They gave us a map and out the door we went. Around the corner

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there was an old man standing on a doorstep with a single rose in one hand, ringing a doorbell with the other hand. All of a sudden, another man walks up behind him and picks the old man’s wallet right out of his back pocket. So much for downtown Naples hotels. We decided to grab a cab instead. Now you ask where am I going with this diatribe? Let me assure you there is a method to my madness. After returning from a wonderful meal and service at Bellini’s, we retired to our room to rest up for awhile. Later, when it was time to replenish our bodies with some Italian substance, we decided to try out the hotel dining room. It was stately, with fine white linens, plush white curtains, and the maître d’ was dressed to the nines in a three-piece white suit. Something told me we weren’t in McDonalds-country anymore, Dorothy. I honestly cannot remember what I ordered. And it doesn’t matter. Brenda’s discerning eye caught the hidden gem of our entire trip. It was a charming dish of risotto and asparagus tips. Neither one of us for some reason or another had ever had risotto. Brenda took her first taste and exclaimed “OMG Jim. You just will not believe this dish. Try it! Try it!” Who could resist that arm twisting? Ahhhh! Sheer bliss.

RECIPE Mediterranean Chicken Pasta

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Fall 2014 /

¼ cup olive oil 2 large chicken breasts (cut into 1” chunks) Salt and pepper 4 cloves garlic, minced 3 cups chicken broth 15 oz can quartered artichoke hearts (cut in half) Pinch of red chili pepper flakes ½ lb penne pasta 2 Tbl lemon juice 2 Tbl drained capers 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved) 1 cup parmesan cheese ½ cup chopped fresh basil Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Salt and pepper chicken. Sauté until golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Do not cook too thoroughly. Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds more. Add chicken broth, artichoke hearts, red pepper flakes, ½ tsp salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Add pasta and make sure it is all covered with broth. Place a lid on top and turn heat down to medium. Simmer for 2 minutes less than package directs. Remove lid and add lemon juice, capers, and tomatoes. Turn heat to high for 2-3 minutes to reduce sauce. Remove from heat and add in parmesan cheese and basil. Let set 2-3 minutes to thicken before serving.

Jim McCaffrey is a chef, author, and coowner with his family of McCaffrey’s Dolce Vita restaurant and Twin Springs Bakery just outside Decorah. He is author of humorous cookbooks “Midwest Cornfusion” and “Mississippi Mirth”. He has been in the food industry in one way or another for more than 40 years.

Specializing in wood-fired pizza & International Cuisine! Evening Specials!

So this is what nirvana is all about. I think I could immerse myself in this type of pleasure for a very long time. Risotto is made, most commonly, from a short, fat rice called Arborio rice. It has the unique ability to absorb a lot of moisture. The choice for that is usually a good chicken stock, preferably homemade. The result is a luxurious and creamy entrée that certainly is in my top ten faves. And the best part of the whole dish is that it is extremely easy and quick to prepare. You will never use Uncle Ben’s again! The Inspire(d) tasting-team comprised of Benji, Aryn, Brenda, Fawn, James Ronan, and myself. We had a leisurely lunch out on the restaurant patio – just what a busy crew needed. Do yourself a favor, keep cooking to a minimum, and just enjoy the experience of food, family and friends.

Wednesday: Spaghetti & meatballs / kids pizzas Thursday: Chef’s Choice Check Friday: Blackened Salmon for special daily dishes! Saturday: Steak of the Week Pizza, pasta, salads, sandwiches, soups, appetizers, homemade cheesecake & more! NAMED BEST PIZZA IN IOWA BY USA TODAY! Gift certificates available!


RECIPE Lemony Asparagus and Shrimp Risotto 5 cups chicken broth ¾ lb asparagus, trimmed (Cut into 1 inch pieces) Extra virgin olive oil 1 small onion, diced fine 4 Tbl unsalted butter, divided 1 ¼ cups Arborio rice ¼ cup dry white wine ¾ lb medium shrimp (peeled and de-veined) 3 Tbl lemon juice ¼ cup grated parmesan 2 Tbl chopped parsley Bring broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Spread asparagus out on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and set under broiler at high heat for 4-5 minutes. Be careful not to burn. Set aside. Sauté onion in 2 Tbl butter in a 4-quart heavy saucepan for 5 minutes over medium heat. Stir occasionally. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add wine and continue stirring until absorbed. Add ½ cup of broth and briskly simmer, stirring often, until absorbed. Keep adding broth ½ cup at a time letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is creamy and tender but still a little al dente (about 18 minutes). There will be leftover broth. Stir in shrimp and cook until pink (2-3 Minutes). Add asparagus, butter, lemon juice, parmesan, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.

2149 Twin Springs Road, Decorah, Iowa 4-9 pm Wed – Fri | 11-9 pm Sat | 11-8 pm Sun Committed to the communities we serve, and to exceeding the expectations of our customers.

d e n w O e e y o l p m E 100% 702 Montgomery St.• Decorah, IA • 563-382-8765 • 866-382-8765 Store Hours: Monday-Friday: 8:30-5:30 • Saturday: 8:30-1:30 • Sunday Closed




Lorena Ellingson: A life-long teacher, hard worker, and good friend. Interview and introduction by daughter Wanda Ellingson


or Lorena Ellingson, teaching and service have been core principles in her life. Born the 12th of 13 children, she was the first to earn a high school and college degree. Lorena’s teaching career has spanned 43 years with 12 more years as a substitute teacher. Starting with teaching in a one-room schoolhouse where she met her husband, Tilman Ellingson, she then moved to town teaching special education followed by third grade. She has touched the lives and minds of thousands of students and their families and served her community in various capacities over the years. What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?

Be honest and dependable. Do your job the best you can. How about the worst?

I don’t think I have ever been given any bad advice. What did you want to be when you grew up?

I have always wanted to be a teacher. I can remember (before I was 10 years old) that I wanted to be a teacher. I would play teacher with pretend students in one of our rooms in my mother’s home (Clara Barth). What do/did you do?

I was a teacher for 43 years and then substitute taught for another 12 years. I started teaching when I was 18 and taught in many of the one room schoolhouses: Glenwood, Pleasant, and Springfield Townships. I then taught Special Education at Decorah High School and went on to teach third grade at John Cline School for 22 years. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you?

A Bible, paper/pen, paints – oh, and a friend! Try to describe yourself in one sentence.

I am an organizer, and a sharing and caring person. If you could eat anything every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Do you know someone you’d love to interview for this page? Let us know!

Potatoes – as you can fix them in so many ways. Name one thing you could not live without.

Friends Multiple choice: tell us about… Your favorite memory.

My favorite memories are of all my travels with my family, which took me to Kino Bay, Mexico, the Phillipines, the Bahamas, Florida, and Norway!

Vennehjem Decorah’s Active 55+ Community

1102 Nordic Drive, Decorah IA email:


Fall 2014 /


A Lifestyle Worth Living!

Vennehjem is an easy living community for today’s active, healthy seniors—enjoy a life of freedom, security and convenience!

Private, stacked ranch homes, 1 low monthly fee!

For healthy vision, say


From glasses and contact lenses to treatment of eye conditions such as glaucoma, diabetes, and macular degeneration, Oneota Valley Family Eye Care helps bring health to your vision and eyes. Partnering with Mayo Clinic and Winneshiek Medical Center, we also provide local surgical services for minor lid procedures, cataracts, and now macular degeneration.

Healthy Eyes. Healthy Vision. 305 EAST WATER STREET, DECORAH, IOWA 563-382-4279

7:30-5:30 M, W, F 7:30-7:00 TUES & THURS 8:00-3:00 SATURDAY


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