Inspire(d) Spring 2013

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NO. 33 • SPRING 2013






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SPRING 2013 contents







10 14 16 20 22 26 32 35 42 44 46 50

...and more!


When I saw the tree on the cover last spring, I was six months pregnant and we were researching the cave story for the summer 2012 issue. The light stopped me in my tracks, and I was so happy to have the camera along to shoot it! Benji had his camera too, thus the picture of me taking the picture! \ Spring 2013


Coming this spring

Gypsy joy and danceable fantasy...

The Hot Club of San Francisco Friday, March 15, 2013 Tickets on sale February 21

Be swept away to a smoky 1930s Paris jazz club by the seductive sounds of Hot Club’s gypsy swing.

Shows start at 7:30 p.m. in the Center for Faith and Life, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa

MOMIX: Botanica Friday, April 12, 2013

Tickets on sale Thursday, March 21

The dancer-illusionists of MOMIX create a fantastical world inspired by the unfolding of the seasons.


Center Stage Series Get your tickets now! • (563) 387-1357 • Special thanks to all of our patrons, our sponsors, and media supporters for the entire 2012–13 Center Stage season:

Decorah Newspapers The

Luther College Diversity Council The


Decorah Newspapers

From the Editor To modify (my favorite) Buddy the Elf’s quote: I love trees! Trees are my favorite! (I know it’s spring, but Buddy is relevant year-round.) And it’s true. I grew up in 20 acres of woods just outside of Frankville, Iowa, on the very edge of Winneshiek County. I’d wander the woods for hours, exploring, climbing, listening to the big boughs creak and groan. Trees are my favorite. So I was excited when we settled a on “tree theme” for this issue of Inspire(d). First, Benji covers the very important work of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (pg. 26) – they strive to PERMANENTLY preserve the natural resources across Iowa, and are particularly interested in the Driftless Region. We’ve got such amazing landscapes here that we need to protect and maintain. Next, we’ve found that trees can talk! Well, they can through the sabbatical project of Luther College’s Brooke Joyce. Talking Trees is a chance to experience Seed Savers Heritage Farm’s trails in a whole new way. Check out Sara Friedl-Putnam’s story on page 16, then go check out the installation. While you’re there, dig in to some of the other fun stuff you can do at Seed Savers – our spring intern, Ingrid Baudler, gives you some tips on where to start. And finally, I get all sappy (har, har) for this Science, You’re Super as I delve into what makes a tree’s sap flow in the spring, and, of course, you know what maple sap makes: Syrup! Another favorite. (Sidenote: Green’s Sugarbush, of the spring pancake breakfast fame, is just a mile down the road from where I grew up!) I also got to interview some of the most inspiring people I know – Ward and Jacky Budweg. The Budwegs spent three years traveling the world – by bike! They’re getting ready to set off – along with fellow Decorah resident and biker Jeff Friedhof – on another biking adventure. On deck this time: Three and a half months in India! See how they “plan” for experiences like this on page 22. Thinking about trips and biking and trees makes me really excited about nicer weather and getting outside – to cook, to dine, to explore. Mississippi Mirth is excellent for sunny-day-dreaming – Jim tells us how to grill pizzas (pg 46); Shannon Dallenbach Durbin puts together the perfect road trip to her town, Elkader (pg 35); and if you just feel like getting out of the house, stop in and say hi to Chef Mark Rollin’s at The Angry Pickle. Winter Inspire(d) intern Lanee Benson interviewed and photographed the Decorah restaurant and chef for spring’s Chef on the Block. There is also, as usual, tons of great live shows and music to check out in the region over the next few months too. From the Hot Club of San Francisco (learn more on page 10) to a Barrel Aid fundraiser with the Alaska String Band (pg. 44) to the Midwest Music Fest and lots of other fun events (see a great list on page 14), there’s plenty to keep you busy. Ah! It’s all so exciting! Trees! Syrup! Warmer temperatures! Birthdays! (What? I’m going to be 32?!?) Tulips! Asparagus! Open windows! Who am I kidding? Spring is my favorite! Hope to see you all out in it! Looking forward,

Aryn Henning Nichols P.S. A big thank you to past Inspire(d) writer Lauren Kraus and her Driftless Region Trail Series photos - look for her great work throughout this magazine, and read her whole series online at!

Inspire magazine

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

We couldn’t do it without: Sara Friedl-Putnam/ contributor Lauren Kraus/ photography contributor Lanee Benson/ winter intern Ingrid Baudler/ spring intern 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 Spring 2013, issue 33, volume 6, Copyright 2013 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

Monday - Saturday 9am - 5pm | Thursday 9am - 8pm

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

1. Norwegian Ridge Language Camp registration open until May 20! Learn the language and culture of your ancestors through a memorable, hands-on program! FASHION. FOR REAL LIFE. AFFORDABLE BOUTIQUE SHOPPING

115 Winnebago Street | Decorah, Iowa | 563.382.3600

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 •

Pampe re

t Grooming e P by Brittany ch o o P d Send your dog for a day at the

grooming services & homemade treats Decorah, Iowa | Schedule appointments at 319.429.1363


inspire & create

See Inspire(d) calendar or ArtHaus website for details! 06

Spring 2013 /

3. March 1: FIRST FRIDAY at ArtHaus: Todd Menton 8 pm, $10 Traditional Celtic tunes and witty originals on guitar, mandolin, bodhran, and vocals. Reservations recommended: 563-382-5440 or 4. March 5: Combine traditional sounds from Ensemble Galilei, images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and spoken word to experience “First Person: Seeing America,” Luther Center Stage Series, CFL, 7:30 pm 5. March 15: Hard Swinging strings and the sounds of Gypsy swing are brought to life by the Hot Club of San Francisco! Luther Center Stage Series, 7:30 pm


Stop by or give us a call! 508 W. Water St. Decorah, 563.382.5440

2. March 1: BODHRAN and PUB SINGING Workshop with Todd Menton at ArtHaus! 4-5:30 pm, $15, no experience necessary! Age 16 and up. To register: 563-382-5440, or www.arthausdecorah. org/contact

6. March 20: Ag Appreciation Luncheon. Serving pork chops on a stick. Scholarship and Friend in Ag awards will be presented. Decorah Fairgrounds, 12 pm.

25W/ $25B

7. March 22: TalkStory Decorah at ArtHaus, 8pm, $5/$3 students. Decorah’s own live storytelling event featuring true stories told in person! This month’s theme: Youth. 8. April 5: First Friday at ArtHaus: 3rd Annual Emerging Artists Exhibition, 7-9pm. Which emerging artist of the Driftless Region will win Best in Show? Come find out! 9. April 5-7: Ye Olde Opera House, Spring Grove, MN presents “Noises Off!” Dinner Theatre: April 5-6, 6:30pm $25, Dessert Theatre: April 7, 2:30 pm $10 or 507-4985859. 10. April 12: “Stellar Wine Cellar Party” at Modish – Women’s Fashion. For Real Life! Wine, live music and a fashionable storewide sale 6-8 pm. 115 Winnebago St., Decorah. 382-3600 11. April 12: Leslie and the Lys bring sequin sweater and spandex dance floor madness to break in T-Bock’s new second level. FREE Swag Bags to the first 100 ladies! Tickets $8 advance – Fancy Pants, T-Bock’s. 12: April 12: Luther’s Center Stage Series presents the dance ensemble Momix in the extravagantly costumed botanical themed performance of Botanica. 7:30 pm, CFL.




T-Bock’s Open Stage Night featuring Mostly Ghosts, 7pm


Empty Bowls, Luther College CFA, 11am

Waukon St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!


Terakraft, CSPS, Cedar Rapids, 7pm

Tuesday Wednesday







Pub Singing Workshop, ArtHaus, 4-5:30pm





March 27-28: American Idiot, GBPAC, Cedar Falls


March 31: Barrel Aid Fundraiser with Alaska String Band, T-Bock’s, 7-10 pm


Decorah Ag March 20: Appreciation First Day of Luncheon, Spring! Decorah Fairgrounds, 12pm March 20: Daphne Willis, The Hub, Cedar Falls, 8pm





TalkStory Decorah, ArtHaus, 8pm



Tracy 16 Morgan, Englert 7pm

Dar Williams, Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis


Seed Savers Exchange Spring Kick-off!


Mike McAbee, Haymarket

Green’s Sugar Bush Pancakes, Rural Frankville, 10am-2pm



Ryumonji Zen Monastery Winter Gala, Dorchester, 5pm


General B & The Wiz St. Pat’s Party, Toppling Goliath, 7pm

Little Big Town, Mayo Civic Center, Rochester



March 16: Decorah Chorale, St. Francis Xavier Basilica, Dyersville, 5 pm


March 8: Night (Out!) at the Children’s Museum of La Crosse, 5:30-8pm

Maritza & Luther Tango, WSMS, Steyer, 7:30pm

3 First Friday, ArtHaus with Todd Menton (celtic), 8pm

Mike 7 McAbee, Horseshoe, Calmar India Jazz Suites, Englert Theatre, Iowa City



Bodhran &1


Hot Club of San Francisco, Luther Center Stage Series, 7:30pm March 7-9, 15-16: Love, Loss, and What I Wore, Pump House, La Crosse, 7:30 pm


First Person: Seeing America, Luther Center Stage Series, 7:30pm


March 1-3: International Festival of Owls, Houston, MN

Norwegian Ridge Language Camp registration open until May20.

Gaelic Storm, Englert Theatre, Iowa City, 8pm

Daylight Savings Time – Spring Forward!


Robert Earl Keen, Englert Theatre, I. City

KDEC Home, Sport, & Garden Show, Decorah Middle School





fun stuff to do



Diana Krall, State Theatre, Minneapolis


T-Bock’s Open Stage Night featuring Maritza, Decorah, 7pm

Up-cycled Art Class & Fashion Show, Bluff Country Artist Gallery, Spring Grove


Gundersen Lutheran Teddy Bear Clinic, Children’s Museum of La Crosse 15


9 That One Guy, Warehouse, La Crosse






Happy Earth Day Earth Day! Celebration at Oneota Lucero with Co-op with Langhorne Absolute Slim, Majestic Hoot! 5-7pm, Theatre, Decorah Madison


Billy Bragg, Englert Theatre, Iowa City


3 Iris Dement, Englert Theatre, Iowa City, 8pm







Iowa City 6 First MarchFourth Tweed Marching Friday, ArtHaus: Bicycle 3rd Annual Band, Ride Emerging Artists Majestic, Exhibition, 7-9pm Carrie Madison April 5-7: “Noises Off” Rodriguez, 9 Dinner Theatre, YOOH, CSPS, Cedar Rapids Spring Grove, MN




26 17 25 New class registration, April 26-28: Bluff The Yoga Country Studio, Studio Art Decorah Tour 4:30-6pm

April 19: Lucy ArtHaus Kaplansky, Poetry Slam, Pump House, Decorah Elks La Crosse, Lodge, 8pm 7:30pm Joe & Vicki Price, Good Fellas. Waukon


April 25: Mike McAbee, Hideaway, Chaseburg, WI


Get outside for a walk today!


Decorah Time Trials Mountain Bike Race


Joe & 20 Vicki Price, Pearl Street Brewery, La Crosse Cloud Cult, Majestic Theatre, Madison

12 13 11 10 That APRIL 12: 13 One Guy, 10 Stellar Wine Cellar Party, Gabe’s, Modish, Decorah, 6-8pm KPVL Iowa City Membership Leslie & The Lys, 11 Willie T-Bock’s Upstairs! Soiree, Hotel Winneshiek, Nelson, Momix “Botanica”, 7:30pm GBPAC, 12 Luther Center Stage Cedar Falls Series, 7:30pm

April 3-7: Mission Creek Music Festival, Iowa City


April 12-13: Women’s Weekend Out Decorah!



April 12: Night (out!) at the Children’s Museum of La Crosse, 5:30-8pm

Green’s 7 Sugar Bush Pancakes, Rural Frankville, 10am-2pm

‘Curious George’ the exhibit runs through May 12, Children’s Museum of La Crosse




fun stuff to do

fun stuff to do




T-Bock’s Open Stage Night featuring Michael McElrath, Tbock’s 7pm



Hot Club of Cowtown, Englert Theatre, Iowa City, 7pm



May Day!










17 21

Mike McAbee, Hideaway, Chaseburg, WI



Greg Brown, Englert Theatre, Iowa City


Willy Porter, Pump House, La Crosse, 7:30pm




Lew Klemish Band, McCaffrey’s Dolce Vita, Decorah, 7-10pm




Seed Savers Exchange Preservation plant sale!


Vesterheim Jenna Blum Syttende Mai, Book Signing, Decorah Spring Grove 20 Cinema, Spring Grove 11am Syttende Mai Spring Grove,


Over the Back Fence Radio Show, St. Mane, Lanesboro

General B & The Wiz, Haymarket, 10pm

May 10-11, 16-18, 23-25: Glengarry Glen Ross, Pump House, La Crosse, 7:30pm



ArtHaus Art Auction! Steyer Opera House, 6:30-9pm



COMING UP: June 2 – They Might Be Giants, Englert Theatre, Iowa City June 8 – Winneshiek County Relay For Life June 16 - Father’s Day!



Whalan, MN Stand Still Parade!

Luther Spring Oratorio, CFL, 1:30 pm Trempeleau Hotel Reggae Fest



Mike McAbee, Horseshoe, Calmar

Joe & Vicki Price, Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis


May 3-4: Luther’s Spring Opera, Orpheus in the Underworld, CFL, 7:30pm

May 17: Foot-Notes outdoor dance! Mill St. near Vesterheim, 7pm




May 15: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Barrymore Theatre, Madison

May 7: Trampeled By Turtles, Mayo Civic Center, Rochester



Happy Mother’s Day!!!


Decorah Chorale Spring Concert, St. Ben’s Church, Decorah, 7pm

Opens May 10 Commonweal Theatre Lanesboro: “Blithe Spirit”

May 1-4: Luther College Theatre/Dance presents: “Arcadia” by Tom Stoppard



MAY 18













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!



25W/ $25B

Questions? Email

(Direct link:

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?!?” Up until 2012, what we’ve chosen for these lovely pages has been entirely editorial and subjective. We figure, 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 fantastic spring activities! In chronological order, each event’s number coincides with its number on the calendar!

13: April 13: KPVL Membership Appreciation Soiree – Steyer Opera House, 7:30pm. Advance Tickets at KPVL and Mister Groovy’s. KPVL Members free! 14. April 19: ArtHaus Poetry Slam, 8 pm, Decorah Elks Lodge, $5/$3 students. Call ArtHaus to sign up to perform! Recommended for adults, ages 16 and up. 563-382-5440, 15. April 21: Up-cycled art class and Fashion Show! Flaunt your boutique chic on the catwalk in observation of Earth Day! Sustainable art – sustainable living!, 507-498-ARTS

25W/ $25B

16. April 22: Earth Day Celebration at Oneota Co-op! Featuring local burgers, brats, and veggie burgers for purchase. Live music – Absolute Hoot! 5 – 7 pm. FREE 17. April 25: New session registration at The Yoga Studio, 306 W. Water St. downtown Decorah. 4:30-6 pm 18. May 3: ArtHaus Art Auction! 6:30 – 8 pm: Silent art auction, live music, hors d’oeuvres, cash bar. 8 – 9 pm: Live Art Auction! $15, Steyer Opera House, Hotel Winneshiek. 19. May 17-18: Vesterheim Syttende Mai. Children’s Parade at 10:30am, Nordic Dancers, Children’s activities, museum tours, presentations, FREE admission! More information www.vesterheim. org 20. May 17-19: Spring Grove Syttende Mai Fest. Norwegian culture, foods, parade, games, contests, and fun for all ages! Visit for full events calendar. 21. May 18: Jenna Blum Book Signing! Meet the author of “Stormchasers” at the Spring Grove Cinema (11am) during Syttende Mai! Co-hosted by Bluff Country Artists Gallery and Spring Grove Public Library.

n ouse o the Farm H e B& tl t B i L Made-fromscratch breakfast using locally grown foods

Small appliances, cookware, & linens provided

enjoy life's simple pleasures & the peacefulness of the country

892 Pole Line Road • Postville, Iowa • 563-864-7304 (between Decorah & Waukon) •

PATCHWORK GREEN FARM Always fresh and super tasty vegetables & herbs produced chemical-free near Decorah by Erik Sessions & Sara Peterson.

Find us at the Decorah Farmers’ Market from June - October. 2013 Traditional and Market CSA Shares now available.

Check out for all the details! Eat Lo ca l at Well! &E

It’s like coming home..

...for a quick homemade lunch or breakfast, long coffee, you can even host your parties here – during business or after hours! • Free wi-fi throughout • Indoor/Outdoor seating • From scratch pastries

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QUARTER/quarter Restaurant & Wine Bar

Stephen Larson Chef/Owner

Serving refined comfort foods in a contemporary setting

Please call for current hours, reservations or to arrange a special party.

507.886.5500 | 25 Center Street East, Harmony, MN \ Spring 2013


The hot club

of San Francisco

The Hot Club of San Francisco will be playing in Decorah March 15, 2013 at 7:30 pm as part of the Luther College Center Stage Series. Tickets can be purchased through the Luther College Box Office at 563-387-1357, or online at

theatre Luther College experience a show this spring! & dance On the Verge or The Geography of Yearning by Eric Overmyer |directed by Robert Larson • March 8, 9, 14, 16 @ 7:30 p.m. March 9 @ 1:30 p.m. & March 15 @ 9:30 p.m. Arcadia | by Tom Stoppard |directed by Kristen Underwood • May 1, 2, 3, 4 @ 7:30 p.m • May 4 @ 1:30 p.m.

Tickets @ Luther College box office 563.387.1357 & 1 hour before shows | $10. adult / $5. children under 12 at jewel theatre, center for the arts| luther college, decorah, iowa

2013 spring season details at 10

Spring 2013 /



Photo by Laura Turbow

By Benji Nichols


The ‘gypsy’ style of playing has endured many decades of cultural obscurity yet has built rabid legions of followers and performers alike. Many of these groups have “The Hot Club of….” moniker, but few garner the respect that Paul Mehling and The Hot Club of San Francisco do. Pazzo (as Mehling goes by) and his troupe will bring their caravan to Decorah on Friday, March 15 as part of Luther College’s Center Stage Series. Mehling, a long time Californian, picked up the guitar at a young age. “I was born in Denver and grew up in what is now Silicon Valley, when it was all fruit trees,” he says. “My father was a record collector. I grew up with the music of Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Glen Miller and all the swing era bands. When I was older, I became a discipline problem because I wanted to stay up all night and listen to records. When I was six, we saw The Beatles on Ed Sullivan and it was like getting hit by lightening. I said, ‘I wanna do that – make the girls scream and give people the buzz I get from hearing the music.’” He tried playing in rock bands, but it didn’t work for him – the music wasn’t satisfying.


azz Manouche, Gypsy Jazz, Le Jazz Hot– all are different names for the swinging, driving sounds, stomping rhythms, and flowing improvised lines that make up a flavor of music born in 1930s France: Hot Club Jazz.

211 West Water Street Decorah, Iowa M.T.W.Fr.Sat 9-5 Thurs. 9-8 563.382.8940 \ Spring 2013


“I liked the acoustic guitar better and learned classical music, but that wasn’t what I wanted either,” Mehling continues. “Then I heard Django: three guitars, bass, and violin and they sounded and acted like a rock band. I saw pictures of them and they looked sharp, sophisticated.” Historians and enthusiasts alike point the cultural weather vane of gypsy jazz directly toward France, Roma Gypsies, and a man who lived only 43 years but left an entire style of music to the world: Django Reinhardt. A true Gypsy, Reinhardt grew up in the Caravans of 1920s France. After escaping a life-threatening caravan fire at age 18, the avid banjo and guitar player had to completely relearn his style of playing due to severe burns that left just two good fingers for picking melodies. It didn’t stop him from pursuing his flavor of jazz in the clubs of 1930s Paris, though, often times with sidekick and violin player Stephen Grappelli. Billed as the Hot Club de France, the group included mostly acoustic string instruments and made many friends amongst jazz greats of that time.


Back to the future, in 1981, Mehling took a break from California and several traditional jazz gigs to bicycle across Europe. In Holland, he saw a live performance by Waso, a band from Belgium that played gypsy jazz. “Fapy Lafertin was the lead guitarist and he was playing Django solos note for note, then he’d take off and start improvising,” Mehling says. “It was galvanizing. I didn’t think anyone could really play Django’s style and I realized it’s no secret. You just have to know how to do it. I decided I’d have to come back to Europe and learn to play gypsy guitar.” Django Reinhardt’s personality set him apart from many in the 30s and 40s, even alienating him at times due to his tendencies to live the Gypsy lifestyle. This is a trait that Mehling – or Pazzo – can attest to at times. “Pazzo’s Italian for nuts/crazy/dangerous. I’m Italian, I needed a ‘gypsy’ name and if you know anything about being a band leader – or if you’ve ever seen ‘Waiting for Godot’ – you know its Pazzo!”


work & play.

wake up at the winneshiek | breakfast • happy hour • dinner


Life is

delicious at

Winneshiek NEW!

Tap Room

Happy Hour 4 - 6 pm Wednesday Free Apps! Sun-Thurs 4 pm - closing Fri-Sat 4 pm - closing

Breakfast Daily!


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Mon-Fri: 7 am - 10 am Sat-Sun: 8 am - 12 noon Sun-Thurs 5 pm - closing Fri-Sat: 5 pm - closing

Call about our event spaces! The historic Steyer Opera House can accommodate up to 250 people for conferences, weddings, performances – smaller venues are available for more intimate groups. Exceptional full-service catering.

Explore our great package, mid-week, & extended stays online! • • 104 E. Water St. Decorah, IA • 1.800.998.4164

“We’ve got something for both kinds of blue hair.”

It’s a perfect fit for the Hot Club of San Francisco, though. The band has been truly pushing the jazz manouche envelope here in the US for decades now. “We have a swing or die approach to the music that’s distinctly American. We’re trying to challenge the tendency to slavishly imitate Django’s style, without watering down the gypsy tradition or diluting the music. When I talk with gypsy musicians, they say that they love what we do because they can tell we love the music. And if people dig our music, when gypsy bands come to America, there will be an audience waiting to hear them.” By age 40, Django Reinhardt had lived a wild and full life, traveling and playing his music, and would continue to do so for – what many would expect – years to come. But he was walking home from a Paris nightclub gig one evening and collapsed, dying from a brain hemorrhage. The style of jazz that Django fostered almost disappeared, then, in the 50s and 60s, but with the help of Django’s friend Stephen Grappelli, it lived on and began to grow, even, in the mid 1970s as “Hot Clubs” starting popping up across Europe and the US. Now, once again, the genre is as popular as ever, and the Hot Club of San Francisco is one of the most sought-after purveyors of its sultry sounds. “It’s like love,” quips Mehling, “How can you explain that beyond-orgasmic experience that you want other people to share as you do? I’m on a mission to help people find the joy that this music brings to me, to facilitate what jazz and swing – whether it’s guitar or trumpet or whatever – can do to you if you let it in. Hot Club music – it’s got something for both kinds of people with blue hair: excitement, romance, mystery, bravado, sentimentality, brinksmanship, extreme emotions… In my experience people either like gypsy jazz or they LOVE it. If not, they’re probably just dead.”

In one way or the other, Benji has crossed paths with three members of the HCSF in the past. Life, much like good jazz, is a mysterious adventure of running into the same thing again and again under different circumstances when least expected. Pazzo, indeed…

- Paul Mehling

See them live! Get tickets for the Luther Center Stage Series show at The Hot Club of San Francisco program will consist of two sets with Paul Mehling on Guitar, Clint Baker on Bass, Isabelle Fontaine on Guitar, and violin virtuoso Evan Price. Favorite tunes from the Hot Club’s repertoire will be featured in one set, while the other set will have the group lending a live soundtrack to vintage silent film – or Cinema Vivant! The concert is more than appropriate for music lovers of all ages; there are even special discounts are available for seniors and students. Find more information on The Hot Club of San Francisco at

Luther College Music Department presents

Spring Opera Fri., May 3, 2013 • 7:30 p.m. Sat., May 4, 2013 • 7:30 p.m. Orpheus in the Underworld by Jacques Offenbach

Sung in English Directed by Karen Kanakis and Andrew Whitfield

Spring Oratorio Sat., May 18, 2013 • 1:30 p.m. Mass in C major, KV 317 (Coronation) by W.A. Mozart Belshazzar’s Feast by William Walton A concert to commemorate 14 years of leadership from Rick and Judy Torgerson Symphony Orchestra • Daniel Baldwin Nordic Choir • Allen Hightower Collegiate Chorale • Andrew Last ’97 Performances are in the Center for Faith and Life Tickets: Box Office, 563-387-1357, \ Spring 2013


friday & saturday, april 12 & 13, 2013

women’s weekend out | decorah, iowa


5 5

4 3

MOMIX Dance Group Leslie & the LY’s Performance Free Swag Bags Fantastic Shopping Cocktail & Wine Parties Wine Tastings & Workshops Art & Jewelry Trunk Shows Book Signings Fashion & Pamper-me Showcase Style Show Brunch Comedy Night Cooking Demonstrations Door Prizes & Giveaways Free Event Registration ...And much more! womensweekendout 800.463.4692


Spring 2013 /

Looking for some more fun live music this spring? Here are five great places to start! 1. KPVL Soiree April 13, Steyer Opera House, Decorah Boogie on up to the Steyer Opera house and support KPVL 89.1 Community Radio at their Spring Membership Appreciation Soiree April 13. Doors open at 7:30 with special musical guests, munchies from McCaffrey’s, a silent auction, door prizes, and more! Tickets are $8.91 in advance available at the KPVL Decorah Studio, and Mister Groovy’s in Winona and Decorah – or $10 at the door. Current KPVL Members flash their card and get in free – or better yet, get a membership for a friend and support your local airwaves! 2. Midwest Music Fest 2013 April 18-20, Winona More than 100 musical acts will perform across 12+ stages in downtown Winona

for the fourth annual Mid West Music Fest April 18, 19, and 20. Highlights include Minneapolis-based alternative hip-hop act Astronautalis, presented by Vega Productions, and a special 30th Anniversary Red House Records show with Willie Murphy, The Pines, and Andra Suchy. Claudia Schmidt, Charlie Parr, Chastity Brown, Cuddle Magic, Apollo Cobra, People Brothers Band, Sans Souci Quartet, Brass Kings, The Sudden Lovelys, and Kendl Winter will perform alongside additional headliners, as well as dozens of local and regional acts. Mid West Music Fest is a nonprofit music festival dedicated to “building community through music,” and over the past three years has donated $20,500 to seven area nonprofit organizations benefiting kids and/or the arts. A portion of this year’s proceeds will be donated to the Winona Early Childhood Initiative. Three-day festival wristbands and a current lineup and schedule are available online at:



April 13 am


3. Leslie & the Lys – Women’s Weekend Out April 12, T-Bock’s Sports Bar & Grill, Decorah Gold spandex, gem sweaters, bad glasses, and bangin’ Garage Band tracks – throw in a keytar and some background singer/dancers, and you have an amazing show of feminine mystique. Since 2004, Ames’ own Leslie Hall and friends have been taking their cat-loving salvation dance tent show on the road, and people dig it. Expect a bangin’ dance party led by one of the most unique people you are likely to come across anytime – ever – Friday, April 12 on the second floor of T-Bock’s in Decorah. It’s also Women’s Weekend Out in Decorah that weekend, which means the first 100 women in the door get free schwag bags that may hold piles of glitter and definitely have gift certificates and treasure from local retailers. Get your best funky dancing shoes shined up and prepare for blast off! 4. Englert Theatre Iowa City The Englert Theatre has been busy – real busy – putting together their spring lineup. We can’t encourage you enough to stop by their website and check out the full listings, but a few of our notable upcoming favorites would include:

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Robert Earl Keen (March 3), Tracy Morgan (March16), Iris Dement and Grizzly Bear (as part of Mission Creek Festival April 3-4), Greg Brown (May 11), They Might Be Giants (June 2), and the one and only John Hiatt (July 30). If you haven’t ever made the trek to downtown Iowa City and the Englert, you should definitely put it on the to do list this spring. Full details at 5. CSPS / Legion Arts Cedar Rapids Located on 3rd St. SE just off downtown Cedar Rapids in the NewBo area is a beautifully restored brick corner building. With a century’s worth of history, the Legion Arts Buildling and CSPS Theatre space are amazing examples of what complete renovation of old buildings can look like. When the organization faced stunning and catastrophic setbacks after the flood of 2008, they merely set the bar higher and came back to be a cultural anchor of redevelopment in Cedar Rapids. Don’t miss your chance to catch an intimate show with one of the amazing spring performers – and make sure you give yourself time to check out the exhibits. Mike Mangione (March 9), Terakaft (March 10), April Verch (March 13), Tracy Grammer (March 14), Switchback (March 23), Carrie Rodriguez (April 6), David Wilcox (April 28) – more at

Homemade Quiche Fresh Fruit Roasted Potatoes Coffee/Water/Juice Bloody Marys & Mimosas available for extra charge

With 10 Decorah Shops! Tickets at J. Tupy’s & Decorah Visitors Center \ Spring 2013


Talking Trees By Sara Friedl-Putnam

Trees can’t talk. Or can they? Scientific inquiry on the topic notwithstanding (and there has been plenty), the trees at Seed Savers Exchange in rural Decorah, Iowa, will be talking this spring, thanks to an out-of the-box sabbatical project created by Brooke Joyce, associate professor of music and composer-in-residence at Luther College in Decorah. That project, “Talking Trees” – an interactive outdoor sound installation supported by an Iowa Arts Council Grant – opens for a month-long run at Seed Savers Exchange this May. “My hope is that people who wouldn’t necessarily attend a music concert, but who enjoy being outside, experience something in a natural setting that they might also hear in a concert hall,” says Joyce, who collaborated on the project with fellow composer Harvey Sollberger, professor emeritus of music at the University of California–San Diego. “We’re interested 16

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! a z z i P r e d r O Made-to-

OCS 507.498.D

what is art but a way of truly


Downtown Spring Grove, MN

“It’s all about the doors and sardines” Hi!

Ye Olde Opera House Presents

“Noises Off” April 5-7

At The Fest Building in Spring Grove

Photo by Lauren Kraus

in finding ways to make what we do [in the music world] more accessible – this installation, I hope, will do that.” So what, exactly, is “Talking Trees”? Imagine taking a hike along a flat, outdoor path, hearing nothing but the sounds of nature – tree leaves rustling, a river flowing, birds singing, insects chirping, and, yes, even cows mooing. Then imagine a completely different experience in the exact same place, those exact same sounds, varying according to the time of day and atmospheric conditions, subtly enhanced through music composition and sound engineering. \ Spring 2013



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“I haven’t done anything like this before, and, technologically, it has been a steep learning curve,” says the talented composer, whose works have been performed by musicians worldwide, including the Indianapolis and Cincinnati symphonies. “One of the nice things about a sabbatical is that it presents an opportunity to try something different and stretch oneself.” Though Joyce’s sabbatical didn’t officially begin until January 2013, he has been working closely with Sollberger and a small group of local consultants (including metal artist Kelly Ludeking, musician Steve Smith, solar consultants Dennis Pottratz and Brandon Schmidt, technical Brooke Joyce media specialist Bruce Larson, and audio engineer Benji Nichols) to lay the project’s groundwork for well over a year. Among the questions that needed to be addressed: Where would the project be located? How would it be funded? How would it be powered? And what would it look and, of course, sound like? Finding a site, which needed to be somewhat remote yet also fairly accessible, turned out to be surprisingly easy. Says Joyce, “Seed Savers approved the project as soon as we approached them last spring – one of their long-term goals is to get people to use their property more, so it was a pretty much a win-win situation.” The funding fell into place soon thereafter when the Iowa Arts Council awarded him a $4,800 grant. While it took a bit more time to figure out the power source – “We didn’t want to be out there every day checking things out so there needed to be a robustness built into it,” says Joyce – he ultimately settled on a combination of battery and solar power. Joyce collaborated with Ludeking to map out the installation’s design – four or five medium-sized canopies (or open tents) placed evenly along the off-the-beaten-path trail, each equipped with a solar panel and four speakers. “When people walk through the structures, they will hear both natural sounds – like water flowing or crickets chirping – and other sounds that we have manipulated, slowed down or speeded up, to subtly enhance the natural environment based on the time of day and atmospheric conditions,” he says. “‘Subtle’ is the key word; it’s not going to be a rock concert.” Rock concert or not, the installation, says Joyce, promises plenty to interest individuals seeking a different (and unpredictable) sensory experience. “You think that as an artist or composer you are doing all the things you know how to do to create the effect or feeling you want, but people will either hear it that way or they will hear something that you didn’t anticipate at all,” he says. “That’s actually one of the coolest things about this project.” According to Joyce, it was Sollberger who first planted the seed for “Talking Trees.” “Harvey said he wanted to do an outside sound project because he had always been a fairly traditional composer,” Joyce says, recalling a chance encounter after an Iowa Composers Forum concert in 2009. The idea resonated with Joyce, a self-described “paper-and-pencil-type composer” – yes, he does actually draw music notes when he composes – who, like Sollberger, was looking to stretch his musical boundaries. “I told him that I would love to ‘shadow’ him if he decided to develop it,” he says. Though a couple of years would pass, the concept continued to percolate in Joyce’s mind, and in the summer of 2011, while planning his sabbatical, he reached out to Sollberger to inquire if he was still interested in pursuing it. The answer? A resounding “yes.”

“I suggested to Harvey that, since this was going to be my sabbatical project, I could do the ‘heavy lifting’ with regard to the technology involved and that we could work together on the musical aspect,” says Joyce, who, with his easy-going manner and genuine inquisitiveness, immediately comes across as the type of individual who could make music one doesn’t typically hear on local pop or country music stations – in other words, the music of “Talking Trees” – accessible to a broad audience. “I really enjoy the collaborative process of working with others to create something unique, and that was true even when I was little,” says Joyce. “Even if I don’t have a project on tap that involves other performers, I always have a piece cooking somewhere in my subconscious – composing is what comes naturally to me.” Intrigued by his family’s piano at an early age, Joyce seemed destined to pursue music, and, more specifically, composing. Raised in East Lansing, Michigan, where his father taught education classes at Michigan State University, he excelled at the piano by second grade. In fourth grade, he began composing pieces to play with friends. After earning a doctorate from Princeton in music composition, Joyce found himself circling back to the middle of the country, and, in the end, Decorah. “The area immediately seemed familiar, as I grew up in the Midwest and had Trees Talk AND hug. Photo by Lauren Kraus attended college in Wisconsin,” he says. “I was awed by the volume and quality of music being performed here, both at Luther and in town – it seemed like a good fit for what I wanted to do and where the school wanted to go, and it has been.” Joyce joined the Luther faculty in 2005 and, since then, has fully enjoyed “exploring music together” with his students, and raising his son, Keegan, with his wife, Jennifer. “This is the kind of place where that type of collaborative learning process is encouraged,” he says. “I think that’s the big secret about teaching at the college level – it can really feed your creativity, at least that has been true for me.” Need some proof? Just venture off the beaten path at Seed Savers Exchange this May to hear some Talking Trees.

Lillian Goldman Visitors Center

Opening March 1 H : Mon-Fri 9-5 • Sat & Sun 10-5 ours

Seeds, Plants, Garden Tools, Books, Gifts & more Learn a new skill. Register for Workshops.

Spring Workshops March 23

Seed Starting, Planning your Garden for Seed Saving, and Heirloom Gardening.

Apple Grafting

April 6 & 13

Learn the ancient art of grafting. Go home with 3 heritage apple trees.

Seed Savers Exchange • 3074 North Winn Road, Decorah, IA • 563-382-5990

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After weathering several late-winter storms, Sara Friedl-Putnam is very much looking forward to enjoying the beauty of springtime in the Driftless Region – and, in particular, the “Talking Trees” installation at Seed Savers Exchange this May. \ Spring 2013


Seed Savers’ Apple Orchard in the spring. Photos courtesy Seed Savers

More Fun than a Barrel of Seeds! By Ingrid Baudler

Heading to Seed Savers to check out Talking Trees? Make a day of it – there’s way more fun to be had out on the Heritage Farm than you might even know! Don’t know much? Well…now’s the perfect time to start! Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds. Since 1975, it and its members have been collecting and distributing thousands of samples of rare garden seeds to other gardeners, passing on our garden heritage through generations. It’s pretty cool – and world-renowned.

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Locally owned in Downtown Decorah since 1928


106 E. Water St • 563-382-3544 | 200 E. Main St • 563-382-3538

Seed Savers Heritage Farm’s 890 acres of land is home to the Lillian Goldman Visitors Center where people can purchase seeds and transplants (the latter on and after May 4) and also maintains many gardens that visitors are welcome to wander. A few of our favorites: Diane’s (Diane Ott Whealy, the co-founder of Seed Savers) Garden, an edible garden blending dahlias with peppers and Swiss chard; the Trial Gardens, which act as a living catalog for Seed Savers; and you will be amazed by the Preservation Gardens, where hundreds of plants are grown and preserved to maintain genetic purity. And don’t forget to check out the Ancient White Park Cattle too – there are only about 800 of these beauties in the whole world! Take a Liking to Hiking Did you know Seed Savers Exchange is home to eight miles of hiking trails? You can roam through the white pine forest on the Colonel Taylor Trail, loop around the cattle pasture on the Valley Trail, or take in the view of the spring pool on the Oak Woodland Trail. Throw Out a Line You can fish in the streams running through Heritage Farm! Sweet! But make sure you have a license and follow the guidelines of catch and release for brook trout. Juicy, Crunchy, or Crisp The Historic Apple Orchard contains 550 different kinds of apples! Each variety works best for a specific purpose – whether that’s apple cider, apple pie, or applesauce. You’re free to stroll through the orchard this spring and enjoy the blossoms, and later this summer and fall, you can sink your teeth into one of the tasty treats (but only those that have already fallen from the trees!).


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Grow Your Brain! Start your gardening season off right by learning the tricks of the trade with workshops that range from seed starting to seed saving (March 23) or sign up for the apple grafting workshop (April 6 or 13) to learn about this age-old craft and get three heritage apple trees to take home and start your very own orchard! All workshops require registration at Just a Click Away Seed Savers Exchange also has a Webinar series with a different theme for each month in the spring. In March you can power up for a Seed Starting Workshop. April is all about Organizing Community Seed Projects from seed swaps to seed libraries. And in May, master the art of isolation so you can keep your heirlooms pure! Find more information at



Lunch & dinner Monday - Saturday • 563-382-3067 \ Spring 2013


Let’s Goa to India! Ward & Jacky Budweg – with fellow biker Jeff Friedhof – Take Tires to the World Once Again Intro and Interview by Aryn Henning Nichols



ard and Jacky Budweg are some of the most inspiring people we here at Inspire(d) know. Not that they’d want us to say that out loud (whoops – just did!). But c’mon – after traveling the world for three years, they had to know they were going to inspire a few folks.

“Our trip really wasn’t all that different from any other exploration – it’s all about getting out there for new experiences, no matter where or what you do!” Jacky says with her trademark enthusiasm and positive attitude. That said, a trip around the world – on bike, no less – IS pretty amazing. On June 24 of 2007, they left Decorah with their bikes, tent, an arsenal of (light) tools – and each other, of course – for an adventure of a lifetime. Starting in Germany, they biked all over the globe, planting feet in 46 countries and tires in 40. Just over three years later, on June 30 of 2010, All photos courtesy Ward and Jacky Budweg they peddled home to the Driftless Region (with local friends meeting up to make the ride with them)…but even before that ride back into the valley, they were gearing up for their next adventure. “When we were in South America, there was a cyclist who said, ‘You guys have to go to India. It’s like no place you will ever go.’ They said it was just so different culturally than even China or Vietnam or Cambodia or any other Asia country …so of course, we had to go,” Ward says. Jacky jumps in, continuing the story in a “he said/she said” way that they’ve mastered after collecting a many, many tales. “We couldn’t fit India into our trip at that point – we would have only had like two weeks – so we said ‘Let’s make it its own trip!’” They’ve been planning India ever since – for more than three years now. It was in their minds in all the things they did once they “re-entered’ the US. They got flexible jobs. Tracked their 406 W. Water St, Downtown Decorah • 563-382-4103 spending. Got things ready. But it wasn’t just for India – India’s just the next trip. “We know we’re going to travel like this as long as we’re able,” Jacky says. They’re leaving March 3 and will be back stateside June 12. Friend and fellow biker/Decorah resident Jeff Friedhof will be joining them on the India adventure. Three and a half months is a little more doable than three years for the high school mathematics teacher. Don’t be a chicken “I’m taking a sabbatical to do this trip,” he says. “As an ... get out there! educator, I really feel it’s important to experience the world. And when you get a chance to travel like this, to a place India, with Home world-travelers like Ward and Jacky, you take it. You have to go.” of the ‘Quality Chick’ T-SHIRT Much like the world-tour, they’ve got a rough outline of where WORLD FAMOUS GEAR – SMALL TOWN CHARM they’re going, but things are left pretty loose on purpose.

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With spring gear, gifts, and clothing! \ Spring 2013


Join us for women’s weekend out | decorah, iowa

friday & saturday, april 12 & 13, 2013

Fri., April 12 6 pm Super Awesome Women’s Weekend Out Extravaganza Welcome party on the 2nd floor of T-Bock’s FREE Swag Bags to the first 100 ladies (1 has a $250 gift certificate for Fancy Pants)!

Performance & Dance Party

by Leslie & the LY’s 9 pm

Tickets: $8 in advance/$10 at door

The above map details the Budweg’s world travels from 2007-2010. (Courtesy Budwegs/Kay Lum Designs)

Get advance tickets at Fancy Pants & T-Bock’s

“As we were planning our [world] trip it was not where, but HOW we would do the experience. How many museums. How many miles a day. How much money. To what level are we going to take it?” Ward says. The “plan” is this: They’ll land in New Delhi and go south along the coast to Goa, take a train back to New Delhi and bike the northern part of India, then bike to Nepal and back. They look forward to whatever’s going to happen, to happen. “When you travel like this, you never know what little town you will go through, who will stop you, what you’ll get to experience,” Jacky says. “It’s the best way to do it.”

Sat., April 13 3:30 pm

Book signing with Mike Draper of RAYGUN Come meet the author of The Midwest: God’s Gift to Planet Earth!

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411 West Water Street, downtown Decorah 563 382-8898 •


You can follow along on the peddling fun at Ward and Jacky’s blog and Jeff’s blog 1. What was the most surprising thing about your trip around the world? Jacky: For me, it seriously was this: when we left, I was really scared, worried about riding along back roads, people pulling over and stopping us and what might happen. What happened was people did stop us, but they asked us if we wanted water. They gave us food. What I feared the most turned into one of the greatest comforts: People are good. Ward: People’s willingness to take us in – afford us what they have. Even with the language barrier, they gave us everything they could. Really everyone was just so willing to give. One guy even drove past us, then turned his car around, came back, and got out. He walked over to us and gave us a bag full of something. He said, with a little English, “These are Korean donuts. You’ve never had these before.” And he was right. We hadn’t. 2. What was the most inspiring? Jacky: Well, it’s the same as the first answer, really. And just like Ward said – what I found inspiring were the people with nothing that just want to give everything.

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3. Why travel by bike? Jacky: To be honest, I’m traveling by bike until I can’t anymore. I’m traveling by bike ‘til I’m 90. It opens all kinds of doors. Sure, the part where you go slow, can take pictures, stop and smell the roses – that part is great. But the best part is that it opens the doors for people to ask, ‘What are you doing? Where are you going?’ It starts conversations and then we get to know the locals. And on a trip like this, you want to get to know the local. You trust the locals. Ward: I agree with Jacky that you are more open to have people approach you and ask questions. But for me, as we traveled I soon learned that you do not end up in towns or cities that necessarily are looking to see travelers coming through their communities. Your reception is not the same as if in a tourist city. There seemed to be a more genuine expression of their culture and how we should look at their town. By bike you are not always on the tourist route and that is what I like.

4. What do you think were the five most important things to have along (besides your bike and tent and each other, of course)? 1. Piece of plastic. This is to sit on, make food on, cover your bags in a downpour, make a windbreak, put water in to bathe. 2. Duct tape. No explanation needed 3. Tools. For bike repair and fixing other stuff for other people. 4. Air pump. So many flat tires 5. Salt and pepper and hot sauce. Rice and Pasta actually can be good with those. Additional useful things: cutting board, paper and pen, sunscreen, and a stove to boil water and cook (“But if it breaks,” Jacky says, “Just use an empty tuna can, coil cardboard into it, and then fill it with wax! Ward’s mom taught him that. She was his Den Mother.”) Useful “non-things”: Coded back-ups on personal and financial information and code words for dangerous or tense times. For Ward and Jacky: Danger = Birke; “Shut your mouth, I’ve got this!” = Mora

5. What do you say to people who say “I could never do that!”? Jacky: Anytime you want to do a trip – any exploration – overseas, in the US, even in Iowa – it’s great! What we did was a trip we wanted to do, but it doesn’t make it any different from that six-month trip you took, or that two-week trip you’re planning. It’s all good. It’s all about getting out and experiencing something new. Ward: Our trip was not a competition where there are people more fit and talented that could have accomplished the same thing. Our trip was a goal of experiencing the world on its terms. We had to adjust our terms as how we would engage all of the cultural nuances. It was hard for me to always be as the Argentineans and the Spaniards. Time moves pretty slow. The toilets of the world also are not for everyone. Not taking a shower for five days would be tough for a lot of people as well. Also the daily food of rice and pasta and pasta and rice would have a lot of people not join the adventure. But as Jacky also said everyone experiences things differently and it is your trip and your experience – we should all embrace that. Aryn Henning Nichols loves hearing stories about world travels. In her lifetime, she hopes to visit many more countries than her current seven (the photo at left is from Cambodia circa 2005). Better get “planning”!

Men’s • Women’s • Kid’s | Clarks • Merrell • Keen • Rockport • Haflinger • Dansko • Naturalizer • Life Stride • Wolky • New Balance • & More!

What’s so good about The Good Foot? The shoes! The staff! The service!

And it’s fun here to boot! (Get it?) 128 W Water St, Decorah, Iowa • 563-382-9829 • M, Tues, W, F, Sat: 9-5 Thurs: 9-8 •

Courtesy INHF


Photos this page by Lauren Kraus unless otherwise noted


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“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community.� – Conservationist Aldo Leopold \ Spring 2013


Open all Year in Decorah! Vesterheim’s Musum Store has everything Scandinavian!

Books, jewelry, games, sweaters, folk-art supplies, CDs, and more.

Explore Scandinavian Traditions! Register today!

Vesterheim offers classes for all levels in weaving, woodworking, painting, food traditions, jewelry, and knifemaking. View the full 2013 schedule at

Learn to make a Norwegian folk costume or accessory (blouse, apron, cap, or purse) at “Bunad Camp” with Sue Sutherland in June.

Norwegian- American Museum

Decorah, Iowa • • 563-382-9681

Fact: More than 90 percent of Iowa is farm acreage. Not surprising? How about this: Fact: Iowa has more native orchid species than Hawaii.


ts true! Rare geologic features and natural diversity – like Iowa’s 32 species of native orchids – exist from the Loess Hills to the Driftless Region. Historic Iowa conservationists like John F. Lacey, Ding Darling, Aldo Leopold, and Ada Hayden have worked hard to keep them alive and present in our region. But with just 10 percent of Iowa land not involved in agriculture, how can we possibly protect these amazing assets? Thankfully, organizations like the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation have stepped in, shouldering the work of early conservationists by preserving both land and resources in Iowa, as well as the access and use of them. “The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation works diligently to protect the absolute natural treasures we have in our state and preserves them for tomorrow’s generations,” says Northeast Iowa native and long time INHF board member Kirsten Heine. “This includes remnant goat prairies high above on the Mississippi River bluffs, prairie pot holes in western Iowa, majestic oak savannahs, algific slopes that are home to some of our state’s unique flora and fauna, and in our own neighborhood the beautiful Upper Iowa River. These landscapes tell our ‘Iowa story’ and enhance the overall quality of life.”

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Visit our 160-year-old Norwegian-built log house & working farm with heritage cattle, sheep, & chickens. Come take in the stunning landscape & explore Trout River, one of the best trout fishing streams in the Midwest.

Photo courtesy Clint Farlinger



Decorah, Iowa | 563.419.5634

Fact: The INHF, as a private not-for-profit group, has secured over 130,000 acres of natural resources in the state. Since the early 1900s, people like Iowa Congressman John F. Lacey have worked to implement conservation legislation to preserve wild places – a method that has been built upon and improved by many. But few have accomplished large, permanent preservation like INHF. “I see firsthand the tremendous efforts of natural resource protection by INHF,” says Terry Haindfield, a Wildlife Biologist with the Upper Iowa Thoughtfully designed, handcrafted timber Unit of the Iowa Department frames for homes, park shelters and barns. of Natural Resources. “Their ability to see the future with and without safeguarding the environmental treasures in Northeast Iowa inspires them to not only protect quality of life experiences for the present 563-382-6245 Decorah Iowa but maybe more importantly the forthcoming generations.

Made by Hand

for You \ Spring 2013


Their efforts will be admired forever.” The state of Iowa has come into a fascinating place in time, agriculture, property value, and land use. Despite being one of the most prosperous places to grow corn and soybeans, older farm owners are retiring, while young farm families are stretched to keep up with land values and crop prices. With 65 percent of farmland owned by folks 60 years and older, many young farmers are cornered into pushing conservation aside in the name of higher yields and more tillable land. As agriculture in Iowa experiences these transitions, INHF becomes even more important. They work to permanently protect unique land and resources, and improve land management and bring new conservation ideas and opportunities to the state – all while respecting Iowa’s agricultural heritage. The entire concept of INHF – preserve natural resources permanently – may seem a little too big and audacious to grasp… until you realize you’ve almost certainly seen or experienced the work of INHF firsthand. “For over 30 years, INHF has been working closely with private landowners and public agencies to protect and restore some of the most scenic and ecologically diverse natural areas in Iowa,” says Brian Fankhauser, INHF Blufflands Program Manager. “For example, protection of a critical segment of South Pine Creek in Winneshiek County that supports the native strain of brook trout, and a 1,000-acre addition to Effigy Mounds National Monument are two of several significant projects INHF has helped complete in recent years for the Blufflands (i.e. Driftless) Region.” Countless statewide projects range from coordinating largescale land set-asides to invasive species management like pulling sweet clover or wild parsnip from remnant hill prairies to forestry projects like thinning oak woodlands for regeneration. Summer

Patchwork Green Farm



Courtsey INHF

interns tackle hands-on tasks such as collecting prairie seed that will be used for future restoration projects, constructing fire lines for future woodland prescribed fires, and restoring cold-water trout streams. And Northeast Iowa is so extraordinary to INHF that they’re adding three inaugural “Blufflands Land Stewardship” internship positions to their ranks. “The Driftless Region of Northeast Iowa hosts some of the state’s most abundant and important natural resources, which often require management to remain healthy and diverse due to our heavily-altered landscape,” says Fankhauser. “The new internships will help address some of the challenges we face to keep our streams, prairies and woodlands beautiful and productive.” The three interns will work on about a dozen sites owned or protected by INHF, introducing the students to several landowners, which is a critical and rewarding component of the experience. “Interns learn about the motives and passion of land owners who work with INHF,” says Frankhauser. “In many cases, the landowners will be working side-by-side with the interns.”

Locally grown...with these hands. Canoe Creek Produce River Root Farm

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

Summer Hours (Apr-Oct) Monday-Saturday 8:00 am - 8:30 pm Sunday 10:00 am - 7:00 pm Winter Hours (Nov-Mar) Monday-Saturday 8:00 am - 8:00 pm Sunday 10:00 am - 7:00 pm

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312 West Water Street Decorah, Iowa 52101 563.382.4666


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Fact: Over the past 30 years, INHF has helped partners create nearly 600 of Iowa’s 1,000 miles of rail-trails. The ability of an organization like INHF to accomplish such vast goals is in no small part due to exceptional leadership. Longtime INHF president Mark Ackelson is one of the most well known faces in Iowa preservation in recent decades. One of the many areas near and dear to Ackelson is the work of coordinating, guiding the building of, and promoting the use of hundreds of miles of recreational trail systems. INHF has helped launch such trail projects as the High Trestle Trail, Wabash Trace Nature Trail, Rolling Prairie Trail, to name just a few. The Find out more about technical expertise and the Iowa Natural Heritage statewide perspective that Foundation and these great INHF brings to trail-building projects is one of the projects at, or driving factors in Iowa’s by contacting them in Des effort to be known farMoines at: 515-288-1846 or and-wide for its trails. It is well worth the time to visit just to see Want even more info? their fantastic interactive map of current trails and Request the iconic booklet trail projects in the state. “Landowner’s Options”. But at its core, the Originally printed in the early long, steady view of 1980s, the booklet is in its sixth INHF, and current printing and is available for director Mark Ackelson, free. And you don’t have to has been to work with private landowners and be landowner to support the agencies to permanently INHF mission: Memberships conserve land for are as little as $25 per year future generations. and include a quarterly Each and every project subscription to the stunning is different, with the INHF Magazine. tools and knowledge of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation helping landowners find the right options ranging from easements to donations or sales, to best practices for sustainable land management. It was the great conservationist Aldo Leopold who said, “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community.” Whether it’s a family donating a piece of land for public use, or a group navigating the intergovernmental agencies involved in making sure over 1,000 acres surrounding Effigy Mounds will never be developed, the work of an organization like the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation is truly never finished. But when the list of projects accomplished looks as long and beautiful as the list of Iowa’s wild orchids, it’s easy to feel like things are headed in the right direction.

Taking local to a whole new level.

• • • •

Local Bookstore Local/Regional Authors Great Local Place for Gifts Plus book signings & readings too! 563-382-4275 • 112 West Water Street Decorah • M-Tu-W 10-5:30 | Th 10-8 | Fri-Sat 10-5 | Sun 12-4

Celebrate Syttende Mai! (Norway’s Constitution Day)

Friday, May 17

Foot-Notes Dance

7:00-9:00 p.m. on Mill St. near the museum (rain location tba)

Saturday, May 18 Children’s Parade

10:30 a.m. from Decorah’s courthouse to the museum

Nordic Dancers

Through high school, Benji lived with his parents amidst 165 acres of woods and blufflands just above the Upper Iowa River north of Decorah. This property, owned by Floyd and Mary Lou Sollien, was put into a Forest Legacy Program easement in 2005 with the help of INHF. As part of over 2.3 million acres protected nationwide, it will never be anything but trees, bluffs, and wild land.

at the museum following the parade

Free admission and other activities on Saturday, May 18! See for a full schedule. 502 W. Water St., Decorah, Iowa • 563-382-9681 • \ Spring 2013





The Angry Pickle | Chef Mark Rollins Interview and photos by Lanee Benson


he Angry Pickle, located in downtown Decorah, is locally owned and operated by Chef Mark Rollins. With about four decades in the food industry, Rollins whips up tasty gourmet meals – for both lunch and dinner – with the ease of a seasoned pro. Deli delights such as The Norski sandwich (house-smoked salmon with cucumber, lettuce and tomato), or customer favorite The Wapsie (sliced, smoked capon with Muenster cheese and world-famous pepper jelly, topped with romaine, tomato, and mayo) are tried and true lunchtime staples. (An Inspire(d) favorite is the local lamb gyro!) Make sure to add a cup of Mark’s from-scratch soups to your order – we suggest trying the Bergan Fish Chowder, it’s delicious! And, of course, don’t skip the Angry (spicy) Pickles. The Angry Pickle provides more than lunchtime soups and sandwiches, though. By evening, deli shifts to fine dining (although you can still order deli sandwiches at dinner!). From the warm atmosphere of the Angry Pickle, diners get a great view of Decorah’s downtown Water Street while they peruse a menu that ranges from ceviche to New York Strip to soup and salad bar. Bring your own bottle of favorite wine or beer – there’s just a small corkage fee – and tuck in to delightful savories like the baked samosas, mushroom walnut burger, grilled fish tacos, or the yummy buffalo blue cheese pizza. So the next time you’re strolling down Water Street, stop in and say “Hi” to Chef Mark – he’s really friendly; it’s the pickles that are angry!


Locally-Owned Proudly Independent

for over 80 years

The best care for your grandparents, your parents, your kids. And you.

onlon HealthMart Pharmacy

Matthew Maker • Stan Fullerton

• Anna Kim

Welcome new pharmacist Anna Kim

201 West Water Street, Decorah, Iowa • 563-382-2626 • 32

Spring 2013 /

Est. 1961

People you can trust. Quality you can depend on.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever made? Any of my soups. I make everything from scratch – nothing’s out of a box. Name: Mark Rollins Age: 57 Restaurant/Business: The Angry Pickle (at age seven Mark’s son, Jackson, came up with the name for the restaurant. The pickles they serve at the restaurant were created because of the name.) Number of Years Cooking: about 40 years Formal Training or liveand-learn: I attended Hennepin County Vocational School for a one-year culinary program. I had a great time! What’s your earliest or most significant memory of cooking or being cooked for? My Grandma cooked killer pancakes. They had one cow and she would use the raw milk from the cow to make them. You could only eat two though, because they were really heavy and dense. Grandma went blind as she got older, but she could still make those pancakes really well. My mother said she could make pancakes like Grandma, but she couldn’t. They just weren’t the same. Why did you decide to become a chef? It was chance essentially. I got sucked in.

Do you have any monumental food fails you’d like to share with us? When I was working at a restaurant in Seattle there was a chef’s dinner that we were invited to participate in for which we made lobster bisque. I made all these croutons that had a little disc of lobster on them that were meant to float on top of the bisque. They were gorgeous, but they sank because they were too heavy. It was a little embarrassing! How about secret food indulgences you don’t normally talk about? Pizza! Not frozen – homemade. Also, chips, or chippies, as my son calls them. What’s your favorite: Ingredient – Salt Dish – Venison medallions with apple and onion butter sauce Cookbook – Silver Palate Cookbook Random (or not so random) kitchen tool – My three soup pots Vegetable – Onions Fruit – Anything fresh or what’s in season

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 \ Spring 2013


Make Earth Day

EVERY DAY By Ingrid Baudler

At Inspire(d), we’d love to give the earth a big hug… if only our arms were long enough! But the Winneshiek Energy District makes it easy to give our globe a virtual hug this Earth Day and every day through its energy(and cost)-saving initiatives. A pioneer in green movement, the Energy District is the first of its kind in the nation, has created the first local carbon offset program in the Midwest, and has worked with more than 250 households and 50 businesses in the area, resulting in WINNESHIEK savings of $3 million on energy. But for Winneshiek County Energy District, it’s not just about the numbers. They believe it’s important to make the world a better place for our grandchildren. They believe in boosting the local economy by creating jobs and being smart about energy use. And they have hopes of sparking a national movement from the ground up. With changing climate and skyrocketing energy costs, the Energy District wants to give Winneshiek County the edge on efficiency and renewable energy. They’ve also set up workshops on weatherization, school and camp programs, community events such as Bike to Work Week, and – with the Decorah Chamber of Commerce – they’ve established the Green Business Council and Green Business Challenge. And they aren’t stopping there. They hope to expand into the agricultural sector and incorporate even more renewable energy or “net-zero” options. So how can you get involved? Winneshiek Energy District is funded by grants, through the services they provide, and a local fund drive. That last part is your part – their fundraising goal is $100,000 per year and every donation is greatly appreciated. To donate (or volunteer your time), visit or call 563-382-4207. As Winneshiek Energy District says: “The energy district model could be the spark that ignites a locally-led movement across America. All from humble beginnings right here in Winneshiek County, Iowa.” And you, too, can have had a hand in that! For more information visit




Spring 2013 /

Ingrid Baudler is the new Inspire(d) intern who is excited to dive deeper into the Driftless world. She is a junior at Luther College studying English and political science. While she loves writing for Luther’s Chips newspaper, she suspects a deep passion brewing for magazines.

Photo courtesy Main St. Elkader





By Shannon Dallenbach Durbin

he sun is peeping out, the snow is melting, and you can finally hop in your car for a spontaneous day trip without scraping the windshield and checking road conditions Hooray! You’ve been trapped inside long enough – it’s time to get out and explore. Where should you head? Well, Elkader, of course. This little town by the Turkey River is full of life. If you love shopping, eating great food, a little nature exploration, and taking in a show (live or on the big screen) you’ve come to the right place!

Northeast Iowa’s new premier wedding destination venue! Spend your special day in a casual, elegant setting overlooking the Oneota Valley and the Upper Iowa River. Enjoy the Amish-built post and beam barn and restored one room school house – along with outdoor patios and beautiful garden spaces – located just outside Decorah, Iowa.

Visit us at Or call 563-419-8902 \ Spring 2013


There are many entrances into this lovely little town of 1,300. If moved – just one shop over – and The Copper Frog, a fun little you are a mystery fan, you’ll even find a sign indicating your arrival resale shop with lots of spunk, moved into their former digs. You’ll to “Maitland,” the pseudonym for Elkader used by best-selling love their great collection of fun jewelry. mystery crime novelist Donald Harstad. Harstad still resides in Out in the spring air and just around the corner on Main Street Elkader, and if you is Whimsy Market, a hip new take the Bridge shop that truly embodies a Street exit, you will “market” experience. Ten pass the beautiful fun little booths from various Jail House Inn – the vendors line the walls with old county sheriff fashionable new clothing, home office-turned bed décor, local art, cloth diapers, and breakfast little girls’ accessories, and – where Deputy shelves of yarn. Sheriff Harstad used Then pop into Bridge Street to work. Boutique for the latest trends Keep going on and head around the corner to Bridge Street and Archive for Iowa wines and cool you will experience architectural finds. If you are the magic of still going strong, get into the crossing the historic thick of it at The Turkey River Keystone Bridge as Mall. This place occupies an old you enter downtown. hotel on the corner, and inside Take a peek to your there are roughly 100 rooms right as you pass all filled with different shops. over and you will see Want a more hands-on the waters of the shopping experience? Try Deb’s Turkey River rushing Brewtopia. Deb Winter is an The Keystone Bridge. Photo courtesy Main Street Elkader over the dam. award-winning brewer who sells home brewing kits for wine and beer and will soon be teaching classes. Or head down to Carnes Coffee Brothers Music and record a song or two. They not only sell Start your day with a coffee at Treats just down a bit on Bridge guitars, but also offer a recording booth to the aspiring musician or Street. This little café has a vibrant atmosphere and friendly staff. even a fun group of kids to record a birthday song. The coffee beans are locally roasted and have fabulous flavor. They serve breakfast, plus daily lunch specials, soup, and homemade pie. My favorite combination is the cashew chicken wrap, a white Sightseeing chocolate mocha, and maybe a truffle…or two. Elkader was named after Abd elKader, an Algerian freedom fighter in 1846. In 1983, Elkader became Sister Cities with Shopping Mascara, Algeria (the birthplace of Abd elKader). This friendship Let the retail therapy begin! Adjoining Treats are The Buttery is displayed throughout the town. For instance, in the small walking and The Copper Frog. The Buttery has long been an Elkader staple, park, Mascara Park, situated near the Elkader Opera House, featuring eclectic home décor and antique furniture. They recently you will find a peace pole made in 2008 by local luxury lighting

Medicap Pharmacy in Decorah is committed to providing a high level of care. We offer a Medication Therapy Management (MTM) program that reviews:

Your Medicap Pharmacists: Lori Rissman, Sue Burks and Mark Branum

- Treatment goals

- Drug interactions

- Safe and effective medication use

- Generic alternatives

Our Compounding Services include: - Hormone Replacement

- Veterinary

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Call us at 382-8765 for more information.


Spring 2013 /

whimsy market 115 N Main Street, Elkader, IA

across from the cinema

Baby Bling

Home op

ry Artist Local


From top, clockwise: The Copper Frog jewelry; Whimsy Market local pottery; Treats lunch. Photos by Shannon Dallenbach Durbin

company, Fire Farm. An identical peace pole resides in Mascara. And in City Hall, housed in the basement of the Opera House, you can find a display of items that Elkader and its residents have been gifted from Algerians through trips and visits from ambassadors and so forth. Find other interesting Elkader documents and artifacts displayed at the Carter House Museum, across the street from the Court House.

Dining By now your tummy surely is starting to grumble and Elkader is not short on places to dine. From burger stands to buffets, pizza joints to pubs, Elkader has over a dozen places to grab some grub. However, my favorite will always be Schera’s Restaurant. Schera’s is an Algerian/American Restaurant that was started by a couple drawn to Elkader based on its namesake. Schera’s is a great place to try something new, but even their cheeseburgers are beyond compare. If you’re interested in quality beer, you are in luck. Schera’s

Hippie Gear

NEW Clothing

9 r +FBOT r 5PQT


h Yarn S


10 Booths of Mirth

FIND IT IN ELKADER! Food: Burger Barn 688 Sunburst Ln Fennellys’ Irish Pub 105 N 1st St 563-245-3663 Pedretti’s Bakery 101 N Main St 563- 245-1280 Schera’s 107 S Main St 563-245-1992 Treats 110 W Bridge St 563-245-2242 Check out more options at (Cont. page 39) \ Spring 2013


Destination Garden Center 1ST! OPEN APRIL

Annuals • Perennials Hanging Baskets • Trees Shrubs • Decorative Rock Mulch • Block Gardening Tools & More!

Use our patio displays to plan your landscaping. Design and installation available!

Don’t forget

The Bakery

Stop for sandwiches, homemade fudge and cupcakes!

takes their beer seriously. They have a rotating lineup of 18 craft beers on tap, with a specific glass to match each beer. When the weather is nice, you can enjoy your meal on the patio that overlooks the Keystone Bridge and Turkey River – make sure to try something that comes with the fabulous harissa! And just across the river is a great place for dessert. The Burger Barn (open the first weekend in April until October) serves over 14 flavors of Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, as well as other delicious ice cream treats. You’ll love their sandwiches that come on huge slices of Texas toast and your kids will love playing on the slides while you wait. If you’re undecided on where to fill your belly, time to take out your smartphone and look up DishnTunes. com. An Elkader native created this website as a one stop shop for locating great dining venues and A craft beer at Schera’s. Photo by Inspire(d) entertainment in the area. They even have many of the menus on their site so you can peruse them before you go. And while you’re on the site, check out what is available for evening entertainment.

f er o zine t n a ri d P ) Mag u o Pr ire(d p Ins

For all your printing and promotional needs contact Steve Sokolik @ 608.781.1050 ext. 179

4.5 miles west of Decorah, IA

2475 State Highway 9 563-382-0010


Spring 2013 /

Your logo Here

Your logo Here

Entertainment Like many small Midwest towns, Elkader has golfing, bowling, churches, schools, and community clubs to keep the town hopping, but few can truly boast about their theaters (both live and big screen). Even if you’ve chosen a random day to make your way to Elkader, you can always cap your night off with a movie at the Elkader Cinema. A beautiful, vintage neon sign invites you into the recently renovated cinema, which boasts a single, state-of-the-art digital projection screen. The movies are current, the concessions include beer and wine, and tickets are around $5. I usually finish up the night with something sweet from Pedretti’s Bakery which opens again late at night when the baker starts the morning’s bread. If you happened to come to town on a night when the Elkader Opera House Archive. Photo by Shannon Dallenbach Durbin has an event, life couldn’t get much better. The Opera House is gorgeous and the entertainment is high quality. Musical acts and comedy appear a regular basis. The Opera House Players, a volunteer theater group, puts on shows at least twice a year. This spring Shops: they will be the first in the nation to perform a hilarious new play, The Accidental Hit Man Blues. Archive 104 First Street NW. And if you’re looking for an all-out blast, think about joining the natives for the first party of the 563-245-3429 spring season, St. Patrick’s Day. There’s a great parade, corn beef and hash at nearly every venue, Find them on Facebook lots of beer, and musical entertainment to boot.

Nature If you still have time to explore, check out the Clayton County Tourism Office and Iowa Welcome Center at its new location by the bridge. They can hook you up with brochures on everything from Spook Cave to Motor Mill. The Motor Mill’s historic building and just-completed restoration of the nearby bridge (it washed out in the 2008 flood) is a fun outskirt destination – you might recognize the mill from the 2013 Iowa Tourism Guide. You can get there by going back up Bridge Street and heading straight out onto the windy gravel, or if it is a nice warm day you can call up Turkey River Outfitters. A newer company, run by two nature loving sisters, Turkey River Outfitters rents out canoes, kayaks, and tubes with all the necessities and even provides shuttle service. And, exciting news: a white water feature will soon be built into the river for active kayakers!

Bridge Street Boutique and Gift 107 W Bridge St 563-245-3939 bridgestreetboutiqueandgift. com The Buttery 118 W Bridge St 563-245-1406 (Cont. page 40)

Opens March 30th!

Stop in and fill your heart, mind, & soul with new insights.

Downtown Lanesboro, Minnesota

The latest in trendy fashions arriving daily!

The Antique Lover Buffets, porch beams, trunks, dressers, & more!

Personal Shopping Assistant! Val or her associate will be on hand with fashion tips & tricks!

The Funky! You’ll love the variety of fashions & accessories!

Open at 10 am, 7 days a week• 507-467-2292 • •

Deb’s Brewtopia 106 Cedar Street NW 563-245-3737

Stretching with

Matt Johanningmeier LMT


Great gift idea!

• Improve flexibility & health of the muscles, tendons & ligaments • Stimulate the circulation & drainage of lymph • Help to eliminate metabolic wastes • Help with arthritis pain • Increase range of motion • Reduce muscle spasms • Reduce the risk of muscle strain & tears • Increase muscle performance • Assist in alleviating pain from: headaches, wrists/hands, shoulders/neck, lower back, & legs

DVD Features Each stretch repeated 3 times. Audible alert when stretch is complete. You do each stretch with me. 10 second clock counts you down.

Fire Farm 104 1st St SW 563-245-3515

Detailed close-ups of each stretch. Menu allows you to select one of 36 different stretches that make up the one-hour full body routine.

To purchase or if you’re a retailer who’d like to carry this DVD, contact Matt at 563-880-8886 or

Courtesy Main St. Elkader

If you’re just looking for a little jaunt, when you leave the Tourism Office take the River Walk for a stroll along the river. The path is paved with many resting areas for enjoying the beauty of the river. Once you reach the bottom of the path you have couple options: 1. Continue your hike onto the Pony Hollow Trail, which brings you deeper into nature on an unpaved path. Here you will find cyclists, runners, and even horseback riders enjoying the woods and limestone cliffs. 2. Explore the City Park, featuring a large playground, disc golf course, swimming pool, ball fields, horse barn, picnic shelters, George Maier Rural Heritage Museum, and a fitness trail around the perimeter of the park.


NE Iowa & SW Wisconsin


All you need to know for food ‘n’ fun An online magazine featuring giveaways, the “food ‘n’ fun calendar” and special offers

a journey to the maghreb in the heartland

• amazing food • signature cocktails • connoisseur selection of beers Elkader, Iowa • 563-245-1992 • 40

Spring 2013 /

Wow, there is way more to Elkader than you thought possible, right? Maybe you haven’t tried Fennellys’ Irish Pub yet or taken a Clip Clop Carriage Ride so you’re thinking about extending your stay. There are several places to lie your head – check out the Elkader Lodging Association’s website for all the details (website to follow), but here are a couple of tips: If you’ve got a large party, think about taking the group to the Barn of the Bluff. Their dorm-style spaces are perfect for family reunions and friend getaways. If you’re a party of two, the Elkader Bed and Breakfast, a beautiful Queen Anne Victorian, offers some cozier options for a romantic getaway. We hope to see you in Elkader this spring! Shannon Dallenbach Durbin grew up on a farm just outside the area and always admired the Elkader community. She moved to the town five years ago with her husband, Bryce, and here they are raising their threeyear-old son, Link. Shannon has served many roles in the community from newspaper editor to President of the Sister Cities Friendship Club. She currently is employed at the Clayton County Extension Office as the Program Coordinator.

Turkey River Mall 102 S Main St 563-245-3995 Whimsy Market 115 N Main St 563-920-7681 Find them on Facebook Entertainment: Carter House Museum 101 2nd St SE 563-245-3708 Carnes Brothers Music 125 S Main St 563-245-1901 Elkader Cinema 108 N Main St 563-245-2666 Elkader Opera House 207 N Main St 563-245-2098 Spook Cave 13299 Spook Cave Rd, McGregor 563-873-2144 Motor Mill Galaxy Rd Turkey River Outfitters 456 High Street SE 563-245-3802 Clip Clop Rides

Lodging: elkaderbedandbreakfast. com

General Information:


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Projects: Paper Fortune Tellers! Remember these? So do we! We wish you good fortune this spring!

step-by-step instructions at! Use this page or download the pattern online!


You're super! Sap!

Whether the discovery of sap was a happy (sappy?) accident or not, it has definitely revolutionized breakfast forever. Pure maple syrup is a gift from… well…the maple trees (thanks, trees!).

But just what is sap, and why do we only “tap the sap” in the spring?

Story by Aryn Henning Nichols Amazing photo by Benji Nichols

Sources: 1. 2. 3.


Spring 2013 /


et’s get science-y right away: Xylem and phloem are the transportation systems of vascular plants – ­ water and nutrients in (or up) the xylem cells, and sugars – sap – out (or down and around) the phloem calls. (1) A plant has roots to help it absorb water, but a mature tree’s leaves can be 100 feet above the ground. This is where the xylem is put into action, circulating water and dissolved minerals to the leaves. Also, fun fact: When someone cuts an old tree down, the rings you see – one for every year – are the remains of old xylem tissue (it dies and develops anew each year). (1) But we’re really here to talk about the phloem. Most plants have green leaves, where the photosynthesis happens. Photosynthesis creates sugars – that’s the sap! – that every cell in the plant needs for energy. You can think about sap kind of like a food for the tree and its buds and leaves. The leaves produce sugar during the summer and in the spring, when the tree draws water from the ground, the water and sugar mix inside to create sap, which helps new buds grow. (2) The phloem system transports the sap throughout the plant or tree, and is what brings it to the sap tap in the spring. (1) The sap in sugar maple contains a high concentration of sugar compared to the sap of other trees, which why so many people go to the lengthy process of collecting it and making it into that delicious syrup. But don’t the trees need the sap? Luckily, it has been estimated that tapping removes 10 percent or less of the tree’s sugar, an amount too small to hurt a healthy tree under normal environmental conditions. (3) Also, once the buds and leaves start to open in the spring, most of the sugars have already served their purpose for the trees. (2) So is it sap season only in the spring? Spring is when the temperature fluctuations are just right (in a good sap year, anyway) to create a good flow of sap. Early in the season, when the maple trees are still dormant, temperatures rise above freezing during the day but drop back below freezing at night – this creates a pressure in the tree that causes the sap to flow out through a wound or tap hole. During cooler periods, or at night, when temperatures fall below freezing, suction develops, drawing water into the tree through the roots. This replenishes the sap in the tree, allowing it to flow when it’s warm again. Too hot or too cold temperatures during the short, six-week “sap season” reduces the amount of sap flow and makes for a “bad year” for maple producers in that region. (3) A really good maple tree can produce sap for 100 years, and one healthy tree can produce up to 15 gallons of sap a year. (2) Although Vermont produces most of the nation’s maple syrup, you can check out the process locally at Green’s Sugar Bush (1126 Maple Valley Road, Castalia, Iowa) or see if there’s a sugar bush near you that allows visits!

Aryn Henning Nichols enjoys heading out to her old stomping grounds for pancakes at Greens Sugar Bush in the spring. The line is often long – stretching all the way down the driveway – but that’s often the fun! You stand out in the spring air and chat with the person next to you about nothing or everything. Or the weather – it is the Midwest!

You and up to 35 n of your friends ca travel in style on Holly the Trolley! Perfect for s, weddings, partie e! or m & s, parade en seats • Antique wood & rails s as gl e ag nt • Vi closed en or ir • Open-a ar with front & re . em st sy PA & heat

the Trolley! Meet Holly 563-419-8902 •

Travel by Trolley – Travel in Style

SALES SERVICE PARTS We service all brands.

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Movement for Health & Well-Being Change your life today! Contact Diane Sondrol for more information. 563.419.5420 or Small group and private lessons available, all are welcome! \ Spring 2013


Barrel Aid Raises the Roof (and funds!) with the Alaska String Band!

By Benji Nichols


March 31, 2013 | 7-10 pm T-Bock’s Sports Bar & Grill, Decorah Free will donation


arrel Aid, a non-profit organization that provides barrels of clean, useable shoes to orphans and refugees in Tri-River Haiti, will be partnering with T-Bock’s Sports Bar and Grill and the Alaskan String Band to host a fundraiser on March 31, 2013 from 7 to10 pm. Two years ago Decorah native Nic Zahasky was running a national “Ruckus” obstacle course race when his kids gave him a flash of inspiration that has turned into a calling. After the race, many participants throw away their used, muddy athletic shoes, but Nic’s kids just couldn’t believe it. “The idea was truly my children’s: ‘Why would anyone throw away a truly GOOD

We deliver in Decorah Hearing your baby’s heartbeat and holding your newborn for the first time are just the beginning of life’s greatest joys. From your first prenatal visit, we work closely with you to meet all of your birthing needs, including delivery at Winneshiek Medical Center. Gundersen Lutheran doctors who provide prenatal care and deliver in Decorah, include: • Janet Ryan, MD • Kristy Schilling, MD • Kurt Swanson, DO • Matt Thompson, DO To schedule an appointment, call (563) 382-3140.

Karla Lechtenberg and daughter, Brinley, with Matt Thompson, DO


Spring 2013 /

shoe when someone else could use it? Especially if they had no shoes!’ I’ve just been the hands and feet of that idea since. The kids were the catalyst and they planted the seed for this project.” The process began with Nic and his family collecting and cleaning the shoes in their home in order to ship them in 55 gallon blue plastic barrels (donated by the John Morrell Co.) to orphans in the Tri-River area of Southern Haiti. Not only do the shoes go to students and refugees where the need is extremely urgent, but the blue plastic barrels are also then used to catch and filter water for homes in the region – thus, Barrel Aid. What began as an action idea for the Zahasky family has grown into a full-on non-profit, with 36 barrels sent last year. Barrel Aid already has more than a dozen large-scale obstacle events where they will be collecting shoes in 2013, and the backing of the Dustex Corporation to sponsor laundering them. That’s just the first part of the equation though – freight, shipping (at about $250/barrel), and missions to oversee delivery and distribution in Haiti needing to be covered. At the current time, Zahasky has used this mission as an opportunity to step away from the corporate world and do something fulfilling with his family. That means full time hours and no pay – but Barrel Aid has partnered with the non-profit in order to have the largest impact for supplying clean shoes, fresh water, food, and schooling to the 1,600+ child “The idea was truly my refugees in the Tri-River area. And until Barrel Aid’s children’s: ‘Why would 501C3 status is approved, Mission-Haiti also acts as a fiscal sponsor for tax-deductible donations. They anyone throw away a truly have also partnered with larger, similar non-profits GOOD shoe when someone like Green Sneakers and Terra Cycle to insure that else could use it? Especially shoes outside of the needed sizes for Tri River, Haiti, if they had no shoes!’ go other locations in need, or are recycled to other projects. In order to support Barrel Aid while further full time sponsors are found, Zahasky has started organizing fundraising efforts across the upper Midwest. It just so turns out that Nic’s aunt and uncle (Decorah native Paul and his wife Melissa Zahasky) are interested in helping out the cause. For the past several years Paul, Melissa, and their three kids Laura, Quinn, and Abigail have been traversing the US playing their unique blend of bluegrass and string music. Based in Juneau, Alaska, the group often uses Decorah (where Paul’s folks still live) as their ‘lower 48 home base’ while on tour. The Alaska String Band will be in Decorah in late March and will partner up with Nic and his family to create an extremely fun and purposeful evening to benefit Barrel Aid. The benefit will be held at T-Bock’s Sports Bar and Grill in downtown Decorah from 7 to 10 pm on Sunday, March 31. Being Easter Sunday, T-Bock’s kitchen will not be serving, but a cash bar will be available. Nic and his wife, Kara, will be on hand to talk about Barrel Aid and opportunities to donate to the organization. The Alaska String Band will offer up their favorite bluegrass, swing, old time, gospel, blues, and jazz favorites while entertaining the audience with a few tales from Alaska. (Learn about the Alaska String Band at For more information or to donate directly to Barrel Aid visit, email Nic at, or call 563-419-7465. Donations in the form of checks for the event and Barrel Aid can also be sent to: Barrel Aid, 4720 S. Vista Park Ave., Sioux Falls, SD 57106.


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Spring 2013 /

Pizza! Pizza! Pizza! Now that the far-reaching tendrils of winter are slowly dissipating, once again my thoughts have turned to embracing the ethereal freshness and beauty of spring. The great outdoors in Northeast Iowa begin to come alive as walnut trees bud, jack-in-the-pulpits emerge from the earth, and Dutchman’s breeches abound throughout the woods. A walk in the forest at this time of year is as refreshing as spring itself, and a couple hours of communing with nature can nurture thoughts of cooking in the open air or, as they say in Australia, make you want to “Light up the barby!” A few years ago I was experimenting with different pizza ideas. One day I was heating up our new outside gas barbeque grill and noticed the temperature gauge was reading on the plus side of 800 degrees. A light bulb switched on inside this Irishman’s head. “Wait a minute, I bet I could cook a pizza in this grill”. This ended up being a procedure of trial and error. I first started with a flat 12-inch round metal pan. I dusted it with cornmeal (semolina flour will work here as well). I rolled out the dough, fit it to the pan and covered it with my favorite toppings. “OK, here we go,” I thought. Out on the grate of my preheated grill, eight minutes later the

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crust is perfectly browned and crispy. The toppings are a different matter, however. The cheese has barely melted and the sauce is lukewarm. This method was not going to win a blue ribbon at the county fair, for sure. It was not even going to make it to the dining room table. All right, it was back to the drawing board – a little Irish ingenuity was needed to rescue this operation. I found a couple of brick pavers and placed them on edge on the grate. I have used regular bricks also. It just so happened that I also had a 12-inch round pizza stone. I placed that on the bricks and cranked up the heat. I didn’t have a pizza peel, so I punted and used my metal pan to slip the pizza onto the stone. Wrong! I couldn’t get the pizza to slide off the pan. It just ended up being an Irish catastrophe. Well, I guess third time was the charm. Next pizza was made on the metal pan and placed on the pizza stone. Close the lid four minutes. By this time the crust had firmed up enough that I could move it off the metal pan unto the stone. Four minutes later, we had a perfectly browned pie with a browned and crispy crust. The pizza gods smiled and we have been making pizza on the grill that way ever since. Last August, my lovely wife, Brenda, and this shanty Irishman were invited to participate in a birthday party for our good friends, Jack and Sheryl, who live in rural Mansfield, Connecticut. We arrived a couple of days early, joining a motley crew of characters from France, Florida, and right across the road. A party of epic proportions had been planned. Food, drink, and general debauchery was on the agenda. Ok, I lied. There was to be no debauchery. A \ Spring 2013


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pre-party work gang spent two days erecting tents, setting up various games, and filling up small plastic swimming pools with ice to chill down enough beer, wine, and soft drinks to float the Queen Mary the Second. And, of course, we made copious amounts of food. Game day arrived and an international tag team of chefs was assigned to man the BBQ grills. Bernard (FRANCE) and myself (USA). “Mon Dieu!” Bernard exclaimed after we sweated over the fiery burners, cooking chicken and sausages for two hours in the sweltering 95+ degree heat. We hung up our tongs, grabbed a couple of cold ones, and proceeded into the fray of celebratory humanity. Jack and Sheryl truly showed us that life really does begin at 60. The next day, after an extensive post-party cleanup Jim (left) and Bernard. and tear down, we determined that a run to the grocery store to re-supply was in order. Since pizza on the grill was on the evening agenda, there were a few items to procure for that as well. We cheated and nabbed some freshly made pizza dough. Sheryl came up with a couple of jars of marinara sauce. She said, “It’s a little more pricey but I really like this stuff”. Some fresh mozzarella and we were good to go. Back home, I went out to our hosts’ stupendous gardens and handpicked some fresh ripe tomatoes and basil. We had some hard chorizo left over from the previous night’s festivities to round out the mix. Woo! Woo! When I had first started firing up pizzas on the grill this way, my co-worker at the time, Jeff Martin, had a charcoal grill and decided to try making pizza on it as well. It worked fine but took about 20 minutes to come to perfection. I thought I would give it a try since Jack and Sheryl had both a gas and a charcoal grill. Wrong! The charcoal grill did not work out fine. Our pizza stone broke in half. (I’m going to have to have a little talk with Jeff on this.) So now we were down to one grill and a lot of hungry people. We had to eat in turns. One slice at a time. A couple of pizzas later, I had my first slice. OMG! We had just grabbed the brass ring at the county fair! The combination of marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil scored a perfect 10. The chorizo added a complexity that just absolutely made it the perfect pie. I relish this dining experience fondly. So fondly that I called Sheryl up the other day and asked her who made the sauce. “Rao’s” she replied. A little research on the Internet led me to Rao’s website where you can buy 12 28-ounce jars for about a hundred bucks plus shipping. Sheryl, I guess it is a little pricey! Rao’s, over 100 years old and still going strong, is one of the most famous restaurants in New York City. The marinara sauce is one of their top recipes – it has survived over a century! – and is included in their great cookbook, Rao’s Cookbook. I’ve adapted the recipe below so you, too, can have your own slice of heaven. Enjoy!

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Spring 2013 /

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



2 - 28 ounce cans imported Italian Plum tomatoes with basil (Preferably San Marzano) 2 cloves garlic, minced Salt to taste 6 leaves fresh basil, torn 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil Pinch dried oregano 3 Tablespoons minced onion Black pepper to taste

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1. Remove tomatoes from the can, reserving juice. Using your hands, crush the tomatoes, gently remove and discard the hard core stem end, and remove and discard any skin and tough membrane. Set aside. 2. Put oil in a large non-reactive saucepan over medium low heat. Add onion. Sauté for three minutes or until translucent. Stir in garlic for 30 seconds. Do not burn. Stir in tomatoes, reserved juice, and salt. Bring a boil and reduce heat to a very low simmer. Cook for about an hour until sauce is slightly thickened. Stir once in a while. Add basil, oregano, and pepper and cook for an additional minute.

Decorah, Iowa

Note: This is an adaptation from Rao’s Cookbook. I was able to acquire San Marzano tomatoes to try this recipe, but I think a good quality California tomato would probably work as well.

JIM’S PIZZA DOUGH 1 1/4 package package dry yeast 1 1/3 cups 95 degree water 4 cups sifted all purpose white flour 4 Tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon salt Cornmeal for dusting pizza pan Dissolve yeast in water in a large bowl until bubbly. Add flour, oil, and salt. Mix and knead on a floured counter for 10 minutes. Add a little flour if sticky. Place in a large oiled bowl and let rise until doubled (about 1 1/2 to 2 hours). Punch down and let rise again. Divide dough in half and roll into a 12-inch circle. Dust 12-inch pizza pan with cornmeal and go to town with any ingredients your heart desires. Note: This is an adaptation of my recipe in Midwest Cornfusion.

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Clifford Julian Smorstad, 94, combines hard work, fun, & family for a great life Probituary: a notice of life! | Interview by daughter Darlene Emery

CLIFFORD SMORSTAD was born in rural Decorah in 1918 and grew up near Frankville and then on the family farm in Glenwood township. After attending country schools, he was well known for decades for his portable sawmill and could be seen for many years at the Mabel / Hesper Steam Engine Days sawing timber (Clifford’s son, Dean, has kept the tradition going!). Clifford still has a love for all things Norwegian (and a few polka tunes), as well as his family – especially his grand and great grand children! What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you? Be to work on time and do the best job you can. As soon as I was old enough, I started helping with chores around the farm. I remember plowing with horses and sometimes the weather could get cold before we got all of our fieldwork done. Not only did I do chores when younger, I also helped my mother in the kitchen and learned to cook ­– and still love to cook! What did you want to be when you grew up? As a little boy I was always fascinated by airplanes – either flying them or being an airplane mechanic, but never took it beyond a dream… What do/did you do? I started a business sawing lumber for farmers with a portable sawmill. I felt that as long as the trees grew there’d be a good business in sawing. I usually operated within a 100-mile radius of Decorah. I used a 75 horsepower tractor to pull the sawmill from farm to farm and to provide power for the sawmill. I really enjoyed sawing lumber and it was even better to see that the lumber was used to repair or build different buildings on the farm. I also had a land improvement business. This involved building ponds, terraces, and waterways, clearing of brush and trees. Also traveling farm to farm, I had the opportunity to enjoy many great meals and meet many great people. My true love is sawing lumber and since I can’t do it anymore I can now enjoy seeing my son, Dean, sawing lumber at Mabel Steam Engine Days and having family be a part of it. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you? Someone to talk Norwegian with, my sawmill and tractor, polka music and a dance partner! Try to describe yourself in one sentence. Hard working Norwegian who loved to dance and have fun. If you could eat anything every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? Potatoes, Ludefisk, and Lefse!

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Name one thing you could not live without. Eyes – being able to look outside or be outside and being able to see my family, grand children, and great grandchildren. Tell us about your favorite memory. When I first started sawing, I bought a stationary sawmill that needed repair, fixed it, and sawed with it. Another great memory is my trip to Norway and Germany with my wife Hazel – seeing the pretty countryside and visiting homesteads.


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Spring 2013 /

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