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NO. 32 • WINTER 2012



High Fives!


Like Inspire(d) Media on Facebook! XOXO

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Downtown La Crosse, WI at 4th and Cameron Streets

WINTER 2012-13 contents


pg 16


10 14 16 23 25 32 36 40 42 46 50

...and more! ON THE COVER: The Benji and Aryn cover-photo-takin’ duo were at it again this issue, putting up balloons and streamers to celebrate five years, and to give High Fives to positive area organizations, and of course, High Fives to fellow entrepreneurs celebrating anniversaries and High Fives to you, dear readers, for enjoying Inspire(d) Magazine!

pg 42

Photo by Aryn Henning Nichols. theinspiredmedia.com \ WInter 2012-13


Peace, joy, and art.


Warm someone’s winter with a Center Stage Series gift certificate!


Center Stage Series Coming this winter... 2/15/2013 • As You Like It

Tickets on sale Thursday, January 17

2/21/2013 • Cirque Ziva

Tickets on sale Thursday, January 31 Sponsored by Decorah Bank and Trust

3/05/2013 • First Person: Seeing America

Tickets on sale Thursday, February 7

3/15/2013 • The Hot Club of San Francisco

Tickets on sale Thursday, February 21

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

Get your tickets and gifts now! www.boxoffice.luther.edu, (563) 387-1357, boxoffice@luther.edu Complete show list: www.centerstage.luther.edu Special thanks to all our Center Stage Series sponsors and media supporters for lifting up the arts in northeast Iowa: Luther College Diversity Council

From the Editor

Inspire magazine

We did it! Our first magazine with baby in-tow. Boy. That was hard! Just another day in the life of Being Your Own Boss – there are always new challenges to meet and new milestones to celebrate – but no matter what, we think it’s the best job ever. We know lots of other self-employed folks who think their job is the best one ever too, and still more people who wonder “How could I ever do that?” So we asked eight regional business owners – all celebrating milestone anniversaries – “How did you do it?” “What were your fears?” What were your successes?” It was great to hear their stories and advice, and we hope it inspires you to make 2013 the year you jump in and make your dream a reality. Inspire(d) celebrated five years in 2012, and we couldn’t be more grateful for the gumption/naïveté that allowed us to take the leap into this business of magazine making. My biggest fear, I think, was having the final product – the magazine – be something I wasn’t proud of…not what I had envisioned. And it wasn’t perfect at first and still isn’t. But when people I’ve never met before tell me how much they love Inspire(d), when we get just a hundred magazines back out of the 15,000 we print, and we’re able to both stay at home with our daughter while we work, I think, “Yes! Success!” And I’m definitely proud. In honor of those five years, we’re dedicating this issue to the number five. Five Science-y Reasons to Love Winter. Milestone anniversary features in increments of five. And, for our paper equivalent of a High Five!, we’re featuring five organizations in the region that we think you should support or know more about. To sweeten the deal, we’re donating $5 of every new membership (which includes a free Inspire(d) subscription) to the High Five of your choosing. See page 24 for details – and remember: Inspire(d) makes a great holiday gift! We’ve got lots of other great stuff throughout this issue as well – from Chicken Noodle Soup in Jim McCaffrey’s Mississippi Mirth column to La Crosse’s Grand River Singers upcoming reality television show on VH1 written by Inspire(d) newcomer Rachel MacFarland. Sonya Luse Geenen is heartily welcomed back to our pages as she shares her hometown(s) in this Boxed (IN): Quad Cities. Chef on the Block takes us farther north to Rochester and Zzest Café and Market, and our artist feature sits right at home in Decorah as Sara Friedl-Putnum tells woodworker Paul Bauhs’s tale. We also featured tons of great art events happening this winter – including the fourth annual Oneota Film Festival and Driftless Art Collective’s upcoming Brainstorming party – ­ ‘cause you know you have to get out of the house sometime! We hope you have the most wonderful holiday season filled with happiness and love and baby giggles if you can find them. That’s what we’re planning to do. Happy holidays. Happy New Year. Happy. Looking forward, and so much love,

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

We couldn’t do it without: Sara Friedl-Putnam/ contributor Sonya Luse Geenen/ contributor Rachel MacFarland/ contributor Joyce Meyer/ photography contributor Jim McCaffrey/ Mississippi Mirth

Inspire(d) Magazine is published quarterly by Inspire(d) Media, LLC, 412 Oak Street, Decorah, Iowa, 52101. This issue is dated Winter 2012-13, number 32, volume 5, Copyright 2012-13 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 aryn@theinspiredmedia.com for a membership or visit theinspiremedia.com for more info.

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

Visit our website: theinspiredmedia.com Aryn Henning Nichols (and Benji and Roxie too)

“Like” Inspire(d) Media on Facebook! 05

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

Do you use Decorah Bank online? It’s amazing! I know! No missed payments, paperless statements, easy transfers. I love ‘em!

Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow.



inspire & create

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

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

www.arthausdecorah.org arthaus508@gmail.com or chaotic- whether you are looking for help or looking to help others, we are here to serve you. end domestic violence and child abuse ● build healthy families, friendships, and relationships ● reinforce positive decisionmaking about alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use

Open Now - Dec 25 Thursdays - Sundays and daily Dec 13-25. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Pulpit Rock Campground Freewill Donation


Custom Buffalo Moccasins Leather & Shoe Repair Purses • Zippers • Jackets

Tony Derouin Belinda Greenwood 563-382-6201 479-253-2277


Handcrafted Leather Goods Jackets • Belts • Purses • Art



2. Dec. 4: Trails From Freeport (TFF) Holiday Wine & Beer Tasting Fundraiser. Taste 60+ wines and beers, hors d’oeuvres, live and silent auction. Rubaiyat, Decorah, 5-8 pm, $25 3. Dec. 13: HSNEIA Holiday Lights Magical Nights open every night until Christmas! Visit Santa, take in the amazing displays, and sign up for giveaways. More info: www.helpingservices.org 4. Dec. 22: Bring in the holidays with the Burning Bright Community Benefit Concert, 5 & 7:30 pm, First United Methodist Church, 302 W. Broadway, Decorah.

25W/ $25B

5. Now through April 28: The exhibition “A Sense of Place: A Carl Homstad Retrospective” includes more than 60 woodcuts, etchings, drawings, watercolors, and oil paintings by the local artist. www.vesterheim.org

Whether your life seems put together

1. Give the gift of Inspire(d)! Four issues mailed to any address in the US for just $25! Find details online at theinspiredmedia.com/subscribe

Winter 2012-13 / theinspiredmedia.com

6. Jan. 8: Emmylou Harris plays her only show in the region at the intimate Englert Theater in Iowa City, Tuesday, January 8 at 8 pm. Tickets: www.englert. org or 319-688-2653 7. Jan. 17: New Minowa Players presents ‘Alice in Wonderland’, January 17-19 at 7 pm, January 20 at 2pm, January 25 at 7pm, January 26 at 2 pm & 7 pm at the NMP Theatre. More info 563-379-5738. 8. Jan. 18-20: Fourth Annual Oneota Film Festival! Warm up with world-class independent documentary films and more. Schedules, local info, and more: oneotafilmfestival.com

Submit your calendar event for the 25 Words $25 Bucks section at theinspiredmedia.com and reach our more than 10,000 readers!



Dec. 2 Charlie Parr Ed’s No Name Bar, Winona




Trails From Freeport Benefit Wine & Beer tasting, Rubaiyat, Decorah 5-8pm 2




T-Bocks Open Stage Night featuring Gabriel Andreas














Dec. 19-20 String Ties, Pump House, La Crosse




Benefit Concert, United Methodist Church, Decorah, 5&7pm

Burning Bright




Joe & Vicki Price, Safe House Saloon, Lansing, IA


DECEMBER 21: - Holiday Singalong with Dan Chouinard, St. Mane Theatre, Lanesboro, 7:30pm - Miracle on 34th Street the Musical, GBPAC, UNI Cedar Falls, 7:30pm - Pistol Whipping Party Penguins, Haymarket



Josh Turner, Chastity Brown, Joe & Vicki La Crosse Cntr, Some Sum Price, JR’s, 7:30pm Studio, Winona Farmersburg Hobo Nephews, Ed’s, Winona Holiday Lights Magical Nights Greg Brown, Open through Christmas! Pulpit The Mill, Rock Campground, Decorah Iowa City

5 “A Sense of Place: A Carl Homstad Retrospective” On exhibit through April, Vesterheim Museum, Decorah

HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE!!! - Galactic Cowboy Orchestra, Elks Lodge, Decorah - Moondawg and Manfort, Ed’s No Name, Winona - Ken Kilian Orchestra, Hotel Julien, Dubuque - King of the Tramps, Byron’s, Pomeroy, IA

5... 4... 3... 2... 1...


Dec. 26-28 – Mt. LeKid Climbing Wall open, La Crosse Children’s Museum, 11am-3pm Rest Up For Firkin Friday, Next Year! Leave Toppling Goliath Merry Christmas cookies Mike McAbee, Decorah from Inspire(d)! & Hideaway, carrots Joe & Vicki Price, Chaseburg, WI Joe & Vicki Price, out... Norski’s, Spring Grove 7pm T-bocks, Decorah


Andrew Bird, State Fareed Theatre, Haque & MSP Math Games, Byron’s, Pomeroy, IA



“Have YourDECEMBER 7: - People Brothers Band, T-Bocks, Decorah self a Halfway Decent - Gospel Gossip, Ed’s No Name, Winona Christmas”, - General B & The Wiz, Club Pyramid St. Mane, - Ellis Paul, CSPS, Cedar Rapids, 8pm Lanesboro, 7:30pm 21st Annual Mike McAbee, Decorah Holiday Joe & Vicki Price, Horseshoe, Parade, 6pm Goodfellas, Calmar, 8pm


The Luren Singers “Sing for Joy at Christmas” National Elkader Opera House, 3pm Hot Cocoa Cherish Day!!! the Ladies, GBPAC, UNI “Cutting Edge” mosaics by Barbara Keith, 3 Cedar Falls, Through Dec. 22, Lanesboro Arts Center 7:30pm


Irish Christmas in America, CSPS, Cedar Rapids, 7pm


Lanesboro 2 Christmas Inn Tour, Lanesboro

Dec 1-2 1 Norwegian Christmas, Vesterheim, 10am-4pm

Absolute Hoot, 1 Give the gift of Inspire(d)! See our 25 Words/$25 listing for info. Haymarket



fun stuff to do




T-Bocks Open Stage Night featuring Tat Thompson, Decorah


Jan. 19-20 STOMP, GBPAC, UNI Cedar Falls


Kelly Joe Phelps, CSPS . Cedar Rapids, 7pm












Iowa Bike Summit Expo & RAGRAI Route Party, IA Expo Center, Des Moines


Jan 18-20: Oneota Film Festival (OFF!), Decorah


Hank & My Honky Tonk Heroes, Mayo Michelle Lynn, Civic Center, Four Daughters Winery, Spring Rochester Valley, MN Mike McAbee, 4:30pm Eagles, Iowa City, 7:30pm

Joe & Vicki Price, Ed’s No Name, Winona

Jan 17-26 - New Minowa Players present “Alice in Wonderland”

January 23-27 – Frozen River Film Festival, Winona, MN





Garnet Rogers, Celtic Junction, St. Paul


La Crosse YMCA New Year’s Resolution 5K Run, 8am



Dark Star Orchestra, First Ave, Minneapolis


Visit theinspiredmedia.com today! See what’s happening on our Facebook!

The Accidental Hero, Page Theatre, SMU, Winona 2pm and 6:30pm


Firkin Friday, Erin McKeown, Toppling Cedar Cultural, Goliath, MSP, 8pm Jan. 25: Apollo Cobra, Ed’s No Name, Bar Winona


Blackberry Smoke, Varsity Theater, Minneapolis

3 Mike McAbee, Horseshoe, Calmar, 9pm


JANUARY 18 - Pieta Brown, CSPS, Cedar Rapids - Foreigner, Treasure Island Casino, Red Wing


6 Emmylou Harris, Englert Theater, IA City


Give Your Neighbor A High Five! ...just because...


Birth of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)



“The Photography of Jim Brandenburg” and “The Art of Rockwell Kent” continue through winter, Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Winona.





“The Sami Reindeer People of Alaska” continues through 2013 at Vesterheim, Decorah

Happy New Year!

Welcome 2013!




fun stuff to do


Tuesday Wednesday




T-Bocks Open Stage featuring Erik Sessions & John Goodin

Townsend Flea Market, Mayo Civic Center, Rochester









21 15



March 5 First Person: Seeing America, LC Center Stage Series


ArtHaus Poetry Cirque Ziva, LC Slam, Elks, 8pm Red Baraat, Center Stage Cedar Cultural Series, 7:30pm Firkin Friday, Center, Toppling Minneapolis Goliath, Decorah



Byron’s, Pomeroy, IA

2 - Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, Mayo Civic Center COMING UP 8 - Justin Hines, GBPAC, UNI Cedar Falls IN MARCH: 15 - “Photography by C. Glendenning: The Deadliest Catch”, opens 3/15, MN Marine Art Museum, Winona 15 – The Hot Club of San Francisco, LC Center Stage Series




Joe & Vicki Price,

14 13 15 Happy Valentines As You Like It, Day! LC Center Stage Series, 7:30pm

Keller Williams, Englert Theater, Iowa City

The Hornheads, John Paulson Big Band, Page Theatre, SMU Winona



La Crosse YMCA Heart Throb 5K, 8am Feb. 7-9 SocialICE, Peace Plaza, Rochester Feb. 8-9 The Second City, Englert Theatre, IA City Feb. 8-10 West Side Story, GBPAC, Cedar Falls


ArtHaus First 9 Friday, New Art by Zoe Klosterboer, 7-9pm

12 Feb. 8 WSMS: Jazz Caravan Steyer Opera House, 7:30pm Lady Gaga, Xcel Center, St. Paul


10 2 Barnelopet Kids Ski/Walk Event, Decorah Prairie 10AM 11 Feb 2: Brainstorm Party!, Decorah Elks The Mustache Ed’s, Winona Haymarket FLUX, Rochester Art Center, 9pm Groundhog Day!

The Gruffalo, Page Theatre, SMU Winona, 6:30pm

Vusi Mahlasela, CSPS, Cedar Rapids 7pm

Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras!


Feb 6 -10 “Rockwell Kent in Winona”, Centennial Celebration

Feb 26-27 Circus Oz, GBPAC, UNI Cedar Falls


Washington’s Birthday / Presidents Day


Runa, CSPS, Cedar Rapids, 7pm

Happy Chinese New Year!


Meg Hutchinson, CSPS, Cedar Rapids, 7pm


“A Sense of Place: A Carl Homstad Retrospective” On exhibit through April, Vesterheim Museum, Decorah 5

“Canadian Canvases” runs through 3/22 at the MN Marine Art Museum, Winona

Feb. 1-2 Westby Snowflake Ski Jump Tournament, Westby, WI




fun stuff to do

25W/ $25B












Inspire(d) World’s Greatest Party


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



Questions? Email benji@theinspiredmedia.com

(Direct link: theinspiredmedia.com/?p=1132)

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 theinspiredmedia.com 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 winter activities! In chronological order, each event’s number coincides with the number on the calendar!

9. Feb. 1: ArtHaus First Friday! New Artwork by Zoe Klosterboer, 7-9 pm, ArtHaus and ArtHaus Studio, Decorah - Free! More info: www.arthausdecorah.org 10. Feb. 2: Vesterheim and Sons of Norway Barnelopet a noncompetitive ski/walk event at the Decorah Prairie for children ages 3-13. Registration at 10, bring your own skis. 11. Feb. 2: D.Art Co Brainstorm Party! Come make Brainy stuff, Eat Brainy stuff, and share your ideas for shaping YOUR regional arts council. It’s gonna be fun! Decorah Elk’s Lodge, 7-10 pm. dartco.org

25W/ $25B

12. Feb. 8: WSMS: Jazz Caravan. New Orleans, Chicago, Cuba, Rio de Janeiro, A journey through Jazz with Luther students & faculty. 7:30 pm, Steyer Opera House, $5. www.wsmsdecorah.org 13. Feb. 15: The Luther College Center Stage Series and The Acting Company presents William Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”, 7:30 pm, CFL, Luther College, Decorah. www.luther.edu/programming or (563) 387-1537 14. Feb. 21: The Luther College Center Stage Series presents “Cirque Ziva”, a high paced show of traditional Chinese Acrobatics. 7:30 pm, CFL, Luther College Decorah. www.luther.edu/programming or 563-387-1537 15. Feb. 22: ArtHaus Poetry Slam, Decorah Elks Lodge, 8 pm; $5/$3 students. Featured Artist Nancy Barry. This event is sponsored by Dragonfly Books. More info: www. arthausdecorah.org

DO YOU LOVE INSPIRE(D)? Help support us! Become a member of our family, or give us to one of your family members (aka give them the gift of Inspire(d) - maybe this holiday season.)! When you become a member (just $25!), you get Inspire(d) Driftless Magazine sent to your door for one year for FREE! Go to theinspiredmedia.com, click on “Become a Member”, and check out with PayPal. It’s that easy! Thank you for your support these past FIVE years! You inspire us.


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Serving refined comfort foods in a contemporary setting


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

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2013 Catalog available in December

Call, go online, or stop at the Visitors Center

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Show Business is Snow Business

STOMP Saturday & Sunday, January 19-20, 2013 Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, Cedar Falls www.gbpac.org Since 1991, STOMP has thrilled audiences with its trashcan aesthetics, driving beats, and captivating choreography. Created in the UK, STOMP has brought their brand of performance art to stages around the world many times over, and continues to play steady on Broadway and beyond. Don’t miss the chance to catch this show when it comes through Cedar Falls this January – and take the whole family. But don’t blame us if your silverware, pots and pans, and garbage cans never look the same!

The Second City Friday & Saturday, February 8-9, 2013 Englert Theatre, Iowa City www.englert.org Chances are, you like to laugh. Yes? Well, here at Inspire(d), we’re all about finding as many reasons to laugh as possible, and The Second City delivers. For over 50 years, The Second City has been putting audiences into hysterics with sketch and improv comedy routines. These days, the joke empire operates comedy cabarets in Chicago (the original), and Toronto, plus comedy training centers, and a small army of touring ensembles. With an alumni cast list that includes John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, Martin Short, John Candy, Tina Fey, Mike Myers, and many more, you can see that the business of being funny is indeed a laughing matter. Spend a wintry February evening in downtown Iowa City at the beautifully restored Englert Theatre – because everyone needs a laugh in the middle of an Iowa Winter!

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 www.luther.edu/theatre 10

Winter 2012-13 / theinspiredmedia.com

Head inside for some great shows in the Driftless Region this winter! 120 WASHINGTON ST, DECORAH, IOWA


Lunch & dinner Monday - Saturday • 563-382-3067 Pictured: Cirque Ziva

West Side Story Friday-Sunday, February 8-10, 2013 Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, Cedar Falls www.gbpac.org Sharks, Jets, Tony, Maria, snapping – you know it, you love it! The upper west side of 1950s NYC comes alive on the stage as this classic feud between Jets and Sharks elevates into a modernized version of Romeo and Juliet. With Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics and Leonard Bernstein’s music, songs like “I Feel Pretty”, “Somewhere”, “Maria”, and “America” are bound to strike a chord again and again in your head – and heart! Enjoy one of the five performances of this American classic at GBPAC February 8-10, including Saturday and Sunday matinees. As You Like It Friday, February 15, 2013 Luther College Center for Faith and Life www.luther.edu/programming William Shakespeare’s fairy tale world in “As You Like It” comes alive as the famed The Acting Company performs this masterpiece at Luther College’s CFL February 15. This classic comedy unfolds the story of secret lovers Rosalind and Orlando, who are forced to run for their lives into the Forest of Arden – where they find themselves entangled in a game of love, lust, and mistaken identity. Founded in 1972 with the first graduating class of Juilliard’s Drama Division, The Acting Company has performed 136 productions for over 3 million people across the world. Their alumni roots run deep, with rich successes throughout the acting world. The New York Times calls them “the major touring classical theatre in the United States.” The Acting Company opens this production of “As You Like It” at the Guthrie Theatre in St. Paul this winter, and comes directly to the Luther College Center Stage Series from there – exciting! Don’t miss this exceptional evening of theater, and remember: All the world’s a stage this winter!

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303 W. Water Street Decorah, Iowa 563.382.4941 theinspiredmedia.com \ Winter 2012-13


Cirque Ziva Thursday, February 21, 2013 Luther College Center for Faith and Life www.luther.edu/programming Danny Chang and the Golden Dragon Acrobats have been creating awe-inspiring shows featuring the centuries-old art form of Chinese Acrobatics for over 30 years. Cirque Ziva is his latest creation, along with choreographer Angela Chang, to tour the US in 2013 and promises to be a vivid and


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Winter 2012-13 / theinspiredmedia.com

dazzling display of juggling hats, balancing cups, spinning plates, and breathtaking acrobatics. The program sets ancient and contemporary music to a mix of choreography and acts that make a fast-paced, energetic show that leaves audience members of all ages amazed. The Washington Post gives accolades to Cirque Ziva saying that “There is a precision and beauty about everything these performers do.” Save the date and make plans to bring the whole family to this spellbinding performance. Make it an even more memorable evening by enjoying a special meal before the show with the Center Stage Dinner Series, which offers a three-course Asian meal just before the show. Find details when you purchase tickets for the show! First Person: Seeing America Tuesday, March 5, 2013 Luther College Center for Faith and Life www.luther.edu/programming Watch history come alive this winter at the innovative and exciting “First Person: Seeing America.” Through the creative partnership of Ensemble Galilei, projected images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and historical narratives read by actress Lily Knight and actor Rob Nagle, audience-goers get a unique view of America’s past. Over the past two decades, Ensemble Galilei has pushed the chamber music envelope, often collaborating to explore combinations of images, words, and music. With projects ranging from images of the Hubble Space Telescope, to journeys with National Geographic, Ensemble Galilei now looks to home. Some of America’s finest photographers, poets, and writers come together to present “First Person: Seeing America.” The show draws upon the photography collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art – photographs by Walker Evans, Edward Curtis, Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, Helen Levitt, and more – projected in large format, and accompanies them with the words of Jim Harrison, Dexter Filkins, James Agee, Frederick Douglass, Calamity Jane, and more. Pair that with the evocative music of Ensemble Galilei – traditional music from Scotland, Ireland and Sweden with fiddles, harp, viola da gamba, percussion, banjo, whistles, and oboe – and you’ve got one interesting performance. See the haunted faces of rural Americans as they struggle to survive the Dust Bowl, indelible Photo attribution: portraits of Native Americans, and the Walker Evans (American, 1903– events that shaped a nation show forth 1975), Alabama Tenant Farmer, – the Civil War, the Great Depression, 1936. Gelatin silver print, 23.6 x 18.7 cm (9 5/16 x 7 3/8 in.). The and the immigrant experience – in a whole new light. The gritty determination Metropolitan Museum of Art, New of extraordinary people in a magnificent York, Purchase, Jennifer and Joseph Duke Gift, 2000 (2000.329) © Walker land is portrayed, and this is what those Evans Archive, The Metropolitan people saw – First Person: Seeing Museum of Art. America.


PERFORMING ARTS CENTER University of Northern Iowa


Friday, February 8 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, February 9 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

www.gbpac.org SPONSORED BY

Sunday, February 10 1:00 & 6:30 p.m.


You're super! Photo by Joyce Meyer Story compiled by Aryn Henning Nichols


Winter 2012-13 / theinspiredmedia.com


1. You can walk on water When temps get to 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, the lakes, streams, and rivers in the area start to freeze. That means that – once the appropriate thickness is achieved – you can walk on water (<-- ‘cause it’s ice). How thick does the ice need to be? Well, new, clear, solid ice needs to be four inches thick before you can walk on it, and white ice, sometimes called “snow ice,” is only about half as strong as new clear ice, so the thickness there should be – you got it: eight inches. But many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe, so no matter what, you should always check the ice first – learn how here: www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/ice/thickness. html

2. The sky literally falls Snow is really just clouds falling from the sky. Because clouds are really just floating water. (You can see last winter’s Science You’re Super: SNOW! at theinspiredmedia.com for details on snow and how it works). But do you know just how big snowflakes can get? The largest snowflake recorded in the Guinness World Book of Records fell on January 28, 1887, in Ft. Keogh, Montana. It was 15 inches across and 8 inches thick! The runner up was one that fell in Bratsk, Siberia, almost a hundred years later in 1971 – but it was a mere 8 by 12 inches. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowflake

3. Snowmen/Snow forts/Snow angels/Snow balls Because it stays cold enough for water vapor to freeze and fall, but not always warm enough for it to melt once it hits the ground, we’re able to make fun stuff with all that white stuff! C’mon. Don’t forget just how great it is to get all bundled up and head outside to play in that winter wonderland. maps.howstuffworks.com/united-stateswinter-temperatures-map.htm

4. The stars are brighter Well, they SEEM brighter, anyway. From the Northern Hemisphere in the winter we’re looking toward many less stars than in the summer.The hazy quality of the summer sky is caused by the combined light of billions of stars in the direction of the Milky Way’s center. In winter, we’re looking less directly into the galaxy, the winter stars tend to be closer to us, and there are also some really big stars located in this direction. So we’re seeing fewer stars, but are looking more deeply into the space beyond the Milky Way, making the winter sky seems sharp and clear compared to a summer sky! earthsky.org/space/star-seasonal-appearancebrightness

5. You burn more calories Okay, it’s a negligible amount, and you don’t want to spend your whole day shivering, but if you’re cold enough to shiver you’re actually burning a few extra calories as your body works to keep warm. Unfortunately, exercising in the cold doesn’t really make you max out the burn any more – your body, when it’s worked up during a good jog, ski, hike, does a good job of keeping you warm . www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/16/calories-coldweather_n_1096331.html

Gear up. Stormy Kromer • New Balance Smart Wool • Patagonia Exofficio • Buff • Marmot

Be active.

THE HATCHERY 406 W. Water St, Downtown Decorah • 563-382-4103 www.decorahhatchery.com

Stay warm!

With Hatchery hats, mitts, & gloves! Don’t be a chicken ... get out there! Home of the ‘Quality

Chick’ T-SHIRT

WORLD FAMOUS GEAR – SMALL TOWN CHARM theinspiredmedia.com \ Winter 2012-13






Winter 2012-13 / theinspiredmedia.com

Decorah native/Quad City transplant Sonya Luse Geenen helps you Choose Your Own Adventure!



t’s cold. It’s windy, or sleeting, or snowing, or raining – or all of it at once – and while we can be thankful for the moisture our sleeping gardens are getting, our bundled up bodies need a break! “Who? Me?” you ask. Yes, you! You need a weekend away… some time to explore a new area, eat good food, and find tasty brews, ‘cause then – just like that – the cold doesn’t seem so bone chilling, and you’ll quite possibly be ready to weather a few more weeks (or months) of that weather.

Since moving to the Quad Cities a couple of years ago, I’ve been having a great time exploring the area. It’s just a short drive from the Driftless Region, so come see why those creative geniuses at Raygun emblazoned upon a shirt “The Quad Cities: Twice As Nice As The Twin Cities”. Weekends can be oh-so-different depending on who you’re with. It might be you and the girls or guys, could be you and the kiddos, or maybe you and your sweetums, but however you’re planning your much-needed weekend away, there’s something here for everyone. Pick and choose to make your weekend what you need it to be… you could even dun dun dun: Choose Your Own Adventure!*

Friday Evening: The weather has cooperated and you’ve made the drive south to the East Coast of Iowa. You are rolling into town(s), and your travel companions have noticed an aura of hanger (anger because you’re hungry) in the car that will only escalate until you feed the beast. You have to do something, and fast!

If you’re after a burger and a local beer go to Front Street Brewery. Their Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich is ahhhmazing; pair it with sweet potato fries and you’ve got it made. Their Mac and Cheese is also ridiculously good and you better get a Raging River Ale – I guarantee it will make you hoppy!

Algerian & American Cuisine A Journey to the Maghreb in the Heartland

Try our famous Signature Cocktails Connoisseur selection of Belgian, Import & Craft Beers

Restaurant & Bar

Elkader, IA • 563-245-1992

Hours, Menus & Upcoming Events at


If you feel like soup – think gouda and red pepper – or an amazing sandwich like the Cuban Melt, Café Fresh is where you are headed. They serve a full bar menu as well as local beer on tap. On Friday and Saturday nights the bar and lounge area make for a cozy place to hang.

theinspiredmedia.com \ Winter 2012-13


Awesome Gifts under $15!

But if you’ve decided that it’s not really hanger you’re feeling because you snacked the whole way down, it’s obviously just a good beer you’re in search of. No frills, no food, just some Good Local Beer. You are headed to Great River Brewery. The tasting room is warm and the beer is cold. You will find a beer you like. A lot.

Your belly is full of food and/or drink, and you are starting to feel sleepy.

Fancy Pants

Happify at

411 West Water Street, downtown Decorah 563 382-8898 • www.fancypantsonwater.com

Chase the winter blues away with artmaking at The Clay Studio!

If you are zonked out, you need to find a place to lay your head, in downtown Davenport is the beautiful and historic Hotel Blackhawk. It opened in 1915, and underwent a complete renovation in 2009. It has played host to many notable folks from current president Barack Obama, to several past presidents, to Guy Lombardo and his big band. The Bix Bistro inside the Blackhawk serves a full breakfast lunch and dinner menu. And PLEASE check out the Blackhawk Bowl and Martini Lounge in the basement of this amazing building. The lanes originally opened in 1956, and it was reopened in 2011 as part of the Blackhawk Hotel’s restoration. Go and bowl on one of the eight lanes and drink a tasty beverage! Another place to snooze and be comfy is Stoney Creek Inn in downtown Moline, Illinois. It’s located conveniently to, well, everything in the Quad Cities. I’m going honest here, the best thing – yes there are the standard hotel things and they’re really great – but the best thing is the pool area. Sit in the hot tub to soak for a while and then jump in the pool where you can splash on through an entryway to an outdoor heated swimming area. And this is all cool enough, but on a cold night, or on a snowy night, it’s really magical. A stay comes with free hot breakfast too!

If you’re not sleepy and still looking for trouble:

207 WAShIngton STREet, DecOrah, iowa

WWw.THEclaySTudioDecOrah.com • 563.517.1022 Try us out at Open Studio Hours Tues-Sat. Drop-ins welcome!


Winter 2012-13 / theinspiredmedia.com

River Music Experience (RME) has shows on most Fridays and Saturdays. RME is a non-profit performing arts center dedicated to providing a space for locals and visitors to listen, learn, and play music. They bring in great nationally known and regional artists. Check their site (see sidebar) for information and show times. Next up, Rozz-Tox, as they bill themselves, is a café, cultural space, gallery, and music venue. A cool, laid back venue with dripped-to-order coffee, local beer, and cupcakes (don’t forget the

Good Morning! Food, Coffee, Fun, and more local brews are in store for you today. If you’re in the mood for a coffee shop and walking around kind of morning/day there are several spots to suit your mood: The College Hill District in Rock Island, Illinois is a great place to start your morning. It is concentrated at the intersections of 14th Avenue with 30th Street and 37th to 42nd Streets. Cool Beanz is the local college coffee shop hang out, with big couches and a fireplace. The College Hill has a fun bunch of antique and vintage shops. Fred and Ethel’s is a Fifties Retro Antique Shop: it’s fantastic. Craving a just-before noon beer? Against the Grain Brewery and Alehouse is the Quad Cities only Nano brewery. While they aren’t serving their own beer at present time, they

Against the Grain Brewery & Alehouse 1340 31st St., Rock Island, IL • 309.283.7605 Find them on Facebook Bent River Brewery 512 24th St, Rock Island, IL bentriverbrewing.com


Café Fresh 1514 5th Ave., Moline, IL • 309.797.6966 Find them on Facebook


Now go to bed. It’s late and you’re tired. No? Well, you’re on your own till morning. Have fun!

Eat and Drink:

Cool Beanz 1325 30th St.
Rock Island, IL • 309.558.0909 coolbeanzcoffeehouse.com Crane and Pelican 127 South 2nd St., Le Claire, IA • 563.289.8774 www.craneandpelican.com Fresh Deli by Nostalgia Farms 421 West River Dr.  Davenport, IA • 563.424.4561 Find them on Facebook Front Street Brewery 208 East River Dr., Davenport, IA • 563.322.1569 www.frontstreetbrew.com Great River Brewery 332 East 2nd St., Davenport, IA • 563.323-5210 greatriverbrewery.com Harris Pizza 3903 14th Ave, Rock Island, IL • 309.788.3446 www.harrispizza.com


Or… Go Bowling! Blackhawk Bowl and Martini Lounge (see details under the Hotel Blackhawk description) is a great late evening location. Bowling, drinks, food, huge TVs, music, backlights, retro décor. What more could you ask for? That’s right: nothing.



cupcakes!). Look for the mannequin in the second floor window – I’m betting that Mannequin Venus of Fancy Pants in Decorah is a close cousin.

La Rancherita 4118 14th Ave. Rock Island, IL • 309.794.1648 Find them on Facebook Mississippi River Distilling Company 303 North Cody Rd, LeClaire, IA • 563.484.4342 www.mrdistilling.com One Twenty Nine 129 North Cody, Le Claire, IA • 563.729.1035 Find them on Facebook Info continued on page 21

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

theinspiredmedia.com \ Winter 2012-13


good radio. (aka rockin’ independent radio)

on the dial?

Try us ONLINE!

www. kdecradio .net

new url

we’re streaming!

Can’t get KDEC

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) •www.littlehouseonthefarm.com

The Driftless Area’s Best Home Brewing & Wine Making Supplies!

From Grain To Glass www.graintoglasshomebrew.com 2427 Tamarack Drive Rd., Suite B Decorah, IA 52101• 563-277-1002 Tues - Fri: 11 am-6 pm • Sat: 10 am - 4 pm 20

Winter 2012-13 / theinspiredmedia.com

are serving unique craft beers from around the US, and they are delicious, plus it’s a great spot with pool tables, darts, and they’ll even accommodate your Saturday afternoon sports needs on their TVs. For lunch head east on 14th Avenue to La Rancherita for tasty authentic Mexican food.

If you’re up for a little road trip on your road trip, LeClaire, Iowa is an awesome small Iowa town located just 20 minutes out of the Quad Cities. It’s home to American Pickers (of the History Channel), many other antique shops, and locally owned businesses. Stop at One Twenty Nine for some coffee on your walk around town. You will want lunch at Crane and Pelican – the meatloaf sandwiches are outta this world and Amanda (or one of her fantastic staff) will serve you sweetly and graciously. If you’re looking for a little treat, order the Homemade Limoncello. It is divine. After lunch, make sure you swing by the Mississippi River Distilling Company. They have a beautiful facility overlooking the Mighty Mississippi and they’ll give you a tour and let you try some handcrafted spirits made from local grains. The LeClaire website (see sidebar) offers more places to shop, and more places to eat and drink too.

If you’d rather scope out a farmers market today, and then see some mummies or maybe some art or a museum geared towards young kids and their adults, here are your next adventures: The Freight House Farmers Market is Davenport’s yearround market. Be sure to stop at Fresh Deli by

Nostalgia Farms (in the Freight House building next to the Farmers Market) to grab a coffee and some food. Next, head to the Family Museum – it’s a great bustle of activities for the little ones it targets… you know, the eight and under crowd. Explore tornados and clouds, play with oversized blocks, and then shop in a kid-sized grocery store. The options are endless, at least until naptime. Or find your way to Putnam Museum of history and science. Founded in 1867, it was one of the first museums west of the Mississippi. With lots of interactivities, detailed historical exhibits, and mummies to learn about, the Putnam has something for everyone. It also boasts a National Geographic Giant Screen Theater, with a digital and amazing 57 by 70-foot screen showing feature and documentary films. OR (and?) check out the Figge Art Museum – a huge beautiful glass structure situated in downtown Davenport near the Mississippi. Their galleries are a mix of permanent and special exhibitions with local Iowa and regional artist as well as international art on display.

LeClaire, Iowa (Nearby small town fun) www.leclaireiowa.gov The Family Museum 2900 Learning Campus Dr., Bettendorf, IA • 563.344.4106 www.familymuseum.org Figge Art Museum 225 West Second St., Davenport, IA • 563.326.7804 www.figgeartmuseum.org Fred and Ethel’s 1326 30th St., Rock Island, IL • 309.786.3511 www.fredandethels.com Freight House Farmers Market 421 West River Dr.,  Davenport, IA • 563.322.6009 freighthousefarmersmarket.com iWireless Center 1201 River Dr.,  Moline, IL • 309.764.2001 www.iwirelesscenter.com Putnam Museum 1717 West 12th St., Davenport, IA • 563.324.1933 www.putnam.org River Music Experience 129 N. Main St., Davenport, IA 52801 • 563.326.1333 www.rivermusicexperience.org Rozz-Tox 2108 3rd Ave., Rock Island, IL 61201 • 309.200.0978 www.rozztox.com


You’re hungry; you’d like a drink; you want to sit. There is no adventure

Hotel Blackhawk hotelblackhawk.com blackhawkbowl.com 200 East 3rd St., Davenport, IA • 563.322.5000

here just some simple instructions:

Stoney Creek Inn www.stoneycreekinn.com/hotel/travel/quadcities/ home.do 101 18th St., Moline, IL • 309.743.0101

Take yourself to Bent River Brewery in Rock Island.

Patchwork Green Farm


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

Water Street Caf é f r e s h .

o r g a n i c .

l o c a l .

312 West Water Street Decorah, Iowa 52101 563.382.4666 www.oneotacoop.com


Though Bent River doesn’t have food, you can BYOF (Bring Your Own Food). As you’re ordering your first round, of Uncommon Stout or any of the other delicious beer they offer, choose the type of pizza pie you’ll be ordering from Harris Pizza, and choose who will be going to pick it up. It’s delicious. We stick with simple mushroom or cheese, though you can go fancier too.

So you need other options. How about Hockey, or Disney on Ice, or the Harlem Globe Trotters? They’re all at the iWireless Center in Moline this winter. And for even More Places to Eat, Sleep and Enjoy, hop on visitquadcities.com for a little pre-trip research! We hope to see you around this winter!

Sonya, like lasagna, when not exploring the Quad Cities, is teaching kiddos about science, (think lady bug costume, and Madagascar hissing cockroaches), baking pies, and spending time with her awesome husband, Dave.


restoration & weatherization

Residential & light commercial construction David J. Wadsworth • 563.419.0390 • wadsworthconstruction.com Medicap Pharmacy has the vaccinations you need to keep you and your family healthy.

Stop in and receive your flu or shingles vaccinations. We also have a new, improved website to help better serve all of our customers. Log onto www.medicap.com/decorah and see our new, improved website! Sue McKone-Burks, R.Ph./Owner Mark Branum,R.Ph. Lori Rissman,R.Ph. 702 Montgomery, Decorah M-F 8:30-5:30 | SAT 8:30-1:30 p:563-382-8765 | f:563-382-1329 www.medicap.com/decorah © 2011 Medicap Pharmacies Incorporated, a Cardinal Health company. All rights reserved.

* The author of this piece has compiled the information. Remember, adventures are ultimately chosen by YOU. If you’re wanting to see a show, or a hockey match, or the like, please please please do a little bit of planning to make sure the events you are looking forward to are going on the weekend you are in the Quad Cites. And as always, have fun!

High Fives All Around! Inspire(d) is celebrating five! Yep, we’ve been giving you reasons to celebrate the positive for five years – crazy! We couldn’t have done it without you or our amazing advertisers. But we wouldn’t have a magazine if we didn’t have all these amazing, positive, and downright great subjects to write about. As part of our fifth anniversary celebration, we’d like to give a “High Five!” to each of these outstanding not-for-profit agencies in the Driftless Region. Please consider supporting them in whatever capacity you can – and of course, these are just five of the many, many, worthwhile organizations. Give us another five years and we’ll do our best to cover a whole bunch more!

1. HELPING SERVICES FOR NORTHEAST IOWA Helping Services is a private, non-profit agency serving Northeast Iowa. HSNEIA supports the community and works together to create an environment that is safe, nurturing, and a healthy place for children and adults to live. Resources are used towards preventing and intervening in areas of relationship violence, child abuse, sexual abuse, and substance abuse. You may know them from annual events like ‘Holiday Lights Magical Nights’, or their mentoring program – but chances are you only realize a fraction of how important their services are to the region. Find out more at www.helpingservices.org or by calling 563-387-1720.



Driftless Art Collective, or D.Art Co. (formerly Decorah Regional Arts Council), was founded in 1978 and re-branded in 2010 with a new face and a focus on helping artists connect and grow. The Driftless ART Collective collective has expanded from just the Decorah area to now cover the Driftless Region’s Tri-State Become a member. Support the arts. area – Northeast Iowa, Southeast Minnesota, and Southwest Wisconsin. Its mission is to empower the region to network and foster partnerships that will create stronger art-related events, cultural activities, and educational opportunities. As a membership organization, they providedartco.org support to artists and arts groups looking to get off the ground, grow, and improve life in the Driftless Region. D.Art Co. currently acts as fiscal sponsors for ArtHaus, Oneota Film Festival, and the Water Street Music Series, and is a 501(c)3 non-profit. Be sure to mark your calendar for Feb. 2 at Decorah’s Elk’s Lodge for the Brainstorming Party! Learn more about D.Art Co. at dartco.org.

3. NORTHEAST IOWA COMMUNITY ACTION/SEMCAC/WISCAP Community Action agencies are present in our entire readership area and vary by state. These organizations make changes in every day people’s lives that pay off in big ways. Community Action groups provide great local services and deserve a big High Five! Northeast Iowa Community Action Corporation (NEICAC) is a 501(c)3 private non-profit operating in several counties of Northeast Iowa. Services provided by Community Action range from basic human needs like food, housing, and utilities to transit solutions, Head Start education, and more. Individuals and families in your community struggle every day to come up with basic needs – a contribution to NEICAC can make the difference to provide a hand-up to self-sufficiency. Find out more at: Northeast Iowa Community Action Corporation • www.neicac.org • 563-382-8436 Southeast Minnesota Community Action Corporation • www.semcac.org • 507-864-7741 Wisconsin Community Action Program Association • www.wiscap.org • 608-244-4422

4. FOOD PANTRIES – NORTHEAST IOWA FOOD BANK AND BEYOND… In this day and age, it doesn’t seem right that one in seven people in our region struggles with hunger. Food pantries and banks are a major way of combating that hunger locally. Luckily there are many available throughout the tri-state area! Often your monetary donations can go even further at food banks that are able to leverage special purchasing prices. This is exactly the case at the Northeast Iowa Food Bank in Waterloo – which provides shipments of specially acquired food to other pantries across Northeast Iowa. Larger food bank centers also offer ‘food rescue’ services that re-purpose overstock food that is no longer able to retail but is perfectly edible. Smaller food pantries, such as those located at churches, community action centers, etc, are often the only local source for additional non-food items like: diapers, formula, wipes, cleaners, paper products, feminine care products, soap, toothbrushes, toiletries, towels, bedding, etc. Please check with your local pantry to help meet their specific needs at different times of the year. Northeast Iowa Food Bank • northeastiowafoodbank.org • 319-235-0507

5. MIDWEST MUSIC FEST Entering its fourth year, MWMF has steadily grown to be an outlet of amazing, all-ages, all-genres, alcohol-free, regional and national musical talent in downtown Winona. From the festival’s inception, the idea has been to provide an incredible musical experience while also giving all proceeds to select charitable organizations. Past recipients have included Southeast Minnesota Community Action Head Start, Winona Fine Arts Commission, and Winona360. This year MWMF is proud to announce that Winona’s Early Childhood Initiative (WECI) will be the sole recipient of funds. Winona Earl Childhood Initiative is currently working to raise $1 million dollars as part of their “Our Future: Pay It Forward,” campaign – which will all go to help further early education opportunities for children in Winona and beyond. Find out more, buy tickets, and make plans to attend MWMF April 18-20, 2013 in Winona. More info at www.midwestmusicfest.org



Paper Project


For this paper project, even though you’re not making a project, you can make it an activity with your kids. Sit down and talk to them about giving back and supporting organizations that help others. Answer their questions about why some people are less fortunate and why it’s important to be aware of the world around us.


Through January 31, 2013, for every Inspire(d) membership you purchase, we’ll donate $5 to the High Five of your choice (see previous page for details on each organization).



Then give yourself a High Five for helping a great cause.




Fill out this form, send it, along with a check for $25, to: Inspire(d) Media 412 Oak St. Decorah, IA 52101 We’ll send your $5 donation along, and start your Inspired(d) subscription with the Spring 2013 issue (if you’d like to give this as a gift starting with this Winter 2012-13 issue, please email benji@theinspiredmedia.com).








Choose one organization for your $5 donation:

1. Helping Services for Northeast Iowa


2. Driftless Art Collective 3. Community Action organizations:

Address: __________________________________

Northeast Iowa/Southeast Minnesota/Wisconsin (indicate your choice) ______________________

__________________________________ __________________________________

4. Northeast Iowa Food Bank 5. Midwest Music Fest

Winter 2012-13 / theinspiredmedia.com


Every business starts somewhere – these area owners/directors/ volunteers share their experience in making it work. by Aryn Henning Nichols



So you want to Be Your Own Boss? Exciting! I firmly believe it’s in tough economic times like these that the most creative visions come to fruition: If you can’t find a job, make one!

Of course, that’s easier said than done. Yet it’s certainly not as hard as you might think either. There is a lot of work that goes into starting your own business, but it’s often the fear of the unknown – not the actual work – that keeps a person from moving forward. We here at Inspire(d) want to help you overcome those fears – ‘cause being self-employed is pretty awesome most days, and your Big Idea might be the Next Big Thing. We tracked down a handful of businesses and non-profits in our region that are celebrating a milestone anniversary – in increments of five, of course – and asked them some questions on how they got started, what they feared, what they celebrated, and how they stay motivated. Even those with 20, 35, 80 years in business under their belts started with someone saying, “I have an idea” and “Why not?” (See my editor’s letter for some of the thoughts going through my head when we began Inspire(d) with just an idea five years ago.) The cold days of winter provide a perfect time for planning, and New Year’s Resolutions offer great motivation. Make 2013 the year you take a leap and your life in your hands, and follow your dreams. Maybe in 20 years you’ll be looking back, remembering the day you went from “I have an idea” to “I have a business.”

Slant Avenue Mercantile, Lanesboro, Minnesota Patrick Danz, owner Anniversary: 5 slantavenue.com Slant Avenue Mercantile lives on – you got it – a slanted avenue in tiny Lanesboro. Inside the SA5 shop, you’ll find all sorts of amazing things: from old school-style toys to organic lotions to amazing art to press on tattoos, and lots more, of course. There’s always an air pot of delicious coffee going and the best chocolate bars and hard-to-find candy too. Upstairs is Patrick’s home and future studio – yep, in addition to branding and creating a new store he hopes to completely renovate the building and create a space where he can design and build products to sell downstairs. Cool! La Rana Bistro, Decorah, Iowa Mark Smeby/Joanie Sheahan, owners Anniversary: 10 laranabistro.com La Rana Bistro was the first place I (Aryn) worked when I moved back to Decorah. That was five years ago, when Mark and Joanie were just five years in to running LR10 the business. Now, at their 10-year mark, they’re even more fully embedded into Decorah’s foodie community (heck, you might say they created it). Their space is beautiful, their menu boasts delicious new American dishes that focus on local ingredients, and the detailed touches – fresh flowers, great bathroom soap and lotion, cloth napkins, efficient bar space – show off all that they’ve learned over the years. theinspiredmedia.com \ Winter 2012-13


Toys Go ‘Round Toy Lending Library (non-profit organization) Kathy Barloon, a TGR founding board member Anniversary: 20 toysgoround.org

What was the scariest part about becoming an entrepreneur?

Agora Arts Gail Bolson-Magnuson, owner Anniversary: 20 agoraarts.com

Hometown Taxi Daniel Rotto and Scot Idstrom, owners (along with others) Anniversary: 25 hometowntaxidecorah.com

Winter 2012-13 / theinspiredmedia.com

“Knowing that it was something that I had to stick with for quite a while to see results. I am a person who loves to brainstorm, plan, and start things, but once they come to fruition, I have a hard time sticking to the day-to-day commitment.” – Gail Bolson-Magnuson, AA20

“In my opinion, the scariest and most exciting part of being an entrepreneur is the same – having to decide the direction of the business for ourselves.” – Scot Idstrom, HT25 AA20

Hometown Taxi has been getting people where they need to go – with a smile and an open ear – for a quarter of a century! Amazing! Seventeen total partners have worked with the company through the years since HT25 1987, and their first two vehicles were 1979 Honda CVCCs. There are currently seven partners – five of them drive and manage the business, two are mechanics. But all of them maintain a positive attitude about their business as they become practically family to their regular fares, and helpful guides at the very least to their out-of-town riders. 26

“How involved the relationship with the government is, dealing with legalities of having employees, and understanding all the regulations of owning your own business.” – Mark Smeby and Joanie Sheahan, LR 10


Many folks will be familiar with Agora Arts, housed in the Hotel Winneshiek in downtown Decorah – it’s hard to miss such a beautiful storefront on Water Street. Owner Gail BolsonMagnuson brings regional and national art and fine craft created by over 250 American artists and craftspeople – from handcrafted jewelry to prints to pottery to furniture – to her loyal customers and fans. Check out the Steel Cow Mini Moos or StoryPeople cards or Carl Homstad prints here, and watch for special events like book signings or holiday open houses!

“Deciding to take my life savings, at a time when the economy was uncertain, and move to a new town and buy a derelict building to start a retail shop and home.” – Patrick Danz, SA5


What kid wouldn’t like a library that’s all about lending toys?!? A group of in-home childcare providers knew children benefited from playing with a wide variety of toys, but they also knew they didn’t have the funds to purchase them, nor the storage…thus began Toys Go ‘Round. The Decorah Public Library offered up some unused basement space on an in-kind basis, and that’s where TGR20 TGR and its inventory of over 1,000 toys have been housed ever since. A recipient of an Iowa Community Betterment Award and Iowa Volunteer Award, TGR’s future and past success is due to dedicated volunteers and supporters. They love seeing children and families take advantage of the toy library –even grandparents who were members when their children were young have come in with their grandkids!

And the most exciting? “Building it and putting it all together!” – LR10 “I was one of the original owners [of Hometown Taxi] and driving the day we opened for business. It was scary and exciting. We spent the evening before we opened driving around town, just trying to get familiar with where the streets were. Then our battery-operated phones ran out of a charge by noon the first day.” – Daniel Rotto, HT25 “Being your own boss – I always loved what I was doing. People work their whole life to retire and do what they want. I felt like I was already doing what I wanted every day.” – Duane Bruening, BRP80

People work their whole life to retire and do what they want. I felt like I was already doing what I wanted every day.” – Duane Bruening, BRP80

How long did it take to feel like you’ve “made it”? Was there a specific moment that made you think, “Yes! Success!”? “I think the feeling of ‘success’ actually arrived about now, at the 10-year mark. We are no longer in debt and we feel we have a strong customer base, with the local community accepting us as an established restaurant, and tourists returning to Decorah are happy to see that we are still here!” – LR10

“I can’t think of a specific moment, but knowing that I have customers who come from Minneapolis, Chicago, and even as far away as New York to buy their jewelry and gifts here makes me happy!” – Gail Bolson-Magnuson, AA20

“We tend to be busier in the winter than the summer and I remember after a few years, we actually paid ourselves through the whole summer, just like the winter. That felt like an accomplishment. Also, recently, I found an old ride sheet, listing the rides for one day, and written on the top was, ‘30 rides, WOW!’ Now we typically do over 100 rides a day and 130-160 when it’s busy. Sometimes lately the taxi company just feels like it runs itself, like it’s magic. I suppose that is a measure of success. We have a system and it works.” – Daniel, HT25

The Pump House Regional Arts Center (non-profit organization) Judy Bouffleur, long-time Pump House volunteer and advocate Anniversary: 35 thepumphouse.org The Pump House, directed by Toni Asher, is a cultural center that promotes a wide range of visual and performing arts activities from performance to appreciation. It began in 1977 when Western Wisconsin Regional Arts (WWRA) obtained a lease to restore and remodel the PH35 original Pump House – built in 1880 by the city of La Crosse – for its present use as a regional arts center. At first, the Pump House was a resource center for the tri-state area. The La Crosse Symphony’s office was in the Pump House, and the La Crosse Society of Arts and Crafts and the Eastbank Artists had galleries. Today, the Pump House contains three visual art galleries, the 144-seat Dayton Theatre, art education classrooms with kiln and ceramics workspace, a conference room, and meeting areas. Bruening Rock Products Duane Bruening, second-generation owner Anniversary: 80 brueningrock.com Leo Bruening started BRP in the 1930s with one truck. He hauled coal from the railroads and grew his business to four trucks in his first five years of business, adding lime excavation and eventually crushed rock. In 1954, Leo’s oldest son, Duane, took the reigns of BRP after returning from the military where he served as a Captain in the Marines. Over the last half a century, BRP80 Duane and his sons have helped grow the family business to over 400 employees with multiple quarry sites throughout the state and region. Duane’s to-the-day memory of events of the business and his life is impeccable, and his attitude about Being His Own Boss is great – he really loved his career. Duane’s two sons, Greg and Keith are still running the operations of Bruening Rock Products as they celebrate their 80th year in operation. Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum (non-profit organization) Steve Johnson, Executive Director Anniversary: 135 vesterheim.org Vesterheim is so much more than a museum – they preserve a heritage and past that can tell us a surprising amount about the lives we live today. They also host tons of youth programs – the Pioneer Immersion Program for fourth graders, the WOW program for third graders, Barnetimen Children’s Hour for pre-school children in cooperation with ArtHaus, and their summer theater program in cooperation with V135 Upstart Crow Theatreworks. They’re also constantly trying to think of creative ways to connect with everyone – such as through group tours like the recent Sámiland trip to Norway and WWII tour to Norway set for 2013. Of course, they’re still a museum, and a great one at that. They change their exhibitions regularly – way more than you think – so it pays to visit often. theinspiredmedia.com \ Winter 2012-13




“Lanesboro is this amazingly, beautiful area that draws people from all over and every day is a new adventure. Each morning, I’m motivated to open the doors with the prospect of meeting new people from so many different walks of life.” – Patrick Danz, SA5

How do/did you stay motivated to keep things rolling forward every day? “We remind ourselves that we created something that is our own, that we are our own bosses, and that we offer something to the public we are proud of.” – LR10 “Finding new artists with brilliant new work keeps me motivated. I love it when I see something that I’ve never seen before, that is fresh and new and that I can bring back to the gallery to show my customers.” – AA20 “I’d like to say it’s all about the money, but, really, helping people feels good and we spend all day helping people. Plus, some of the most interesting people who live in Decorah take the taxi and we have the chance to get to know them.” – Scot, HT25 “One of the fun things is talking to people from all around the world who visit Decorah and take the taxi when they are in town.” – Daniel, HT25 “Have you heard the one about the best way to eat an elephant? You take one bite at a time. The same goes for a business. You just take things one step at a time.” – BRP80


HealthMart Decorah Pharmacy Iowa


201 West Water Street, Decorah, Iowa • 563-382-2626 • www.donlonpharmacy.com 28

Winter 2012-13 / theinspiredmedia.com

What was the most surprising thing you found about running a business? “The Time Commitment with all the “hats” that I have to wear – sales clerk, bookkeeper, buyer, stock boy, marketing director, maintenance man, barista – but also the extraordinary fees charged to small business owners by credit card companies (merchant services) and banks.” - SA5

Open all Winter in Decorah! Shop Norwegian Style for all your gifts!

“How much I love it. I wasn’t sure that I could do everything that is involved, and it’s a LOT – much like the above list – not to mention the number of computer programs and software that are involved such as a POS system, accounting software, web site, Constant Contact... there’s never a shortage of new things to learn. But that keeps me interested!” – AA20 “In our business, people will ask us to do the most unusual things. I guess they come to know us well and when they need help, they’ll call us up, sometimes just to ask what day it is.” Daniel, HT25

“I always say being friendly has no cost. It’s one of the best things you can do for your business.” – Scot, HT25

Do you have any advice for folks hoping to start in as entrepreneurs themselves? “Research, research, research – know the market and do a thorough business plan and keep a solid cushion to help you through the slow months, but most importantly make sure it is something you have Love for and really enjoy.” – SA5 “Follow your dreams, but do your homework. Running a business takes more time than one can imagine. And embrace your insurance company.” – LR10

Books, jewelry, games, sweaters CDs, and more.

The Sámi Reindeer People of Alaska Dec. 1, 2012 - Nov. 10, 2013 Honoring the Sámi who came from Norway to teach reindeer husbandry to native peoples in Alaska. Sponsored by Owen & Naomi Bekkum.

“It’s not a job for everyone; not everyone is comfortable living with the number of ‘unknowns’ that you live with as an entrepreneur. You have to have a lot of self-discipline and have a pretty thick skin. You have to make difficult and possibly unpopular decisions sometimes. You have to have confidence in what you are doing but still listen to honest criticism.” – AA20 “1. Good workers are important. Make sure you hire the best workers and take good care of them. Sometimes that means your family gets shorted on things for a while but you need to have faith that things will get better. 2. Do something you like – don’t make money your God. You need money, but you don’t want to chase it down all the time. Stay a little under your means. Borrowing is the easy part – but remember you always have to pay it back. That’s the hard part. 3. Don’t get too excited or worked up – let things come to you. Enjoy life and be happy.” – BRP80

Norwegian- American Museum Decorah, Iowa • vesterheim.org • 563-382-9681

80 Celebrating 1932-2012

Several Locations to Serve You!


IOWA Waukon • Lansing • Cresco • Lawler • Alta Vista • Decorah • Fayette Postville • Independence • Saratoga • Festina • Strawberry Point Knoxville • Elkader • Oskaloosa • Oelwein • Springville • Brandon MINNESOTA Zumbrota • Vasa • Pine Island • Lake City Mabel/Spring Grove • Harmony • Leroy • Red Wing MISSOURI Edina • Gilliam • Glasgow • Miami • Newark • La Plata Yard • Marceline Yard

I am for the child who attended eight schools in four years. Because he’s in foster care. Because his mother, debilitated by mental illness, neglected him. That is the child I am for. I am a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer. I am you.

Learn more about CASA volunteerism in NE Iowa at www.childadvocacy.iowa.gov or contact: Kerry Brennan at 800-242-5100 kerry.brennan@dia.iowa.gov Men, women and people of various racial and ethnic origins encouraged to apply.


“The old saying ‘Many hands make light work’ has been true for the success of Toys Go ‘Round. I have been amazed at the talents that have come to us through the years. We didn’t know how to go about setting up a toy library; we were just convinced that it would be a huge benefit to the children in our care. I have often said that if we had known then what we know now – that Toys Go ‘Round would still be going strong 20 years later, would have won awards and had people from all over the United States ask us how to start a toy library – we would have stopped before we started, because we would have said “We can’t do that!” – Kathy Barloon, TGR20

Winter 2012-13 / theinspiredmedia.com

“[At The Pump House], hundreds of hours were spent cleaning, obtaining woodwork from the old La Crosse Post Office torn down in 1977, constructing walls, painting, scraping, cleaning the yard, etc., etc., etc. Volunteers came out of the woodwork to offer their time, talent and treasure so the plans for the arts would come to fruition.” – Judy Bouffleur, PH35



80 Years

How did people come together to get this vision off the ground?

I have often said that if we had known then what we know now... we would have stopped before we started, because we would have said “We can’t do that!” – Kathy Barloon, TGR20


900 Montgomery St. Decorah, IA 563-382-2933 brueningrock.com

Non-Profit Organizations

How did you set out to raise funds/ awareness and keep the motivation to make things work?

“When we opened our doors, we had 50 toys on milk crate and board shelves. Each time a new member enrolled, we bought more toys. Many local businesses donated toys with many others donating cash so we could buy more toys. We are also an agency served by United Way. That funding is an integral part of keeping the toy library open 14 hours a week during the past 15 years.” – TGR20 “One of the first fundraisers was the Annual Pump House Radio Auction. Banks of phones and lots of volunteers spent a weekend in April each year raising money for the Pump House. The Radio Auction has continued all these years. For 15 years the Pump House had a booth at the Oktoberfest Heritage Night. We served tabouli and kibi and put the Pump House on the map for lots of people.” – PH35


Memorable/successful moments that stick out?


“One of the most exciting moments for me was when I called Hasbro toys and asked for a donation of toys. The lady was enthusiastic about Toys Go ‘Round but could not give us any toys without a 501(c)3 non-profit status. At that time, it was going to cost $150 to apply for the status and that was money we didn’t have. The woman from Hasbro toys promised us that if we got the nonprofit status, she would more than triple that amount in toys. We raised the money and I completed the manypaged application with lots of confusing questions. We received the status on our first try and Hasbro Toys stayed true to their promise and shipped boxes and boxes of toys!” – TGR20

Matt Johanningmeier LMT


• 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

“Several visits from members of Norway’s Royal family; our youth education programs; and the great exhibitions we present, like the Sámi exhibition that opens in December and the upcoming Jan Brett exhibition next year.” – Steve Johnson, V135

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.

“You don’t do it for the money. You do it because it feels right. And it is very satisfying. It’s stewardship – a service for others, a way to create a legacy for future generations.”

Great gift idea!

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 stretchingwithmatt@hotmail.com.

Taking local to a whole new level.

– Steve Johnson, V135

Do you have any advice for folks wanting to direct/start a non-profit business themselves? “Believe in your mission, whatever that may be, arm yourself with lots of knowledge about the subject and surround yourself with people who are as passionate as you are and are willing to help you meet that goal – one step at a time!” – TGR20 “The arts are the glue that holds communities together and I believe that even in the most difficult economic times the arts are so important that people are willing to give their time and treasure to ensure that culture and history are preserved for all. My advice for people is a quote from Helen Keller, “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement! Nothing can be done without hope!” – PH35

Aryn Henning Nichols can’t believe Inspire(d) is five years old. Her advice for those thinking about starting a business? Don’t think about what you don’t know. You’ll learn as you go – on-the-job training is the best there is – and generally the worst thing that could happen is really not all that bad. And you can most definitely handle it.

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www.dragonflybooks.com 563-382-4275 • 112 West Water Street Decorah • info@dragonflybooks.com M-Tu-W 10-5:30 | Th 10-8 | Fri-Sat 10-5 | Sun 12-4 theinspiredmedia.com \ Winter 2012-13





Rochester’s Zzest | Chef John Flicek Introduction by Benji Nichols • Photos by Olive Juice Studios

Zzest Market & Café is a beacon of flavor in one of the least expected locations. Found in a strip mall on the south side of Rochester (near Apache Mall), you ‘ve probably come close to this outstanding culinary outpost without even knowing it (unless the retractable patio roof – yes, you read that correctly – happened to catch your eye). Make not the mistake of missing Zzest again – it’s fantastic. Continued on next page theinspiredmedia.com \ Winter 2012-13


Open until December 22nd!

Call for your holiday baked goods orders now!

The store is closed January-March, but bakery orders will be filled


For our cupcake flavors & bakery menu, visit our website and click on Bakery.

y r e k a B e h T at

563-382-0010 4.5 miles West of Decorah, IA on State Hwy 9


We’ll see you in the Spring!

Upon entering, you might feel a little disoriented by the sheer volume of items on display, but it doesn’t take long to notice that just about everywhere you look sits deliciousness. Owners LeeAnn and Jerry Zubay have compiled the best of the best ingredients and epicurean delights for the market side of Zzest – it is a small space crammed full of big flavors. From gourmet flatbread crackers, to incredible spreads and chutneys, gourmet chocolate – you may think you’ve seen this in markets before, but don’t stop looking – at least until you get to the cheese case (but really…keep on going to the ice cream case too). At any given time, Zzest has over a hundred of cheeses in stock and for sale by the pound, or you can order them up in the café on cheese boards – everything from larger production flavors, to insanely difficult-to-find micro fromages from across the world. Honestly, their collection of uber-small production cheeses is worth the stop alone – and the staff can give you details for just about every one of them. Don’t forget to see what they’re sampling on any given day as well - it could become your new favorite. In the warmer (and even warm-ish!) months, the Zzest patio is the place to be. With brick oven pizza, tasty appetizers, and creative entrees and desserts, plus that retractable roof (!), it is hard to go wrong. Order up a cheese board and a micro brew or a bottle of wine and peruse the menu for your next course.

Executive Chef John Flicek has been experimenting with food in restaurants since his first gig making pizza in a bowling alley at age 12. The culinary road has been a fun and winding one for him with a trip through Le Cordon Bleu, and gigs at several establishments in Central and South Minnesota including Nosh in Wabasha, and Sontes in Rochester, but these days he can be found on the café side of Zzest firing up unique dishes. Say hi next time you decide to check out this oasis of high-end delights.

Slant Avenue www.slantavenue.com

Name: John Flicek Age: 28 Restaurant/ Business: ZZest Culinary Market & Cafe


Number of Years Cooking: 16 years in Kitchens / nine years professional

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Formal training or live-and-learn? Formally trained at Le Cordon Bleu, along with learning on the job in small establishments focusing on locally raised livestock and produce, cooking along with what the seasons have to offer.

Open Year Round

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Peace on Earth &

Goodwill to Shopping

What’s your earliest or most significant memory of cooking or being cooked for? At a very young age around the holidays I always remember my mom, my grandmother, and aunts spending all day in the kitchen preparing dinner. I would watch to see what they were doing and help out with things like cracking eggs or ripping up bread for stuffing. At that time I found it very interesting to see how a great meal comes together. Why did you decide to become a chef?   I had always enjoyed cooking. I felt that there were enough things to keep me interested with cooking and learning along with the challenge of working my way up in kitchens. I have always felt that sitting in an office or a regular 9-5 would be boring. I like the stress and the challenges that occur on a daily basis. Sharing something that you are passionate about with people that have a common interest.

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What’s the best thing you’ve ever made? This time of year I focus on braised meats, stews, roasts, confits, casseoulets, rustic pastas. I enjoy the comfort of these dishes in fall and winter. What’s your favorite: Ingredient: Eggs Dish: Duck Confit Cookbook: Bouchon Random (or not so random) kitchen tool: Chef Knife Vegetable/fruit: Anything seasonal and fresh/ripe

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theinspiredmedia.com \ Winter 2012-13


Living on the Live Edge Woodworker Paul Bauhs Takes the Road Less Traveled Story by Sara Friedl-Putnam • Photos by Kyrl Henderson


’r u o Y


ed t i v


BRAINSTORMING PARTY! Saturday, February 2, 2012 • 7 to 10 pm Come have fun, make brainy stuff, eat brainy stuff, and share your ideas for shaping YOUR regional arts council! Elk’s Lodge, 402 W. Main. • Decorah, IA

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Winter 2012-13 / theinspiredmedia.com

D.ART Co. Driftless ART Collective

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People you can trust. Quality you can depend on.


aul Bauhs lives barely 10 miles past Decorah’s city limits, yet his house (and adjacent workshop) feels much more remote. So off-the-beaten-path is Bauhs, in fact, that many first-time visitors get at least a little lost; bears are not unheard-of neighbors; and, yes, even MapQuest doesn’t get the route quite right. It was the secluded nature of this breathtaking piece of land along the Upper Iowa River that first lured this talented woodworker to Decorah three decades ago – and it’s also one of the main reasons he can’t ever envision leaving. This homestead is where he has, quite literally, carved out a niche for himself in Northeast Iowa’s rich artisan community. “I love Decorah,” says Bauhs. “I can’t imagine living anywhere else.” Nor can he imagine making a living any way else. A native of Waverly, Iowa, Bauhs has always, as he puts it, “been good with my hands.” And he’s always been fascinated by wood. As a child, he would spend hours at a time at the local lumberyard. “It was my favorite place to hang,” he says. “I thought the guys who worked there had the coolest jobs in the world.” By his early teens, he had graduated from admiring wood to working with it. His first piece? A rustic aquarium cabinet. “It looked pretty good and didn’t fall down,” he says with a laugh. “That was a time when experimentation was its own reward.” Bauhs would go on to graduate from Wartburg College, a small liberal arts college in his hometown, with a degree in psychology and plenty of studio art classes on his transcript. Though he considered a career in art education – and took classes at both Wartburg and, later, the University of Iowa in that discipline – it was during a three-year apprenticeship working alongside the master craftsmen at the famed Amana (Iowa) Furniture Shop that he found his life’s calling. He learned how to choose just the right piece of wood for a given project, how to set up machinery (and set it up right), and how to work with tools like a planer to size the thickness of boards and a drill press to make holes in those boards. “I had no professional skills to speak of when I started there and had to learn the ‘language’ of woodworking,” says Bauhs. “Even though there wasn’t much creativity involved, the repetition of

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theinspiredmedia.com \ Winter 2012-13






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making the same furniture designs over and over made it a great place to learn.” By the early 80s, Bauhs was yearning for “a different way of life” than a city could provide – a place where he could work as vegetable grower (also a longtime passion), pursue interests like woodworking and canoeing, and help raise a family. Determined to find just the right spot, he spent years looking at property throughout Northeast Iowa before finally landing on the 33 acres where he still resides and where he raised his two sons, Aaron and Logan. “When we came down through the woods, I just knew,” he says. “The house was in pretty rough shape, but that wasn’t really a consideration – you can always change the house, but you can’t change the land.” Today that house – a circa 1865 log cabin with a much newer wood-frame addition – is equal part home and showroom, a testament to Bauhs’s prodigious woodworking talent. Crafted over

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Winter 2012-13 / theinspiredmedia.com


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the course of a 20-year home-renovation process, his handiwork enlivens every room – from the live-edge honey locust stair rail to the live-edge elm mantel (his favorite piece) that decorates a living room so full of his visually commanding furniture that, upon entering the room, it’s difficult to decide where to look first. “I’m a very visual person,” he says of finding inspiration. “That’s a big reason why I enjoy woodworking so much.” As his home might suggest, while Bauhs is skilled in working with all kinds of wood, he particularly enjoys the challenge of transforming live-edge wood – or wood that retains its natural edges, knots, and wild-grain patterns – into furniture and cabinetry that both function well and look great. “It takes some creativity to figure out what to do with the natural character of a piece of wood, but I like that challenge,” he says, adding, “I think people are yearning for more nature in their homes, and that’s why this type of woodwork resonates with so many folks.” Having turned avocation into vocation over the last three decades, Bauhs has crafted cabinetry and furniture (both more traditional and live edge) that can be found in homes and offices throughout the region, as well as St. Ben’s Catholic Church and First United Methodist Church in Decorah. Still, Bauhs is quick to point out he is just one in the large (and growing) community of skilled artisans this area boasts. “There’s an amazing artisan presence here,” he says, citing Chris Wasta of Wild Rose Timberworks as having a particularly strong influence on his work. “I can’t imagine working with better people – I’m always learning from them.” And they, no doubt, from him. Watching Bauhs don his protective gear, pull out his miter saw, and start to work on a walnut table –  he likes most local wood species, but walnut is his favorite –  it’s clear he’s carved out a place for himself in the Driftless Region – and it’s exactly where he was meant to be, doing exactly what he was meant to do. “I always try to strike a balance between functional needs and appearance,” he says, pausing thoughtfully. “I tend to think a lot of what I do is sculpture with a purpose.”  For more information on Paul Bauhs Woodworking, visit www.paulbauhs.com.


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SIMS TV & ELECTRONICS Cell Phones Computers High Speed Internet HDTV Digital Cameras Satallite TV Direct TV Installation Satellite Radio Security Systems Repairs

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1014 South Mill Street, Decorah Sara Friedl-Putnam admits to getting a bit lost on her way to interview Paul Bauhs but fully enjoyed the off-the-beaten path adventure nonetheless.

Check out our awesome Home Theater Room!

563-382-CELL (2355) • www.simselectronics.com Mon - Fri 8 am - 6 pm • Sat 8 am - 5 pm • Thurs ‘til 8 pm theinspiredmedia.com \ Winter 2012-13


Head to Decorah for the Oneota Film Festival This January 18-20 marks the 4th annual Oneota Film Festival (OFF) in Decorah, Iowa, and what better time of year to huddle in and watch fantastic independent films than mid-winter? “Fest-goers will see a variety of new, compelling, award-winning docs that are among the best,” says OFF vice president and content committee chair Kristen Torresdal. “Engage both heart and mind in contemplating the critical issues of our time, and get your blood pumping with adventure documentaries about alpine climbing, skateboarding, kayaking, fly fishing, and mountain biking. If you haven’t yet experienced the Oneota Film Festival, this is the year to save the date and make it happen!” With a collection of adventure sport, ecotourism, sustainable living, social justice, economy, and local films, OFF presents an entertaining, yet educational rounding of films that are as unique

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Visit us at denovobarn.com Or call 563-419-8902


Winter 2012-13 / theinspiredmedia.com

as the region we live in. Hosted at Luther College, the 2013 Festival will also feature ­panel discussions with filmmakers, displays, and evening events around Decorah. Just a few of the Nationally recognized films on the docket for OFF include: “Watershed”, a compelling documentary that tells the story of the Colorado River and offers solutions to the American West’s stretched water supplies; “Escape Fire”, a look into finding a way out of our Nation’s spiraling health care system; “We’re Not Broke”, the exploration of US debt and corporations that have influence in government; “High Ground”, in which 11 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans join an expedition

to climb Himalayan Mount Lobuche, while working to heal the “When I saw what Cade brought to the table, I thought this was wounds of war; “Where the Yellowstone Goes”, in which director the perfect opportunity to share his filmmaking experience with Hunter Weeks presents a 30-day fly fishing adventure down the students in Decorah,” says Kyrl Henderson, OFF board president. Yellowstone River. “Students will relate to Cade, and we look forward to extending the New at OFF this year is the Student film festival into a broader community.” Micro-Film Production Seminar Project. Director Kate Scott also welcomes sponsors OFF board members partnered with Luther and volunteers to contact the organization. “I’m College and University of Iowa graduate excited to be part of the film festival this year as Cade Loven to create this project. The 10director and it has been great to see the support week seminar introduces area junior and that the film festival has from area businesses high school students to the basic principles and community members. The quality and variety of film production, including working as of films that we will be showing this year will teams to create their own short works. appeal to film-goers of all ages and walks of life.” “The OFF Board is excited to offer this new The Oneota Film Festival (OFF) was formed in component of the Festival,” says Festival 2008 by local film enthusiasts, representatives director Kate Scott. “Filmmaking is creative of Luther College and Decorah Public Library as and fun. We think students will find this a project of the Driftless Art Collective (D.ART seminar a great opportunity to learn a new Co.). It operates as a charitable non-profit under form of expression and become familiar a fiscal agency agreement with D.ART Co., and with the basic thus donations and techniques are tax “If you haven’t yet experienced the Oneota Film Festival, sponsorships to do so with deductible. Sponsors this is the year to save the date and make it happen!” confidence.” and volunteers Students are welcomed have covered critical, technical, and artistic development of and encouraged to contact Kate Scott by email at director@ film production under the direction of Loven, while also learning oneotafilmfestival.org. about film appreciation, filmmaking models, fiction and non-fiction More information, festival schedules, and film listings can be film development, screenwriting, image design, editing, and film found at www.oneotafilmfestival.org. distribution.




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Winter 2012-13 / theinspiredmedia.com

ge River Sin esy Grand rt u o c s All photo

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sin”, the n o c is W , e oss ink “La Cr th u o to mind – y e n e m o c Wh ly ck, beer in s probab a g -p in ix s th t s s e u rg obvio s that give World’s La g e in th th t, s s u fe r e vio Oktobe the less ob ... shine. Lik it ’s it e k t u a b m – y all general g her bike ter and re c in a r id r a h n c e s e sb the city it e socially r years ha th fo r o o , h r e w ld n ou e the woma t on her sh o r r a trails, or th p h a s r h a it m w e d th s aroun ti that line ffi a r g s u io consc oir. lt show ch u d a l a c lo t? Wait. Wha

Continued on

next page. theinspiredmedia.com \ Winter 2012-13


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Winter 2012-13 / theinspiredmedia.com


he now-famous (or at the very least, almost famous) area adult show choir, Grand River Singers, was founded in 2006 by La Crosse transplants Rob Jones, choreographer, and Tim Rortvedt, music director. Since then, they’ve grown by leaps and bounds (pun intended), performing to over 30,000 audience members a year at events across the Midwest. “It has been a great journey the past seven years and the next seven look to be even stronger!” says Rortvedt. “So we are getting ready with all our fans, supporters, and loved ones and setting sail for more adventures!” Those adventures include an upcoming reality television series on VH1. “When we were first presented with the opportunity we were excited, but thought, ‘Would anyone actually watch us? Are we that interesting? Will people understand what we do and why we do it?’” Rortvedt says. “We never thought it would make it this far! But that just shows if you are passionate and believe in what you do, anything is possible!” Neither founder could say much else about the series – VH1 essentially swore them to secrecy after production crews spent the 2012 summer and fall filming in and around La Crosse. But by next summer, families across America can tune into what has been slated to be like a reality TV cross between Glee and Modern Family. Much like the folks in those shows, Grand River Singers (GRS) have evolved into a nontraditional family. But even nontraditional families have traditions – like making music – and the Grand River Singers definitely spin tradition. And each other. During a performance, 18 young men and women take the stage, all with microphones, all looking very shiny, made-up, and happy as they move in choreographed rhythm across the stage, singing uplifting tunes in between what seems to be at least 43 costume changes. Maybe more. The sound of thousands of sequins shush as the women shake their shoulders and sashay about, and for one number, a woman even comes out from behind the curtain wearing a huge bass drum. She’s banging the drum, singing, and dancing in high heels – all while not falling off the top riser: a truly amazing feat. It doesn’t matter if the Grand River Singers are singing and dancing for an audience of 20 or a packed festival – they will perform like they are on national television. Maybe that’s why national television found them. “We thought [starting GRS] was a great way to promote the community of La Crosse and become musical ambassadors of the city,” Rortvedt says. The group has grown from 10 performers in its first year to the current 18 in their seventh season. Auditions take place every April, and everyone, current members included,

has to try out. There are generally 50 to 60 people that audition, and usually only two members remain from the original group. Once auditions are over, new songs and dance routines are performanceready by June. The inspiration for songs is limitless, with routines that span the spectrum from a Broadway musical to Katy Perry to a Dolly Parton number from the movie-turned-musical, 9 to 5. The group has three main objectives: promote La Crosse, provide shows for local non-profit organizations (such as Steppin’ Out in Pink, a local event that supports breast cancer research), and fundraise – both for the continuation of GRS and for local school music programs. “Our biggest rewards include the wonderful support we received and being able to reach people through music,” Rortvedt says. “Having students tell us that our message of AntiBullying touched them and empowered them to confront their personal battles is a feeling you’ll never forget.” Besides their own performances, GRS also hosts the Grand River National Show Choir and Concert Choir Invitational, a high school concert choir competition, which this year will consist of 23 choirs from five states. Through fundraisers, they’ve also managed to donate $50,000+ to school music programs. Apart from this, individual members of the group volunteer 500 hours each of community service every year. The amount of energy needed for so many gestures of kindness seems near impossible, but once you see the Grand River Singers perform, you get it. It’s the definition of high energy.

Unfortunately, one can’t help but worry that a reality TV show will keep such good deeds in the dark. One VH1 blog sarcastically states that the group’s goal is to take their show out of La Crosse and on to bigger and better things, like the Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival and the Sheboygan Bratwurst Festival. Another blog entry describes their efforts as, “blindly reaching for glory in their home state of Wisconsin.” These descriptions, combined with the fact that most reality television aims to mock (Honey Boo Boo, anyone?), makes you wonder what good will come of this. However, based on the group’s abundance of positive songs, positive attitudes, and positive community involvement, the Grand River Singers certainly know what to do if VH1 hands them a lemon: “We hope it showcases the excellent talent in La Crosse, what a treasure the city of La Crosse is and how being part of something special makes you feel special. We have no fears about anything. If we let fear rule our lives, we never would have started the group in 2006 and be where we are today!” They could make lemonade a new family tradition.

Rachel MacFarland usually lives in La Crosse, WI. When she’s not there, she’s telling mostly-true tales about it to strangers.

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theinspiredmedia.com \ Winter 2012-13


er yP ot n i A Chicken

v E

…Or the magical powers of chicken noodle soup Photos and Story by Jim McCaffrey

“Oh yeah baby, not your mama’s Campbell’s Soup, that’s for sure.”


Winter 2012-13 / theinspiredmedia.com

Which came first the chicken or the egg? Honestly? Who cares. Both are delightful ingredients for a winter/cold/flu season staple: chicken (egg) noodle soup!


hicken noodle is not just any soup. It’s a soup that is cherished by many cultures throughout the world. Many different versions abound. Today ours is made from scratch with handmade egg noodles. Oh yeah baby, not your mama’s Campbell’s Soup, that’s for sure. So lets get started. Broth is the key ingredient. You can use canned or boxed chicken broth. NOT!! (Well, maybe in a pinch, I guess. NOT!!!) Using a homemade broth in soups is just so far superior to the store-bought versions. There are a couple of ways I make my own broth (and you can too!). At the restaurant, we bake a lot of chicken. And, consequently, we have a lot of pan juices that we save. Think of it as liquid gold. We let the juices cool, and skim off any fat that might rise. The juices are then poured into plastic containers with tight lids. These we date using freezer tape and store in our freezer for future use. We pull out as needed, oldest first. Since we are constantly using the juices for soups and gravies, we don’t have to worry about shelf life, but if you’re not breaking out the big pots as often as us, a year is the max to store and I personally would toss after six months. When ready to use, thaw your stock-base out in the refrigerator the previous day. This base is naturally concentrated, so all you have to do is add water and seasonings (salt, pepper, herbs to taste) to fill out your soup. This works well if you have leftover chicken that you’d like to toss into a soup. Another great way to make broth is to take a whole plucked and thawed chicken, remove the liver and any excess fat, and put it, along with about three to four inches of water, in a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook for about an hour. Usually, when the chicken floats, you are good to go. To make sure, use tongs and grab a leg. If it becomes detached, chicken is ready to go. If not, simmer a few minutes longer. Remove the chicken and let broth cool. Skim off the fat and it’s time to make soup, with your chicken AND stock ready to go. Congratulations! You have just passed Chicken Broth 101! Let’s move on to handmade egg noodles. Every good egg noodle has a story behind it. Mine goes like this: I was living in Iowa City in the early 1970s. Every few weeks I would come back to Decorah for the weekend. I have some great friends, Steve Olson (Ole) and Juanita Riveria (Goochie). They were living up by Burr Oak, it was winter, and I arrived at the door.

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“Come on in.” I walked into the kitchen and here was Goochie covered with flour, rolling out dough that almost completely covered the four by six-foot wooden kitchen table. “What’s going on, Goochie?” I queried. “Well, Barb Winter gave me a couple of chickens and I’m going to make chicken noodle soup. But first I have to make noodles and you can help.” I reply, “Ok, I’m in, but I’ve never done this before.” Fortunately, for Goochies sake, I am a quick learner and soon we were slicing the dough into long noodles and draping them onto any available space to dry. Backs of chairs, hung over counters, off of the table, etc. Man, noodle art at its finest. It would have made Andy Warhol proud. Thanks for the lesson, Goochie! If you have never had freshmade egg noodles you are in for one of life’s great treats. I guarantee it is bliss. After all that noodling, it’s time to really sweat. Veggies that is. Like your mother always said, eat your vegetables! I like to sauté the veggies that I put in my soups. When they start to get soft, they also start to lose their water. I find this accentuates the vegetable flavors. The unami of soup flavor. Add it all to the pot. Yummy, to

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Winter 2012-13 / theinspiredmedia.com

say the least. Of course we still have to have seasoning. The key word here is fresh. Just remember fresh is best when it comes to herbs. In almost all of my soups I like to use fresh thyme. It is extremely versatile. Then I crank it up with additional herbs. Sage really works well with poultry related dishes. My mom was a big fan of sage. Although she primarily used dried herbs, she always said sage should be a big part of poultry dishes. And I always listened to my mom. You should too. Your mom, I mean, not mine. So into the chicken soup the fresh sage goes. Now that your chicken soup is seasoned, put it to use for another season: the holiday season. It’s all about sharing with your loved ones and friends, and a great way to start off this giving time of year is to divvy up a steaming hot bowl of chicken soup for everyone. Pass around some crusty bread and pour a crispy white wine. Enjoy the camaraderie and spread the love. This also works for the cold/flu season as you share the healing powers of chicken soup. It’s truly a magical winter concoction. 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 a humorous cookbook titled “Midwest Cornfusion.” He has been in the food industry in one way or another for 40 years.

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Recipes CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP 1 3 1/2 -4 lb. whole chicken Water 1/3 cup olive oil 6 stalks celery, chopped 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped 1 large onion, diced 4 cloves garlic, minced Homemade egg noodles (recipe to follow) 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 2 sprigs fresh thyme, minced 1 Tbl fresh sage, minced Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste Remove liver and excess fat from chicken. Place in a large pot and cover with water by 3-4 inches. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about an hour. Meanwhile, pour olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté celery and carrots over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add onions and garlic and sauté 3 minutes more. When chicken is thoroughly cooked (see column directions) pull from broth and let cool. Let broth cool somewhat and skim broth off. When chicken is sufficiently cooled remove skin. Remove meat from bones and dice. Bring broth back to a simmer. Add sautéed vegetables and noodles. Add lemon juice and spices, adjusting as needed. Soup is good to go when noodles are nice and chewy.


HOMEMADE NOODLES 1 1/2 cups flour 2 eggs 2 teaspoons salt Water Make a mound of flour on your work surface. Make a well in the center. Whisk eggs and salt. Place in well. Slowly, by hand, mix flour and egg mixture until eggs are incorporated. If the mixture is to dry, add water a little at a time until you have a pliable ball of dough. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Divide in half. Roll out each half as thin as possible. Take a sharp paring knife and cut into strips, however wide you want your noodles to be. Hang off of counters and chair backs to dry, about an hour.

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Marv Klocke is full of good business sense & common sense Probituary: It’s a Notice of Life! Interviewed by daughter-in-law Marla Klocke

Marv Klocke shares his memories of the decades past through this interview with his daughterin-law Marla. At age 90, Marv recalls his time in the service, years in the grocery business and owning K&S Super Value in Decorah, and spending time with his friends and family. Whether talking about stocking shelves or stalking big fish on Canadian expeditions with friends – Marv’s zest for life, friends, family – and sauerkraut (!) – is bright. What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you? It is not what you earn, but how much you save of what you earn. What did you want to be when you grew up? A store manager in the supermarket business. I did not want to be not want to be rich, so when I was old I would not regret not being rich. What do/did you do? I was in the grocery business since age 19. I worked for a great gentleman, and then went into the military service. In 1942-1945 I was in Patton’s 3rd Army through Europe. When returning from military service, I went into partnership and eventually owned my own business from 1951-1985 after which time I retired. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you? 1) A partner with good common sense 2) My wife, Mary 3) A food source Try to describe yourself in one sentence. A common man that loves to be surrounded by friends and family. If you could eat anything every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? Sauerkraut with country style spare ribs.

Do you know someone you’d love to interview for this page? Let us know! aryn@theinspiredmedia.com

Name one thing you could not live without. My wife Mary, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Multiple choice: tell us about… Your first job: Clerking in a store for two elderly maids, which was a great job. Your favorite memory: My military service days.


Decorah’s Premier Senior Lifestyle Community 1102 Nordic Drive Decorah 563-382-6521 email: friends@vennehjem.org www.vennehjem.org


Winter 2012-13 / theinspiredmedia.com

A little Birdie told me... Vennehjem is simply a convenient, easy living community for today’s active, healthy seniors—enjoy life hassle-free! Private, stacked ranch homes, one low monthly fee

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Inspire(d) Winter 2012  

Entrepre-Doers, High Fives! Support Positive Area Organizations, Grand River Singers & Vh1, Show Business Is Snow Business, Woodworker Paul...

Inspire(d) Winter 2012  

Entrepre-Doers, High Fives! Support Positive Area Organizations, Grand River Singers & Vh1, Show Business Is Snow Business, Woodworker Paul...

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