Page 1


Bring on the Winter Wonderland

Holiday Part y

Continue the tradition of world class dining you have come to expect from the Lake Elmo Inn Event Center. Hosting a party has never been easier! Call today 651-779-5994 or visit us at

acupressure • traditional chinese medicine • massage “I haven’t had a more beneficial massage from anyone else”... ~Sarah Carlson, Stillwater

Teas made from many plants, using not just the leaves, but also the flowers, roots, bark and seeds.

Huaimin Spa & Super Tea 117 S Main Street • Stillwater • 651-342-0559


We’ve got your truck right here


x nate Compassio

, excep

tional ca

re for your pets.

Kristkindlmarkt x December 7th noon-5pm

Outdoor Christmas market featuring authentic German gifts, crafts, homemade boutique items, hot spiced wine, cinnamon roasted almonds and a bonfire to keep warm! Now Accepting Holiday Party Reservations Santa Day Buffets~Dec. 8th & 15th reserve early! Voted BEST Veterinary Clinic!

Now open for evening appointments.

651-430-2229 Bring in this ad for $25 off your first exam. New clients only.

Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter since 1966 651-439-7128

Live Music

November 8-9 Bedlam A band born out of the talent pool of the MN Renaissance Festival. Its recent incarnation is a folk band with a hippie attitude. Many familiar songs with a different slant along with some original material as well.

November 15-16 Hounds of Finn A high energy Irish musical entity forged from the roots of Celtic & American traditions. One of Charlie’s favorites!

November 22-23 Stirling Bridge A two-piece band whose repertoire consists of a healthy dose of Celtic songs as well as some Gospel, Country and Folk.

413 E. Nelson St • 651-342-0799 2 STILLWATER LIVING


On the Riverfront Next to the Lift Bridge. • 651-439-6000

contents November 2013





4 6 8 16 18 26



GIVING BACK Alternative Gift Market



editor’s note

The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works, is the family.


- Lee Iacocca


Later this month most of us will be gathering with our dearest relationships, perhaps sharing what we are thankful for in our lives. It is a good practice to be mindful of the important roles these folks have played and are playing in our lives. I think it is telling that a captain of industry, the man who created the Mustang and the Mini Van, places such an emphasis on family. We all have our roles in a family dynamic, if we all just play our part and remain within our own role, it seems the family thrives. Once we fall victim to pettiness and judgmental views, the institution begins to crumble and family gatherings can become painful and often less frequent occasions. On so many levels it pays to hold our tongues at these gatherings and just enjoy folks as they are. We dabble in Thanksgiving fiction this issue with two “shorts” written by a pair of up and coming local writers. Daniel Deisinger and Kirsten Stillman provide us with a brief interlude from Stillwater Living’s standard fare, we hope you enjoy it. Giving Back makes an appearance this issue with a focus on a group from First Presbyterian Church of Stillwater. Our intention in this department is to bring you tales of people “paying it forward” in a unique way. Who would have thought that gift giving could change lives in this way?

Peter McNiff

Bring on the Winter Wonderland


Kirsten Stillman

On Stillwater explores the relationship between General Motors, Ducks Unlimited, American Luxury Coach and our own Stillwater Motors. Our home town car dealer is very well regarded by these world class organizations and now they have a special product that is exclusive in these parts to our local favorite auto dealer. Our feature story this issue focuses on the Stillwater family Curtis Dale known simply as the Stillwater PD. Get to know your local police department a little better with a ride-along and a peak behind Chief Gannaway’s curtain. They do a great job for this community - an often thankless job, and they will be there for us 24/7. We hope you have a great Thanksgiving this year. My take is that some great lessons can be learned when putting up with drunken uncle or crazy Betty’s cat food jello. Have fun with it – take plenty of pictures Real Good Then Peter McNiff Publisher and Editor




Copyright 2013 Watershed Publishing, Inc. all rights reserved. Stillwater Living is published by Watershed Publishing, Inc. P.O. Box 2302 Stillwater, MN 55082 651-430-3143

Put relaxation on your holiday list.

Looking for the perfect gift? Surprise everyone on your list with a Massage Envy gift card.




STILLWATER 5901 Norwich Ave N By Lowes and Applebees (651) 430-0300


1007 Pearson Drive Near Buffalo Wild Wings (715) 377-1444

Convenient Hours 路 Franchises Available

1-hour * massage

Open 7 Days: M-F 8am-10pm, Sat 8am-10pm, Sun 8am-10pm

*Session includes massage and time for consultation and dressing. Prices subject to change. Rates and services may vary by location and session. Additional local taxes and fees may apply. Each location is independently owned and operated. 漏2013 Massage Envy Franchising, LLC.


letters to the editor

Most Beneficial Massage: Setting aside the language barrier... I have seen dozens of massage therapists, and have frequently been disappointed by the lack of attention throughout those massages. When I first met Huaimin, I was pleasantly surprised by her abilities. She uses a variety of techniques, including “cupping” and pressure point therapy in addition to muscle massage. She seems to personalize her massages based on the needs of the individual rather than relying on an impersonal routine. Where there are more chronic tissue disorders she will use heavy pressure as well as her knowledge of meridians and energy flow, and I can actually feel an improvement at the end of the massage. When she is working I feel like she is actually studying my muscles and trying to “solve the problems” it is presenting. She is always open to feedback, and will always respond to my request for more or less pressure, or for more attention on a certain area.

2577 Oriole Avenue N Welcome to an exquisite property in a parklike setting, offering both the comfort of a neighborhood and the privacy of acreage. The home features inlaid hardwood floors, completely remodeled kitchen, awesome finishes and a main-floor owner’s suite with attached sun parlor. New Roof in August of 2013! Offered at $569,900

Sarah Carlson

Great Road Trip We really enjoyed the road trip to Stockholm story in your last issue. From time to time we’ve ventured in that direction on a run-away-day type of drive, but never had that much fun. Typically we’ve just jumped in the car and took off on our own. It makes a lot of sense to grab a few friends and maybe use more than one car – the more the merrier. Real good then – as you say, 651-270-0213 6 STILLWATER LIVING

When I first met Huaimin I asked questions to get to know her better. Although there is a bit of a language barrier I think I got the idea. I believe she was trained in Chinese medicine, and is well educated on eastern alternatives to treat illness and pain naturally and without chemical pharmaceuticals. I haven’t had a more beneficial massage from anyone else, and will continue seeing her because of it. I am happy to refer friends and family to see her specifically. I do so with the encouragement to them to communicate their expectations to her and keep an open mind.


Richard J Stillwater

The Whitcomb Report Commercial Real Estate Goings On About Town Two tenants new to the Valley Ridge Mall were showcased in the last Whitcomb Report. This high value retail destination has fast become a hot bed of great service and unique retailers.

New businesses opening their doors in quality retail locations around the greater Stillwater community is cause for optimism. Our regional and local economy continues to improve.

Office Max With all the construction along Hwy 36, an exciting project at Valley Ridge Mall has been getting noticed as well. At the West end of the center, formerly the Library, and Washington County recorders office, there is a massive renovation under way. Office Max is moving up to the Valley Ridge Mall. Office Max is “right sizing” for the market, moving from there current location next to Target. management states they are very excited for the move and it will allow them to serve their customers better and easier parking. “We feel that the new location will be a huge plus for our business”. >>> 630-864-6309 email:

904 4th Street - South Hill Iconic Stillwater Building- Now Available- Built in 1872 as the Hooley Meat Market” the building at 904 4th St on the Historic South Hill, has a vacancy. What has over the years been Goggins Candy, Eno’s Bakery and most recently The Bikery, is now available for a new opportunity. Jon Whitcomb is representing the space and is looking for the next great idea for this very prominent corner. There is up to 4000 Sq. Ft. available and the building has great exposure and on site parking. If you have a company that is need of a new location, this might be it! >>>651-430-0016

Jon Whitcomb:

651-430-0016 Office




Hot Holiday Show nov 22-jan 5

The Phipps Center for the Arts, Hudson November 22 through January 5 Opening Reception: Friday, November 22, 6:30 p.m. It appears that the Phipps is dedicating all of their visual arts gallery space to one major endeavor this holiday season. It is entitled “Historic Heat: 50 Years of Fantastic Glass from the Heartland” and it looks to be a great collection. Galleries One, Two, Three, and Overlook will be filled with wonderful glass pieces and on opening night both Dick Huss and Jim Engebretson will share some of their ecxperienmces with arts enthusiasts that are in attendance – talks begin at 5:00. We asked Anastasia Shartin, visual arts director at the Phipps, just what we might expect. Her reply “Old masters, young hotshots, iconic teachers, cutting-edge innovators, and amazing 8 STILLWATER LIVING NOVEMBER 2013

artisans showcase their distinctive techniques and our region’s unique and vital place in American Studio Glass. In addition to current work, seasoned artists will exhibit early career pieces - a rare opportunity to study the artist’s progression from past to present.” Sounds almost too good to be true and yet very much worth viewing. Exhibiting artists: Doug Becker, Joe Becker, Eoin Breadon, Todd Cameron, Craig Campbell, Pat Casanova, Steve Cox, Jim Engebretson, Steven Hodder, Al Honn, Dick Huss, Doug Johnson, Fred Kaemmer, Joe Limpert, Tom Maras, Tony Michaud-Scorza, Renee Nielsen-Engebretson, Steve Palmer, Nolan Prohaska, Cathy Richardson, David Royce, Robinson Scott, Andrew Shea, Doug & Renee Sigwarth, Eric Sommers, Brita Swanson, Lauri Wilson, and Peter Zelle.

new students 1st month



yoga for everyone

nov 22

Friday, November 22nd 6:30pm Tickets are $25 in advance 651-275-7075 For over twenty years, the holiday season has begun with the Victorian Christmas at the Historic Courthouse Preview Gala. The beautifully-decorated courthouse glows with lights as guests approach the elegant site, sitting high on the bluff overlooking the St. Croix River. Guests will enjoy champagne, coffee and sparkling cider in addition to appetizers and desserts donated by a handful of proud local food and beverage purveyors. Guests can begin their holiday shopping while strolling through the vendor booths featuring high quality arts and crafts for sale. Costumed volunteers and vendors add to the festive Victorian atmosphere. Door prizes will be awarded during the Friday evening event. A new feature for this year’s event will be gift-wrapping offered by the Historic Courthouse staff and volunteers. The Preview Event is a restoration and operations fundraiser for the Washington County Historic Courthouse and nearly $275,000 has been raised over the years. The public is invited to attend and advance tickets are recommended. The Victorian Christmas event continues on Saturday, November 23rd from 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday, November 24th from 11 am – 4 pm. There is live music throughout the event, Santa will be visiting on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Admission on Saturday and Sunday is $3 per person. WWW.STILLWATERLIVING.NET 9

Handmade Pottery for the Holidays dec 7 -8

Saturday, December 7th & Sunday, December 8th Sat 10:00am, Sun-11:00am Join Marjorie Wade for Spiritworks Pottery’s Annual Holiday Studio Sale. Having been a studio artist from the St. Croix Valley Area since 2001, Marjorie created her business with an emphasis on functional and decorative pottery comprised of natural and organic surfaces. Using various clays and firing methods in her work allows the elements of the spirit, earth, water, fire and air to affect each piece individually. From Afton, Minnesota to Aalborg, Denmark and many places in between, nothing makes

Marjorie happier than knowing her pots have found good homes around the world. Stop on by her studio in rural Stillwater to see new work from the wood kiln, enjoy holiday treats. It’s very likely that you’ll be able to check off a few names from your Holiday gift list... or add to your own collection. Come on, it’ll be fun!

Security Solutions for your Home & Business s Austin olis Mercede Minneap Mosaics, Mercury

Happy Holidays! Holiday Parties Gift Cards Available

“ISSI has been not only professional, but their team is personable, funny and makes the whole process of installing an alarm system easy. The company is very responsive and attempts of break ins at my business have been totally avoided now that we’re armed. I can now focus my attention on selling more tile!” ~Mercedes Austin

dock cafe

425 East Nelson Street ~ Stillwater 651-430-3770 10 STILLWATER LIVING


Free in-home or office estimate!


Flower Dave Becomes “Master Flower Dave”

Valley Floral’s Dave Beltz has been serving up quality floral designs for over 40 years. Flower Dave has an impeccable reputation in town, in the cities and the larger region. If you’ve attended a local wedding, funeral or other elaborate gathering over the past few decades – chances are you were duly impressed with the floral arrignments that Flower Dave was responsible for creating. Our local boy made good has been awarded the prestigious Master Florist designation, which is an honor reserved for the top 15% of florists in the United States. Perhaps even more special is the fact that our man Flower Dave is one of just three Midwest florists to be awarded this distinction.

FTD and Vera Wang have partnered to offer perfumes and select vases through their Master Florists. Good news for all of us - now we all benefit not just from Flower Dave’s wonderful floral creations, we also benefit from his Floral Rock Star status in that Vera Wang products are now offered locally. Flower Dave’s Vera Wang ensamble is on display at “Our Shop” on Main Street.

Check out

A happy home begins in the kitchen.

Happy Thanksgiving! From our staff to your family.


Stillwater 651-275-0700 | Woodbury 651- 600-3310 WWW.STILLWATERLIVING.NET 11

Be happy with your smile.TM

Old School Food Truck Nick Nitti 651-324-6166

Many of us struggle with the choice between modern convenience or traditional method. On one hand piles of folks around here have a healthy appetite for yesteryear while a gaggle of people crave whatever is the next thing. Both crowds love Nick Nitti’s truck. He has been driving around the area serving up quality breakfast and lunch items to our local bluecollar workers for over thirty years. Rain, sleet or snow won’t keep Nick from driving his self-appointed route and people working a long shift have come to appreciate his faithfulness. In fact, I’d encourage you to drop by Stillwater Motors at 10:00 AM on any weekday. You’ll find Nick surrounded by service techs, salespeople and management – everybody finds something at Nick’s truck. It’s a little tough to carry fresh fruit all year, but seasonally Nick will bring the best local options available. The lion share of Nick’s offering is an array of sandwiches and the complimentary sides that make for a quick meal. The modern convenience crowd will appreciate the fact that you can swipe a card for a quick meal. The more traditional crowd is happy that Nick has both hot and cold items, pre-wrapped sides and fresh sandwiches like mom used to make.



Old Village Christmas Family Fun Friday, Dec. 6, 5-9 pm & Saturday, Dec. 7, 9 am - 5 pm 651-436-8883 We are so fortunate to have maintained a strong connection to our history, not just through the classic structures that dot the valley but also in the personal interactions that remain timeless. So many communities overlook the simple pleasures of life as they rush to embrace whatever the latest trends are selling. There is no replacing the joy of a child’s laughter or the mystic of an old fashion wagon ride with loved ones. The first weekend in December is a great opportunity to grab the kids and pick up grandma for a short drive to Afton’s old village. No doubt the three blocks of historic Main Street will be decked-out in Christmas flair.

Here is a sampling of what’s in store: Friday night is Candlelight Night. Opening night features free horse and wagon rides, festive shopping with special discounts and treats, wine tasting, food and drink specials, chair massages, strolling carolers, live music and more. Saturday is Family Day. Throughout the day activities include breakfast and lunch with Santa, kids crafts, a special kids “stuff the stocking” promotion, free horse and wagon rides, letters to Santa, cookie decorating, open skating and more. Turn off the handheld devices and soak in the tradition of the season. We’d love to see your family out on the wagon ride.

author events Saturday, November 16

Glenn Ickler - 2:00 author of Murder On The St. Croix

Saturday, November 23 Tom Hegg - 4:00 author of Baby Talk

Saturday, November 30 Charlie Quimby - 2:00 author of Monument Road Dale Mulfinger - 4:00 author of Back To The Cabin

217 North Main Street • Stillwater 651-430-3385 WWW.STILLWATERLIVING.NET 13

Christmas is the traditional boom-time for Stillwater retailers, and the Metro Independent Business Association would like to invite you to shop local this year. A recent study done in Austin, Texas and the Andersonville Neighborhood in Chicago showed that 68 cents per dollar spent at a local business stayed in the area, versus 43 cents per dollar spent at chain stores. Independent, local businesses give back to the community by hiring more local employees and using more local goods and service companies. By supporting independent businesses you can help Stillwater retain its reputation as a great climate for entrepreneurs and as a destination for shoppers looking for that unique, perfect gift. Look for Independent Business Association members as you shop this season.

Support independently owned businesses in our community.



Thanksgiving Pie Crust:

1 crust (9- or 10- inch) may be prepared or made from scratch: 1/2 Cup vegetable shortening 1 Cup all-purpose flour 3 Tablespoons ice water 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon sugar


3 apples (use a soft, sweet variety like McIntosh or other sauce variety) 1 (12 ounce) package fresh whole cranberries 1 Cup light brown sugar


3/4 Cup walnuts 1/4 Cup light brown sugar 1/4 Cup white flour 3 Tablespoons butter, softened or cut into bits 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon salt


• Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare the pie crust and fit into a 9- or 10-inch pie pan. • Peel, core, and dice the apples. Place the apple pieces in a large bowl with the cranberries and 1 cup of light brown sugar; mix well and place into the pie shell. • Place walnuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade; pulse for 5 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until blended but still crumbly. (If you don’t have a food processor, chop the nuts by hand and blend them with the rest of the ingredients with the back of a large spoon.) • Spoon the topping all over the pie.

• Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 degrees for 30 more minutes; cover with foil to prevent the topping from darkening too much.

Prime Marketing Opportunity has a new robust web site that you’re going to love. Check out the columnists and feature stories from the magazine extended online. If you enjoy playing in the social media sphere, then like us and tweet us and pin cool images that we can all share. Come on - it’ll be FUN! WWW.STILLWATERLIVING.NET 15

on stillwater By Geoffrey Bishop

Stillwater Motors & Ducks Unlimited Unite The Players General Motors, founded in 1908, has played a pivotal role in the global auto industry for more than 100 years. From the first Buick horseless carriages to technological marvels like the Chevrolet Volt, their products and innovations have set the automobile standards around the world. In 1922 Art Raduenz opened Stillwater Motors in a one car showroom on the corner of Main and Olive. A couple of years later he needed more space, so he moved the business a block away to the Grand Garage on Main and Nelson – and there it would remain for forty nine years. Art’s son Frank Raduenz began leading Stillwater Motors in 1952 and twenty years later he would purchase the land that is the present site of our hometown dealership. Daniel (DJ) Raduenz, the third generation to lead Stillwater Motors, took the reigns in 1992 and remains the company’s president. Ducks Unlimited got its start in 1937 during the Dust Bowl when North America’s drought-plagued waterfowl populations had plunged to unprecedented lows. Determined not to sit idly by as the continent’s waterfowl dwindled beyond recovery, a small group of sportsmen joined together to form an organization that became known as Ducks Unlimited (DU). Today DU boasts more 16 STILLWATER LIVING


than 600,000 adult members and has influenced and conserved 108,569,037 acres in North America. Joe Jebaily and his wife started American Luxury Coach (ALC) over forty years ago and the company has become well known in the market place as a leader in using Stateof-the-Art Technology in the manufacturing of custom trucks and SUV’s. ALC is essentially an engineering based company focused on quality products & affordable pricing.

Commonality GM remains passionate about designing, building and selling the world’s best vehicles. Stillwater Motors, guided by the golden rule, holds its place in this community as the automobile dealership of choice. DU is the leading wetland conservation organization in the world. Any organization that has stood the test of time – as in 87 years or 91 years or 105 years – must have a management focus on the big picture. Rather than over react to small changes in the economy these organizations take the long view, and that practice has served them well. Making business decisions for short-term gain typically hurts a company in the long run.

Another common theme among these organizations is a simple practice of treating employees, vendors and customers with a high level of dignity and respect. “My grandfather always said treat others the way you want to be treated. He taught that to my father and my father taught it to me. We want our employees to follow that philosophy, and we practice that same motto in how our employees are treated,” explained DJ Raduenz. The simple concept of treating others the way you would like to be treated will develop a reputation of integrity and create a sense of loyalty in members or customers.

Beauty Lounge

Forget the fruit cake... give the gift of beauty! Organic Airbrush Tanning • Botanical Hair Removal • Mineral Makeup Artist 651-252-5800 • 1330 Frontage Road, Stillwater

The Product When ALC and GM agreed to do business, meaning that ALC had been approved to modify GM’s trucks and sport-utility vehicles, the rest of us should take that as a sign that ALC is among the elite custom vehicle producers in the world. A company like GM doesn’t jump into partnerships with just anyone, and ALC has earned their stripes over a relatively short forty year history through applying the same basic philosophy as their new global partner. This GM, ALC partnership recently introduced a series of customized vehicles designed for the outdoor enthusiast. Using standard 2013 GM trucks and sport-utility vehicles, ALC modified and enhanced the vehicles to incorporate the DU signature logo and additional luxury features. Materials to outfit the vehicles were carefully selected and partners were chosen to match the quality and excellence of the DU brand. Stillwater Motors is the exclusive dealership in this region of the country to carry this exciting new offering. From deeply sustained quality roots and now quality partners a new era of quality truck and sport-utility vehicle is king of the road (or off road) around these parts. Check out www.stillwatermotors. com to learn more about the specifics of these great vehicles.

A Truly Unique Valley Experience

Carol Carver – Artistic Director


Christus est stella matutina


Christ is the morning star, Alleluia

The Venerable Bede, 672-735

December 13 - 8 pm | December 14 - 4 pm & 8 pm | December 15 - 3 pm Washington County Historic Courthouse, Stillwater, MN You will be drawn into the occasion with a beautifully decorated room you will hear things that are surprising, new and delightful and you will enjoy gourmet refreshments, seated at tables of 10 with friends and family. This is a truly unique holiday experience.

For season tickets, individual concert tickets and information please visit us at (651) 430-0124 SEASON SPONSORS This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.




Fictional Shorts Violet’s Special Bird By Kirsten Stillman

My girl came home today. But instead of cuddling me, as is my rightful due, she only pet me for a moment and then neglected me for the food room. My girl and the one they call ‘mom’ – the furless alpha female – have banished me from the food room. They do this even when I give them my cute look; the one that ‘dad’ – the furless alpha dog – just can’t resist. My powers of cuteness aren’t persuasive enough for the rest of my odd, furless pack. Then the smells start wafting my way and I understand. It’s the day of the bird. I rest my chin on my paws and bide my time. This year, that bird will be mine. I let my eyes get droopy and eventually sprawl out on the lush carpet in the room of sitting. I have to take up as much space as possible; how else will my pack understand that I’m 18 STILLWATER LIVING


an important member of our box dwelling? I still have a clear view of everything if I choose to open my eyes. But it’s not time yet, so I let the running dreams wash over me. On this day, however, there are no squirrels to chase. That would be ridiculous. It’s bird day, so it’s the bird that I chase. I spot my prey just as it realizes it’s precarious position as the hunted. I start loping after it, speeding up with every leap and bound to match its desperate flight. Running faster and faster, I keep pace just behind the luscious beast. It flaps its wings frantically. I push myself even more. It’s time to capture my victory. I jump with reaching claws and– A noise jolts me awake and I sit up to survey my territory. There is a noise behind a door located just beyond the food room. My door. Someone is coming in through my door. I jump up and race through the food room to bark at the newcomer hiding behind my door. My pack members are talking to me, telling me things that I don’t understand. I don’t care, how could they let someone into my door? Then the voices behind the door filter through and I stop barking. It’s my other furless girl and her boy, the newest addition to our pack! My whole body begins to shake with happiness as the door opens and

bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb they come in to see me. I jump up and down and race through the food room, dashing into the room of sitting just to turn around and go back. I’m so excited! My arriving pack members have been gone for what seems like ages. But I can’t just stop there; I have to keep moving! It’s important that everyone in our box dwelling knows they’re here! I run through the house, going back and forth until I’m sure that everyone has understood my message.

The latest arrivals of my pack have come at the most opportune time. The bird has been placed on the food pedestal where my pack mates will worship it by gathering around it and making a lot of noise. But it smells so delicious that it’s taunting me and beckoning me to grab it and taste it for myself. When I’m sure no one is looking, I creep over to the food pedestal and climb up onto a worshiping chair. I step onto the worshiping pedestal and reach out. The bird is only inches away, so I jump the rest of the way onto the pedestal to claim my victory. I ignore the other offerings and go straight to the bird. There is no hesitating as I rip off large chunks of bird from the scrawny limbs. Incomparable flavors soar through my mouth and drip down my tongue as I devour the bird, saving it from its ignoble end

through the bird ceremony my pack mates usually perform on it. This is a much more honorable and glorious way for it to die. “VIOLET!!!!!!!”

I look up and my pack is rushing toward me, with looks on their faces that mean I’m in trouble. I grab as much of the bird as I can and make a run for it. Racing through our box dwelling, I elude them as much as I can until they trap me into a corner. I gulp down as much of the bird that is still left in my mouth before the alpha dad’s hands reach down to take the bird away from me. He tugs, but I don’t let go. My teeth start slipping on the bird and I can’t hold on– I startle awake at the sound of a door slamming shut. My door. My pack is home! Maybe I’ll try a chance at the bird for real this time. But for now, I have to let everyone in our box dwelling know that our pack is all present and accounted for! Kirsten Stillman is a freelance writer and contributor to Stillwater Living magazine.





bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb b bThe bb bbbb Essentials of b b b b b b b b b bFamily bbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb "He just gets confused," Lucy said. "Besides, everybody does it. Grandma, didn't you once go out with someone you thought was Grandpa just because he had the same hat?"

By Daniel Deisinger

"Dearie, there's no cranberry sauce!" Grandma McKenzie wailed. "It's not Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce!"

"Don't worry Grandma, I sent Brent out for the essentials. He should be back soon," Lucy said. The family sat at the dining room table, eager for a feast. Cool November air flowed in through the windows, and candles burned on the immaculate table. Food covered the table: sliced turkey and its trimmings, mashed potatoes that had been the subject of fierce debate (whether or not to include the skins), glasses of wine for the adults, milk or water for the kids, and all the other standard Thanksgiving dinner fare. The family was waiting for the absent Brent. His wife, Lucy, and their three kids: Amy, Maddie, and Anthony, all sat with Brent's mother (the cranberry sauce-focused Grandma McKenzie), Uncle George, Aunt Amberetta, and their infant son Jessie. "I hope he doesn't get lost," said Amy, texting with both hands.

"What does that mean?" Lucy asked as she kept Anthony from sticking his hand, which he had just taken out of his mouth, into the candied yams. The boy gave her a betrayed look. "He's gonna get lost in the store or something," Amy said without looking up.

"If he forgot, he'd call," Lucy said. The entire family twisted their necks around to spot Lucy's cell phone, which sat on the counter. It remained silent and immobile. "Well, I trust him." "George, do you remember when we needed him to get the stationary for our wedding?" Amberetta asked.

"Boy do I," Uncle George said. "He called us from a landscaping store because he thought we meant rocks." "Why?" Maddie asked.

"He said because rocks don't ever move." George smiled and shook his head. "Bless you, dear, for putting up with him," Grandma said, laying a hand on Lucy's arm.

"Maybe I did," Grandma said, sticking her nose in the air. "But it was such a nice hat. It could have confused anybody."

"Aw Mom, how could you have been confused by a hat?" Amberetta asked, giggling.

"Well, it had a feather in it you know. And you're one to talk dearie! George told me you accidentally left Jessie at the counter of the hardware store once!" Amberetta looked at George, who shied away. "She was giving me brownies!" He explained, pointing at his mother. "You know I get chatty when I eat brownies! That's the only reason I told her! Anyway, you remembered and went back! He's fine now!"

To punctuate this point, Jessie chortled a baby laugh from his high chair. His pristine Winnie-the-Pooh bib would soon be covered in potatoes and green beans.

Eager to get in on the fun, Maddie turned to her big sister Amy. "Didn't you go to school in your pajamas?" The entire table laughed, but Amy sat stunned, frozen with her thumbs hovering over her phone's buttons and her mouth slack. She gave Maddie a laser-hot glare. "Oh Amy!" Lucy laughed. "Which ones?"

Amy lowered her head. "The unicorn ones," she mumbled. "Just the bottoms, though!" She said as the table erupted in laughter again. Jessie, barely one year old, and Anthony, four, joined in for reasons they didn't fully understand. Maddie, emboldened by the laughter, kept going. "And Mom once went out with curlers in her hair!"

Lucy's face went red, but this only made the laughter louder. After a few seconds, she started laughing too; she couldn't stop it.

"I'm back!" They heard a voice yell from the front door. Brent appeared around the corner holding 'the essentials' – a case of Coca-Cola and a package of Oreos. He found eight howling family members. "Hey ... what's so funny?" Daniel Deisinger is a freelance writer and new contributor to Stillwater Living magazine.




A (Writer’s) Brush With the Law

By Kirsten Stillman Photos by Aimee Christenson

Sergeant Brian Bruchu opens the door of the squad car for me and I slide in. The door closes and he walks around to the driver’s side of the car and sits down. Instead of the sheer panic I might be feeling if I were sitting in the backseat, I smile from the front passenger seat as the squad car rolls onto the streets of Stillwater. Seeing the city from a different perspective is an experience I will never forget. Stillwater Police Department’s patrol officers work 12hour shifts; responding to calls from citizens, helping with traffic control, responding to medical emergencies, patrolling different neighborhoods as well as the downtown area, and responding to other miscellaneous things that may occur on their shift. In my ride along with Sergeant Bruchu, he explains that the variety that defines the duties of a patrol officer is one of his favorite parts about the job. The real sense of community is another thing he values about Stillwater, he adds briefly. As he starts the night’s patrol through various neighborhoods, a radio chatters in the background. I can’t catch every word, but I know that Sergeant Bruchu hears and understands it all. Multitasking is one of the biggest parts of the job. He explained to me that during training, keeping track of everything – the speed of all the cars around you, the radio chatter, watching the driving conduct of other cars on the road, and paying attention to other suspicious activity – is one of the hardest parts to get used to. When talking about getting called to various incidents, Sergeant Bruchu says that “most of the time people think they’re bothering us,” but calling for help or to report something suspicious isn’t a bother at all. “It’s important and valuable,” he says. One of the first calls Sergeant Bruchu responds to is a medical emergency. As we pull up to the house, the ambulance has already arrived and the paramedics are inside. As I stay in the car (a rule for any ride along participant), Sergeant Bruchu goes inside to assist the paramedics if needed. WWW.STILLWATERLIVING.NET 23

But everything is cleared and handled by the paramedics, so we continue to patrol the neighborhoods until Sergeant Bruchu sees a car with a headlight out. Pulling the car over, he gets out and walks up to the driver’s window. After everything passes without incident, the driver is cleared to go with a reminder to fix the headlight. Next up on the night’s agenda: a sweep of the schools and any secluded business areas where people may be loitering. We also swing past three wedding locations that are in progress to make sure everything is calm and under control. After responding to other small incidents and medical emergencies, my night riding along with Sergeant Bruchu is over. Though the night wasn’t filled with frantic car chases or siren-filled, speed-demon journeys across town to respond to a major event, the variety of the calls and tasks that I experienced or watched unfold during my ride along were only small glimpses of the larger picture. There are usually 13,000 to 16,000 calls for service per year for the Stillwater Police Department. These calls are answered by responding patrol officers like Sergeant Bruchu. “The patrol officers are the backbone of the department,” Chief John Gannaway says in an interview with me. “No two days are alike for the patrol officers. Now, some of the calls they've been to before, and can be routine, but there are other calls that are not even remotely routine.”


“We ask a lot of our officers,” Chief Gannaway adds. “They do a lot of interacting with the community itself. [We go] out to different events and go to schools, and we have a K-9 officer that’s a part of that.” Officer Dave Wulfing, and his K-9 partner Buzz, are both trained to respond to anything: searching for drugs, searching for a person, and visiting schools. Sergeants are in charge and responsible for all the patrol officers, and also for commanding any incidents during their shift. The sergeants then report to Captain Nathan Meredith, who runs the day-to-day operations. He runs the department by making sure all the squad cars’ gas tanks are full, and that all the officers have the proper equipment and tools they need. He also schedules shifts and accomplishes many more daily tasks. “He does a lot of work,” Chief Gannaway explains, “it’s kind of an unsung hero” position in the department. The captain then answers to Chief Gannaway, who has been a chief for 16 years; seven of them for the Stillwater Police Department. “I come in and talk with my staff and see what’s going on,” Chief Gannaway says of his normal day. After responding to emails, “there are citizens that will walk up and want to talk to me … so I’ll meet with them.” There are also various meetings the chief will attend. “I’ll [also] go to different events … I don’t have a set schedule. Generally I’m here during the day, but sometimes I work away and I have council meetings as well.” Periodically, the Chief will also jump into a squad car with officers and patrol the streets of Stillwater. But, there are more staff members in the department besides patrol officers, sergeants, captains, and the chief. The investigators in the department handle anything that requires more follow up than can be handled in a 12-hour shift by the patrol officers. “The officers only have so many hours in the day,” Chief Gannaway explains, so the investigators take care of those cases. Stillwater has an adult



investigator, a juvenile investigator (who is also the school resource officer), and a sergeant to oversee everything. “At any given time, each investigator has roughly 15 to 25 open cases, so they're busy,” Chief Gannaway says. “Whether it's some kind of technology or computer crime, a burglary, or a sexual assault,” the investigators work on them “until there’s a result one way or the other,” Chief Gannaway explains. Next is the community service officer. “What they do is they [manage] animal control, they unlock people’s cars, they direct traffic,” Chief Gannaway says. They are “not sworn and licensed personnel. They do a lot of the busywork around the police department.” In my ride along with Sergeant Bruchu, he explained that this position is often filled with young officers that are in school who want to become police officers. There is a part-time parking enforcement officer that is responsible for exactly what the job description sounds like – enforcing parking, especially in the downtown area. Stillwater also has a community resource officer that helps with investigations and collecting crime scene evidence. “He does a lot of code enforcement – all that stuff on people’s lawns, like junk cars,” Chief Gannaway says. “Every city has issues like that … so he deals with that.” The clerical staff is comprised of two people who transcribe reports and do a lot of data entry. “There’s a lot of reports,” Chief Gannaway says, “and plus, there are a lot of people who walk in that want to make a report with an officer or want to talk to me.” The clerical staff handles all those things in addition to answering the phones and filling requests. “They’re very busy,” Chief Gannaway adds. Reserves are also an important part of the department; these volunteers are a non-sworn-in team that does a lot of work in the community. “They come out for every major event,” Chief Gannaway says, “they patrol our parks and they do an incredible amount of work for free. Frankly, we don’t do enough for them – they’re another unsung hero of the department. They do a lot of different stuff and they do it all on their own.” “And obviously … I'm sort of simplifying [everything],” Chief Gannaway adds, explaining that each position is much more complex and involved. But, he adds, before someone can even become a police officer, they must go through several steps first. After graduating with a minimum two-year degree, all aspiring officers have to go through a six to eight week skills program. There, they learn firearms, basic interview techniques, evidence collection, court report writing, and other basics of law enforcement.

(POST) test, which is mandatory for licensed eligibility. The license is then activated when personnel are hired. And it’s not an easy process, the interviews are only the beginning, Chief Gannaway says. “I think this time around we did three sets of interviews … and then they go through a really lengthy background check. It’s literally every single aspect of their life [that] we pick through and sort through.” After successfully passing the background check, next come the physical, psychological, and medical exams. When all that has been passed, they’re hired. “It's a pretty elaborate process,” Chief Gannaway says. But it doesn’t stop there, once a new officer is hired in Stillwater, they are required to go through a three-month field-training program. This allows the newly hired officers to learn a hands-on approach to how things are done in the city and the department. Learning things like the geography of the city, for example. “Geography is really complicated in Stillwater,” Chief Gannaway says, so new officers “have to learn because tomorrow no one is telling them where to go. When there is a 911 call about a baby not breathing at some obscure, backwoods address in Stillwater, you have to know where you're going, because literally every second counts.” After their three months of field-training are over, new hires are out on their own as probationary officers. The probation period, however, only lasts a year. “We want people to be well-trained, we want them to be professional, we want them to be competent,” Chief Gannaway says. “And that's all part of making sure that they are.” But not all of the job description is merely lengthy processes and training; by necessity, a job with the police department is very community-oriented. Crime prevention programs, being present in the schools, working with neighborhood watch groups, crimes against the elderly programs, firearms safety through the DNR, delivering Thanksgiving meals through the Unseen Angels organization, attending National Night Out in Washington Square Park, and attending block parties around the city, are all things that the department is involved in. At the end of my time with Chief Gannaway, I asked him what he would want the community of Stillwater to know about the department and its staff. “We have about 45 employees with both regular officers and non-sworn staff,” he says. “They care about the community and they're good, decent, humble people, and they’re human beings too. And while they're not perfect, they do their best and they do it for the right reasons.” Kirsten Stillman is a freelance writer and contributor to Stillwater Living magazine.

After receiving their course completion certificate, they must pass the Peace Officers Standards and Training WWW.STILLWATERLIVING.NET 24

giving back

Making A Difference T he Alternative Gift Market wants to help you find special gifts for your friends and loved ones. The market operates from Stillwater's First Presbyterian Church, and 2009 marks their fourteenth consecutive year of creating joy and merriment while making a significant impact.

This market is unique in part because it couples the tradition of gift-giving to the needs of those far less financially blessed. Choosing gifts at the market will help put your hard-earned dollars to work, bringing real benefits to real people with big needs. Some of them are neighbors right here in the valley, some live in greater Minnesota and other parts of the U.S., and some face daily struggles in distant lands. Regardless of location, we all share the same basic needs, but they have significant challenges in meeting theirs. The market features a broad array of gifts -- fair trade handmade items from developing countries, toys, clothing, 26 STILLWATER LIVING


and gourmet foods, to name a few - - and doing some of your shopping at the market can do a lot of good. Consider these examples of how much your purchase can mean to someone in need. The cost of a video game will provide blankets for a family of five who were displaced by a disaster. Tools and seeds for an impoverished family farm needing to feed itself have a price tag equivalent to a pound of gourmet coffee. Eco-friendly, reusable fabric gift bags save natural resources and money, and eliminate the need to spend time wrapping gifts. Using them will aid the East Metro Women’s Council in assisting low-income and homeless families working toward self-sufficiency, and of course, they're useful for gifts purchased and the Alternative Gift Market and elsewhere. From time to time we want something for a person who already "has everything." The perfect gift for them might be a donation in their name to a non-profit whose interests line up with

theirs. Those represented at the market have established records of helping people or addressing environmental issues, and your donation will help, be it big or small.

24 Hour Airport Service

weddings~funerals~special occasions


6188 Beach Rd. N. - Stillwater 651-439-0611

Vendor and non-profit participants this year are: • African Team Ministries • Bead for Life • Friends of Africa • Global Crafts • I Love A Parade • Marketplace Handwork of India • Partners for Just Trade • Red Lake Nation Food • SERRV International • Turkish Scarf Project • White Earth Land Recovery Project

Creating VALUE

Building and Remodeling unique Twin Cities homes since 1977 Lic. #BC006077

• Women’s Bean Project • Church World Service • Common Hope • Compatible Technology International • East Metro Birthday Bags • Habitat for Humanity • Heifer Project • Medical Benevolence Foundation • Valley Outreach The market accepts cash and checks. A soup lunch will be available on Saturday, and homemade treats will be on hand both days. 18th Annual Alternative Gift Market Saturday, November 23 2013 from 10 am - 4 pm Sunday, November 24 2013 from 9 am - 1 pm

Troy Thies Photography

Discover our unique ability to provide innovation, fair price and lasting value.

First Presbyterian Church of Stillwater 6201 Osgood Ave N. 612-338-2020


perspective DO YOU RECOGNIZE THIS LOCATION? Win a dinner for two! Email the correct location to

PHOTO BY CURTIS DALE. IF YOU LIKE HIS WORK GO TO WWW.CURTISDALE.COM by the end of this month. A lucky winner will be drawn from a pool of correct answers. Each month we will run a new Perspective, so don’t get discouraged if this one stumped you. Congratulations to last month’s winner, Sharon Williams of Stillwater. When your curiosity overwhelms you, visit or each month to discover the location of this month’s picture.



Holidays at


Book Your Holiday Event

Gift Certificates make the perfect gift! B&B & Theme Dinner Gift Certificates Available Now!

Upcoming Dinners & Events: Nov. 16th ~ Babette’s Feast Dec. 14th ~ Downton Abbey’s Christmas Supper Jan. 25th ~ Russian Prazdnik

OCTOBER 2005 15 STILLWATER LIVING Follow us on Facebook for more photos & deals! • 651-439-9747

joyful. curious. inspired. who will your child become?


Stillwater Living, November 2013  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you