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Laura Rossow

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for more cartoons visit

LOOK WHO’S READING! Mike & Phyllis

These are just a few of the great photos on our new 2012 Historic Calendar. They will be available at all participating advertisers or by sending your order to Twist & Shout.


Iow a Hea rt,M a g g io Den ta l,A-1 Hom e Hea lth C a re,C S Ba n k, Brow n ’sS hoe,M a ria n Hom e,Fron tier C om m u n ica tion s,G u n d erson Fu n era l Hom e,Frien d ship Ha ven ,Tea Thym e,The C ella r,Trin ity W ou n d C en ter,La u fersw eiler’sFu n era l Hom e,Da n iel Tire


Michaelson (Left) with Frank & Zelda Farmer (right) in Sydney, Australia. The Opera

# of calendars: ___

House is pictured in


the background.

address: •

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the Editor ) (From From the Editor

S ’ T A H W ! E D I S

IN ER 2011


0 Volume 2

12 • Issue

presented by Noon Sertoma


I’m pictured below with grandchildren Anya and Luka Trevino, who are helping me read your favorite magazine. Merry Christmas.

10 11 18

It’s time for all our school Christmas programs and concerts. St. Edmond High school will perform theirs on Sunday, December 11th- and this year they are offering a chili dinner to follow the concert. Hawkeye Community Theater is busy rehearsing for their Christmas production of ‘Joy” A Christmas Rock Musical; which will be presented December 16th through the 18th at the Theater. Director Dave Stokesbary said he ‘coexists’ with some talented and energetic kids who are putting on the show. Don’t miss it!


A Look Back


723 central avenue, fort dodge, iowa 50501 fax 515-574-4510 phone 515-576-0250

the iowa fabulous flippers 21



mix of classics and originals

and so this is christmas

Iowa Central Community College is once again holding their Christmas concert on December 8th and 9th. The talent they offer to our community is second to none; and this can truly be seen at the Christmas concert. Twist & Shout gives this a 5 star event for sure.

Put on your favorite cd sometime during the next few weeks, pour that special drink, be it wine, hot chocolate or hot cider, and relax enjoy family and friends.


Annual Open House

A Boomer’s Story

The noon Sertoma Club is once again holding their wonderful ‘Lights at Kennedy’; which showcases over 20 different light displays courtesy of area businesses. Make a date to go out and view the displays – any time during the three week-ends they are open. A great way to usher in the season!

Columnist Bill McIntyre shares his favorite holiday music. What do you think is the biggest selling song in world history? Think about it- then read on page 18 to see what it is. I’d have to agree with Bill that Mannheim Steamroller has a great Christmas sound. I recall taking all four children to Des Moines to hear/see them. What a great memory and a treat for all of us.

There will be a Holiday Open House at the RinglandSmeltzer Home on Sunday, December 11th. The event is free and open to all who want to get into the spirit of the season- and enjoy one of Fort Dodge’s true historic treasures. Make plans now to attend.

at Ringland Smeltzer Home

Holiday Concert 11

erry Christmas to all our readers and advertisers! What a great time of year this is- filled with many different ways to enjoy the Holidays and get into the spirit of Christmas.


Lights at Kennedy


MANAGING EDITOR: anne kersten




nick manwarren SALES: mary sherman

Stella’s Stories

great gift ideas for pets



jennifer schertz

*All photos submitted to Twist & Shout become property of Twist & Shout. We are not responsible for their return.


COVER PHOTO: regina suhrbier

Twist & Shout is published monthly by Ogden Newspapers, Inc. All content and opinions expressed may not be those of the publishers.

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: tom tourville bill mcintyre sarah estlund angela trevino katie averill

Member of Greater Fort Dodge Area Chamber of Commerce •

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DISTRIBUTION: pam haldin

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( event) Noon Sertoma Presents

Lights at Kennedy We are really looking forward to this year’s event, said Jason Kolacia, who is chairman this year. “We’ve had a great response from past participants as well as some new ones.” He said they have close to 25 different displays, and people are getting excited and ‘in the mood’.

Businesses that are displaying over the weekends include: Champion Pre-owned Auto, Community Christian School, Goodwill Industries, Curt Bacon Auto, Friendship Haven, Fort Dodge Ford, Earl May, Abate of Iowa, Chuck Crimmins/Mark’s Auto, Allers Associates, Smitty’s Lawn, First Congregational United Church of Christ, Habitat for Humanity, Floor to Ceiling, Iowa Central Community College, Decker Sporting Goods, Shimkat Motor Co., Jim’s Carpet One, Frontier Communications, Webster County Conservation, Nestle Purina, Valero, Rabiner Treatment Center, Da’Dragons and Fighting Angles Abreast.

The Fort Dodge Noon Sertoma club has been busy organizing and planning for their annual “Lights at Kennedy”, which will be held the first three weekends through December, starting Saturday, December 3rd. With the goal of putting area residents in the Holiday spirit, the event also raises money for a much-needed cause, the ‘Backpack’ buddy program.

three weekends gives more people the see the displays

Being open the opportunity to come and

Kolacia said that this year the displays can be viewed on the week-ends only; not during the week, which is what they did a year ago. “Being open the three weekends gives more people the opportunity to come and see the displays,” said Kolacia. He explained that the displays are created by area businesses, service clubs, schools and non-profit organizations. Kolacia said that all who attend are able to vote for their favorite display, with prize money awarded to the top three vote getters. Businesses that win are asked to designate their winnings to a local charity or non-profit. Kolacia explained that all the net proceeds of this year’s “Light’s will be used toward the Backpack Buddies program. “With more than 100 students participating, this program is designed to supplement school breakfast and lunch programs by providing elementary age children with nutrient rich foods over the weekend, when many of these children may have little or nothing to eat.” He added that a typical bag includes nutritious food items such as peanut butter, crackers, fruit cups, seeds and nuts, small boxes of cereal, juice boxes and shelf stable milk cartons. “The Backpack Buddies program is an excellent program,” said Kolacia. “We know that many of these children rely- and depend- on this food to help them, and sometimes their siblings through the weekend. He had high praises for Matt Cosgrove and his staff at Webster County Conservation. “Without their help, an event like this wouldn’t be possible,” he said.

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Annual Holiday

( open house )

OPEN HOUSE by Anne Kersten

“ (


Delpha Holtzman, who is one of those on the Board of the Ringland Smeltzer Foundation, said it will be a great way to celebrate the holidays-


nate with the painted trim on the house. “All four porches and two balconies will be trimmed with lighted garland and bows, and there will be wreaths on all the windows.”

“There will be a 9 foot tree in the newly redone living room, decorated with gold and ivory orna-

three bedrooms on the second floor will be decorated and open for viewing

“And we are excited this is free to all who would like to come.” She said that both the main floor and the second floor will be open for viewing the day of the Open House. Holtzman was excited as she shared some of the decorating that people will enjoy the day of the Open House. She said the outside of the home will be decorated with over 4000 feet of red and green plaid ribbon to coordi-

There will be a Holiday Open House at the Ringland-Smeltzer Home, at 1019 2nd Avenue South on Sunday, December 11th from 2 to 5:00 pm.

ments. A beautiful Nativity scene will surround the base of the tree,” She said, adding, “The theme in the library will be ‘old world’ charm. The tree and mantle will be decorated with earth tone ornaments.”

refinished woodwork and floors.” Holtzman said Scott enjoys setting the dining room table festively while using the Ringland-Smeltzer antique china, silver and crystal. “The three bedrooms on the second floor will be decorated and open for viewing,” she said. In case of inclement weather, the snow date for the Open House is Tuesday, December 13th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

”In the dining room, decorators Scott Gernhart and Cyndi Fallon, who are a ‘brother-sister’ team, will be using natural and earthtone colors that compliment the new wall coverings,

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Monday - Saturday 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Sunday 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

The Ringland-Smeltzer House was built in 1903 by George Ringland and his wife. Mr. Ringland was a founder of one of the nation’s leading corporations, the U. S. Gypsum Co. Their granddaughter, Ann Smeltzer, lived in the home until Christmas eve of 1997. Ann died in 1999.

formation’ with new wall coverings, draperies and refinishing of the woodwork and floor. The floor and woodwork in the library has been refinished, and plantation shutters have been added as well as new wall coverings.

The Main entry, foyer stairway and second floor hallway were refurbished in 2009. In 2010, the living room and the library were refurbished. Most recently, in 2011, the dining room and the butler’s pantry were restored to the 1910 era.

Christmas Eve Day 9 AM - 5 PM Christmas Day CLOSED

Holtzman said that in 2010 the living room underwent an ‘amazing’ trans-

December 26th 8 AM - 6 PM New Year’s Eve Day 10 AM - 5 PM New Year’s Day 10 AM - 5 PM

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( @ the civic center )

Civic Center of Greater Des Moines


he tour of the smash hit Broadway revival of West Side Story is coming to Des Moines. West Side Story will open at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines on Tuesday, Feb. 7 and play through Sunday, Feb. 12.

The new Broadway cast album of West Side Story won the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album on January 31, 2010. The Bernstein and Sondheim score is considered to be one of Broadway’s finest and features such classics of the American musical theatre as “Something’s Coming,” “Tonight,” “America,” “I Feel Pretty” and “Somewhere.”

West Side Story had a long journey to Broadway. Six years elapsed between Jerome Robbins's first idea of a modern musical adaptation of Romeo and Juliet and its actual Broadway debut in 1957. Originally, the action of the musical was to take place on New York's Lower East Side with tensions flaring between Jews and Catholics during the Passover and Easter holidays. The original setting left the authors uninspired and the project was put on hold. Years later, when Arthur Laurents proposed changing the basis of conflict from religion to race, the show gained creative momentum and West Side Story was born. Originally directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, West Side Story opened at the Winter Garden Theatre on September 26, 1957 and garnered passionate reactions from critics and audiences alike. The piece has often been credited with changing the entire course of the American musical theatre. Applauding the creators’ innovation in dance and musical style, TIME Magazine exclaimed “Robbins’ energetic choreography and Bernstein’s grand score accentuate the satiric, hard-edged lyrics of Sondheim and Laurents’ capture of the angry voice of urban youth.”

At Civic Center of Greater Des Moines The well- known vocal harmony group, The Blenders, will perform at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines on December 20th. Originally from Fargo, North Dakota, they call Minneapolis, Minn their home. For 21 years they have toured the United States with their unique style of vocal harmony-based music. They continue to write their own music as well as adapting songs of their favorite artists. Often described as ‘one of America’s best kept secrets, the Blenders continue to record and tour the Country, delighting audiences with their signature vocal sound. They have appeared with such acts as Jay Leno, Chicago, The Righteous Brothers, Chuck Berry and many more. They have also appeared on a variety of national shows such as The Today Show and Arsenio Hall. In 2007 their music was featured in the Queen Latifah film, The Perfect Holiday. In 1997, The Blenders released their first Christmas album, “Nog”, which is a favorite among their fans and features the group’s unmistakable smooth, vocal harmonies. For tickets to The Blenders or more information, call 515-246-2300.

New York Times critic Brooks Atkinson described the show as “profoundly moving; an incandescent piece of work where theatre people, engrossed in an original project, are all in top form.” Tickets for WEST SIDE STORY are on sale at the Civic Center Ticket Office, all Ticketmaster locations, charge-by-phone at (800) 745-8000 and online at Groups of 15 or more should call (515) 246-2340.



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(holiday concert ) Iowa Central Community College


Holiday Concert 2011 to be a mix of classics & originals The free concert, which is one of the highlights of the music and visual arts programs each year, will be packed with performances ranging from fun and light to moving and inspirational. Old holiday classics as well as original works will be performed throughout the evening. The band program will have three ensembles on display as the concert band, brass ensemble and the jazz band will all perform.

old holiday

the band will also perform two works from the holiday classic The Nutcracker with a “Swing March from the Nutcracker” and “Sugarplum Rock”. Finally, the band will close the show with “Woodchopper’s Ball.” The choir will also perform several numbers from a quartet of ensembles as the vocal jazz, concert choir, encore singers and the men’s choir will all perform. The vocal jazz choir will open the choir performances with the light hearted “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”. The concert choir will then perform five pieces all including “Divinium Mysterium”, “It came Upon a Midnight Clear”, “Angels We have Heard on High”, “Ave Maria” and “Angels in Seven.”

classics as well as original works will be performed throughout the evening.

The concert band will feature works from famous American composer Irving Berlin like “Happy Holidays”, “Count Your Blessings”, “Blue Skies, Always” and “White Christmas.” The concert band will also be performing an original work from Iowa Central band director Paul Bloomquist’s former graduate schoolmate Matt Conway. Conway is currently a high school director in West Lafayette, Ind., and the concert band will be performing his original work “One with the Wind.”

The encore singers will follow with five Christmastime favourites that will be familiar to those in attendance, both young and old. They will start with “It’s the Most wonderful Time of the Year”, “We Need a Little Christmas”, and Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town”.

The brass ensemble will perform a pair of selections taken right from the television. The ensemble will perform Vince Guaraldi’s “Christmastime is Here” from The Charlie Brown Christmas Special and Dr. Seuss’ “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” from How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Finally, the men’s choir will wrap up the choir department’s contribution with the New Year’s Classic “Auld Lang Syne.”

The Iowa Central music and visual arts programs will be hosting the annual Holiday Concert on Thursday, December 8 and 9, in Decker Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. each night and Iowa Central students will be on full display as several programs will appear on stage. There will also be 1 pm performance on Thursday the 8th.

The encore singers will also perform “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Let There Be Peace on Earth”.

Admission to the 2011 Holiday Concert is free and the doors open at 6:00 p.m. A free shuttle will be available for the evening shows.

Finally, the jazz band will cover a wide spectrum of sounds and styles. First, in honor of the release of the Muppet movie, the band will open with “The Muppet Show Theme”. Then the “raildroad track, that takes [you] back” will give all listeners a “Sentimental Journey”. Knowing that the holiday season is rapidly approaching, the band will remind the audience that “Here Comes Santa Claus”. Then

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Saint Edmond

( concert )

Christmas Concert St. Edmond High School will be holding its annual Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 11th at 3:00 pm in the Kelly Auditorium at the High School. The concert will feature the St. Edmond high school choirs and bands; which include the Gael Singers, the Celtic Choir, Concert Chorus, All Choirs and the Chamber Choir.

includes such songs as “Angels We Have Heard On High”, “Mary on a Mountain”, “Whisper! Whisper!”, “Christmas Lullaby”, “Feliz Navidad”, “All is Well”, and “Nutcracker Jingles”.

Brown added that the audience will be able to participate in-between groups by singing Christmas carols, “which The first half of the Concert will feature puts everyone in the Christmas spirit,” the two Band ensembles, Concert Band said Brown. and Jazz Band, under the direction of Kelly Albrecht. Following the concert there will be a chili and cinnamon rolls fundraiser for Vocal Director Nicole Brown is excited the music department. Cost is a about the program, because it is an freewill donation. “official” kick-off of the Holiday Season. “We are excited to perform some more traditional Christmas music as well as some new ones,” said Brown. Music that will be performed

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(concert )

Fort Dodge Area


December 4th Concert

Home for the Holidays T

he Fort Dodge Symphony will hold their December ‘Holiday’ Concert on Sunday, December 4th at Phillips Middle School at 3:00 pm. The concert will be led by guest conductor, Mike Golemo from Iowa State University. The vocal soloist will be Jocelyn Ascherl, who is a Fort Dodge native and a student at Iowa State University. Scott Johnston will also return as the narrator of the old time favorite “Twas the Night Before Christmas”. Michael Golemo is the Director of Bands and Chair of the Department Mike Golemo of Music and Theatre at Iowa State University. In addition to conducting the Wind Ensemble and teaching courses in music education and conducting, Dr. Golemo oversees a program of nine bands. A native of Chicago, he received his Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music degrees from Northwestern University where he studied conducting with John P. Paynter and saxophone with Frederick L. Hemke. He completed his doctorate in wind conducting at Michigan State University.

Jocelyn Ascherl is a graduate of St. Edmond High School and is currently a senior in Vocal Performance at Iowa State University. She has been seen in numerous ISU productions and worked with Stagewest Theatre Company in Des Moines, the Judge Story Theatrical Troupe in Story City, and a featured soloist in the Masterworks concerts. She studies with Mary Creswell, renowned mezzosoprano, and international opera star Simon Estes. Jocelyn will be performing “Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion’ and “I Know My Jocelyn Ascherl Redeemer Liveth ‘ from Handel’s Messiah. Following the concert, the Symphony Board will offer holiday treats and an opportunity to bid on special gift baskets. This will all be held at Phillips Middle School.

moreinfo : For more information visit

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Stephens Auditorium Iowa State University The Performing Arts Series at Stephens Auditorium Features Powerful Performances for Everyone – Broadway, Classical Music, Dance, Theater and more! Unveiling the shows for 2012 on the Performing Arts Series at Stephens Auditorium, General Manager Mark North noted “This season offers an exciting fusion of classics and fresh originals with performers from around the globe. The arts have the power to engage our community, overcome cultural barriers and just flat out entertain us and make us feel good,” he continued. Coming Saturday, January 14th is Spamalot; a winner of the 2005 Tony Award® for Best Musical. Monty Python's Spamalot is the outrageous new musical comedy lovingly “ripped off” from the film classic Monty Python and The Holy Grail. Based on the Tony Award®winning direction of Mike Nichols with a book by Eric Idle and music and lyrics by the Grammy® Award-winners Mr. Idle and John Du Prez, Spamalot tells the tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they embark on their hilarious quest for the Holy Grail. Young Frankenstein will be presented on January 22, at 7:30 pm. Audiences will have a “monstrously” good time at this new production, winner of the 2008 Outer Critics Circle Award and the Audience Award for Best Musical. Featuring favorite moments from the classic film, plus new show-stopping numbers, including "Transylvania Mania," "He Vas My Boyfriend" and "Puttin' on the Ritz," this wickedly inspired reimagining of the Frankenstein legend follows bright young Dr. Frankenstein (pronounced Fronkensteen) as he attempts to create a monster—along with scary and hilarious complications.

during a sermon, “What do you do when you’re not sure?” Audiences learn that little is certain in John Patrick Shanley’s brilliant, aptly titled play. Although set in 1964, Doubt is as timely as tomorrow’s newspaper. Is Father Flynn using his position as teacher and coach to encourage youngsters or take advantage of them? Is hard-headed Principal Sister Aloysius protecting children from harm, or is she falsely accusing an innocent man of a shocking betrayal of trust? The show, ‘My Fair Lady’ comes to Ames on Thursday, February 23 at 7 p.m. Featuring some of the most-beloved songs in musical theatre history, a sparkling new production of the Broadway classic, My Fair Lady, returns to Stephens. A smash hit ever since its 1956 Broadway debut, with gorgeous music and lyrics by Lerner and Lowe, My Fair Lady has been called “the perfect musical” in part because everyone— not just Henry Higgins—falls in love with Eliza Doolittle. Families should mark their calendars now- as Magic School Bus Live! gets read to delight on March 2 at 7 p.m. The Magic School Bus Live! is celebrating its 25th anniversary with an new musical adventure, The Climate Challenge. The audience can fasten their seatbelts and join Ms. Frizzle’s class on a whirlwind tour from the Arctic to the equator, where the telltale signs of climate change inspire them to make a difference through conservation, recycling and alternative energy. “Tschaikowski” - St. Petersburg State Orchestra will perform on Saturday, March 3 at 7:30 p.m. Roman Leontiev will serve as Music Director and Chief Conductor Alexandre Pirojecko will perform as Piano Soloist. The Overture Dinner begins at 5:30 p.m. and the evening is supported by the Ames Commission on the Arts and is sponsored by the Ames International Orchestra Festival Association (AIOFA) Maestro Roman Leontiev, widely regarded as one of the pre-eminent Russian conductors of his generation, leads the orchestra on its first trans-continental tour of the U.S. Established following World War II, this grand orchestra has developed an extremely diverse repertoire ranging from Baroque through 20th Century music. Alexandre Pirojenko joins the orchestra for Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor.

Audiences of all ages will enjoy the Ballet, The Sleeping Beauty on Sunday, January 29 at 3 p.m. With a graceful corps de ballet, lavish sets and costumes, and superbly gifted principal dancers, the Moscow Festival Ballet presents The Sleeping Beauty, a three-act ballet set to Tchaikovsky’s lush melodies. One of the most beloved fairytales of all time, The Sleeping Beauty is a classic of popular culture with its journey to an enchanted forest where good triumphs over evil through a single kiss. The play, ‘Doubt: A Parable’ will be shown on Friday, February 17 at 7:30 p.m. Promoters stress that the play contains mature content that may be unsuitable for children. Charismatic young Father Flynn asks



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Osmonds & Mannheim at Stephens

The Osmond Family Holiday Celebration showcases the legendary harmonies of America's “favorite family of entertainment.” This will be an unforgettable, memory-filled reunion as they enter their 54th year in show business. Christmas is all about tradition and a wellknown tradition is the Osmond Brothers Christmas shows. For decades, the Osmond family has brought the spirit of Christmas to life through their television shows and now the Osmond Brothers bring that same excitement of the season to the stage. The family spirit of the holiday season is abundantly captured with a festive mix of their chart-topping hits and upbeat Christmas tunes. Wayne, Merrill and Jay will perform favorites such as "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," "Feliz Navidad," "Sleigh Ride," "Jingle Bells," "White Christmas" and more. Tickets are available at the Iowa State Center Ticket Office - North entrance of Stephens Auditorium at the corner of Lincoln Way and Beach Ave., Monday Friday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. The Christmas Music of Mannheim Steamroller by Chip Davis will be performed on Tuesday, December 20 at 7:30 pm at Stephens Auditorium - Iowa State Center, Ames. Mannheim Steamroller continues to be America’s favorite Christmas music artist with their spectacular and beloved holiday show. The group will perform live for one performance only in Ames at Stephens Auditorium on December 20, 2011. Grammy Award® winner and mastermind behind the group, Chip Davis will direct and co-produce two tour

ensembles of Mannheim Steamroller. The shows will feature the favorite Christmas music of Mannheim Steamroller along with stateof-the-art multimedia effects in an intimate setting. In 1984, Mannheim Steamroller released Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, an album that changed the entire music industry. Already a multiplatinum recording artist through its Fresh Aire series, founder Chip Davis decided to record an album of Christmas music combining the group’s signature mix of Renaissance instruments with rock & roll beats. The resulting album was a runaway hit and not only propelled Mannheim Steamroller to become the biggest selling Christmas music artist in history, but also one of the top 50 biggest selling musical acts ever (they’ve sold over 35 million albums). The group’s annual Christmas tour, celebrating its 25th anniversary, has become a tradition right along with decorating the tree, exchanging presents and spending time with friends and family. While Mannheim Steamroller is known worldwide, the story of founder Chip Davis is a true-life tale of a modern day “Renaissance Man.” From founding his own record label American Gramaphone, which has been ranked by Billboard as the #1 independent label, to creating the Mannheim Steamroller “lifestyle” of food, apparel and other products. Chip’s accomplishments have been extraordinary. His latest achievement is creating a cutting edge psychoacoustic technology that is being used in major medical institutions such as Mayo Clinic and is also being studied by NASA for potential use in space.

as Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Sting, REM, Barbara Streisand and Bon Jovi. Composer and creator Chip Davis started Mannheim Steamroller more than 30 years ago with his Grammy Award-winning Fresh Aire series. With more than 35 million albums sold, an annual Christmas tour that is consistently ranked as the best selling of any artist, a successful Mannheim Steamroller gourmet food line, and a new audio technology that helps hospital patients in the recovery process

(Ambience Medical), Chip Davis is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the music industry. Tickets can be purchased at the Stephens Auditorium Ticket Office, at all Ticketmaster locations or by calling 800-745-3000. For more information please log onto

Mannheim Steamroller is the #1-selling Christmas artist of all time and one of the top fifty best-selling artists of the last two decades, outselling prominent artists such

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The Osmond Family Christmas Show will be held on Thursday, December 15 at 7:30 p.m. at Stephens Auditorium, Ames



ho among us does not like Christmas/holiday music? Even if you are not a fan of music or holidays most of the time, exceptions are made for the Christmas season. For those of us born and raised in the Midwest, Christmas music became part of our consciousness from a very early age. Of course the proliferation of holiday music these days has gone way beyond the seasonal TV specials we all used to watch. Everybody with a record contract makes a holiday album. I am convinced that even if the record album as we’ve known it through the years disappears completely (and it might) there will always be Christmas music available. Of course that is partly, maybe mostly, driven by the chance to make a buck during the holidays, but like most people I have my favorite Christmas songs and albums that I drag out year after year. Some radio stations devote an entire month (or more) to Christmas songs and I suppose that’s okay, though it comes with the risk of wearing the music out before the day actually arrives. Some of the stuff that radio favors isn’t worth hearing. I would, for instance, offer up Paul McCartney’s insufferable Wonderful Christmastime as an example. Sir Paul should return half his Beatles royalty money for ever having written that song. Part of the problem with Christmas/holiday music is that it’s hard to come up with newer classic songs. There are about 50 or so great old classics out there, in addition to those in the hymn book, but the challenge becomes finding new ways to arrange them each year. There’s no such thing as an instant classic when it comes to Christmas songs.


they have it. The pyro blasts of their frenetic finale set off the Wells Fargo Arena fire alarms. The Osmond Brothers they ain’t. We went back several years in a row (sitting that close every time) and always enjoyed it. Great show, great music, great story, and cheap admission by arena rock standards. The Trans Siberian Orchestra (there are 2 touring bands actually—so they can play twice as many shows in the weeks leading up to Christmas) skipped the Des Moines stop this year for reasons known only to them, since they routinely drew in the neighborhood of 10,000 folks for their shows there. The thing about TSO, and also Mannheim Steamroller, another great and entertaining holiday act, is that they’ve become so connected to their compelling Christmas music that anything else they try to do falls dreadfully flat in comparison. For instance, I own Mannheim Steamroller’s Halloween themed music album, for reasons that are still unclear to me. Christmas music is a phenomenon in and of itself that forces the world’s most eclectic artists, from Jimi Hendrix to Bob Dylan, out of their comfort zone to join in. It’s why Elvis Presley can sing a perfectly goofy version of an old country

Me, I would begin any Christmas playlist with the classic crooners of the World War II era forward through the 1960s, and Boomers I am guessing you would agree. The reason Bing Crosby’s recording of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is the biggest selling song in the history of recorded music is because it’s the greatest Christmas song ever. That’s no surprise. It’s release at the height of World War II struck a chord with millions of Americans that still exists today. And Boomers, I bet I could count on one hand the numbers of us who have not seen and adored the Andy Williams television specials that aired annually for eight years from the late 60s through the early 70s. Nobody, and I mean nobody, could do Christmas TV like Iowa’s own Andy Williams. It was several years ago now, that our son Brad presented us with tickets to the Trans Siberian Orchestra Christmas show at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. I was only vaguely familiar with TSO music then and was unsure what to expect. When he walked us to row five in front of the stage it became apparent this would not be your father’s Christmas show. For the next couple of hours we were introduced to Christmas the TSO way—as in Nat King Cole meets Led Zeppelin.

Charles Dickens impressions of techno versions

don’t want my the holiday season stomped on by of great old music

song such as Blue Christmas and have it become a holiday classic years later. It’s why record executives can’t wait to shove a new batch of Christmas music at us every year, knowing that no matter how many times you’ve heard I’ll Be Home for Christmas you’ll never get tired of hearing it again by whoever is the latest big deal. I have a special crate of Christmas CDs that holds about 25 or so, and I am content with that many. I love the traditional carols performed in traditional ways by the great vocalists of yesteryear and don’t want my Charles Dickens impressions of the holiday season stomped on by techno versions of great old music. I still like the songs such as Silver Bells and Sleigh Ride and Frosty the Snowman that have been around forever. I’ll even listen to the Chipmunks or the Disney characters sing Christmas songs. The Sesame Street gang made a great Christmas album when our kids were young which includes Oscar the Grouch’s memorably funny I Hate Christmas (of course he does, he’s a grouch). My wife Diane’s favorite Christmas album of all time is Disney’s Twelve Days of Christmas, first released 20 years ago and now hard to find (cheap) on CD. What I’ve included here are the 12 most impactful Christmas albums I own. You probably have your own favorites. And since there are so many different albums out there containing music by the legendary vocalists, anything you can get by these great artists is worth owning.

I have been to loud rock and roll arena shows before. Maybe not since 1972, but I was familiar with the power of amplified electronic music. But row 5? Turns out the Trans Siberian Orchestra was extremely captivating. Their album, Christmas Eve and Other Stories, may be on its way to becoming a modern day Christmas classic. The lights are bright and the guitars are loud, and the general stage presentation brings to mind the kind of pyro/video/power rock production that would be the envy of any of today’s best hard rock bands. They have 17 semi trucks and a hundred roadies. Whatever you need to build a stage



By Bill McIntyre

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(A Boomer’s Story)

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Christmas Music of Johnny Mathis


(Acts of Kindness)THANKS FORT DODGE! T

he “Acts of Kindness” articles have been written by our sister, Katie Averill, for several years, but this month she asked us if we had an idea to share. So we (rather reluctantly) agreed to attempt to put our thoughts on paper. On June 19, 2011, our family suffered a terrible tragedy. Our precious Emily was taken from us suddenly and inexplicably. We will never be the same. That terrible event has brought about so many acts of kindness toward Katie and Tim, Megan and Jimmy, and all of their extended families that we could fill a book with them, rather than a small article. Katie has mentioned some of these acts of kindness in previous articles. We have witnessed it from the outside, and our perspective is a little different. We grew up in Fort Dodge and have always been proud of our hometown. Fort Dodge is a part of who we are and where we’ve been. Through the worst that a family like ours has suffered, however, the love and kindness of this community surrounded us and held us tight. It is natural that friends and family circle around the loved ones of a lost child, but we have witnessed countless acts of kindness from strangers, from friends of ours who live far away and never knew Emily, and from businesses and professionals. The rings of this circle go far. The Averill family would never have made it through the last few months without their closest circle of friends here in Fort Dodge, who never let a need go unnoticed from the very first day to the present, providing food and assistance and love. Then came the cards, the donations, the wonderful and comforting words, the thoughtful gifts of hundreds of people who knew Emily or her family members.

The other side of kindness has been demonstrated so profoundly by the Averills themselves. When we were crying and suffering, they were comforting us. They opened their hearts and their home to Emily’s many friends, even having a farewell luncheon for her friends leaving for college for the first time. They sent over 800 thank you cards, thinking about each person or family as they addressed the envelopes. They have made little gifts to express their gratitude to people for their help. It is the truest form of kindness to be able to help others through their grief when they are so grieved themselves. We could never truly tell each of them how proud we are of them and how thankful we are for their hugs. The holiday season is always a time for reflection and thanks, and this year more than ever we are counting our blessings…family, friends, and Fort Dodge.

By Katie Averill

Emily Joy Averill with family members, The Mills

The Mills Family… Julie Walstrom Jane Johnson Dick Mills Peggy Matlock John Mills

er Magan & Jimmy, Sist er th ro b er ith h Emily Joy w



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& The Smiths



his past Summer my wife and I drove to tiny Marcus, Iowa for their annual street dance/homecoming. The featured band that night was the reunion of the Fabulous Flippers.

Most came up to me and asked, “Who are these guys?” “Where is Danny or Dennis Hein Loewen?” “These guy’s aren’t the Flippers!” It was fun to tell them that the reunion of artists this evening was indeed the Fabulous Flippers.

Other musicians came and went through the band including drummer Mark Craney-(Jethro Tull), and a short return of the original Flipper, Dennis Loewen, as a dual lead vocalist with Randy Hoyt, but the line-up I’ve noted I consider the “core”.


In past columns of A Look Back, I’ve often written about the legendary Lawrence, Kansas’s Mid Continent Productions booking agency.

By Tom Tourville


When we arrived, I was surprised how many people I recognized, most being Flipper fans.

They started with Randy Hoyt-lead singer-LeMars, IA., Connie Meadtrumpet-Marcus, IA., Kenny Hoyne-trombone-Sioux Falls, SD, Tim Chipman-guitar-Carroll, IA., Gordy Johnson-keyboards, Brookings, SD., Bill Axlerod-sax, Minneapolis, MN., and Larry Weldon-bass, from Minneapolis, MN.

Because of that, after 1970 most of the faces that we had known from these bands began to change, but the names remained the same and the entertainment value they delivered still did incredible business. The most valuable name the agency owned was the Fabulous Flippers, so it was the one that they were determined to keep on the road and bringing in income. By 1972, the founding members for the Flippers had either retired from touring, or moved on to other bands. It was time to re-create all new Fabulous Flippers. Mid Continent looked to Iowa, where they felt Iowa had some of the best musicians from across the Midwest.

(Lariam & Assoc, Records 204). In addition they won the Top Rock/Dance Band of 1972 by the Entertainment Operators of America. They continued touring through July of 1976, when the band broke up and they thought that was the end of the Flippers. The band didn’t realize that Mid Continent was not done with the name quite yet, and they recruited an all black band from Kansas City, and put them on the road as The Fabulous Flippers. That lasted until late 1976 when the final show was played by a band called the Fabulous Flippers. What many people don’t realize is one of the finest lineups the Flippers ever had, and one of the most successful, got it’s start right here in Iowa. Yes the band played our Laramar Ballroom on two different occasions. Once in 1973 and again in 1975. The Iowa Flippers got back together for a reunion in 2007 in Iowa City and again this Summer in Marcus, Iowa. So, there is the story. If any of you were at Marcus, IA. in August of 2011, you now know who these guys were......The were The Iowa Fabulous Flippers!

Sometimes it was picking another group, re-naming them, and sending them out on the road. In the case of the Flippers, they rebuilt from the ground up, hand picking one musician at a time.

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Until Next Month Take Care & Remember The Music •

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from page 7B The Pulse

SUDOKU answers

Their idea was to approach these bands and buy their band name from them, thus the agency owned the names for all of these legendary bands.

They went into the studio and re-released Flipper staples, “Harlem Shuffle/Peace of Mind”


In the late 60's the owners of the agency realized that with most of the members of their bands being college students, when the kids graduated from college, the bands would disband and disappear.


The Agency began in 1964, and sold out to new owners/bookers in 1972. The agency operated until early 1977, when it closed it’s doors for good.


This is the agency that booked such legendary bands as the Fabulous Flippers, Roarin’ Red Dogs, Blue Things, Rising Suns, and the Young Raiders.


Under the re-vamped lineup the band toured the entire nation and not just the Midwest. They were extremely popular in California. They played such venues as the Anaheim Grand Hotel and the Playboy Club. On the West Coast they were booked by the prestigious, William Morris Agency.

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Stella’s Stories




s a pet lover and dog mom with similar-minded people in my life, giving and receiving fun pet-inspired gifts throughout the year is one of my favorite things. With Christmas just around the corner, I’ve put together a list of sites and gift ideas for pet lovers, and pets! The Animal Rescue Site: The Animal Rescue Site is an amazing website that has donated more than $25 million to nonprofit animal shelters and rescue groups in the last 12 years. You will find gifts for the dog lover, cat hoarder and horseback rider ranging from clothing (t-shirts, slippers, scarves and outerwear) to jewelry (necklaces, photograph-ready lockets, urn and cremation lockets) coffee mugs, garden stones (with the pet’s name and picture engraved), Christmas ornaments and other holiday décor bearing the pet’s name and even pet-inspired umbrellas. Apart from gifts for the pet lover in your life, The Animal Rescue Site has hundreds of thousands of items for pets! Cat and dog clothing, jackets and sweaters, jewelry, personalized food and water bowls, you name it, you will find it here.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Online Store: and Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (see second part of this column) is the world’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. I can’t think of a better non-profit to support while shopping for this holiday season. Please see their online store for numerous gift ideas for pit bull lovers, cat lovers, the animal activist in your life, and any Dogtown (television show) fan! CafePress: Another fun site to check out is CafePress. I was introduced to CafePress years ago when a friend designed a shirt for me that said, “Pit bull Mom.” I in turn, designed a shirt for my roommate that said, “Great Dane Aunt.” The great thing about CafePress is you can be breed specific and personalize the items even further if you wish. Café Press has literally millions of items, like The Animal Rescue Site, ranging from bumper stickers to personalized pens, every piece of clothing imaginable and personalized stationary. Perfect Memorials: If someone in your life recently lost a pet and you would like to help memorialize, check out Perfect Memorials has hundreds of memorializing gift ideas based around jewelry, urns and memorial stones. They also feature Christmas ornaments and holiday items which can memorialize someone’s pet that has passed on.

3800 acre animal sanctuary welcomes volunteers 365 days a year to help feed, clean, walk and socialize any one of the horses, goats, sheep, pigs, dogs, cats, parrots and rabbits. Apart from the breathtaking canyon views, mountains and fresh-air at 5,000 feet, the hippie, animalloving staff and the 1800+ animals there, this was the most amazing ‘vacation’ I have ever experienced. One day we worked with horses: mucking, switching out hay, feeding special diets, brushing and petting. Another day we worked with dogs: walking, feeding and socializing. We also worked with “feral” rabbits rescued from a hoarding situation. Commonly known for the TV show “Dogtown,” which ran several seasons on Animal Planet, Best Friends is also very well known for rehabilitating 22 of Michael Vick’s dogs as well as taking in hundreds of dogs left for dead in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans in 2005. I strongly encourage any animal lover to donate their time by visiting and volunteering. The scenery is breath-taking and the canyon is serene. Ask anyone who has stayed there and they will say their experience was “healing.” All animals are available for adoption and Best Friends relies solely on donations to fund their $45 million per year operating budget.

Best Friends Animal Society (formerly Best Friends Animal Sanctuary) I recently returned from a four-day stay at Best Friends Animal Society ( Located in Angel Canyon in southern Utah, the



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By Sarah Estlund with Stella & Tyler



Movie Reviews


e are finally coming to the end of the infamous "Twilight" movies that have been surrounding us from the first movie released in 2008. Here we have the first installment of the fourth and final book of Stephenie Meyer's chart-busting series. The Twilight franchise has taken over the entire teenage world, and for you baby boomers (or anyone else not in sync with a teenage girl) think The Beatles times ten for this generation! Just to make it even more real for you- kids were camped out in front of the movie theatres 4 days before the show was to open just to be the first in the door. And yes they had tickets already too.

BREAKING DAWN PART 1 growing inside of her could kill her. Bella is in grave danger as the baby continues to take over her body and when she does have the baby what will happen? So many questions and you'll have to see to find out! What was so impressive was the transformation Bella went under once she became pregnanat and you can bet your ten dollars CGI had a lot to do with the special effects.

By Angela Trevino

Seeing this with my sister Maria, we really did enjoy the movie. There are even a few tear-jerker moments. We both read all of the books and it's always fun to see it played out on the big screen. It also is neat to see the actors from all of the previous films get better and better with age. I will say it felt a little long at times but it was worth seeing in the theatre. Now we can sit back and wait for the last film to come out a year from now. Yes that's right- another 12 months and then the last Twilight movie will grace us with it's presence.

Breaking Dawn Part 1 begins with Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) planning their long anticipated wedding. Everyone is all grown up now and Bella is "finally" going to wed Edward with the blessing of all of her friends and family. The opening scene is the wedding any bride would wish for, nothing is spared and Bella is still incredibly awkard and shy. But as soon as she sees Edward at the alter waiting for her, we all breathe a sigh of relief as love has never been so perfect. (Sigh....remember readers, we are talking about books for teenagers where life is pretty darn simple. We can fall in love with a vampire and be swept off our feet in no time). Directed by Bill Condon, the material in this film is the most mature of any of the previous movies. What comes after a weddingyou guessed it, the honeymoon. And everyone knows what happens here. Virgin Bella and Edward head to an island all to themselves and we finally see a more relaxed version of these two than ever before. It may not hurt that the two are dating in real life and have finally found their groove after 3+ years of being together. What comes next is the main plot of the movie. Bella becomes pregnant and what is growing inside of her has everyone in the Cullen family deeply concerned. What is happening with this baby Bella is carrying? Should Bella bring this half human/vampire to fruition? Edward is torn and wants Bella to live and is afraid what is

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December 2011 Twist and Shout  

Arts and entertainment newspaper

December 2011 Twist and Shout  

Arts and entertainment newspaper