Page 1

JULY 2018

Enchanting LAKE GENEVA (Wisconsin!) Page 18

Confessions of a local BEAUTY QUEEN Page 12

Dennis Spears The beloved Minneapolis actor and singer talks about life— on stage and off Page 24

Minneapolis’ MARXIST HISTORY Page 14

ESTATE PLANNING — for regular folks Page 22


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Contents

18

LAKE GENEVA No, we’re not talking Switzerland — but rather the idyllic Wisconsin getaway, 80 miles north of Chicago.

JULY GOOD START FROM THE EDITOR

8 Dennis Spears’ life off stage makes for a fascinating story.

MY TURN

10 Seniors in Minnesota play a valuable role in the workforce.

MEMORIES

12 Beauty pageants in my day offered glamour and prestige.

MINNESOTA HISTORY ⊳⊳ Visitors to Lake Geneva can explore the area — and views of shoreline mansions — on guided and themed cruises around the lake.

24

ON THE COVER Dennis Spears started out as a Louisiana farmhand (and later became a Perkins waiter). Today he’s a local entertaining legend.

14 More than a few Minnesotans went to prison in the name of socialism.

GOOD HEALTH CAREGIVING

16 A Cannon Falls artist has created an awesome tool for caregivers.

GOOD LIVING FINANCE

Photos by Tracy Walsh

23 Estate plans are for your loved ones. Don’t put off creating yours.

→→Correction

30 CAN’T-MISS CALENDAR BRAIN 32 TEASERS

A photo caption on Page 10 in the June issue of Good Age included an incorrect spelling of a name. It should have read Donna Snetting, not Donna Setting. 6 / July 2018 / Minnesota Good Age


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FROM THE EDITOR Volume 37 / Issue 7 PUBLISHER

Janis Hall jhall@mngoodage.com

CO-PUBLISHER AND SALES MANAGER

Terry Gahan tgahan@mngoodage.com

GENERAL MANAGER

Zoe Gahan zgahan@mngoodage.com

EDITOR

Sarah Jackson editor@mngoodage.com

CONTRIBUTORS

Ed Dykhuizen, Carol Hall, Skip Johnson, Julie Kendrick, Dave Nimmer, Lauren Peck, Carla Waldemar, Tracy Walsh

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Valerie Moe

SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Micah Edel

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Kaitlin Ungs

CLIENT SERVICES

Delaney Patterson 612-436-5070 dpatterson@mngoodage.com

CIRCULATION

Marlo Johnson distribution@mngoodage.com

40,000 copies of Minnesota Good Age are distributed to homes and businesses metro-wide. Minnesota Good Age (ISSN 2333-3197) is published monthly by Minnesota Premier Publications. Minnesota Good Age, 1115 Hennepin Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55403 © 2018 Minnesota Premier Publications, Inc. Subscriptions are $18 per year.

8 / July 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

Super star BY SARAH JACKSON

D

on’t you just wish you were as talented — and good looking — as Dennis Spears? I do! I can’t imaging having the stage and vocal talents this local theatrical juggernaut — our July Cover Star — has shown in his many years on Twin Cities stages. Does he look to you like a guy who grew up in rural Louisiana working on the farm — and ended up with a degree in veterinary medicine? Fortunately, Spears didn’t miss his actual calling. After a stint on the radio at a local station Photo by Tracy Walsh tracywalshphoto.com in Louisiana — and an unfortunate bout with racism — he ended up in the Twin Cities, waiting tables (for a while) at Perkins. And then one thing led to another, and he found himself in the vocal jazz quartet, Moore by Four, which led to another and another and another gig in the local entertainment world. You could say his career reached its heights in 2011 with his portrayal of Nat King Cole in the Penumbra Theatre Company’s production of I Wish You Love. But that would discount where he is today, having just taken the stage at age 62 — 83 shows in a row — as the Tin Man in The Wiz at the renowned Children’s Theatre Co. in Minneapolis. Also: This month Moore by Four is reuniting for a two-night run at Crooner’s July 13 and 14. And if that weren’t enough, Spears was recently named deacon at Kingdom Life Church in Minneapolis, not far from the Capri Theatre, where he’s involved in reinventing the space to benefit area youth. Now that is a life fully lived. Spears attributes it all to his naturally high energy level. “My grandmother used to tell me, ‘Please sit down, you’re making me tired.’” Spears said. “But I am always flitting around; and Lord knows I will never take a nap.” In this issue, check out this showman’s full story, including a pictorial look back at his past performances. I can’t wait to see where he goes next!


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MY TURN

Seniors, you’re hired! BY DAVE NIMMER

I

t didn’t take very long to find out whether the Older Adult Job Fair held recently on the Martin Luther Campus in Bloomington would be a success. Organizers said about 100 seniors had signed up, and by the time the doors opened, twice that many were milling around. I was one of them. To me, they looked excited, energized and interested as they roamed the room where more than 20 local businesses and volunteer organizations were represented. Some of the seniors were looking to volunteer. Others wanted part-time jobs and a few wanted full-time employment. By the time the event was over, the businesses interviewed 25 applicants and made at least 10 hires. The event was organized by the Martin Luther Campus, a senior living community, because of reports that more than 60 percent of workers still claim they’ve seen or experienced age discrimination. “As adults age, it becomes extremely important for seniors to find meaningful employment,” said campus administrator Jody Barney. “We decided it was time to do something to help — and the

10 / July 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

outpouring of support we received from local businesses has been outstanding.” Some of those businesses and nonprofits included Cub Foods, Ace Hardware, Hilton Hotels, Sam’s Club, Right at Home In Home Care & Assistance, Seniors Helping Seniors and Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People (VEAP). Richard Anderson, 64, of Minneapolis was one of those looking for part-time work. He retired from Starkey Labs in 2017 but felt he needed to stay active. “I’ve already fixed everything in my house,” he said. “I don’t want to do anything real physical, and I’d like to stay in and around the Bloomington area. I’m getting Social Security, but a little extra money each month wouldn’t hurt either.” Debbie Belfry was representing VEAP and looking for volunteers to help provide food, social services and transportation for people in Edina, Richfield and Bloomington. She said the organization already has 3,100 volunteers to assist low-income residents. “We could always use more,” she said. “And we think our volunteers get great benefits from their work. They can have

Projections show Minnesota will have 3.1 million jobs in 2024 and only 2.7 million working-age adults to fill them. flexible hours, social contact and a chance to do something useful for people who really need the help.” Tom McNamara from Bloomington was at the fair looking for people who wanted paid work with Ace Hardware. He was once a retiree — he sold his robotics company in 2011 — who decided he needed to do something other than sit around. He works 30 to 35 hours a week and loves his job. He has a persuasive pitch for his company:


⊳⊳ More than 200 seniors — looking for paid or volunteer work — browsed tables at the Older Adult Job Fair in April.

“At Ace,” he said, “we do special things for our older customers. That’s why seniors would like working for us. We can carry out a bag of salt or even make a special delivery. It feels good to be of that kind of service.” According to the Minnesota Compass project, about a quarter of the 65- to 74-year-olds in Minnesota are still in the workforce, along with 6 percent of adults 75 and older. Projections show Minnesota will have 3.1 million jobs in 2024 and only 2.7 million working-age adults to fill them. Luke Jenkins, the community relations director for Martin Luther Campus, said he expects the job fair to become an annual event for the community, which is managed by Ebenezer, the senior housing division of Fairview Health Services. Several Ebenezer sister sites are now looking to host job fairs of their own. “We are also starting senior employment networking,” Jenkins said, adding that special events at the Martin Luther Campus might feature various industry representatives sharing information about job opportunities for seniors. What struck me about the seniors at the job fair was that no matter how old they were or how well off they appeared, they all had an abiding need to feel useful. Some want to get paid. Others want to give it away. No one wants to be sitting around waiting for the afternoon mail. Walking alongside those who were looking, I got the feeling they still had a few moves left — and maybe a little something to prove to themselves. Dave Nimmer had a long career as a reporter, editor and professor. Now retired, he has no business card, but plenty to do. Send comments or questions to dnimmer@mngoodage.com. Minnesota Good Age / July 2018 / 11


MEMORIES

Confessions of a beauty queen BY CAROL HALL

B

eauty contests flourished in my day. Young women — myself included — clamored to enter them and, we hoped, walk away with a crown. Some contests were largely publicity stunts, this being the late 1950s and early ’60s. I confess to having been a runner-up for “Miss Photoflash” as well as the Twin Cities Press photographers’ queen. I also carried the title of “Miss Mayflower,” for Mayflower Van Lines. Contests that were authentic had set qualifications for entrants — and comportment rules for winners. Many were sponsored by cities hosting annual festivals, such as Stillwater’s Lumberjack Days or the Hopkins Raspberry Festival. Not surprisingly, we queen wannabes dreamed of reigning over the Big Ones — the Minneapolis Aquatennial or the St. Paul Winter Carnival — with their lavish parades and many exciting side events. The title of Miss Minnesota, the springboard for Miss America, was especially coveted. What prompted women of my era to enter beauty contests? For me, the contests carried a kind of Hollywood fairy-tale quality of glamour and romance that was so much a part of our culture then. Some women entered on a lark. Others were serious about winning and achieving fame and reaping the perks that came with it. But for a small-town girl like me, it was simply a desire to wear a beautiful gown and ride in a parade. To have my picture in the newspaper. To be noticed, I guess. To get 12 / July 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

⊳⊳ Pamela Albinson was crowned Minneapolis Aquatennial Queen of the Lakes in 1962.

over my shyness. Maybe gain a little prestige. And prestige was the name of the game. If you were a queen then, you were somebody. You represented your community during its festival, which was an important civic event for its leaders and greatly anticipated by its residents. Queens also often spent the next year in the spotlight, making celebrity appearances in other towns throughout the state. Today many of these festivals, including the Aquatennial and Winter Carnival, don’t seem quite so glamorous or popular. Back in the day, they were vibrant, and their color and pageantry enhanced our ordinary lives. And a glamorous queen in full regalia led the show.

▲▲Carol Hall, after she was named “Miss Mayflower” for Mayflower Van Lines, helped with publicity with Englishman Warwick Charlton, best known for his role in the creation of a pilgrim ship replica, The Mayflower II.


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For a small-town girl like me, it was simply a desire to wear a beautiful gown and ride in a parade. Women then took great pride in their appearance. Our trendsetters were the many beautifully dressed and coiffed movie stars of the day — led by Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner, Ava Gardner and real-life royalty, Grace Kelly. Elegant Jacqueline Kennedy, wearing haute couture fashions, heightened this image in the early 1960s, when she became First Lady. “Not only was it fun, it was a privilege to be chosen queen,” Pam Albinson said of her 1962 reign as Minneapolis Aquatennial Queen of the Lakes. Having previously won the title of “Miss Anoka,” which qualified her to enter the Aquatennial contest, Albinson added, “The sense of local pride was as incredible as the honor of being queen.” Albinson wrote the book, Seventy-Five Years of the Minneapolis Aquatennial, published by Nodin Press in 2014. She also compiled Aquatennial history for the Hennepin History Museum. Why else did we do it? There was an unofficial bonus, too: Marriage was paramount in those days. And queen contestants were required to be single. Having a bit of celebrity guaranteed popularity with men! So, that’s why we did it! And, also, maybe for a taste … just a little taste … of power.

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MINNESOTA HISTORY

Marxism in Minnesota BY LAUREN PECK

I

n June 1941, the FBI raided the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) headquarters in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and by July, 29 people had been charged with conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government. How did Minnesota became a center of supposed treason? Well, the story is complicated: A year earlier, Congress passed the Smith Act, or Alien Registration Act. The Smith Act required registration of all non-citizen residents. It also criminalized advocating for the violent overthrow of the U.S. government through speech, written publications or organized groups.

many SWP members were leaders in the Minneapolis Teamsters’ strike of 1934, when thousands of workers walked off the job. During this era, the FBI monitored several leftist organizations, including the SWP. In 1941, with the country on the verge of entering World War II, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover feared the anti-war SWP could use its influence with the Teamsters to disrupt national transportation, and thus, the war effort. The case went to trial in October, and the defendants argued that they weren’t plotting to overthrow the government; rather,

the SWP’s Marxist tenets only predicted capitalism would fall through violence. They pointed out that their party was trying to create political change through methods like running for political office, not armed uprising.

Freedom of speech Many felt that the defendants’ right to freedom of speech was on the line. The Civil Rights Defense Committee wrote in a pamphlet supporting the defendants: “In his opening statement to the jury, [the prosecutor] explicitly

Pushing for change Under the Smith Act, the Minnesota case marked the first time any U.S. individuals had been charged with sedition during peacetime since 1798. The Socialist Workers Party, formed in 1938 with about 1,000 members, was shaped by Marxist ideas. The party had a strong presence in the Twin Cities, and 14 / July 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

▲ Members of the Social Workers Party were charged with violating the Smith Act in 1941. Photos courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society


⊳ Labor advocate Vincent R. Dunne was arrested during the Minneapolis Teamsters’ strike of 1934.

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declared that even if it could not be proven that the defendants had taken up arms against the government, they could nevertheless be found guilty. In other words, the defendants could be convicted not for anything they did, but solely for expressing their opinions.” In December after 56 hours of deliberation, a jury found 18 defendants guilty, and they were each sentenced to 12 to 16 months in prison. Among them were Grace Holmes Carlson of St. Paul, the only woman convicted, who served as the Minnesota state organizer for the SWP, and Vincent R. Dunne, a prominent Minneapolis labor figure and leader in the 1934 Teamster strike. The 18 defendants immediately appealed, and organizations like the ACLU and NAACP, as well as many labor unions and trade councils, rallied to support the cause. Dunne went on a national speaking tour, saying, “We are fighting not only for ourselves, but for the freedoms and democratic rights of the entire labor movement and the American people.” The case made it to the U.S. Supreme Court, but in late 1943, the court refused to hear the case. Attorneys petitioned the court twice for a rehearing, but the Supreme Court wouldn’t budge.

Off to prison Their appeals exhausted, the 18 defendants had to complete their prison sentences. The SWP held farewell banquets in New York and Minneapolis, and a group of defendants agreed to surrender to authorities together in Minneapolis. After meeting at the SWP’s headquarters, they marched to the federal

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▲ St. Paul was the home of the Socialist Workers Party Campaign headquarters in 1946.

courthouse to turn themselves in. Most of the men were imprisoned in Sandstone, Minnesota, while Grace Carlson was sent to a women’s prison in Alderson, West Virginia. Following their prison terms, the SWP held mass meetings in Minneapolis, New York and Chicago to welcome its members back and advocate for the repeal of the Smith Act. Many defendants also continued to serve as public faces of the SWP. Carlson ran for U.S. Senate in Minnesota in 1946 on the SWP ticket, and Dunne ran a campaign for Minneapolis mayor. In 1948, Farrell Dobbs and Carlson ran for president and vice president as SWP candidates. The Smith Act went on to be used against Communist Party leaders in the 1950s until 1957 when the Supreme Court ruled in Yates v. United States that radical speech was protected under the First Amendment unless there was a “clear and present danger.” Lauren Peck is a media relations and social media associate for the Minnesota Historical Society.

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CAREGIVING

The power of nostalgia BY SARAH JACKSON

I

f you’re looking for activities — meaningful ones — to engage in with older adults or folks with memory loss, then you need to know about Timothy Trost. The Cannon Falls-area artist has created a remarkable Art of Reminiscing therapy program designed to help caregivers connect their loved ones to their memories, emotions and feelings — and maybe even share their stories. Trost’s guided reminiscing program kit ($75) includes materials to create a 12-month seasonal program for 12 adults, to be done in a group setting (led by professional caregivers or volunteers) or on a one-on-one basis. It comes with 144 small conversationinspiring cards, plus laminated leader cards, a corresponding activity resource guidebook/curriculum with questions, conversation starters, sensory-association object ideas and coloring pages, too. Cards in the kits cover culinary, nature and lifestyle themes with memory-jogging drawings and creative expressions. For example, one card shows a freshly baked pie with the title, “A Tart & Tasty Rhubarb Treat / Life’s Simple Pleasures.” Another is an image of purple irises with the title “A Summer Celebration.” Yet another is hook with the words “Happily Hooked on Fishing / Life is Simple — Just Add Water.” Trost is working now on kits with fewer but larger cards (24 total), including 5x7s that would be suitable for framing. His next kit, to be released this fall, will be geared specifically 16 / July 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

▲ The Art of Reminiscing program kit includes enough materials for a 12-month program for 12 older adults. Additional kits will be coming out in the fall. Photos courtesy of Timothy Trost

toward men. A third version, focused exclusively on botanicals, will follow. Though reminiscences can be facilitated through visual cues, familiar smells such as favorite foods, the smell of a woodworking shop or the scent of flowers can help, too, Trost said, adding that his guides include suggestions for sensory items that can be used in combination with the cards. Studies have shown that art therapy — and other creative arts — can stimulate cognitive function in older adults who have dementia. It also may reduce depression in those with Parkinson’s disease.

▲ Timothy Trost


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Visit artofreminiscing.com for details about Timothy Trost's notecards and kits.

As an added bonus, guided reminiscing can provide a way for caregivers and their loves ones to reconnect and enjoy a bit of nostalgia. Participants needn’t have cognitive issues to truly benefit from recalling life’s memories. “It’s really good for anyone,” said Trost, who said his father and father-in-law, who are both in their 90s and don’t have memory loss, love to reminisce. Trost also sells fold-over notecards with envelopes (five for $10) with similar themes such as “Grandma’s Favorite Mixing Bowl” (an earthen bowl), “The Great Pumpkin Patch / Celebrating Harvest Time” (a pumpkin on a vine) and “Natural Farm Fresh Goodness” (a cracked, cooked egg). Under lifestyle, you’ll find things like “Genuine Tough / Hardworking Memories” (tools); “First Forever Friend / A Fun New Adventure Begins” (a teddy bear); “StarSpangled Memories” (American flags). Nature notecards include “This Magic Moment” (a leaf); “Crossing Cherry Lane” (a moose); and many others designed to delight and inspire trips down memory lane. Trost’s style — achieved using colored pencils and drawing paper — lends itself naturally to detailed culinary and botanical illustrations that evoke a sense of everyday life. His work is included in many private collections and is in the permanent collection of the Bell Museum of Natural History. He and his family live at the historical Lone Oak Farm in southeastern Minnesota. Sarah Jackson is the editor of Minnesota Good Age.

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Black Point Estate and Gardens, overlooking Geneva Lake, was the original summer home for Chicago beer baron Conrad Seipp. Guests are welcome for tours May 1 to Oct. 31.

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Explore the shore — on foot, by boat or on a paddleboard — to discover grand mansions, gorgeous scenery and history By Carla Waldemar

A

a v e Photo courtesy of Visit Lake Geneva

funny thing happened on the way to Lake Geneva — the Chicago fire of 1871. To escape the gritty rebuilding of the city, many industry barons hopped the train to this charming Southeastern Wisconsin outpost to while away the summer close to its cool, clean water and refreshingly unpolluted air. They — the Wrigleys, the Maytags and their ilk — built lakeside mansions that still line the shore today. They called it the Newport of the Midwest during its heyday of 1870 to 1920. Still is, and it lies just a five-hour drive southeast of Minneapolis (and 80 miles north of Chicago). Lake Geneva — and the town it spawned (population 8,000) — continues to offer an idyllic setting in which to while away summer on the lawn, on the dock, on the water. And it continues all year long. Golf and fishing remain big, to be sure, but also skiing, sleigh rides and indoor pools. The 5,400-acre spring-fed lake is bordered by a 21-mile shoreline, open to hikers via a public-access Lake Geneva Shore Path — originally a Native American trail — so voyeurs such as we can ogle the homes of the rich and famous. A new app details each home’s history and architecture for the passing parade of charter trips and pleasure boats. You’ll see Colonial, Victorian, Spanish, what-have-you, including multiple mansions built by chewing gum (the Wrigley family), such as the recently sold 11,000-square-foot, $11.25 million Snake Road property.

Minnesota Good Age / July 2018 / 19


Lake Geneva, a 5,400-acre spring-fed lake in Southeastern Wisconsin, boasts a 21-mile shoreline trail (below) that’s open to the public.

Photo courtesy of Visit Lake Geneva

For an extra-special experience, take one of the town’s mega-popular U.S. mail boat cruises (June 15–Sept. 15) with narration by a teenage “mail jumper.” This has to be one of the more unusual summer jobs for kids like Molly (who was working our cruise), who annually audition for the opportunity (itself a televised event): They work one of the oldest mail routes in the country, conducted via water launch with stops at more than 40 docks. Mail jumpers must grab the mail, climb out a boat window onto the dock, race to its mailbox for delivery, then sprint and jump back onto the boat, which never stops. Did Molly ever end up in the shallow drink? “It happens,” she confessed with a grin. Bring your camera, and reserve well in advance, for the trips sell out (CruiseLakeGeneva.com). Bonus to shoreline hikers: Most of us, who choose not to tramp the entire circle, can arrange for a pick-up by boat.

About town Trips depart from Lake Geneva’s downtown Riviera Beach, named for the site’s 20 / July 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

ballroom where Count Basie and Duke Ellington once entertained. The compact downtown itself — maybe six square blocks — is lush with shopping opps geared to lakeside living. Start off with Cornerstone, touted as a local favorite for contemporary ways to dress your home and yourself. Avant is a bike shop turned coffee roaster. Allison Wonderland offers grandparents a chance to win hugs by bringing home curated toys, books and cute costumes.

Find something sweet from Kilwin’s Confectionary or pick up something artsy from Geneva Lakes Art Foundation, a co-op showcasing more than 30 local artists. Haberdappery will suit up the menfolk, while Strawberry Fields outfits the ladies. The patio of Geneva Java is the place to grab a mug or a stem, and catch your breath before heading to lakeside Oakfire for thin-crust pizzas, salads, pasta and lake views. Looking for an old-school diner breakfast? Olympic Restaurant is your destination for omelets, cinnamon French toast and skillets.

Delving into history

Photo courtesy of Visit Lake Geneva

Mail jumpers

Meanwhile, a handful of mansions — such as Black Point Estate (accessible by boat) and The Baker House (includes Victorianstyle afternoon tea) — are open to tour, as is the must-see Geneva Lake Museum. This former flour mill now holds a cache of history, starting with a Potawatomi wigwam made of reeds and moving on to a street from the 1880s lined on one side with a blacksmith (who outfitted horses with round wooden shoes to harvest winter’s ice for Chicago’s summers), a barbershop, dentist, general


store, photo studio and more. The street’s opposite side showcases homes of early times (no velvet ropes, so visitors can get up-close and personal). Guides point visitors to the mob corner, which includes bootlegging mobsters’ special shoes, outfitted on the bottom with footprint of a cow, thus avoiding leaving telltale shoe tracks in muddy fields. It also showcases a stagecoach, along with its written instructions: Don’t snore loudly. Keep firearms on your person. If runaway horses, keep calm. There’s a soda fountain featuring “sundaes,” invented to bypass ordinances forbidding fizzy sodas on the Sabbath. There’s even an exhibit of the world’s first Playboy Club, complete with bunny costumes, now the elegant Grand Geneva Resort & Spa.

Entertainment options Magic happens nightly at Tristan Crist Magic Theater, a 55-seat venue ensuring that every enthralled viewer is close to the stage as Tristan escapes from chains, saws his assistant in half, multiplies wine bottles and more. It’s always a sell-out, so order tickets in advance (LakeGenevaMagic.com). Not far from town rises the 121-yearold Yerkes Observatory, a facility of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics of the University of Chicago. Take a tour to see the world’s thirdlargest telescope that’s open to the public; and be sure to gawk at the building’s ornate Gothic Romanesque carvings. But do it soon. The facility, known as the birthplace of modern astrophysics, will close in October Evening tours and viewings are popular (astro.uchicago.edu/Yerkes), but depend on visibility. “Open the dome,” we begged. “No, it’s raining.”

Staller Estate Winery offers tastings daily in summer in Delavan near Lake Geneva.

Photo courtesy of Walworth County Visitors Bureau

Food and drink Rain? Who cares? Head to Lake Geneva Country Meats to taste — and fill the cooler with — Nick Vorpagel’s awardwinning brats. Choose from traditional, a best-selling cherry version (think Door County) or bacon-cheddar-jalapeno, plus beer pairings, too. Lake Geneva Brewing Company also offers suds to sip or take away with close to a dozen on tap, including a fine Cherry

Wheat and an Imperial Stout. Owner Pat McIntosh plans to open a downtown taproom in August. Wendy Staller, vintner at Staller Winery, put her science degrees to work to do wonders with grapes we know here in Minnesota — Marechal Foch, Frontenac and La Crescent. Try before you buy in the showroom. It’s the same drill at Rushing Waters Fisheries & The Trout House, in the

The Riviera is home to a 7,200-square-foot ballroom with views of Lake Geneva.

Photo courtesy of Walworth County Visitors Bureau

Minnesota Good Age / July 2018 / 21


Visit hobt.org or call 612.721.2535 for more info.

Mansions on the lake include this former Wrigley estate property.

Booth Manor Residence For Seniors 62+ • 1 Bedrooms • Based on Income • Utilities Included • Service Coordinator • Resident Activities & Programs • Community Room • Smoke-Free Building

1421 Yale Place, Mpls

612-338-6313

A Home for every Aging HeArt Seniors adopting senior dogs A senior dog is perfect for those of us who are retired, maybe living alone, missing some of the connections and support that family, friends and work used to provide. Dogs are our best friends and “experienced” dogs that need a home make the best friends.

heart of Kettle Moraine country. There staff conduct tours and toss food pellets into several of the 56 spring ponds raising the fish, which sell to Roundy’s supermarkets and farm-to-table restaurants as well as in the on-site refrigerator case or dining room, which boasts: “Our trout are harvested to order. That means your fish are swimming when we receive your order.” Folks can snag their own rainbow trout with a package that includes gear, ice, cleaning and cooking. In Delavan, a series of Walldog Project murals depict scenes from local history on various walls (maps available). Then head to East Troy, where a 1907 electric-railroad line has been resurrected by dedicated volunteers and today offers a leisurely

Mission: To provide a loving and permanent home for dogs that are deemed “un‑adoptable” because of age and health, and would otherwise be unnecessarily euthanized toP Dog foUnDAtion 5120 Vega Ave, New Germany, MN 55367 www.topdogfoundation.org • 952‑353‑2122

22 / July 2018 / Minnesota Good Age Top Dog Foundation GA 2013 Filler V6.indd 1

6/28/13 9:01 AM

Visitors walk the Lake Geneva Shore Path.

Photo courtesy of Walworth County Visitors Bureau

Plan your trip! Find Lake Geneva resorts and more at visitlakegeneva.com and visitwalworthcounty.com.

seven-mile chug through woodlands, backyards and ponds (we spotted Sandhill cranes). Stop at The Elegant Farmer, a deli-plus-plus-plus, selling its signature cider-baked ham, popcorn by the gallon and a patented apple pie — baked in a paper bag — to enjoy before the return train ride. Carla Waldemar is an award-winning food/travel/arts writer. She edits the annual Zagat Survey of Twin Cities restaurants and writes food and travel articles for publications around the world. She lives in Uptown. Photo courtesy of Visit Lake Geneva


FINANCE

An estate plan: It’s not only for you BY SKIP JOHNSON

W

hen many people hear the phrase “estate planning,” they think it’s something reserved for the rich and famous. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Estate planning is for everyone and — when it goes beyond just having a will — it can really help family members and caregivers by providing guidance on important decisions. Unfortunately, too many folks think they don’t need an estate plan, or they put it off: Who wants to think end-of-life decisions? It can be depressing. However, having a proper estate plan is essential in preparing for the unexpected. In the event of an illness or accident, it’s important that your spouse and children are provided for — and that they know how you want your assets handled. While it can be a daunting task to get started, it seems a lot more difficult than it really is. Here are the key parts to an estate plan:

A will This document outlines your wishes for assets you own at your passing and outlines where they’ll go. A will can also help with probate — the legal process through which a deceased person’s estate is properly distributed to heirs and designated beneficiaries. Without a valid will, going through probate can take some time because decisions can end up being determined by a court. A valid will can help your loved ones avoid this administrative mess.

Be sure to discuss your plans with your heirs to alleviate any issues or disagreements sooner rather than later.

Healthcare POA A Healthcare Power of Attorney (HPOA) is a signed legal document in which you name a single person as your health-care decision maker in the event that you can’t make decisions for yourself.

A living will Also known as an advanced medical directive, a living will outlines your wishes regarding medical care if you become incapacitated, terminally ill or unable to communicate. This is a statement of your wishes as they relate to decisions about life support and any kind of life-sustaining medical intervention that you want (or don’t want). If you don’t want your parents or spouse to make all medical decisions for you, it’s best to have these documents outline your specific wishes.

Financial POA A Financial Power of Attorney outlines who you want to make your financial decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. Without this document, no one will have the authority to step in and handle bill-paying, investment decisions and other financial matters. 

Trust This is a legal entity that can own your assets (while you’re living or upon your

death), and it can be controlled based on your wishes. There are many different types of trusts, and the person setting up a trust can dictate precisely how — and when — beneficiaries receive the assets in the trust. There are also different reasons for setting up a trust. For example, revocable trusts can help your estate avoid probate, while irrevocable trusts can help limit exposure to estate taxes. This can save time and money for the beneficiaries. If you have a sizeable insurance policy or estate and/or children, it’s worth discussing a trust with a professional to determine the right parameters and language for your situation. 

Beneficiaries Once you’ve created your estate plan, make sure to periodically review the documents. These are living documents that can change as life evolves. This is especially important when you have major life changes such as the birth of a child, marriage or divorce. Remember to update your beneficiaries on accounts such as your IRAs and 401ks. The last thing you want after creating these documents is to have them become outdated — and not representative of your wishes. Skip Johnson is an advisor and partner at Great Waters Financial, a financialplanning firm and insurance agency with locations in Minneapolis, Richfield, Minnetonka, White Bear Lake and Duluth. Johnson appears regularly on Fox 9’s morning news show. Learn more at greatwatersfinancial.com. Minnesota Good Age / July 2018 / 23


Dennis Spears stands in front of a set piece used in multiple August Wilson plays at the Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul. Photo by Tracy Walsh


I

F YOU HAPPEN TO RUN INTO DENNIS SPEARS,

don’t be surprised if you find yourself overcome by a sudden burst of generosity. According to his friend, pianist/composer Sanford Moore, the renowned performer goes through life with a “good-karma bubble around himself.” “We’ll be out and about, and Dennis will start talking to a stranger,” Moore said. “When he compliments the person on something they’re wearing, or some other possession they have, they’ll inevitably end up giving it to him.” As much as others seem inclined to give their personal items — and praises — to the theatrical whirlwind that is Dennis Spears, he keeps giving back, on stage and off. Spears, 62, is in the business of enlightening, enchanting and enterThe legendary Dennis Spears reflects on taining, and he’s been delighting his early years and a stunning career in the performing arts audiences at theaters all over the Twin Cities throughout a career By Julie Kendrick that’s unlikely to slow down any time soon. “My grandmother used to tell me, ‘Please sit down, you’re making me tired.’” Spears said. “But I am always flitting around; and Lord knows I will never take a nap.”

Minnesota Good Age / July 2018 / 25


A home in the theater Spears is the artistic director of the hugely popular — and affordable — Legends series at the Capri Theater in North Minneapolis. Built in 1927, the venue, originally an old movie house known as the Paradise Theater, went through many renovations over the years and was eventually renamed the Capri in 1967. In 1987, the adjacent Plymouth Christian Youth Center purchased the theater, and in 2015 launched a $9.5 million capital campaign to create a full-service campus for learning, youth development and the arts in North Minneapolis. “We’ve raised $5 million so far,” Spears said. “When it’s completed, we’ll have an expanded space, green room and great hall.” Bonus: Best Buy is installing a Teen Tech Center to inspire creativity and innovation. The Capri, which is expected to debut its newly renovated spaces in 2019, will

continue to showcase plays, concerts and the Legends series. But it will also be available for rent as an event space. “I’m using my work at the Capri to redirect and help change some of the negative atmosphere on the North Side,” Spears said. Referring to his work with young people in the neighborhood—and those who attend the annual summer Camp Capri—Spears said, “You have to start with the babies.”

‘I Wish You Love’ Spears, who is a beloved actor and ensemble member at theaters all around town, is probably best known for his portrayal of Nat King Cole during the Penumbra Theatre Company’s production of I Wish You Love in 2011. “That is absolutely my favorite role,” he said. Spears played the part for two weeks at the Kennedy Center in Washington,

D.C. When he came back to Minnesota, he won an Ivey Award for Excellence in Acting. Not long after, Spears was honored with an induction into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame in 2013 — an honor he shares with luminaries such as Prince, Bob Dylan and Judy Garland. Spears has appeared on stages around the country as well as at local venues such as the Guthrie Theater, Illusion Theater, Ten Thousand Things, Chanhassen Dinner Theater and the Dakota Jazz Club. His most recent role was as the Tin Man in The Wiz earlier this year at the Children’s Theatre Company. “There were 83 performances, and I didn’t miss one,” he said. “It was a very physically taxing role. My costume was so heavy and hot they had to put ice packs into it when I was off stage. It was so grueling that I lost 10 pounds.”

Dennis Spears as the Tin Man in The Wiz

Photo by Dan Norman

26 / July 2018 / Minnesota Good Age


Early life

I Wish You Love

Moore by Four Spears moved from Perkins to a day job in corporate underwriting. He also began working night gigs as one of the original members of the vocal jazz ensemble Moore by Four. “Up until then, my only singing experience had been in church, back in Louisiana,” he said. Convinced he could make a life in show business, Spears eventually walked away from underwriting.

Fiddler on the Roof Photo by Caroline Yang

Spears grew up on his grandparents’ farm in Mangham, Louisiana. Life was hard, and work was unrelenting. “I was the only boy, and I worked in the fields and with the animals in the hot Louisiana weather,” he said. He graduated from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with a degree in veterinary medicine. “My grandfather wanted me back on the farm,” he said. Instead, he worked for two years at a local radio station. When the station asked him to appear in person during a “live remote” event, his loyal listeners realized for the first time that he was black. “After that, I got hate calls on the air,” he said. “I had an aunt who lived in Minnesota, and I wanted to get as far away from Louisiana as possible, so I moved here.” Despite his radio background, Spears’

first job in the Twin Cities was at the Perkins restaurant that was once at 60th and Nicollet. “I was the first African-American waiter they had. I used to sing in the restaurant, and I was a good waiter, too,” he said. “I’d go back and wait tables again if I had to, but I’ve been blessed that I’ve been supporting myself through show business all these years.”

Photo by Ann Marsden

Black Nativity

SEE DENNIS SPEARS IN MINNESOTA! A reunited Moore by Four vocal jazz ensemble will perform July 13 and 14 at Crooner’s in Minneapolis. Learn more at croonersloungemn.com. Photo by Tracy Walsh

Piano Lesson


Dennis Spears takes a seat at the Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul, where he’s a longtime company member. Photo by Tracy Walsh

My grandmother used to tell me, ‘Please sit down, you’re making me tired.’ But I am always flitting around; and Lord knows I will never take a nap.

SEE DENNIS SPEARS IN ARIZONA! Traveling to Arizona this winter? See Dennis Spears performing with the Arizona Theatre Company in Tucson and Phoenix in Two Trains Running, Dec. 26 to March 3. Learn more at arizonatheatre.org.

DONATE TO THE CAPRI To make a tax-deductible donation to the Capri Theater capital campaign, mail a check to: Capri Theater, Attn: Jane Scott 2210 Oliver Ave. N. Minneapolis, MN 55411

“I had to make a choice, and I decided,” he said. His first role was at the Penumbra in Raisin, a musical adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. “I wasn’t auditioning, but I went along with a friend who was,” Spears said. “I was sitting there reading and passing the time, and I started to sing.” Lou Bellamy, Penumbra’s founder, overheard him, and asked him to audition. “I got the part — then got other roles after that — and the rest is history,” Spears said with a laugh.

Life off stage Spears lives in North Minneapolis, in a townhouse poetically placed on New York Avenue, a little street just off West Broadway. “I didn’t know we had that intersection in the city, but there it is, just a perfect

place with a view of downtown. It’s very ‘me,’ and I love it.” When the weather permits, he rides his scooter to work at the Capri, about a mile away. Spears recently was inducted as a deacon at Kingdom Life Church in Minneapolis. “My great-grandfather, grandfather and father were all deacons, and I thought it had passed me by, so it was a great honor,” Spears said. “I want to be the best deacon that God ever called.” David Keaton, the church’s senior pastor, said the church looks for wisdom, maturity and leadership. “And that certainly describes Dennis,” Keaton said. “He’s very loving and giving, and he’s the first one through the door and the last one to leave.” Spears has a presence that translates well to a congregation, Keaton said.


“You can feel it in church when he prays,” he said. “No matter how many people are in a room, you know he’s in the room. He’s a stand-out personality, and he’s a most caring, loving person. He always has an impact.” Spears, meanwhile, has found his church to be open and affirming. “Our pastor preaches that God loves everyone,” Spears said, adding that members of the congregation march in local Pride parades. Spears said he’s “open and honest” about being gay. “But I don’t go around screaming about it,” he said. “My heterosexual friends don’t have to introduce themselves that way, so neither do I. I want people to think of me as a ray of sunshine, someone happy and blessed to be making a living as an artist, able to have a career, own a home and be self-sufficient.” After recently ending a 19-year relationship, Spears says he’s currently enjoying the single life.

What’s next? This winter, Spears will be touring Arizona in the role of West in August Wilson’s Two Trains Running, directed by Lou Bellamy. This month, Minnesotans can see him with a reunited Moore by Four on July 13 and 14 at Crooner's in Minneapolis. What does he dream of for the future? “I want to travel abroad more, perform jazz and write music,” Spears said. “And I want to live my life, be happy and bring joy to the world.” Julie Kendrick is a contributing writer for many local and national publications. She lives in Minneapolis. Follow her on Twitter @KendrickWorks.

Minnesota Good Age / July 2018 / 29


Cost: FREE Info: soundsofhope.org

CAN’T-MISS CALENDAR JULY

JULY 7

CAPITOL CIVIL WAR TOUR → See famous art of Minnesota regiments depicted in battle, original battle flags and the plaques and statues added over the years to remember Minnesota’s role in the Civil War. When: July 7 Where: Minnesota State Capitol, St. Paul Cost: $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, veterans and active military, $8 for ages 5–17 Info: mnhs.org

JULY 10

DON IRWIN → This famed Steinway pianist plays concert classics like Rhapsody in Blue, ragtime tunes and audience requests in the James J. Hill House art gallery. Photo by Megan Chute Photography / Knoxville Opera

CARMEN

→ The Mill City Museum Ruin Courtyard provides the perfect setting for the richness and sensuality of one of the greatest operas of all time, featuring Audrey Babcock in the title role. When: July 13–24 Where: Mill City Museum Ruin Courtyard, Minneapolis Cost: $50–$125 Info: millcitysummeropera.org

JUNE 29–OCT. 30

BEEHIVE: THE ’60S MUSICAL → Seven young women look back on this enigmatic decade through some of the most celebrated and memorable songs of the era. When: June 29–Oct. 13 Where: Old Log Theatre, Excelsior Cost: $35 Info: oldlog.com

JULY 4

INDEPENDENCE DAY → Spend the United States’ birthday exploring the history of freedom in 19th-century America, complete with cannon and musket salutes, military dress parades, fife-anddrum music and more. 30 / July 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

When: July 4 Where: Historic Fort Snelling, St. Paul Cost: $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, veterans and active military, $6 for ages 5-17, free for ages 4 and younger Info: mnhs.org

JULY 4–30

SONGS OF HOPE → Performers age 9–16 from the U.S., China, Vietnam, Turkey, Italy, Poland, England, France, Argentina, Costa Rica and Jamaica perform in an award-winning concert, featuring lively movements, imaginative sets, rich cultural dress and live music. When: July 4–30 Where: Throughout the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota

When: July 10 Where: James J. Hill House, St. Paul Cost: $28.50. For advanced tickets, call 651-489-5771. Info: mnhs.org

JULY 13–15

BELL MUSEUM GRAND OPENING → Experience a “mammoth” opening weekend for “The Bell” at its brand new location. When: July 13–15 Where: Bell Museum, 2088 Larpenteur Ave. W., St. Paul Cost: $10–$12 for adults ($9 for ages 3–21); planetarium shows cost $6–$8. Info: bellmuseum.umn.edu

JULY 13–AUG. 5

GUYS AND DOLLS → Don’t miss this production of Frank Loesser’s brassy and immortal musical comedy about falling in love under the bright lights of Broadway. When: July 13–Aug. 5 Where: Lyric Arts of Anoka Cost: $30–$34 Info: lyricarts.org


JULY 17–19

JULY 22

name, this Cantus choral program couples each singer’s unique individual sound and virtuosity with the group’s usual ensemble fare.

→→French for “Competition of Elegance,” this event is a showcase of automobiles selected from a field of applicants for their authenticity, beauty and style.

SONGS MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME 10,000 LAKES →→Inspired by Dvorak’s composition of the same CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE

When: July 17–19 Where: Various Cost: $10–20 Info: cantussings.org

When: July 22 Where: Excelsior Commons, Exclesior Cost: FREE Info: 10000lakesconcours.com

JULY 20

LYNGBLOMSTEN MID-SUMMER FESTIVAL

JULY 28–29

→→See an arts showcase featuring works created by older adults, plus make-and-take art activities, live music and entertainment, wellness opportunities, food, games and more.

→→Wildflowers and formal gardens make this a picturesque setting for art, music, food and entertainment, along with the work of 140 juried fine artists and craftspeople.

When: July 20 Where: Lyngblomsten, St. Paul Cost: Admission is free; food activities are priced for affordable fun. Info: lyngblomsten.org

952.767.0672

LORING PARK ART FESTIVAL

When: July 28–29 Where: Loring Park, Minneapolis Cost: FREE Info: loringparkartfestival.com

KIM E. FISHMAN

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Brain teasers SUDOKU

WORD SEARCH Taking care

ACTIVITIES ALZHEIMERS AMBULATION ASSISTIVE CATHETER COGNITION GERIATRICS

HOSPICE HYGIENE LIABILITY MEDICATION MOBILITY PARKINSONS PRECAUTION

PRIVACY PROSTHESIS RESPIRATION SOCIAL TEMPERATURE VALIDATION WHEELCHAIR

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32 / July 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

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TRIVIA 1. Mickey Rooney 2. 75 percent 3. The Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

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SUDOKU WORD SCRAMBLE Anemia, Memory, Safety CROSSWORD

ANSWERS Minnesota Good Age / July 2018 / 33

CRYTPOGRAM Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.


Crossword

ACROSS

1 Driver with a meter 6 Ships, to captains 10 Fraternal letters seen under antlers 14 City near Orlando 15 Mani mate 16 Classify in order of importance 17 Former TWA rival 18 Hulk’s emotion 19 Sommer of Hollywood 20 Self-inking device for check endorsements 23 Stubble spot 24 Ankle pic 25 Coins-for-bills device 31 Most loyal 33 Poet Ogden 34 Put coins in, as a parking meter 35 Goes public with 34 / July 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

36 Say further 37 Not timid 38 “Are You the One?” network 39 In __: as originally placed 41 Entirely 43 Interval before late fees apply 46 Western treaty gp. 47 What some eyeglasses lack 48 On occasion ... and how 20-, 25- and 43-Across go? 55 Airline known for tight security 56 Saint Laurent of fashion 57 Kidney-related 58 Sonic Dash game publisher 59 “__ we forget” 60 Ernie Banks’ nickname 61 Tens and twenties 62 Biblical twin 63 Etsy transaction, e.g.

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