Page 1

JUNE 2018

THE HEALING POWER OF THE OUTDOORS page 16

See an amazing Alzheimer’s choir page 10

KANSAS CITY, BABY! page 18

The tyranny of choice

page 12

nquiry I s s e n r e Wilde one — s o h w , s ry reg Lai s for eve G e t l e b i e s utdoor s M o o p e t h i t s y e jo mak p ag e 2 4 — to en e n o y r e v e yes,


Contents

18

SEE KC! Barbecue, jazz, art and a wealth of American history make this Missouri city a bucket-lister!

JUNE GOOD START FROM THE EDITOR

8 You’re entitled to experience the restorative power of nature.

MY TURN

10 This Alzheimer’s choir is really something you’ve got to see.

MEMORIES

12 Buying a car — with the many choices involved — can be overwhelming.

MINNESOTA HISTORY ⊳⊳ Four shuttlecock sculptures — the creations of husband-and-wife artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen — adorn the grounds at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.

24

ON THE COVER Meet Greg Lais, the man behind Wilderness Inquiry, known for its outdoor adventures for all — locally and abroad.

14 Success stories of Somali people are all around us in Minnesota.

GOOD HEALTH CAREGIVING

16 You can get outside — at home and away — even as a caregiver.

GOOD LIVING FINANCE

22 Hard to believe, but now is the time for a midyear checkup.

Photos by Tracy Walsh

30 CAN’T-MISS CALENDAR 32 BRAIN TEASERS 6 / June 2018 / Minnesota Good Age


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FROM THE EDITOR Volume 37 / Issue 6 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, Sharon Johnson Larry Kallevig, Julie Kendrick, Dave Nimmer Jessica Kohen, Carrie Luger Slayback Carla Waldemar, Tracy Walsh

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Valerie Moe

SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Micah Edel

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Kaitlin Ungs

CONTRIBUTING DESIGNER Haley Anderson

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 / June 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

Dive in! BY SARAH JACKSON

O

ne of my favorite places in the world is the St. Croix River. I don’t get out on it very often. I rely on a friend who’s generous enough to let me and a few friends join him on his speedboat a few times every summer. We hop on his vessel on the Minnesota side at Afton and then cruise, letting the wind rush through our hair as the sun shines on our faces. He and his wife, she in her 50s and he in his 60s, like to wake board, complete with daring flips and wipeouts, too. I just watch from the back of the boat, thank you very much. Sometimes, however, it’s hot enough that we can stop the boat near a sandbar and jump right off the back for a refreshing swim. It’s an amazing feeling, floating around in crystal clear water between two of the most pristine and green shorelines in the country. It is, in a word, sublime. Of course, I also enjoy the outdoors at home, puttering endlessly in my yard, feeling the same wind and sun on my face — but with the added pleasures of digging in the dirt and hearing the birds sing. This time of year, I also try to make time for a cup of tea on my humble back deck before the heat of the day begins. Time with nature — whether it’s a 40-mile backpacking trip or a walk around your neighborhood block — can be surprisingly restorative. It can also be a pain — involving bugs, sunburn and many other challenges. But I believe it’s worth the effort for all of us. Greg Lais — this month’s incredible Cover Star — believes that, too. But he, as the founder of Wilderness Inquiry, has done something miraculous during the past 40 years: He’s worked tirelessly to make sure everyone — not just people who know people with boats — has access to the outdoors, including people facing disabilities, lower incomes and other challenges. This is the guy who, more than 40 years ago, helped lead a trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness with two people in wheelchairs and two people who were deaf. He personally helped party members in and out of canoes along the 22-portage, 100-mile adventure. His incredible experience back then inspired him and friends to found Wilderness Inquiry, which today offers more than 500 annual trips around the world, designed for people of all abilities. Last year, the nonprofit organization served an astonishing 37,000 people, including 3,600 people with disabilities and 18,000 people of color, including a new Canoemobile program (a fleet of canoes that travels to different cities to reach out to youth). I hope you enjoy reading all about Lais and his mission in this annual Outdoors Issue, which also includes a list of inspiring ideas to help all of us — yes, even caregivers as well as those in their care — enjoy the outdoors every day. Happy summer!


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MY TURN

Giving voice to dementia T

hree of my good friends — old friends — have had or have Alzheimer’s or some form of dementia. One has died, two are still alive and all have been an important part of my life — and remain so. It’s been an honor to be with them. What I’ve learned is that the disease, though powerful, isn’t able to steal who they are: We can still roll soul-to-soul and tell the stories that have enriched and informed our lives. So it’s no wonder I’m delighted and excited about the Giving Voice Chorus concert happening June 16 at the Ordway in St. Paul. Love Never Forgets will feature the world premiere of a choral work of the same name that illuminates life with Alzheimer’s, written in collaboration with people who have the disease and their caregivers. Those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers will raise their voices in song to share their stories and to show their passion for being active and creative. I went to one of the rehearsals of Love Never Forgets at the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis and heard one of the three choirs that make up the 170-member Giving Voice Chorus. 10 / June 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

They practiced some of their new songs and relaxed into a few old favorites, too. To the ears of this old boy, it was stunning. They blew the room away. Director Jeanie Brindley-Barnett, a MacPhail teaching artist, had the group warm up with a blues riff. From there, they went on to their concert finale, Love Never Forgets, with its powerful and memorable lyrics: You may not have the language. Yes, it’s true. You may not have the words. But darlin’, You and I will never lose what we know is love. Love comes straight from the heart, it carries no debts. Oh, love never forgets.

Make no mistake: This chorus isn’t amateurish. It’s professional, polished and passionate. The words are crisp and clear. The harmonies are powerful and soulful. The sound is rich and full. The singers — those with the disease and those giving the care — are energetic and expressive. They held their song books with purpose and kept their eyes on the director. I could feel their joy. This was no surprise to Mary Lenard, the former head of the Minnesota Alzheimer’s Association

BY DAVE NIMMER

and one of the founders of the Giving Voice Chorus in 2014. There are now 10 such groups in the Midwest and others around the country — and the world — designed to foster participants’ joy, well-being and sense of purpose as well as community understanding. “Those who joined the chorus reported early on that the quality of their life was better, that they were happier, more fulfilled,” Lenard said. “And their caregivers definitely felt that way, especially seeing those they love in a whole new light.” In 2010 in Minnesota, 94,000 men and women age 65 and older had Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. By 2020, the number is expected to top 100,000. In the country as a whole, 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s.

▲ Donna Snetting and Judy McCool sing together in the Giving Voice Chorus. Photo by Dan Gunderson


LOVE NEVER FORGETS WHAT: The Giving Voice Chorus, made of people who have some form of dementia and their caregivers, presents a concert, including a world-premiere performance of the original song Love Never Forgets. WHEN: 2 p.m. June 16 WHERE: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, St. Paul COST: $20–$30 ($10 for ages 12 and younger) INFO: Learn more about the performance — and about how to start your own chorus — at givingvoicechorus.org.

When she sings in the chorus, Donna Snetting is much more than a statistic. She and her sister/caregiver, Judy McCool, both of Prior Lake, find the experience rewarding and affirming. “I love that the people we are surrounded by are really serious about the music,” Snetting said. For her sister, it’s a chance to get back to singing. “I used to sing in the high school choir,” McCool said, “And then I didn’t sing for years. It feels good to be back. And I really like Love Never Forgets. The lyrics are so personal.” So much about the chorus rehearsal at the MacPhail Center felt personal to me, so I took the opportunity to sing along — quietly, of course — on the group’s renditions of How Can I Keep From Singing and God Bless America. As we began with the patriotic favorite, I could feel chills run down my spine. 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 / June 2018 / 11


MEMORIES

The tyranny of choice BY CAROL HALL

W

hen I was a kid, I recall Orange Crush, Dr. Pepper and root beer as the only soda pop available. (And, incidentally, nothing quenched my thirst on a hot Minnesota summer day like Orange Crush.) Decades later, as an airline stewardess, I pushed a heavy beverage cart filled with regular Coca Cola and 7- Up, plus their diet and decaffeinated variations, and also bottled water and fruit juice, down the aisle of a jetliner, offering the entire assortment to passengers. (Even so, occasionally, someone might request Mountain Dew, Fresca or Pepsi, and seem vexed that we didn’t carry them.) Excessive choice like this is the norm

12 / June 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

in our society today, and in almost every conceivable area. This is good — right? It’s a luxury to be able to decide from a wide selection of goods and services? Wrong!

Having too many options can be debilitating. It produces a form of anxiety that’s been dubbed ‘analysis paralysis.’

Having too many options can be debilitating. It produces a form of anxiety that’s been dubbed “analysis paralysis,” the fear that whatever we eventually select, one of the other choices would have been better. When this involves, say, a toothpaste brand or pistachio versus rocky road ice cream or an internet provider for your computer, the anxiety is mild. But when it involves spending a lot of money for something critically important, like the computer itself, it becomes acute. A case in point: A year ago I realized my aged Dodge minivan had reached the end of its life. It had to be replaced. A new car would cost around $25,000. And as with everything else, every make of


car comes out with something similar to every other make of car, every year. I dread auto dealerships. I know almost nothing about what goes on under the hood, nor about the efficacy of the many new computerized gadgets installed in today’s cars (or even the not-so-new — my mini-van still had hand-crank windows). I panicked. I felt unqualified to make a good selection. Know what I did? I have a trusted friend, Steve, who is something of an expert on automobiles. He owns several and also a recreational vehicle. He repairs all of them himself. For fun, when new models arrive at auto dealerships in the fall, Steve test drives a number of them. When I told him of my dilemma and described my needs, he offered to car shop for me! Offered! Which he did. The outcome: Today, I’m the only person I know who never had to set foot inside an auto dealership and dicker over price and frustratingly contrast and compare models. And yet I came away with the perfect car — a nifty, metallic blue Buick Encore! This was, of course, totally unorthodox. Totally me! For all other situations requiring a decision, I always struggle to make the perfect choice — or at least a “good enough” choice — with the one possible exception of choosing a husband. Then I recently read the book, Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough. Author Lori Gottlieb cautions that too many women today end up alone because they hold men to insanely high standards. Who’dathunkit?

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MINNESOTA HISTORY

A showcase of Somali stories BY JESSICA KOHEN

O

n June 26, 1960, British Somaliland gained independence from Great Britain. A few days later, on July 1, another part of the country, Italian Somaliland, shook off the yoke of Italian colonialism, and the two territories united to form an independent nation — Somalia. Each year Somali Minnesotans celebrate this independence with a weeklong festival and family-friendly street fair with music, food and Somali street dancers, sponsored by Ka Joog, a SomaliAmerican youth organization. This year the street fair will be from 1–8:30 p.m. June 30 on Lake Street at Blaisdell Avenue in Minneapolis. Today Minnesota is home to more Somalis than any other U.S. state. The most recent census data estimates the population in Minnesota is 57,000, though community members boast that the number is now closer to 100,000. The first Somalis arrived here as students and scholars in the 1960s. Following the outbreak of Somalia’s civil war in 1991, Minnesota became a destination for refugees as well.

Finding community Haji Yussuf settled in St. Cloud after hearing from his cousin who was already in Minnesota. Yussuf believes that “It’s not about the weather. It’s about the people. People can warm your heart even when it’s cold.” While immigrant groups often share common experiences, there are also 14 / June 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

▲▲Somali street dancers perform traditional dances as part of the community’s annual street fair. Photo courtesy of the Somali Museum of Minnesota

important differences. Many Somali people have suffered physical and emotional trauma due to fleeing a civil war and moving to a place with different cultural and religious traditions. Those who settled here represent a cross-section of life in Somalia and include teachers, students, civil service workers, farmers, nomads and business owners. In a short time, Somalis in Minnesota have established roots and made significant contributions to their own well-being and to the betterment of the state. The Cedar-Riverside neighborhood hosts the largest concentration of Somalis in Minnesota and has become a hub for the Somali community because of its many organizations, businesses and mosques. In 1998, the first Somali mosque opened, called Dar Al-Hijrah,

which means “Home of Migration.” From the start, its leaders provided civic education along with religious guidance. Today, they explore how Islam is compatible with democracy through their sister organization, the Islamic Civic Society of America. Lectures, classes and community conversations bring Muslims and non-Muslims together.

Making opportunities Somalis have also built extensive networks to help them find housing, employment and educational opportunities. For example, the African Development Center, which has offices in Rochester and Willmar, provides interest-free home loans to Somalis and other Muslims who follow Islamic law (which prohibits collecting or paying interest).


The Somali business community has earned a national reputation for successful, small-scale entrepreneurship. Just this April, Abdirahman Kahin, owner of Afro Deli, earned a 2018 St. Paul Business Award from the city council. Kahin says of his restaurant, “I always had that dream, you know, how to bring people together.” Somali youth are pursuing educational opportunities in many higher-education institutions. Ka Joog was founded in 2007 as a way for youth to use education to help them make better decisions. As Somalis hold onto their traditional culture, they also embrace opportunities to get involved in American society through civic, cultural and political organizations. Abdi Warsame joined the Minneapolis City Council in 2013, and in 2016, Ilhan Omar became the first Somali-American elected to the Minnesota Legislature. “I think being an immigrant makes me overly optimistic,” Omar said. “I was raised by people who’ve always dreamed of being part of a free political process. For me, this is exhilarating. This is the American Dream.”

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Gold Money Express GA 0218 12.indd 3 1/25/18 12:25 PM This month, the Somali Museum of Located in Oakdale, MN Minnesota, in partnership with the Minnesota Historical Society, is pleased to open the new exhibit Somalis + Join us for our 20th anniversary Minnesota, June 23 at the Minnesota celebration! History Center in St. Paul. The voices Thursday, called out in this article, and many more, June 14th are featured in the exhibit. 4-8 PM During the civil war in Somalia, the CONTACT 651-578-0676 centuries-old cultural history museum KIM www.oak-meadows.org in Mogadishu was destroyed. In 2009, Osman Ali began collecting artifacts of 5/17/18 2:26 PM his native Somalia’s traditional nomadic Oak Meadows GA 0618 12.indd 1 culture in an effort to preserve this story before it disappeared. Now, more than 700 objects are in the collections of the Somali Museum of Minnesota, which operates a gallery on Lake Street in Minneapolis. Mini As Somalis adjust to their lives in Golf Minnesota, many people are concerned about what parts of Somali culture they’ll hold onto and what parts of American culture they’ll adopt. For Maryan Del from Minneapolis, it might be a bit of both: “I have two homes — my American home and my Somali home. I have two cultures, two languages, so this is part of my life. I grew up half of SurreY my life here, and I invested a lot. And I rental think Minnesota invests in me a lot.”

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▲ A dhiil (deel) is a milk container made of carved wood used by nomadic families in Somalia. It’s one of the artifacts in the collection of the Somali Museum of Minnesota. Photo courtesy of Nikki Tundel

Jessica Kohen is the media relations manager for the Minnesota Historical Society.

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CAREGIVING

The healing power of nature BY SHARON JOHNSON

N

ature is a powerful force when it comes to healing the mind, body and spirit. It helps us feel connected to one another and the magic of our natural world. Oh, the magnificence of Minnesota summers! Can you remember the last time you took a moment to feel the warm sun on your face? Listened to the birds sing? Lingered to smell a blooming peony’s refreshing fragrance? Spending mindful moments in nature helps us reconnect with ourselves, our loved ones and the natural world around us. As a caregiver, finding time for selfnourishment can be quite a challenge. Fortunately, nature doesn’t have rules, needs or time requirements. It allows us time to just be.

It really works! Our natural surroundings really do support our innate healing capacity. 16 / June 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

Exposure to the outdoors can help us feel calmer, boost our immunity and allow us to sleep more soundly. Spending time in nature can enhance our mental sharpness, inspire creativity and even boost our problem-solving capacity. (Sudoku will be no match!) Nature also reminds us of our connection to all living things, which can encourage a kinder and more compassionate sense of peace and community. Here are a few practical ways for you and your loved ones to explore the healing power of nature:

Enjoy the outdoors at home ⊲ Spend a moment drinking your morning tea/coffee while sitting outside. ⊲ Create an outdoor garden. Cook meals using the herbs or vegetables you’ve grown. ⊲ Keep plants, cut flowers and fresh herbs inside your home.

⊲ Explore bird watching. Put up a bird feeder. Purchase regional wildlife books to help with bird identification. ⊲ Learn to identify native plants and their healing qualities. Did you know common plantain (commonly viewed as a weed) eases the sting/itch of insect bites? ⊲ Place nature-based or wildlife photos in your surroundings. ⊲ Try nature journaling! Draw, take photos or write about what you see, hear, feel, taste and smell. ⊲ Gaze at the stars and look for constellations/planets. ⊲ Hug a tree!

Accessibility for all abilities Accessing the outdoors can feel overwhelming if you or your loved one has difficulty getting around. Terrain can be unpredictable and Minnesota weather can change on a dime.


But don’t let these factors deter you! Perhaps a raised bed or portable garden chair will encourage that salsa garden you’ve been wanting to grow. If you’re thinking about visiting a state park, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has a listing of accessible trails, campsites and lodging. The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum offers a guided tram tour (late April through mid-October) that explores 1,200-plus acres of display gardens. During the winter months, a visit to the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory can be restorative and rejuvenating. (Wheelchairs are available for rent for $5.)

Guided nature experiences Minnesota has a bounty of beautiful natural resources. Our state parks system offers monthly naturalist education programs spanning topics from bird watching to astronomy. If you’re looking to share a nature adventure with your loved one, but would feel more comfortable with a guide, check out Wilderness Inquiry. (Editor’s note: Read all about Wilderness Inquiry and its founder, Greg Lais, in this issue!) This organization supports inclusive outdoor adventure travel for a wide range of ability levels. The Road Scholar program, meanwhile, offers grant opportunities for caregivers who want to explore natural destinations in the U.S. and Canada. Remember, appreciating nature can be simple. Take a moment to sit outside, close your eyes, take a deep breath and let your senses take everything in. The natural world is waiting for you to open the door! Sharon Johnson is an occupational therapist trained in holistic health who enjoys working in the caregiver support program at the Minneapolis VA. Great Lakes Management GA 0618 2-3page.indd 2

5/22/18 1:07/PM Minnesota Good Age / June 2018 17


TRAVEL

A TASTE AN

▲ Kansas City’s 100-year-old Union Station serves as a cultural hub of education and entertainment, including traveling national exhibits, films, restaurants and shops. Photo by Jonathan Tasler / Visit KC

T

he songsters of Oklahoma! got it right: “Everything’s up to date in Kansas City” — belts the baritone — and it’s still true today. The city (only a day’s drive from the Twin Cities) boasts a new streetcar line connecting the River Market area to Crown Center and Union

Station two miles away, with hop-on/hop-off options to make visitors’ lives easy. Best of all: It’s free. I jumped on just a block from Hotel Indigo, a new chic makeover of a railroad office, sporting velvet fainting couches and a breakfast highlighting eggs benedict with crab cakes and asparagus. Then there’s the new-in-2011 Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, bordering the entertainment district called Power & Light, and the expanded — and famed — NelsonAtkins Museum of Art.

18 / June 2018 / Minnesota Good Age


ND SEE

KC!

Barbecue, jazz, art and a wealth of American history make this city a bucket-lister! By Carla Waldemar

Inside the city Catch the streetcar to the River Market. Outside the daily marketplace, weekends are prime time for farmers and vendors with food stalls ranging from Indian to Brazilian, beignets to cannoli, plus produce touted ardently by an Italian nonna as “sweet, lotta juicy.” Peer into the Dutch Market for all things irresistibly tacky, including a towel declaring: “As a matter of fact, I was raised in a barn.” Jump on the streetcar again to the Crossroads, the boho SoHo of the city, to explore its indie galleries and shops. The Union Station stop is a three-for-one, starting with the station itself, vast as Grand Central and just as lively.

Nearby Crown Center includes Hallmark’s 75-acre campus, where free tours spell out the story of the greeting card company launched in 1910 by farmboy J.C. Hall. Across the street rises the iconic tower of the National World War I Museum — the only one in our nation — with a 360-degree view of the city. The museum is so mesmerizing that a ticket includes a repeat visit. Enter via a transparent platform atop a field of poppies representing the war’s 9 million fatalities. Then join a tour (with newsreels), detailing weapons, news accounts, propaganda posters and warfare in the trenches — where each side lodged and stalemated for four dreadful years. Learn of many firsts — gas warfare, machine guns, bomb attacks, submarines. Minnesota Good Age / June 2018 / 19


Accounts climax with the U.S. entry into the war’s final year, before a last exhibit, which asks, “Is peace possible?”

Art — from Claes to kitsch A proposed expansion of the streetcar line may continue to Country Club Plaza, a shopping enclave built in the 1920s, in homage to Seville, Spain, with tiles and fountains galore. (In fact, this City of Fountains boasts a special foundation to support the structures’ complex upkeep.) Nearby you’ll find The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, whose lawn sculptures include Claes Oldenburg’s enormous shuttlecocks. Bonus: A new gallery recently debuted to host a spectacular gift of 29 mostly Impressionist works donated from a private collection, including paintings by Renoir, Degas, Matisse, Van Gogh and more, interwoven with the museum’s existing collection. A gallery of Native American artworks awaits, too. New this spring is The Big Picture, showcasing the Hall family’s donations and Hallmark collection of photos, ranging from the historic works of Steichen and Lange to more modern shots by Diane Arbus and Cindy Sherman.

An Uber hop from the plaza leads to the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures, which can be captured in one word — enthralling (adult visitors far outnumber kids). It’s the result of two women — one an antique toy buff, the other a fine-scale miniature enthusiast — combining their elite collections. Each of the miniatures is exactingly built on a 1:12 scale: Peer at a candle the size of a pin, tiny doors with tinier hinges, miniscule drawers that open, and a cello strung with human hair. Continue upstairs to admire playthings throughout history, including Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs and Cracker Jack prizes, plus dolls from Barbie and Raggedy Ann to Victorian babes with ceramic heads. In the gift shop, find classics like marbles and tiddlywinks.

Explore local history A vibrant slice of KC history is celebrated at the historic 18th & Vine jazz district — an intersection at the heart and soul of the city’s black community, especially during the heyday of the Thirties. Today it hosts two side-by-side attractions — the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the American Jazz Museum. The leagues flourished from the 1920s to the 1950s when teams like the famed

▲▲The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Visitors can access sites like this by using the city’s bike-share system known as BCycle. Photo courtesy of Visit KC 20 / June 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

KC Monarchs showcased great black players who — due to segregation — were forbidden in white enterprises. Local Buck O’Neil made history as the first black coach in major leagues, joining the Chicago Cubs in 1962. KC Monarch Jackie Robinson famously integrated MLB team membership in 1947 — and those new opportunities put the Negro Leagues to rest. The adjoining American Jazz Museum celebrates blacks who lived in or performed at 18th & Vine — Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Sarah Vaughan, to name a few. A film recounts a later boycott of downtown establishments where blacks couldn’t try on clothes nor eat at lunch counters, a move that effectively ended that type of discrimination.

Get your eat (and drink) on! Nearby beckons Arthur Bryant’s, perhaps the most famed name in KC barbecue — well, to some: If you happen to wed a Gates Bar-B-Q fan, expect a family feud. On this visit, I started at the classic standby — Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue at the Freight House, turning out hickory-smoked ribs and brisket in a gentrified setting. Today’s young heroes of the pit are challenging the old guard with contemporary tweaks on the process and product. Step into Q39, launched by a competition winner, to sample his oak-fired everything — ribs, pulled pork, brisket, those coveted burnt ends and — new — chipotle sausage, served with modern sides like apple-infused coleslaw and white bean cassoulet. Char Bar turns trendy, too, by adding smoked jackfruit, prompting more than vegetarians to salivate. Add in updated slaws like carrot-raisin and kale-pecorino and you’re good to go.


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▲ Plowboys Barbecue is one of many hot spots for enjoying slow-cooked meats in Kansas City. Photo by Chris Mullins / Visit KC

EJ’s Urban Eatery, debuting near the river with a classically trained chef, offers ’cue aplenty, catfish and that Southern standby, a meat-and-three (choose one meat and three sides). I demanded the primo brisket and burnt ends, sided by modern threes like Parmesan-squash casserole with biscuit crumbles, fried green tomatoes and (an irresistible fourth) bread pudding with warm Bourbon sauce. But KC doesn’t live by smoke alone, not on your James Beard medals. Beard winner Michael Smith hits the jackpot with MedAsian small plates at Extra Virgin. Go for the chicken steamed buns, Chinese style, or venture into the menu’s Odd Bits for duck tongue tacos or pig’s ear salad. Miss the churro doughnuts, served with hot chocolate sauce, and you’ll be sorry. Another Beard medalist, Corby Garrelts, has added Rye to his repertoire, explaining, “It’s food I grew up on. It’s actually OK to like these things again.” Case in point is his best-selling fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, hush

puppies and fried gizzards. Pies are another must, swear devotees of Megan Garrelt, his wife and the woman behind banana creams and lemon meringues here. The Antler Room is a newbie showcasing small plates — carrot salad with lardo and hazelnut pesto; agnolotti pasta stuffed with chestnut cream; cavatelli noodles in a robust lamb ragu; and scallops with rutabaga schnitzel and red-eye gravy aioli. Black Dirt opened just weeks ago, but they’ve already got it pitch-perfect with small plates such as a Missouri Caesar (croutons of breaded fish); scallops paired with grapefruit and cauliflower; and duck fritters brushed with poblano cream. Tom’s Town Distilling Co. not only conjures up classy cocktails in a Prohibition setting, but also offers tours (tastings follow) of its premier Bourbon, gin and vodka — reason enough to return. Carla Waldemar is an award-winning food/travel/arts writer. She edits the annual Zagat Survey of Twin Cities restaurants and writes for publications around the world. She lives in Uptown. Minnesota Good Age / June 2018 / 21

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FINANCE

A must-do midyear review BY LARRY KALLEVIG

B

elieve it or not, 2018 is nearly halfway over! This is an important year when it comes to your finances because Jan. 1, 2018 marked the launch of the biggest tax reform in decades. If you haven’t done so yet, now is the time to make some financial adjustments.

Give your paycheck a checkup Did you notice a bump in your paycheck earlier this year? Many households shifted into a different tax bracket in 2018, changing their take-home pay. This leads to an important step — checking your tax withholding. If you’re withholding too little from your paycheck, you could owe the government at tax time. If you’re withholding too much, you’ll get a big refund. That may sound like a good thing, but that’s your money the government is holding yearround without paying you interest. Ideally, you want to have just enough withheld so that the amount comes as close as possible to your actual tax liability for the year. The IRS released an online calculator to help you determine your ideal withholding (tinyurl.com/irscalc-ga). You will thank yourself come April 2019 if you take the time now to make adjustments.

Increase your savings Speaking of that paycheck bump, where has that extra money gone? Instead of spending it, you could be putting that money toward your future. This is your 22 / June 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

chance to bump up your retirement contributions by saving an additional 1 or 2 percent in your 401(k) or IRA. You haven’t had too much time to get used to the money, so you won’t miss it! Your ultimate goal should be to save 10 to 15 percent of your salary in your retirement accounts — and this step could get you on your way.

Spread out savings As you’re increasing your savings, consider where you’re putting your money. Do you have tax diversification? It’s not talked about as much as other types of diversification, but it’s just as important. Money invested in pre-tax accounts like Traditional IRAs and 401(k)s will be taxed as you withdraw it, meaning you’re at risk of getting hit with a huge tax bill in retire-

The way we file our taxes next year is changing. The standard deduction has nearly doubled, to approximately $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples. ment. An account like a Roth IRA will give you tax diversification because your contributions are taxed upfront, but you can withdraw it tax-free in retirement.


You may want to consider shifting money from a Traditional IRA or a previous employer’s 401(k) into a Roth IRA. You’ll have to pay the taxes as you move the money. Some people like to do a partial conversion, switching over only as much as they’re able to pay taxes on this year, and moving more money next year.

Make a charitable giving plan The way we file our taxes next year is changing. The standard deduction has nearly doubled, to approximately $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples. This means most people will no longer itemize their taxes and will not be able to claim the charitable giving tax deduction. There are still strategies for people who want to donate to charity. If you’re over age 70 1/2, you can use your Required Minimum Distributions, or RMDs, from your IRA and send them directly to the charity to avoid paying income taxes on the donation. There are some limitations to this strategy, so you may want to check with your financial professional for more information.

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Speak to a professional This may be the most important step of your midyear financial review. Sit down and talk to your financial professional and a tax professional to see what’s best for your situation. Larry Kallevig is the owner of Haven Financial Group in Burnsville. For more than 15 years, he’s been helping clients create financial plans that ensure dependable and comfortable incomes in retirement. Learn more at havenfinancialgroup.com.

Minnesota Good Age / June 2018 / 23


Greg Lais of Minneapolis officially founded Wilderness Inquiry 40 years ago. Since 1978, the nonprofit organization has served more than 500,00 people on more than 9,000 trips. Photo by Tracy Walsh


THE WILD SIDE

Greg Lais’ Wilderness Inquiry makes it possible for everyone — yes, everyone — to enjoy the outdoors by Julie Kendrick

G

reg Lais, the founder and executive director of the nonprofit organization Wilderness Inquiry, has enjoyed nature in just about every place on earth, including highlights such as Iceland, Costa Rica and Africa. But one of the most powerful outdoor memories for the 61-year-old social entrepreneur was created much closer to home — in the Brainerd Lakes area. “My grandparents had a cabin on Big Trout Lake, and my mom and dad used to bring all seven kids up there every summer,” he said. “I remember getting up early in the morning with my grandmother and fishing off the dock. I can still picture her, wearing a plaid wool jacket, smoking Lucky Strikes and leaving a

lipstick mark on the rim of her coffee mug. The water was so clear there. I’d stare into it and see sunfish and the occasional northern pike. It just transported me to a different world.” Lais’ ability to paint such an appealing picture of a crack-of-dawn fishing excursion speaks to one of his obvious talents — the remarkable knack for convincing others to get outside and do things they might never have thought possible. In addition to that outdoors experience at his grandparents’ cabin, he also attended summer YMCA camps at St. Croix near Hudson and Widjiwagan near Ely. When he first camped and canoed in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA), Lais said he was blown away.

Minnesota Good Age / June 2018 / 25


I want to make the outdoors accessible for everyone, because right now it’s very much the domain of people of privilege. — Greg Lais, founder of Wilderness Inquiry Wilderness Inquiry founder Greg Lais stands on the banks of the Mississippi River at Hidden Falls Regional Park with Steve Spruth from the U of M’s Carlson School of Management.

Lais was always in tune with the wilderness, if not always in the most productive ways: “When I was 3 and we were up at the cabin, my mom found a butcher knife under my pillow. I told her it was to defend myself against bears. That became one of those family stories no one ever lets me forget.”

Wilderness for all In 1978, the same year the landmark federal BWCA legislation passed —

Travel photos courtesy Wilderness Inquiry

26 / June 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

making the area a protected wilderness — Lais founded Wilderness Inquiry, a Minneapolis-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to sharing the outdoors with people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. It all started with a request from his sister, Mary, who was working for the Minnesota Council on Disability. “She kept encouraging me to do a wilderness trip that included people

with disabilities,” he said. “So, along with a friend of mine, we put together a 22-portage, 100-mile trip in the BWCA. It was a lifelong dream to share wilderness experiences with other people.” Until that time — while the debate raged over the management rules for the BWCA — no one had really demonstrated that people with disabilities could undertake a trip like that. “But we showed it could be done,” Lais said of the historic non-motorized adventure, which included two people in wheelchairs and two people who were deaf. Communications consultant and Wilderness Inquiry board member Mary Hanley met Lais when she was vice president of communications at The Wilderness Society and he was in Washington, D.C., to lobby for the BWCA wilderness designation. “Wilderness Inquiry challenged the naysayers and powers-that-be who argued that people with disabilities couldn’t access the wilderness,” she said. “It proved them wrong and continues to do so.”


Wilderness Inquiry today offers more than 500 annual canoe, kayak, hiking, horsepack, dogsled and raft trips around the world, designed for people of all abilities. Last year, the organization served more than 37,000 people in five different programs — including 3,600 people with disabilities and 18,000 people of color — with an annual budget of more than $4 million with 17 full-time employees and about 100 travel staff. Organizers with WI, as the organization is also known, seem to understand — and even welcome — the complexities that come along with traveling outdoors with special needs, including adaptive equipment, wheelchairs, CPAP machines, personal care attendants and sign language interpreters. Even participants with cognitive disabilities can take part in special Wilderness Inquiry trips. “We take joy in opening new horizons for people,” Lais said, “no matter what their issues.”

Hard work and persistence Trip leader and cookbook author Beth Dooley said Wilderness Inquiry is uniquely tied to Lais’ personality: “Greg is a visionary who understands how outdoor adventures create community by breaking down barriers related to ability, race and income.

Because of Greg’s hard work and persistence, he’s created an organization that takes this work well beyond just him — yet is an extension of his generosity and big heart.” Dooley recalls one moment on a trip when she and another staff member were struggling to get a participant down steep steps to the beach to go kayaking. “Greg didn’t miss a beat, lifting the guy out of the chair, carrying him and then setting him back down in the wheelchair,” she said. “He did it so carefully, thoughtfully and humbly, without calling attention to our bumbling. He just showed us how it is done.” Paul Labovitz, superintendent of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, appreciates the impact Lais has made over the years. “Greg has been at it for over 40 years with no end in sight. His work has touched millions of lives,” he said. “The outdoor industry owes him, because he’s been training their new customers for going on five decades. Our world is lucky he is part of it.” Retired WCCO-TV anchor Don Shelby met Lais 30 years ago and credits him for changing entrenched ways of thinking. “Greg opened so many vistas to people who had believed themselves incapable,” he said. “And he not only opened up the adventurers’ eyes, but the eyes of society, which had considered many of

those brave and challenged people to be incapable. But they were, indeed, capable of much, not the least of which was great courage and curiosity.” Shelby recalled a time when Lais sent a canoe of people with disabilities, along with experienced counselors, out into a lake. Making sure everyone was wearing life vests, he went out into the lake with them and turned the canoe over on purpose. “That’s the most fearsome situation for anyone, with or without disabilities,” Shelby said. “He took the ‘What if this happens?’ question, and made it happen. Of course, the canoers not only survived the ordeal, but gloried in their abilities.”

It’s part of our tradition of meeting people where they’re at — because anyone can encounter the outdoors right where they live.

Minnesota Good Age / June 2018 / 27


Photo by Tracy Walsh

Canoemobile

Ten years ago, Lais began to grow concerned about the increasing disconnect between children and the natural world. Inspired by the idea of bookmobiles, he commissioned a fleet of 24-foot Voyageur canoes to travel around the country as “floating classrooms” for local students to learn about science, history, geography and culture.

The natural world is here and present. Engage in it and enjoy it on its own terms. Most of all, share the experience with others. 28 / June 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

“The idea was to bring environmental literacy to urban America,” he said. “It’s part of our tradition of meeting people where they’re at — because anyone can encounter the outdoors right where they live.” So far, the program’s traveled to 55 cities, including New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. It serves more than 30,000 youth and adults of all backgrounds and abilities each year. Lais hopes these on-the-water experiences help young people cultivate a stewardship ethic and become inspired to pursue career opportunities in the outdoors. “I want to make the outdoors accessible for everyone, because right now it’s very much the domain of people of privilege,” he said. Hanley paddled with young students and their teachers on the Anacostia River when the Canoemobile went to Washington, D.C. “They had never been in a canoe, and they certainly had never seen the

▲ One of seven children, Greg Lais fished every summer at his grandparents’ cabin on Big Trout Lake in the Brainerd Lakes area.

Anacostia from a canoe,” she said. “It was so much fun to see the excitement on their faces during an outing they’ll never forget.” The Canoemobile project was an example of what Lais calls a B-HAG — a big, hairy audacious goal. And it’s not the last one he hopes to achieve. “As I get older, I’m less worried about failure and rejection,” he said. “The day of my 60th birthday, I didn’t feel any different. But I am aware there’s only so much time left in life. I think I’ve developed more of a ‘Why not?’ attitude as I’ve gotten older. I know I have a great next act left in me.”

Around the world — and close to home

Lais and his wife, Patti Thurber, have been married 32 years. Thurber, a recently retired school teacher, who also works as a guide for Wilderness Inquiry, is a Madison, Wisconsin, native. Though she loves the outdoors, she didn’t crave a rural day-to-day existence.


50 Over 50 In 2017, Greg Lais was named a 50 Over 50 honoree by AARP Minnesota and Pollen, which highlights Minnesotans who are “living life on their own terms and improving the lives of others at the same time.” To nominate someone for 2018, go to 50over50mn.org.

“I was hoping to settle somewhere more remote, like Hugo or Stillwater,” Lais said. “But we’ve stayed put in the Nokomis neighborhood of Minneapolis, in walking distance of Lake Nokomis and Minnehaha Creek.” They have two grown children — Rosie, 28, of St. Paul, and Martin, 26, of Minneapolis. “Both of them love the outdoors, but they probably would not define themselves as outdoor people — at least not yet,” Lais said. “They got dragged on a million trips as kids. At the time, they said they hated it, but they did see the world.” While Lais loves the BWCA and has come to appreciate life in the city, there’s one spot he finds especially impressive: “I love Haida Gwaii, also known as the Queen Charlotte Islands. It’s an archipelago off British Columbia’s west coast, in Canada. But really, the world is full of so many beautiful places, like Northern Minnesota, Australia or East Africa.” Lais — who graduated from the St. John’s University in 1978, followed by a marketing MBA from the U of M in 1991 — also teaches a three-credit course at the U’s School of Kinesiology on outdoor leadership, including a sea-kayak outing to the Apostle Islands.

Getting started

If you want to connect more with the outdoors, Lais suggests starting where you’re comfortable. “Go to a park, walk around, meet people,” he said. “Stop worrying that you look awkward or don’t have the right clothes and just enjoy yourself.” Of course, Wilderness Inquiry — which operates a base camp in Little Sand Bay, Wisconsin, near the Apostle Islands — offers canoe day trips all over the state, or you can visit one of Minnesota’s state parks: “Minnesota has a phenomenal state park system that’s second to none,” he said. In other words, the outdoors is waiting — just for you. “The natural world is here and present,” he said. “Engage in it and enjoy it on its own terms. Most of all, share the experience with others.” Julie Kendrick is a contributing writer for many local and national publications. She lives in Minneapolis. Follow her on Twitter @KendrickWorks.

LEARN MORE Wilderness Inquiry travels to numerous destinations for overnight and day trips — ranging in cost from $45 per person for a day trip to more than $4,000 for 12-day international experiences — including:

U.S. Apostle Islands Boundary Waters Glacier National Park Hawaii’s Big Island Mississippi River Olympic National Park St. Croix River Superior Hiking Trail Utah’s Sleeping Rainbow Voyageurs National Park Yellowstone National Park

INTERNATIONAL Belize and Tikal Costa Rica Iceland Kenya New Zealand Tanzania Uganda


CAN’T-MISS CALENDAR JUNE

LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR AND GRILL

→ Step inside a small, intimate bar in 1959 Philadelphia where the legendary Billie Holiday — played by Thomasina Petrus, backed by a live jazz trio — recounts her life story through the songs that made her famous. When: May 26–June 24 Where: Jungle Theatre, Minneapolis Cost: $37–$47 Info: jungletheater.com Photo by William Clark

ONGOING

ORIGAMI IN THE GARDEN → This 40-piece outdoor sculpture exhibition captures the delicate nature of the paper art form with bronze, aluminum and steel cranes, bison, horses, butterflies and more placed in the gardens near the Oswald Visitor Center, plus more installations indoors. When: Through Oct. 21 Where: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska Cost: Admission is free on the third Monday of each month. Otherwise, gate admission is $15 for ages 16 and older and free for ages 15 and younger. Info: arboretum.umn.edu

CARS AND CAVES → Visitors are invited to explore a variety of luxury man cave garages and check out many unique vehicles at the Chanhassen 30 / June 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

Autoplex, a private garage community, where 120 owners use their garage condos to store and restore their collector, classic and exotic cars and motorcycles. When: May 26, June 30, July 28, Aug. 25 and Sep. 29 Where: Chanhassen Autoplex Cost: FREE; charitable donations are encouraged. Info: chanhassenautoplex.com

JUNE 2–10

MIDWEST HOME LUXURY REMODELING TOUR

JUNE 1–8

FLEETWOOD MAC’S RUMOURS → The annual Cantus pop concert covers a classic album in its entirety, plus a few other Fleetwood faves. When: June 1–3, 7–8 Where: The Cowles Center, Minneapolis Cost: $27–37 Info: cantussings.org

JUNE 2

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL MINI MAKER FAIRE

→ Tour some of the area’s top remodeling projects with budgets of $100,000 and up.

→ More than 200 local and regional makers who will showcase, demonstrate and share their creations.

When: June 2–3, 9–10 Where: Twin Cities Cost: $15 online or at Menards,  $20 if you purchase at the homes Info: luxuryremodelingtour.com

When: June 2 Where: Minnesota State Fairgrounds, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info: msp.makerfaire.com


JUNE 9–10

WILLS, ESTATE PLANNING

DEUTSCHE TAGE

JAMES G. ROBAN

→ Celebrate German culture at this 60th-annual festival featuring food, music, dance, art and traditional activities.

Attorney at Law

261 Ruth Street North St. Paul

When: June 9–10 Where: Germanic-American Institute, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info: gai-mn.org/deutschetage

(651) 738-2102

MINNESOTA ANTIQUES DEALERS → Fine antiques and decorative arts will be for sale by members of the MN Antiques Dealers Association at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

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JUNE 21–24

THE WALL THAT HEALS → Minnesota Remembers Vietnam, an initiative of Twin Cities PBS/TPT, is bringing back a three-quarter scale mobile replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., to the Minnesota State Capitol grounds. When: June 21–24 Where: St. Paul Cost: FREE Info: mnvietnam.org/thewallthatheals

JUNE 22–24

BACK TO THE FIFTIES WEEKEND → More than 10,000 custom, classic and restored cars — all dated 1964 and earlier — cover the fairgrounds, along with live music, games, food, crafts and more. When: June 22–24 Where: Minnesota State Fairgrounds, St. Paul Cost: $12 for adults ($10 in advance at Napa Auto stores) and free for ages 12 and younger with a paid adult; cash only at the gate Info: msra.com Minnesota Good Age / June 2018 / 31


Brain teasers SUDOKU

WORD SEARCH The Great Outdoors

ANIMAL ARBORETUM BIRDWATCHING BOAT CAMPING ENVIRONMENT FISHING

CRYPTOGRAM Break the code to reveal a quote from a famous person. Each letter represents another letter.

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32 / June 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

E N

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TRIVIA 1. 11,842 2. Red pine (also known as Norway pine) 3. Itasca State Park

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ANSWERS

Source: Ann Bancroft

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FLOWERS GARDENS ITASCA LAKE MINNEHAHA PARK PICNIC


TRIVIA Wildlife 1. How many lakes — of 10 acres or larger — are completely or partially in Minnesota? (Try to get within 1,000 lakes of the right answer.) 2. What is Minnesota’s state tree? 3. What Minnesota park contains the headwaters of the Mississippi River? Sources: minnesotafunfacts.com, www.sos.state.mn.us, www.dnr.state.mn.us

1-877-473-6903

SUDOKU WORD SCRAMBLE Forest, Nature, Hiking CROSSWORD

ANSWERS Minnesota Good Age / June 2018 / 33

CRYTPOGRAM Growing up in a rural setting in Minnesota, I was raised with the outdoors and a sense of adventure.


Crossword

ACROSS

1 Ejects, volcano-style 6 Coin toss 10 Org. with a “Parliament” TV channel 13 Vietnam’s capital 14 Loughlin of “Full House” 15 Hide in the soil 16 *Actor who played Ché in 1996 “Evita” movie 19 Conked out 20 Sign light 21 “Snowy” bird 22 Sobbed 24 Winter bug 25 *1990s–2000s Red Sox Hall of Fame pitcher 32 Scratch or dent 34 With courage 35 Actress Campbell 36 Leave out, as the “g” when saying “sayin’” 38 From __ Z 34 / June 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

39 It’s accessed via manholes 40 To boot 41 End of a Seuss title about a mischievous cat 43 Good bud 44 *Argentine who shared the FIFA Player of the 20th Century award with Pelé 47 Rte. finder 48 October birthstones 50 Tea variety 53 Extra: Abbr. 56 British slammer 58 *20th-century Spanish dictator 61 Like small print 62 Civil mayhem 63 Like Machu Picchu 64 Explosive stuff 65 Without ... or, as a plural, what the starts of the answers to starred clues are without? 66 Winter melodies

DOWN

1 Roe fish 2 Lose it in an emergency 3 “Star Trek” ship 4 Stereotypical surfer’s wagon 5 Pride or envy 6 Ice sheet 7 Gray wolf 8 Persian rug source 9 Sticker 10 1804 duel winner 11 Scottish hillside 12 Skin concern 15 “Begin the __”: Cole Porter song 17 Vedic weather god 18 Shoulder muscle, informally 23 Beat by a bit 24 Cook in deep fat 26 Nebraska city 27 Parking __ 28 Hawaiian welcome 29 Puma competitor 30 Perpetually 31 Celsius freezing point 32 Honeyed drink 33 “__ want for Christmas ... ” 37 Danged 39 “Cut that out!” 41 Many corp. logos 42 First name from which the “Adi” in Adidas is derived 45 Oil gp. 46 1998 Olympics city 49 Tinseltown region, familiarly 50 Fizzling sound 51 Ireland, in verse 52 German thinker Immanuel 53 Largest continent 54 Anti-rodent brand 55 Things to connect 57 Chaney Jr. and Sr. 59 Tax-auditing org. 60 __ Tin Tin


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