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Contents

Photo courtesy of Nebraska Tourism

20 32

→→On the cover Always selling: The Rainforest Cafe chain was only the beginning of a oneof-a-kind sales career for Steve Schussler of St. Louis Park, who’s still opening themed destinations. Photos by Tracy Walsh tracywalshphoto.com

History comes alive Take a tour of Nebraska museums after you view the migrating birds in spring.

Subscribe! Want to receive Good Age at your home? Our magazine is free at more than 1,000 rack sites around the Twin Cities, including most senior centers, libraries and metro-area Walgreens. But if you'd like to get the magazine mailed to your home, send a $12 check for a one-year subscription to Minnesota Good Age, 1115 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55403. Write “Good Age magazine” on the memo line.

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From the Editor 8 Meet Steve Schussler, one of Minnesota’s most creative cats. My Turn 10 Oregon’s people, climate and natural beauty offer pure Americana. Memories 12 The Coca-Cola Santa has been going strong for 33 years.

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Good Start / From the Editor / By Sarah Jackson Volume 35 / Issue 12 Publisher Janis Hall jhall@mngoodage.com Co-Publisher and Sales Manager Terry Gahan 612-436-4360 tgahan@mngoodage.com Editor Sarah Jackson 612-436-4385 editor@mngoodage.com Contributors Jamie Crowson, Carol Hall Skip Johnson, Lauren Peck Dave Nimmer, Dr. Michael Spilane, Carla Waldemar, Tracy Walsh, Jenny West Creative Director Sarah Karnas Senior Graphic Designer Valerie Moe 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 © 2016 Minnesota Premier Publications, Inc. Subscriptions are $12 per year.

8 / December 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

Disney or bust! Well, it’s not every month

we get to feature a Minnesota icon, standing in an ice-block bar, on the front cover of our magazine. Should it even be surprising that Minnesota’s Steve Schussler, the father of the Rainforest Cafe chain, and the man known internationally as the Walt Disney of themed restaurants has built an ice bar at his Schussler Creative idea lab in Golden Valley? [I’m showing you the photo of me in the bar (taken during the photographer’s lighting test) so you can try to imagine just how cold it really is.] Photo by Tracy Walsh We’re talking about the guy who converted his tracywalshphoto.com St. Louis Park home into a prototype rainforest — to convince investors to back his revolutionary family-dining concept, which went on to include live birds, indoor rain storms and animatronic animals of all sorts. This month, our annual Creativity Issue, seemed like the perfect time to check in with the legendary Schussler to see what he’s up to at what he calls “61 years young.” Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to tour his elaborate headquarters, which most recently has given birth to an entirely new kind of theme restaurant — The Boathouse, which he triumphantly opened at Shanghai Disney Resort in China earlier this year, after the first location wowed visitors at Disney World in Orlando in 2015. Unlike his whimsical Rainforest, T-Rex and Yak & Yeti themes, Schussler’s latest creation is decidedly Minnesotan, inspired by the wooden boats of Lake Minnetonka. Up next is an Asian-themed restaurant that he hopes will showcase his rare collection of intricately carved Asian sculptures, restored from the brink of destruction. You can read all about it in this issue. And you can read even more in his fascinating book — It’s a Jungle In There — chronicling his career in a tome that’s part memoir, part entrepreneurial guidebook. You should also know that the quirky, creative genius, who grew up near Rockaway Beach, N.Y., is honored to represent our state with his whimsical, one-ofa-kind creations. “I’m most proud of the millions of families and three generations of children and parents and grandparents — that come to visit our restaurants and our attractions and our retail stores — and having created that here in Golden Valley, Minnesota. Just like Prince — right here in Minnesota,” he said. “We have so much going on here in this state.” Agreed!


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Good Start / My Turn / By Dave Nimmer

An Oregon state of mind →→In this part of the country, you can walk the coast and hike the mountains in a single trip

Now that winter is looming, I’m thinking longingly about a

trip this coming summer to Oregon, where even now the water is still in liquid form and you don’t have to worry about slipping on your driveway as you take the garbage can out to the curb. Whenever I go West to visit Rod Sando, Minnesota’s former DNR commissioner, it doesn’t take me long to develop an Oregon State of Mind — ever-changing topography and geography, always-interesting debate and discussion and noticeably accommodating people, who pump your gas with a greeting, check-out your groceries with a smile and serve your coffee with a compliment. In short, Oregon is a civilized place to be, one that represents the best of what this country has to offer. I’ve been going to Oregon, along with my former WCCO colleague Roger Nelson, for the past decade. After spending the first evening with Sando and his wife, Jan, at their house, eating fresh sockeye salmon and telling a few stories, we hit the road in his Toyota pickup truck — a 2004 model with 198,000 miles. It’s kind of like the three of us — a lot of miles, a few scratches, but still running. Over the years, we’ve seen the coast, hiked in the mountains and crossed the high desert.

Larger than life This year, we perched on the rim of a volcanic crater — the Newberry Crater — and the crystal-clear, deep lake that formed in its caldera, or basin. It’s all part of a Newberry National Volcanic Monument, which takes your breath away and fills your senses. ⊳⊳ Paulina Lake lies within the caldera of Newberry Volcano, about 40 miles south of Bend, Ore.

10 / December 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

Near Bend, Ore., it features a lava butte, a lava-river cave, an old-growth forest, an 80-foot twin waterfall and a log lodge built in 1929. We stayed in a cabin about that old and we put its wood stove to good use. The temps at night got down to the low 30s and one day in June we awoke to a covering of snow. Sando cooked eggs and thick-cut bacon; we drank coffee, we ate blueberries and decided to pass on fishing on the wind-whipped lake. The “youngsters” who did venture out wore gloves and down jackets. We’re smarter now. That was clear from our discussions. We agreed we need good music, a meaningful relationship with the outdoors and a sense of stewardship, leaving this earth in at least as good a shape as we found it. To drive that point home, Sando took us to the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area along the coast — 2,700 acres of volcanic rock, lush ferns and 500-year-old Sitka spruce trees. They tower overhead. It’d take the three of us holding hands to wrap around the trunk of one. They inspire awe and silence. The sunlight reached the forest floor in brilliant, white shafts. It felt good to have Sando’s son, Kyle, with us on that day. It was a forest that needed at least two generations to properly appreciate it.

Freedom among the frogs Nelson and I appreciated a young woman who waited on us one evening at a Red Robin restaurant in Woodburn. We were in a place known for craft beer and gourmet burgers, inquiring about green salads.


We agreed we need good music, a meaningful relationship with the outdoors and a sense of stewardship. A bit weary and very pregnant, she patiently talked us through our options. When she delivered the bill, she told us the baby was due in a couple of months. At the moment, however, she was just waiting tables — no ring on her finger, but a smile on her face. Before we left Oregon, we talked with Sando’s wife about her recent trek along the El Camino — 500 miles in 32 days — in France and Spain, following the pilgrimage route of St. James. “For me,” Jan said, “it was about being in the moment — one foot ahead of another, one step at a time. Look at the stones. Hear the frogs. See the beauty of the grape vines. And in the end, maybe, discover the freedom to be yourself.” Indeed, I discover a little of that each time I climb into Sando’s pickup. Dave Nimmer has 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.

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Good Start / Memories / By Carol Hall I can’t recall any other image — save the Dick and Jane illustrations on my kindergarten reader — that so favorably impressed me as a child. (I could identify with Jane.)

Terrorized by cleanser Indeed, the Sundblom Santa was the antithesis of the Old Dutch Cleanser girl. In her blue dress, red clogs and odd white hat, I found her so terrifying my

Photo by Sergey Kohl / Shutterstock.com

The making of Santa →→Coca-Cola’s jolly ad defined St. Nick for my generation — and well beyond

When I was a little girl, Santa Claus came to my house late at night every Christmas Eve and left me a special Christmas gift. Now, I never actually spied Santa during these nocturnal visits. But I knew exactly what he looked like because I’d seen so many pictures of him in magazines, sipping a bottle of Coca-Cola. The person who created Santa Claus in those early Coca-Cola advertisements was commercial artist Haddon Sundblom. Clement Clarke Moore’s ’Twas the Night Before Christmas poem (A Visit from St. Nicholas) inspired his characterization. Sundblom crafted another icon, the Quaker Oats man. He also painted pinup girls for calendar art. But the Coca-Cola Santa Claus was his signature offering, and it made a powerful impression on me. To my child’s mind, there was something magical about Sundblom’s Santa. He represented Christmas, surely the most magical time of the year. But it was more than that. The way Sundblom painted Santa — jolly, fat, smiling — there was nothing artificial about him. He was real. He came to bring joy and do only good things. 12 / December 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

mother had to hide the Dutch Cleanser can. She carried a stick and was running. The campaign said: “Old Dutch Cleanser chases dirt — makes everything spic and span.” I had nightmares about that, thinking she was chasing me. I also found the girl’s hat intimidating. A typical Dutch bonnet, with “wings” or flaps that hid her face, it was very scary, sort of like a Halloween mask or a nun’s headpiece.

33 years and counting All of this says much about the visual images that affect children. In those early-1940s, pre-television days, the illustrations in popular family magazines — along with popular movies — provided the bulk of the “pictures” of the world we lived in. They were pictures that served to shape our young minds. My vivid recollections also speak to the power of advertising. Obviously, given its longevity, Coca-Cola’s portrayal of Santa — as a warm human being enjoying a coke — enchanted many a little girl like me and appealed to countless other people (while also generating sales, surely). “Sundblom’s Santa first appeared in


ogist l o i d u A d e s ffice O g Licen n i m o c l e W KIM E. FISHMAN in a Warm & In those early-1940s, pre-television days, the illustrations in popular family magazines — along with popular movies — provided the bulk of the ‘pictures’ of the world we lived in. the Saturday Evening Post magazine Christmas ad in 1931,” said retired Twin Cities Coca-Cola sales and marketing team member Gregory Dorr. “The company continued depicting him that way for the next 33 years, with the final version in 1964; and it is still being used today.” Indeed, Sundblom is often credited as creating the modern image of Santa Claus. It still appears in the likes of children’s books, Christmas cards and outdoor flags — like the one flying in the cold December air just outside my door right now. Merry Christmas!

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Good Start / This Month in Minnesota History / By Lauren Peck ⊳⊳ Sinclair Lewis was depicted in this etching in 1930, the year he won the Nobel Prize in Literature, worth $46,350. Photos courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society

But Lewis, whose writing career had just begun, also worried about how the book would be received. He feared the book’s subversive takedown of smalltown life might be a turnoff to the magazine publishers he’d come to rely on for paychecks. When Main Street finally hit shelves in October 1920, glowing reviews from critics started to roll in, and writers such as Upton Sinclair, H.G. Wells and F. Scott Fitzgerald sang its praises. A New York Tribune writer called it “the best book I have read in as long as I can recall.”

Not ‘wholesome’ enough

Our other literary star →→Minnesota native Sinclair Lewis won the Nobel Prize after a Pulitzer dustup

This past October iconic Minnesota musician Bob Dylan received the

Nobel Prize in Literature for his work, the first musician to ever win the award. While only eight other U.S.-born writers have claimed the literature prize since it began in 1901, Dylan isn’t the first Minnesotan to receive the high honor. In 1930, Sinclair Lewis became the first-ever American to take home the Nobel’s lit prize. Born in 1885 in Sauk Centre, Lewis topped the bestseller lists throughout the 1920s. His Minnesota roots often influenced his short stories and novels, but he didn’t always portray his upbringing in the best light. In his sixth novel, Main Street, published in 1920, he took shots at his background, satirizing the American ideal of perfect small-town life. His Main Street protagonist, Carol, finds provincialism and small-mindedness rather than a quaint, perfect town of good neighbors in the fictional location of Gopher Prairie, Minn. Lewis is said to have begun Main Street one summer in 1905 while home in Sauk Centre during his college years at Yale, feeling keenly aware of the cultural differences between his college life out East and his hometown. It took years of writing on and off to finish the novel, but he felt constantly compelled to tell the story: He once wrote more than 200,000 words for his manuscript in just 14 weeks. 14 / December 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

Main Street quickly became the book to buy for the 1920 holiday season, and by January 1921, more than 100,000 copies had sold. “In the year 1921, if you visited the parlor of almost any boarding house, you would see a copy of Main Street — standing between the Bible and Ben-Hur,” one writer said. The book had clearly struck a chord with the American public, many of whom had recently ventured out of their small towns for the first time during World War I. One critic wrote, “By 1920, the restless minds of the writers of new books were

→→Read more Learn about the life and work of Sinclair Lewis in the Minnesota Historical Society’s biography Sinclair Lewis: Rebel from Main Street by Richard Lingeman.


Stay in the home you love! ⊳⊳ Main Street by Sinclair Lewis — which criticized the provincialism and small-mindedness of rural Minnesota — was denied a Pulitzer Prize in 1921 because it wasn’t “wholesome” enough. Arrowsmith, first published by Sinclair Lewis in 1925, won the 1926 Pulitzer Prize, which Lewis declined.

getting a response from restless men and women who had been figuratively or literally grabbed out of their Main Streets.” Riding high on the book’s success, Lewis attended society dinners and White House receptions and lectured across the country. But when the fiction judges of the Pulitzer Prize recommended the 1921 award go to Main Street, the trustees of Columbia University — who made the final decision — overturned the judges’ choice and presented the award to Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence. The Pulitzer had a requirement that the award go to a book “which shall best present the wholesome atmosphere of American life,” and the trustees felt Main Street and its criticism of rural American values didn’t meet the requirement.

Onward and upward The snub stuck with Lewis, even as his next two novels — Babbitt (1922) and Arrowsmith (1925) — each sold over 100,000 copies. In 1926, the Pulitzer committee chose Arrowsmith for the fiction award, but Lewis refused to accept it, the first person ever to do so. He wrote a letter to the committee, calling out its decision on Main Street and his disagreement with the “wholesome” requirement, and the story made frontpage headlines around the country.

A few years later, in November 1930, the Swedish Academy informed Lewis that he had been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. When the story broke, reporters were eager to know if the author would refuse the Nobel. Lewis quickly announced he would accept the award, which he felt was more focused on an author’s literary merit than the Pulitzer. However, some felt that the Nobel’s nearly-$50,000 prize — in comparison with the Pulitzer’s mere $1,000 prize — was the author’s true reason for accepting. “It is a good deal easier to reconcile one’s artistic conscience to a $46,350 prize than it is to one which happens to be, under the terms of the Pulitzer award, exactly $45,350 less,” sniped the Minneapolis Tribune. On Dec. 10, Lewis received the prize in Stockholm. As he presented the award, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy applauded Lewis’ work for the very thing the Pulitzers had faulted him for, announcing, “The new great American literature has started with national self-criticism.” Lauren Peck is a media relations and social media associate for the Minnesota Historical Society.

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Good Health / House Call / By Dr. Michael Spilane

Dry air treats human skin the same way it treats everything else — it sucks out the water.

Stop dry skin →→Combat the effects of winter’s dry air with a humidifier, lotion and baths

Winter can be a cruel season in Minnesota.

One of its inescapable brutalities is directed at our skin. Cold air (or cold air that’s been warmed in a furnace) is dry air — it holds much less moisture than natural warm air. And dry air treats human skin the same way it treats everything else — it sucks out the water. Rugs become electrified, plants require more water and the skin itches and scales. The skin of older adults suffers more, since it has lost much of its ability to produce natural, protective, lubricating oils.

Add water to the air If you experience an itch-all-over feeling this winter, the most likely cause is dry skin. The itch from dry skin can be mild and intermittent, but it’s often a major and persisting nuisance. It’s almost always worse at night and will awaken a person with the irresistible urge to scratch. Scratching soothes the itch for about 30 seconds, but

16 / December 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

the scratch inflames the skin and leads to even worse itching. It’s much easier to prevent the problem of dry skin than it is to treat it after the itching, scaling and redness have started to drive the victim crazy. Get out the humidifier. Not a pan on the stove, but a real humidifier. Keep it clean and keep it filled. Your skin will like the humidified air, but the humidity will also help your sinuses, throat and respiratory passages. Choosing the right kind of humidifier can be a challenge. Ultrasonic devices are small, very portable, quiet and inexpensive; but they’re best used to humidify a small area, such as a bedroom. Larger humidifiers are evaporative in type and can push out several gallons of water in 24 hours. Their


disadvantage is cost, size, lack of portability and (sometimes) difficulty in filling with water. Whether ultrasonic or evaporative, a humidifier can help solve the dry-air problem.

Modify daily routines Another means of preventing dry skin is to take baths rather than showers. Both baths and showers promote dryness and irritation of the skin, but baths are less problematic. Use a tablespoon of oil in the bath water, soak for 10 minutes or less, be stingy with the soap and don’t use an abrasive wash cloth. Soap and use of a wash cloth remove oil from the skin, inviting further drying and inflammation. Soaking in a tub for 10 minutes with minimal use of soap or non-soap cleanser will leave you clean. If you must shower, keep it brief. A jug of moisturizing lotion should become a best friend during the winter months. Apply the lotion (for example, Wondra, Lubriderm or Keri) once or twice a day. Avoid cheap, smelly concoctions, and be generous with the application. Apply 1 percent hydrocortisone cream (available without a physician’s prescription) if dryness has produced patches of flaky and reddened skin.

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Good Health / Caregiving / By Jenny West ⊲⊲ Shoulder aches, back aches or migraines coming from nowhere? ⊲⊲ Anger or irritability toward the person you care for, other family members, doctors or service providers? ⊲⊲ Lack of concentration and forgetfulness around holiday events?

Slow it down

A balancing act →→Being a caregiver during the holidays means honoring traditions, but also managing stress

Special meals, big gatherings, religious observations and annual travel plans are cherished elements of the holiday season for many families. Such events can be both meaningful and even energizing in an ideal situation. However, when it comes to caregivers, these holiday traditions can also bring additional stress. What was once done without much thought may now require extreme attention to timing, accessibility and the personal needs and stamina of the person under your care. You may find yourself planning several different exit strategies, because you →→Find help know how quickly and unexpectedly An estimated 65 percent of things can change. caregivers develop chronic illnesses. In fact, the No. 1 Check in with yourself reason for early placement of a care receiver in a nursing home Are you so overwhelmed with holiday is the illness of the caregiver, activities and taking care of someone else not the receiver. That’s partly that you may be neglecting your own why self-care is critically physical, mental and emotional well-being? important, especially during the holidays. If you find yourself without time to take care of your own needs, you may be putting yourself at risk. Have you felt any of these warning signs of caregiver stress over the past few weeks?

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Is it time to get help? To find out, go to tools.roobrik.com/ familymeans/care/start.

People tend to experience stress through physical, emotional and mental signals. Discover what your stress signals are so that you can do stress-reducing activities to find a more balanced you. If you’re doing physical work, give yourself a break every couple of hours and do something different with your body, just for a few minutes. If you’re doing mental work, stop and look out the window to follow a snowflake or just let your mind daydream. If you’re filled with all sorts of emotions such as sadness, frustration or anxiety, identify the emotions and talk them out with a trusted friend. Or try watching a funny movie. By recognizing your stress signals, you can actually help control and manage your stress levels, all while taking better care of yourself.

Reach out Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You don’t need to do it all or be everything to everyone. Look for people or services that can give you support. You can easily do twice as much with the help of others. But you have to ask for the help. Don’t expect others to be able to read your mind. Better balance will come when you reach out.


HOW TO MANAGE STRESS PHYSICAL One in five caregivers report physical strain due to caregiving duties, including: ⊲⊲ Increased heart rate ⊲⊲ Elevated blood pressure ⊲⊲ Breathing difficulties ⊲⊲ Headaches or migraines ⊲⊲ Fatigue or exhaustion ⊲⊲ Insomnia ⊲⊲ Backaches ⊲⊲ Frequent or prolonged colds or flu ⊲⊲ Bruxism or jaw clenching ⊲⊲ Weight gain or weight loss of more than 10 pounds.

WHAT TO TRY ⊲⊲ Get enough sleep. ⊲⊲ Eat balanced, nutritional meals; avoid unnecessary and unhealthy foods, beverages and mood-altering substances. ⊲⊲ Become aware of your body’s needs and signals. ⊲⊲ Maintain your health by scheduling routine physical examinations. ⊲⊲ Learn what relaxes and recharges you, and find a way to relax each day. ⊲⊲ Exercise regularly. For example, if you’re already at the mall shopping, allow an extra 30 minutes of time to walk the mall and get your exercise in for the day.

EMOTIONAL Fifty-five percent of caregivers feel overwhelmed by the amount of care family members need each day. Signs include: ⊲⊲ Irritability or overreaction to some relatively minor situation ⊲⊲ Angry outbursts, short-tempered reactions, hostility ⊲⊲ Jealousy ⊲⊲ Lack of interest, withdrawing, being unable to get up in the morning ⊲⊲ Crying easily ⊲⊲ Blaming others, feeling suspicious ⊲⊲ Self-deprecation ⊲⊲ Diminished initiative, isolation ⊲⊲ Worry or depression.

WHAT TO TRY ⊲⊲ Don’t be overly work- or goaloriented. Learn to play. Renew yourself through relaxation and recreation. ⊲⊲ Cherish your flexibility and capacity to adapt. ⊲⊲ Get support and feedback from people you value. ⊲⊲ Notice what situations trigger your highest stress levels. For example, allow others to help with caregiving duties and spending time with the person you’re caring for, so that you may get a break to recharge your own batteries.

MENTAL If we don’t take action to combat stress, it can create or worsen mental health problems, such as: ⊲⊲ Forgetfulness or preoccupation ⊲⊲ Increased fantasy life ⊲⊲ Decreased concentration ⊲⊲ Inattention to detail ⊲⊲ Past rather than present orientation ⊲⊲ Decreased creativity ⊲⊲ Slower thinking, slower reactions, difficulty learning ⊲⊲ “Couldn’t care less” attitude.

WHAT TO TRY ⊲⊲ Identify what causes stress for you. ⊲⊲ Recognize early signs of stress in yourself and others. ⊲⊲ Avoid or alter stress-inducing situations or your reactions to them. ⊲⊲ Learn to accept and respect your strengths and limits. ⊲⊲ Evaluate whether you’re over-involved in work, commitments and activities. ⊲⊲ Eliminate unnecessary responsibilities, pressures and deadlines. ⊲⊲ Learn the art of delegating activity to others and even learn to say no. For example, consider not sending out your annual holiday card this year, and instead call those on your list and reconnect over the phone or make arrangements to see them in person at a later date.

Jenny West works at FamilyMeans in Caregiver Support & Aging Services and is a member of the St. Paul-based Metropolitan Caregiver Service Collaborative (caregivercollaborative.org).

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Flyw Good Living / Travel

The

Come for a stunning gathering of migrating cranes. Stay for a rich historical tour of Nebraska.

By Carla Waldemar

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way The wake-up call comes at 5 a.m.

It’s 5 degrees and still dark. We stumble into Arctic gear and head for a small stretch of land on the North Platte River outside Kearney, Neb., where we’ll be standing, silent and immobile, for three hours (sans bathroom, therefore sans coffee). Why? To witness the annual migration of the sandhill cranes. No longer a teenager, I seldom use the word “awesome.” But it’s the mildest description of the phenomenon we’re witnessing (today, tonight and again tomorrow). This experience, I’d argue, should be high on any nature lover’s bucket list. “Each spring, something magical happens,” said Bill Taddicken, director of Rowe Sanctuary at the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center. This month-long March/April stopover of 600,000 cranes (the world’s largest gathering) — enroute from Mexico to Canada and Alaska — is what these prehistoric birds have been doing for millions of years. (The earliest sandhill crane fossil, estimated to be 2.5 million years old, was unearthed in the Macasphalt Shell Pit in Florida.)


Flyway The

Sandhill stats

→→See the birds To view the annual March/April migration of sandhill cranes in Nebraska, reserve your place (for tours and lodging) in January or February. See visitnebraska.com, rowesanctuary.org, cranetrust.org, prairiechickendancetours.com and seethecranes.com.

→→Learn more Study up on sandhill cranes and their fascinating migration at nebraskaflyway.com and allaboutbirds.org. 22 / December 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

These heron-like creatures stand 3½ feet tall with a 6-foot wingspans and weigh 6 to 8 pounds. They live about 24 years (but can survive much longer), mate for life and lay two eggs per year; hatchlings stay with their parents for about a year. Today the river — an inch deep and a mile wide, claim locals — is black with standing birds. We gaze upon them when the sun finally rises and they begin to lift off — singly, in pairs, then in flocks — to feed in neighboring fields until sundown, when again we watch as the whole process is reversed and their cheeping builds like the roar of a Super Bowl crowd. Yes, I’m cold. I’m tired and hungry. But for this glorious spectacle, there’s nowhere on Earth I’d rather be — standing in the heart of the Great Plains with 80 percent of the world’s population of sandhill cranes on a critical sliver of habitat in North America’s Central Flyway. We rise again the following morning and head for the Crane Trust bird blinds for another show. “Most people sign on for two viewings,” said trust services manager Brice Krohn, who recommends morning visits for the best photography and evening shows for a chance to just enjoy the experience.

▲▲Wildlife watchers from all over the country flock to the Platte River Valley in Nebraska in March and April for the annual sandhill crane migration. Photo courtesy of Nebraska Tourism


Birds of a feather And it’s not just the red-capped cranes that visit this region (an 8-hour drive from Minneapolis, about 2.5 hours west of Omaha): Along with them come millions of migrating ducks and geese that stop by neighboring rainwater basins. South-central Nebraska’s other birding spectacle arrives in early spring as well — native prairie chickens, grouse-like birds known to some as boomers, known for their elaborate courtship rituals. To see them in the wild — and to observe their dramatic prairie chicken dance — we arose again in the dark. As part of their spring-mating ceremonies, these brown-mottled birds puff up their egg-yolk-yellow “cheeks” and raise their feathers, calling oo-oo-oo as they perform a quick-stamp shuffle around an alpha male in the middle. Why? “One short word: Sex. To impress the ladies,” said Angus Garey, a cattle raiser whose property the birds adopt as home each spring.

Trails and travails People migrate, too, and Nebraska is sliced with their paths — the Oregon Trail, the Mormon Trail and the iconic Lincoln Highway. Today, small towns studding these routes have preserved memories of the trails and travails of the 1800s in recreated villages and historical museums. After a meal featuring — what else, here in cattle country? — prime beef at Coppermill Steakhouse in McCook (two hours west of Kearney), we circled back to Gothenburg (1 hour west of Kearney), a rest stop for Mormons, gold prospectors and more, boasting an original Pony Express Station of 1854, including a sign that reads, “Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows to risk death daily. Orphans preferred.” Outside Kearney, we hit the Great Platte River Road Archway, a giant skyway museum/monument spanning I-80, telling the story, through diary

accounts and vignettes, of covered wagons (“4 a.m. Those not ready fall into the dusty rear;” and “This is the feel of freedom!”) on their way to California where, for some “the gold is gone,” but others hail as “happy land.” Another super steak back at Kearney’s Alley Rose fortifies us for tomorrow’s trek to Fort Kearney State Historic Park, erected to protect and supply migrants passing through the region.

Cars, antiques, mousetraps Next we hit the Classic Car Collection, a showcase of more than 200 automobiles that illustrate the evolution and art of life on four wheels, including a 1955 Thunderbird and 1982 DeLorean, to name just two. Pioneer Village, in nearby Minden, celebrates another passionate man’s collection — 28 original buildings resettled here, including a sod house, a Lutheran church and a general store with a potbellied stove. A vast furniture barn showcases furnished rooms for every two decades from 1830 to 1980, along with the founder’s collection of household appliances — an Edison phonograph, a charcoalburning iron, a horseradish shredder, circa 1885, the first bathtub in the U.S. from that same year, and many, many mousetraps — “far and away the

▲▲The Classic Car Collection museum in Kearney, Neb., features restored automobiles, interactive multimedia displays and art from local, regional and national artists. Photo courtesy of Nebraska Tourism

most invented machine in American history.” Also, a Wright Brothers airplane and vintage buggies. Minnesota Good Age / December 2016 / 23


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Grand Island’s Stuhr Museum — 45 miles east of Kearney — also recreates a village, this time a rural railroad town of the 19th century, dubbed “the Williamsburg of the Plains.” Costumed interpreters invite visitors into the millinery, blacksmith and tinsmith shops and even the birthplace of soon-to-be-actor, Henry Fonda. Inside its purpose-built building — designed by master architect Edward Durell Stone — Grand Island’s former residents “return” to tell their stories, such as that of Tony Goodchild, an African-American barber born in 1876, who also sold baths for 25 cents. Grand Island itself (population 50,000) boasts troves of similar antiques for sale in its cache of eight antiques shops lining the main street, clustered around the gloriously restored Deco Grand Theater of 1937, still showing movies. Grab a bite at the Chocolate Bar before show time.

Mennonites and more The story of immigrants from Russia unfolds at the Mennonite Village in Henderson, where these persecuted people ended their journey. Costumed hostesses LaVonne and Adeline recount the ensuing success of these prosperous farmers and ply visitors with apple turnovers, fresh from the oven. 24 / December 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

This site’s nine buildings include a ▲▲Frontier history comes to life serene church (sans cross or steeple in at the Stuhr order to outwit pursuers), a one-room Museum of the school and an Immigrants House, built Prairie Pioneer by the railroad for their first winter. in Grand Island, Neb., including Wessels Living History Farm in York a general store fast-forwards us to the 1920s, the decade with a potbellied David Wessels wished folks to remember stove. Photo when he donated his land and wealth to courtesy of Nebraska recreate the family farm of the time. Tourism Stop in the kitchen for popcorn, then awe at his home’s wind-up Victrola, Singer treadle sewing machine and ice box on the back porch. Aurora was our final stop, where we discovered The Plainsman Museum, another recreated town (this time indoors) featuring a sod house, a fur trader’s cabin and a music store, saloon and movie palace — including dolls by the dozen, from Shirley Temple to Barbie. 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.


Good Living / Housing / By Sarah Jackson ⊳⊳ Aeon’s remodel of Parkview Villa included an exterior refresh.

→→Parkview Villa Where: 965 40th Ave. NE, Columbia Heights Ages welcome: 55 and older Number of units: 146 units include 1- and 2-bedroom options, ranging from 573 to 776 square feet.

HOUSING SPOTLIGHT

UPDATED, AFFORDABLE →→Aeon’s latest renovation in the Twin Cities features rent-controlled senior housing

Affordable apartment homes are in extremely high

demand in Minnesota, based on a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. And that’s having a dramatic effect on senior citizens, who have become the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in Minnesota, according to a 2012 Wilder Foundation homelessness study. Aeon, a longtime Minneapolis-based affordable housing developer, is working to change that. ⊳⊳ U.S. Representative Keith Ellison celebrates Parkview Villa’s grand reopening with residents this past July.

Cost: Rent starts at $663 a month for a 1 bedrooms and $828 for a 2 bedroom. Residents must meet a minimum monthly income requirement of two times the monthly rent, and an estimated maximum annual income of 50 to 60 percent of the adjusted median annual income (based on household size). Ownership: Aeon is a Minneapolis-based nonprofit developer, owner and manager of high-quality affordable apartments and townhomes in the Twin Cities. Other facilities: Aeon has built or renovated more than 2,700 affordable apartments to provide homes to more than 4,500 people, including people with low to moderate incomes and formerly homeless folks. Notable projects include historic, oncevacant buildings such as the Crane Ordway in St. Paul and and Paige Hall in Minneapolis. Amenities: Notable features of this pet-friendly, smokefree facility include on-site management, on-site laundry and parking, a mobile food-shelf, mobile clinic visits, a resident advisory council, a salon, a coffee shop, a fitness room, a patio area and a gardening club. Info: 612-333-9284 or aeonmn.org/properties

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Come and check out the contemporary center in the heart of downtown Minneapolis.

SKYWAY SENIOR CENTER 950 Nicollet Mall, Suite 290 (Target/Retek Building) Stop in Monday-Friday 9am–3pm minneapolismn.gov/health/seniors Call 612.370.3869 to get the free newsletter Skyway Senior Center GA 2016 filler H6.indd 1

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▲▲Parkview Villa’s garden allows residents to grow their own fresh vegetables and flowers.

Neighbor to Neighbor Companions Aeon recently spent seven months upgrading the once-city-owned Parkview Villa apartments in Columbia Heights, giving seniors — who meet certain income requirements — another option in the 55-and-older housing realm. Aeon’s renovations of the 146-unit property included extensive exterior work, new community rooms, a coffee shop, a fitness room, a salon, an extended patio area, improvements to some of the kitchens, flooring and a new parking lot. Parkview Villa is located in a bustling, active, bus-linked community right next to LaBelle Park, which includes a popular walking trail around LaBelle Pond. This year, Aeon is celebrating 30 years of providing safe, stable, affordable housing to people in need. Do you know of a new or interesting senior housing facility in the Twin Cities that might make a good Housing Spotlight? Write Minnesota Good Age editor Sarah Jackson at editor@mngoodage.com with the subject line HOUSING SPOTLIGHT.

A bridge to a fuller, more active life for older adults who want to live at home, stay healthy, and remain as independent as possible. Our dedicated companions offer assistance with daily activities and appointments, a link to the community, and an opportunity for meaningful friendship. This innovative new service is now available in both metro and rural areas across the state. To begin receiving this service or to learn more about how it can work for you, call 877.540.9443 or e-mail neighbortoneighbor@lssmn.org Neighbor to Neighbor GA 1216 H6.indd 1

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Affordable independent living for adults 55 and better carvercda.org • 952-448-7715

All CDA communities are smoke FREE!

Carver County CDA 55 and Better Rental Properties: Oak Grove Senior Residence in Norwood Young America 952-373-2200 • oakgrovesr.com The Crossings at Town Centre in Waconia 952-442-8232 • crossingsapt.com Centennial Hill in Chanhassen 952-474-4060 • centennialhillapts.com All 55 and Better Properties Offer: In-Unit Washers/Dryers • Underground Heated Parking Beauty Salon • Community Room • Heat included Guest Suite • Smoke-Free • Affordable Rents

Inquire about Waybury Apartments, Carver County CDA’s HUD subsidized Section 8 property for adults 62 and over, or those with a qualifying disability. Waybury Apartments in Chaska 952-448-5022 • waybury@carvercda.org Waybury Apartments Offers: One and Two-Bedroom Apartments • Heat Included Community Room with Full Kitchen and TV • Library Individual Garages & Decks • Controlled Access Entry Income limits apply. Residents pay 30% of their adjusted gross income for rent.

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Good Living / Finance / By Skip Johnson

IT’S ALMOST TOO SIMPLE →→Compound interest is a saver’s best friend and a spender’s biggest foe

When it comes to your finances, there’s one gift that’s sure to

keep on giving — compound interest. It’s the key to building your nest egg — or the mistake that can put you deep in debt — yet two-thirds of Americans are clueless when it comes to this important concept, according to researchers at George Washington University. On a basic level, compound interest is earning or charging interest on top of interest. Here’s a simple example: Let’s say you have a savings account that earns 1 percent interest once a year, and you put $1,000 into it. After the first year, you’ll earn $10 in interest. Now, if you leave that money in the account for another year, you’ll be earning interest on the original balance, plus the interest you earned in the first year ($1,010). That means the interest in the second year will add up to $10.10. If you continue to leave that money in the account, you’ll keep earning more and more. Compound interest plays a huge part in saving for retirement because your balance will grow more quickly. On the flip side, if you rack up debt, compound interest will add up, making it difficult to pay it off. There are a few principles to follow to make compound interest work for you:

Save early Time is the key to making compound interest work for building your retirement. I recommend young workers start saving from the day they get their first paycheck. Keep in mind, you need to keep the money you earn in the account to capitalize on compound interest, so resist the temptation to withdraw.

Minimize fees Do you know how much you’re paying in fees for your 401(k)? The majority of people enrolled in a workplace savings plan don’t. Just as interest compounds to build your retirement savings, fees will compound to cut it down. Even small fees can make a big difference in your nest egg over time. Talk to your human resources department or benefits manager to learn more about your employer’s plan to see if there’s a way to bring down the fees.

Pay off debt Compound interest can send credit card debt spiraling out of control. When you carry a balance on your credit card, the company will charge you interest on

28 / December 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

the amount you owe. Over time, your debt will grow because you’ll be charged interest on the original principal, plus the interest you’ve accrued. If you have debt, devote as much as you can to paying it off as quickly as possible.

Read the fine print Many credit card companies calculate compound interest not yearly or even monthly, but daily. That means your interest is being added to your principal every day, which makes it that much harder to pay it off. Make sure you understand how your credit card works. The best bet, however, is to pay your credit card bill in full each month.

It’s powerful! If you’re still struggling with the concept of compound interest, consider this question: Would you rather have a million dollars or would you rather start with a penny and double your money each day for a month? Sounds like an obvious answer, right? Wrong. The doubling penny will earn you more than $10 million after 31 days. Now, you’re not going to find a bank that will double your money every day, but the example — illustrated at tinyurl. com/penny-double — proves the power of compound interest. Skip Johnson is an advisor and partner at Great Waters Financial in New Hope, a financial planning firm and Minnesota insurance agency. Skip also offers investment advisory services through AdvisorNet Wealth Management, a registered investment advisor. Learn more at mygreatwaters.com.


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Minnesota Good Age / December 2016 / 29


Good Living / In the Kitchen / Text by Sarah Jackson / Photo by Sarah Karnas

d n a l y d n a C ay s holid

ut if you don’t have $30 to spend peppermint bark . B

or i t -home tests, this recipe turned out ous f In multiple at ? m n w a o f r u s o ma i make y ono y not h S elp bash the candies, spread the chocolate, w , s randkids h tuff m g s e a h t i e t l e th even l Wil d of he bark into pieces, too! u can o oun y p d nd break t a n s t a a n i ­ on s— pperm for u the pe e l y l k l n i u spr utif b ea

→→Tips Chop it: If you prefer finer pieces of candy, you can use a food processor or coffee grinder to break the candy into tasty sprinkles. Try chips: We used white chocolate chips for a brighter white color and we loved the flavor.

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Keep it clean: We recommend double bagging the hard candy and putting a thick, nonslip cutting board underneath to minimize breakage of the bag — and the spread of mint dust. To minimize noise, do this on a carpeted floor.


PEPPERMINT BARK 8 ounces peppermint candies or candy canes 12 ounces milk chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 12 ounces good quality white chocolate ½ teaspoon peppermint extract

⊲⊲Smash the peppermint candies in a Ziploc bag, using a heavy pot, a rolling pin or meat mallet. ⊲⊲Microwave the milk chocolate chips and the oil at 50 percent power until melted, about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. ⊲⊲Spread the melted milk chocolate in an even layer in a small parchment-lined 9-by-13-inch pan. ⊲⊲Refrigerate for 45 minutes or until the chocolate is firm. ⊲⊲Melt the white chocolate at 50 percent power, stirring every 30 seconds.

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⊲⊲Stir in the peppermint extract. ⊲⊲Spread the melted white chocolate in an even layer on top of the milk chocolate layer, then immediately sprinkle on the smashed peppermints. ⊲⊲Refrigerate again for 45 minutes or until the white chocolate is set. ⊲⊲Break the bark into irregular pieces with a knife or fork.

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⊲⊲Store the candy in an airtight container at room temperature for several weeks.

Source: Watch a one-minute video of this recipe and find even more tips at tiphero.com/peppermintchocolate-bark.

Minnesota Good Age / December 2016 / 31


Always Steve Schussler made it big by inventing the Rainforest Cafe, but that was only the beginning of his entrepreneurial odyssey — BY SARAH JACKSON —


selling S

teve Schussler has been called the Walt Disney of themed restaurants. His influence on the business has been profound, global and lasting — not just with nearly 40 Rainforest Cafe locations worldwide, but also with his many other dining and entertainment concepts, including five at Disney World in Orlando, most recently The Boathouse (in 2015), a concept he duplicated this year at the new Shanghai Disney Resort in China. But to see the 61-year-old mover and shaker at his Schussler Creative idea lab — housed in a non-descript Golden Valley warehouse — is to see a bit of Willy Wonka, too. “Watch this,” he says, holding a large blackleather menu.

native with a slightly Long Island accent. “It’s not just white. It’s soft white.” This comes just after he’s finished explaining why purple is the most royal color in the history of all humanity. The bold hue will play a major role in his latest concept — Zi Imperial Kitchen: Asian Antiquities & Culinary Art. Zi, Schussler said, loosely translated, means purple in Chinese. Ancient Phoenicians reportedly were among the first humans to create their own purple dyes by using a secretion produced by certain types of sea snails. To get enough dye to trim even a single garment in purple, workers of the day had to process more than 12,000 snails, which made the color a symbol

Opening it with a flourish, he reveals an elegant page that emits a low glow, made possible with an LED backlight. “Tell me that’s not freaking cool! The menu feels sultry,” says the Rockaway Beach, N.Y.

of exquisite wealth. “Purple is the most royal color in China. It’s not red,” Schussler says, stepping over to an amethyst-jeweled chandelier. “Tell me this is not royal.”

⊳⊳ Steve Schussler lounges in a chair made from an airplane engine body in the Aerobleu jazz room in his Schussler Creative idea lab in Golden Valley. Photo by Tracy Walsh Minnesota Good Age / December 2016 / 33


Always selling

All grown up Why such a high-end concept? Well, after introducing a variety of kid-friendly themes at Disney — T-Rex, Yak & Yeti and multiple Rainforest Cafe locations — Schussler is adding more sophisticated themes to his repertoire. The Boathouse welcomes families with its playful waterfront theme, nautical retail store as well as hugely popular rides in vintage Amphicars, collected from around the globe and lovingly restored to their 1960s glory. 34 / December 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

But the seafood and steakhouse — inspired by Minnesota’s own Lake Minnetonka — is decidedly swanky with an array of beautiful wooden boats. Vessels are used to both enhance the venue’s mahogany-rich decor and to offer transportation, including a 40-foot Italian water taxi, The Venezia, which offers romantic champagne cruises. In 2015, The Boathouse became one of the first restaurants to open in Disney Springs, formerly known as the Downtown Disney area of the resort. Since then, hundreds of reviewers on Yelp, Open Table and Trip


⊳⊳ Steve Schussler has launched his latest restaurant concept — The Boathouse, inspired by Minnesota’s Lake Minnetonka boating culture — at Disney resorts in Orlando (pictured) and Shanghai.

Advisor have given the restaurant ratings of 4 to 5 stars for signature dishes like crabbed-stuffed lobster and s’mores baked Alaska. “The Boathouse is a home-run; the food is incredible as well as the hospitality,” said Schussler, whose culinary partner is the Chicago-based Gibsons Restaurant Group. His second Boathouse location opened this past summer in Shanghai Disney resort, thanks to a partnership with the Chinese restaurant holdings group, Xiao Nan Guo.

Reconstructing antiquities Schussler’s next big thing is definitely geared toward adults, too. Zi, which Schussler describes as “sultry and sexy,” isn’t just an upscale Asian restaurant. When the concept finally sees the light of day, it will include an unveiling of a restoration project that’s been in the works at Schussler Creative for decades. Ornate sculptures, two dozen of them — inspired by China’s Qing Dynasty (1644–1911) — decorate a large, candle-lit room at his idea lab, carpeted in a rich eggplant hue, of course. Carved out of elephant bone and ivory, the life-size warriors look ready for battle (some of them on horseback), wielding intricately carved axes and shields. Two huge tusks, lit by spotlights, create a stunning arch under a chandelier not far from an elegant table setting to help visitors imagine dining amongst these giants. Then there’s an enormous model of a ship that looks, along with the rest of the pieces, like it should be on view at the Smithsonian. Schussler came across the one-of-a-kind collection by way of a private collector friend of his in Chicago. Broken into thousands of pieces, the sculptures came in salt-water-soaked, rodentinfested crates. They were pulled out of an old Fulton warehouse and thrown into two 40-foot shipping containers, dead rats and all, breaking them to even more puzzle-like pieces. Today, the collection — having been painstakingly sorted and hand-pieced back together during the past 15-plus years by longtime Schussler employee Kim Anderson — is extremely valuable. Some of the one-of-a-kind figures will most certainly adorn his first incarnation of Zi, though he has enough pieces to fill three locations, if needed. Asian decor and home goods will make up the retail portion of the experience, rather than toys. Schussler said he’s in development discussions — “with an array of suitors,” including folks in Las Vegas, as well as other locations in the U.S. and abroad — to bring the concept to life.

▲▲The Boathouse in Orlando bills itself as the only place in the world that offers commercial rides on vintage Amphicars. Schussler purchased the vehicles from collectors around the globe and had them restored to their 1960s glory.

The five senses Schussler’s 10,000-square-foot idea lab — with its exterior door emblazoned with the words “inventions, ideas, contraptions and dreams” — features concepts past and future, including a twostory animatronic T-Rex, a large-scale animated restaurant model as well as 3-foot tall geodes (installed to sell his T-Rex concept, including the retail side of it). Nearby is a heavy door that opens to a frozen room featuring an ice-block bar bathed in pink and blue lights. Fur-trimmed ponchos and fur-lined gloves hang outside so folks can stay warm when learning about Schussler’s Water, Fire and Ice concept. Schussler, however, seems most at home in his jazz club room, where swing music plays and the lighting is warm and cozy. Jukeboxes, displaying a rainbow of colors, dot every corner. (Schussler is an avid collector.) “Everything we build and create is around the five senses,” he said. “Every six feet we put a speaker. It’s cheap when you put four speakers in a room.” Adding more speakers in a restaurant allows the music to be turned down low, but still be audible, he explains. “Everything I do is in layers,” he said. “Layering is one of my secrets. But it’s an expensive secret.” Schussler came up with his jazz concept — Aerobleu — after discovering a fictional World War II pilot’s journal of the same name that tells the story of Max Morgan, an American pilot who wins a DC-3 in an all-night poker game. Schussler spied the faux-vintage book — which brings to life the popular music scene of post-war Paris — high on a dusty shelf at the Electric Fetus in Minneapolis. “I’m turning the story into reality,” he said, amid a room Minnesota Good Age / December 2016 / 35


Always selling

⊳⊳ Sculptures depicting China’s Qing Dynasty decorate a large, candle-lit room at the Schussler Creative idea lab in Golden Valley. Schussler hopes to use the museum-like pieces as decor in a new Asian-themed restaurant. Photo by Tracy Walsh

This is where Schussler gets that Willy Wonka twinkle in his eye. People, he said, have often called him crazy. His original Rainforest Cafe idea lab was, after all, his longtime home in St. Louis Park, a major remodeling decision that made his neighbors wonder about his sanity until his first cafe opened in 1994 at the Mall of America. Someone along the way came up with another term for the fearless entrepreneur’s methodology — “calculated crazy,” a description Schussler’s happily adopted. “We know exactly what we’re doing,” he said.

Local operations

packed with artifacts and icons, including a trumpeting Louie Armstrong, a dancing, sax-playing Bill Clinton and a large airplane that raises and lowers with a spinning propeller.

‘Calculated crazy’ Basking in the ambience of his jazz-themed space, Schussler snaps his fingers. He throws in a shoulder shimmy and adds, “This is swing.” Another important part of selling themed concepts, Schussler said, is the so-called little details, such as restrooms. “Bathrooms are one of the most important things in a restaurant,” he said. And that includes Aerobleu. “The urinals, which I love to talk about, are saxophones,” he said, adding that the women’s toilets will be tubas, brass with porcelain rims. “You think I’m kidding,” he said. “I’m not kidding.” 36 / December 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

Schussler said these days his ideas typically take five to eight years from creation to presentation to big wigs from Disney and beyond. It takes another two years to develop architectural plans and build out spaces. “There’s not a lot of luck. I have a great team,” said Schussler, whose corporate offices are located at the idea lab. “I have to sell my team just like I have to sell Disney. I’m constantly selling.” Jean Golden, who’s been Schussler’s publicist for more than 20 years, said Schussler is hands-on and extremely involved in day-to-day development of ideas, including menu tastings, retail development and more. “He has a vision most people don’t have,” she said, remembering how a Disney contact once told Schussler. “You’ve out Disney-ed Disney.” Schussler’s enterprises aren’t all out of state. He’s the guy behind Green Acres Event Center in Eden Prairie, the oldest standing barn in Eden Prairie and an important part of Minnesota history. Schussler, working with two dozen local agencies, took two years to restore the barn, built in 1942, including its magnificent Gothic-arch roof. It opened in 2013 with heat, air conditioning, bathrooms, an elevator, a sound system and theatrical lighting. It’s been popular with brides (and beyond) ever since. Schussler’s wife, Sunhi Ryan, who works as senior vice president of sales and marketing for Schussler Creative, manages the facility, which The Knot magazine recently named a Best of Weddings pick for 2016. Schussler is also the guy behind the Galaxy Drive-In in


⊳⊳ In 2013, Steve Schussler renovated a 1942 barn in Eden Prairie and turned it into Green Acres Event Center, now a popular event and wedding venue.

St. Louis Park on Highway 7. He took on the venue in 2009 as a pet project, but put it up for sale this year after once-stellar revenues began to decline. Recently, however, Schussler changed his mind, saying a celebrity chef fell in love with Galaxy on a recent visit to Minnesota. Now he plans to partner with that chef to expand the menu with gluten-free menu items, vegetarian offerings and fresh ingredients from local farms. Galaxy’s website now says the restaurant — home of a burger topped with fried cheese curds — will open again in the spring. What’s next? Zi and Aerobleu, of course, and a Puff the Magic Dragon concept.

Remembering ups and downs Schussler, whose early career was in sales for TV and radio stations in Miami and Chicago, is proud of his unusual career. That includes his 2010 book — It’s a Jungle in There: Inspiring Lessons, Hard-Won Insights and Other Acts of Entrepreneurial Daring — endorsed by both Lee Iacocca and President-elect Donald Trump. In the book, written with Marvin Karlins, Schussler tells the ⊳⊳ All of the profits from Steve Schussler’s It’s a Jungle in There are donated to Smile Network International, a Minneapolis-based humanitarian nonprofit organization he helped found.

story of his rise to fame, but also of the devastating failures he had along the way, including the demise of his Juke Box Saturday Night chain. (He came to Minneapolis in the 1980s to manage one of the night club’s locations and never left.) After the loss of his first enterprise, Schussler suffered years of financial setbacks and failed attempts at convincing would-be investors to help him open the first of many wildly successful Rainforest Cafe locations, an empire that was sold in 2000 to Landry’s Inc., a Houston-based hospitality company. In his conversational book, Schussler covers the five Ps — personality, product, persistence, people and philanthropy — and also preaches the value of passion and caring for others. He even describes some of his outlandish entrepreneurial antics. (Yes, he once shipped himself to a prospective employer in a superman costume to get a sales job.) Today Schussler is still one of the Twin Cities’ most gregarious characters. To see him in his offices — sitting at a massive messy desk, wearing a tailored suit, cufflinks and a silk tie, scarf and pocket square — is to see his Walt and Willy personalities combined. In the span of a couple minutes, he pops an Altoid mint, pets and kisses his dog (Daisy, a lab), shouts praise to his assistant (“Thank you, Kari, for your hard work. You’re the best. I don’t know what I would do without you.”), interrupts his wife with yet another irrepressible thought and then just as quickly apologizes (sincerely, tenderly squeezing her hand). Ryan, who’s been with the guy for more than 13 years, smiles. “Here,” Schussler says, “we look at everything differently. And I’m happy about that.” Sarah Jackson is the editor of Minnesota Good Age.

Minnesota Good Age / December 2016 / 37


December

Can’t-Miss Calendar

Winter Light

→→Acclaimed British artist Bruce Munro brings his first large-scale light installation to Minnesota with a series of outdoor and indoor exhibits, including thousands of radiant lights, pulsating animations and sounds.

When: Through April 9 Where: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska Cost: $12–$17 Info: munrowinterlightmn.org

Nov. 25–Dec. 23

Holidazzle

Cost: Free for ages 12 and younger and $5 for ages 13 and older Info: landmarkcenter.org

→→The Minneapolis Downtown Council and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board will again bring the city’s annual holiday celebration to Loring Park. Enjoy food, drinks, movie nights, carriage rides, shopping, fireworks and visits from Santa.

Dec. 1–4, 8–11

Nov. 26–Dec. 31

→→Meander through decorated booths modeled after German Christkindlmarkts, featuring the work of local crafters and artisans, along with performances by carolers, dancers and musicians, plus visits from Santa and his reindeer.

When: Thursdays–Sundays Nov. 25–Dec. 23 Where: Loring Park, Minneapolis Cost: FREE Info: holidazzle.com

Holiday Saturdays →→Make your own holiday cards, enjoy community concerts and shop for unique Minnesota gifts at the Minnesota History Center’s museum store at this new event, which also features a StoryWalk based on the book North Woods Girl.

When: Saturdays Nov. 26–Dec. 31 with art activities from noon to 3 p.m. and concerts at 1 and 3 p.m. Where: Minnesota History Center, St. Paul Cost: Free with museum admission ($10–$12 for adults, $6 for ages 5–17 and free for ages 4 and younger) Info: mnhs.org

Dec. 1–3

Old-Fashioned Holiday Bazaar →→Explore 75 booths of gift items handcrafted by local artists at this 38th-annual event, featuring jewelry, wreaths, paintings, woven and wearable art, lotions, soaps and more, along with live music and treats. When: Dec. 1–3 Where: Landmark Center, St. Paul

38 / December 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

European Christmas Market

When: Dec. 1–4, 8–11 Where: Union Depot, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info: stpaulchristmasmarket.com

Dec. 2–31

The Soul of Gershwin →→This audience favorite — The Musical Journey of an American Klezmer — takes audiences back to early 1900s New York City for a soulful melding of different cultures and musical styles, including songs from Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin. When: Dec. 2–31 Where: Park Square Theatre, St. Paul


Can’t-Miss Calendar Dec. 8–31

White Christmas →→Based on the timeless 1954 film starring Bing Crosby, this sparkling musical features big dance numbers and the unforgettable music of Irving Berlin. When: Dec. 8–31 Where: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, St. Paul Cost: Tickets start at $37. Info: ordway.org

Dec. 11 and 17

Giving Voice Chorus Concerts →→Listen to pop standards and folk music favorites performed by choruses created for people living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. When: Peace, Joy, Love by the 100-voice Minneapolis chorus will be at 1 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul. Friends and Family by St. Paul’s 50-member group will be at 1 p.m. Dec. 17 at Olson Middle School, Bloomington. Where: Twin Cities Cost: $12 Info: givingvoicechorus.org

Dec. 11–22

Christmas With Cantus

Gingerbread Wonderland

→→This second-annual multi-generational exhibit features elaborately decorated gingerbread houses from community members alongside iconic Twin Cities buildings made of gingerbread, including the Minnesota State Capitol, First Avenue and U.S. Bank Stadium, all made by local bakers and judged by local food critics.

When: Nov. 22–Jan. 8 Where: Norway House, Minneapolis Cost: Free for ages 12 and younger and $5 for ages 13 and older Info: More details, gingerbread recipes and patterns are available at norwayhouse.org.

→→Minnesota’s internationally renowned all-male vocal ensemble will perform eight concerts with songs that reflect on the many meanings, messages and traditions prevalent during the holidays. When: Dec. 11–22 Where: Minneapolis, St. Paul, Edina, Apple Valley, Stillwater, Wayzata and Fridley Cost: $20–$40 Info: cantussings.org

Cost: $27–$60 Info: parksquaretheatre.org

Dec. 3–11

Welcome Christmas →→Journey to Bethlehem to experience the wonder of the nativity with Conrad Susa’s Carols & Lullabies, which weaves in the music of Mexico and the American Southwest. When: Dec. 3–11 Where: Apple Valley, Minneapolis and Roseville Cost: $20–$40 Info: vocalessence.org  

→→More online! Find more events on the new Minnesota Good Age website at mngoodage.com/cant-misscalendar. Send your events at least six weeks in advance (with photos) to calendar@mngoodage.com. Minnesota Good Age / December 2016 / 39


Brain teasers Sudoku

Word Search RIGHT BRAIN ART BRAINSTORMING BUILD CHANCE CONCEIVE CONCEPT CRAFT

DESIGN IDEAS ILLUMINATION IMAGINATION INNOVATION INSPIRATION INVENTION

LUCK MUSE ORIGINALITY PATIENCE SPARK THOUGHTFUL VISION

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

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F N G E D A I A D L

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1. Depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder 2. Openness to new experiences 3. Night owls

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TRIVIA

Answers 40 / December 2016 / Minnesota Good Age


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Trivia CREATIVE CAT 1. Highly creative people tend to disproportionally suffer from what three mental health disorders?

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CROSSWORD

Answers

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

CRYTPOGRAM


Crossword

ACROSS 1 “Get lost!’ 6 Google __: geographical app 10 Ruth with bats 14 Egypt’s capital 15 They may clash on a movie set 16 Environmental sci. 17 *Power source that plugs into a computer port 19 Physics particle 20 Andes, e.g.: Abbr. 21 Against 22 Make amends (for) 23 *“Airplane!” flight number, to the control tower 26 Boats with double-bladed paddles 29 Forget to include 30 Mosque leader 31 Address for Bovary 33 Having one flat, musically 42 / December 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

36 *Carl Icahn or Michael Milken 40 Billy the __ 41 Father or son New York governor 42 Head, to Henri 43 Suffix with joke or pun 44 Gratify 46 *Castle gate-busting weapon 51 Going on, to Sherlock 52 Lily pad squatter 53 Sock hop site 56 “The Mod Squad” cop 57 Home of the player at the ends of the answers to starred clues 60 Actor Estrada 61 Be complicit in, as a caper 62 Giraffe kin 63 Exec’s asst. 64 TiVo predecessors 65 Jotted down

DOWN 1 Film on stagnant water 2 Film credits list 3 Barbecue fare 4 Smile shape 5 Iroquoian people, or a hair style named for them 6 Fred or Ethel of old TV 7 Texas A&M athlete 8 19th-century master of the macabre 9 Old Rus. state 10 “Get lost!” 11 Follow, as a tip 12 Trailblazing Daniel 13 Roundheaded Fudd 18 Yucatán years 22 Jungian inner self 23 Pack (down) 24 Calf-roping event 25 Poet Khayyám 26 Punt or field goal 27 Mine, to Marcel 28 One of 100 between end zones 31 Native New Zealander 32 Source of quick cash, briefly 33 Brainstorm 34 Butterfly catchers 35 For nothing 37 Eight-musician group 38 Regretful sort 39 Bulleted list entry 43 Heavyset 44 Plum’s title in Clue, briefly 45 Blue or black water of filmdom 46 Hay bundles 47 Burning 48 Mixer with gin 49 Player referenced in 57-Across’ clue, briefly 50 Southern side dish 53 Tiny biting insect 54 “Eek!” 55 Hotel room cleaner 57 Cleveland cager, for short 58 “Easy as” letters 59 Old studio letters


December 2016  
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