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Winter 11/12



Vol. IV | No. IV

Winter 11/12

anhattan agazine

editor’s note

Managing Editor Katy Ibsen

Designer/Art Director Shelly Bryant

This season we are giving Manhattan the gift of profiles. There is no end to notable individuals living and working in our community, so with this winter issue we reveal a few more. From Coach Cliff Rovelto to the women behind AsterHouse Design, Jordy Nelson’s restaurant-owning family to one young woman preparing to enlist in the Army—all have an interesting story to share, and what better place than on our glossy pages dedicated to the Manhattan community? Coach Cliff Rovelto is wellknown in the area for his many years with Kansas State University Track & Field. However, in the world of track, he’s a legend, a coach who is purely dedicated to the achievement of athlete’s goals. We uncover his immense dedication in one of our features this season. Providing the same attention to detail are Eryn Smith and Amanda Purdom, the creative minds behind AsterHouse Design. These friendsturned-business-partners have taken the area by storm, providing design consultation for home and office renovation and decor. Showcasing one of their home renovations, we enjoyed

the chance to learn more about their design secrets. Nelson’s Landing, just outside of Manhattan, has become a legend in the area. The bar and grill is celebrated by patrons and fans of Jordy Nelson, wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers and son of Kim and Alan Nelson. Here they honor those who have participated in high school and collegiate athletics, including their other two children. Whether you’re in search of a delicious daily special or a local hall of fame, Neslon’s Landing is happy to welcome you. We took the opportunity this season to interview one remarkable young woman, Melissa Wood. After graduating from K-State, she has decided to enlist in the Army. Hoping to serve her country and become a physician’s assistant, Wood, shares her patriotism with us before leaving for boot camp. You’ll also meet Will Yankey, who builds guitars; the staff behind Live Trivia, and our cover model, Anissa Hudak, an organizer of the Little Apple Business Women. With so many diverse tales, we’re certain you’ll enjoy this season’s stories. Katy, Editor

Copy Editor Christy Little Advertising Account Executive Mike Mores (785) 537-5151 Ad Designer Scott Oswalt Janella L. Williams Chief Photographer Jason Dailey Contributing Photographers Alan Honey Cathy Mores Tim Sigle Terry Szel Contributing Writers Robin Farrell Edmunds Gloria Gale Kim Hanke Mark Janssen Kristin Kemerling Megan Molitor Lou Ann Thomas Dennis Toll General Manager Bert Hull Publishing Coordinator Faryle Scott Subscriptions $22 (tax included) for a one-year subscription to Manhattan Magazine. For subscription information, please contact: Christopher J. Bell 609 New Hampshire St., P.O. Box 888 Lawrence, KS 66044 (800) 578-8748 | Fax (785) 843-1922 Or e-mail comments to Manhattan Magazine is a publication of Sunflower Publishing, a division of The World Company.

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t.o.c. Winter 11/12

In every Issue: 3 | Editor's Note 43 | Q & A 62 | Calendar of Events

18 manhattan living

6 | Barn Raising A historic barn finds new life as a warm, comfortable home 12 | AsterHouse Design Friendship blossoms into a savvy business partnership

manhattan businesses 26 | Trivia Time Live Trivia attracts Manhattan’s resident brainiacs

44 family

52 | Get to Know: The Boys & Girls Club A look at 17 years of serving Manhattan’s after-school population

get away

58 | More than a Whistle Stop Rich history dovetails with scenic beauty as you chug along this vibrant Tennessee city by foot, rail or river

Features 18 | Landing on a dream Celebrating good fortune at Nelson’s Landing 44 | On the right track Cliff Rovelto has made a monumental mark on track and field

local profiles

32 | Finely tuned A love of music and woodworking creates uniquely designed instruments 38 | The Recruit Meet one inspiring soldier-to-be whose only wish is to serve her country


On the cover Anissa Hudak of Little Apple Business Women. Photography by Alan Honey. manhattan magazine

| manhattan living

| Story by Lou Ann Thomas


Barn Raising Rose and Fred Brown settled near Wamego by converting an old barn into their unique home.


| Photography by Cathy Mores

A historic barn finds new life as a warm, comfortable home manhattan magazine

f you ask Rose and Fred Brown if they live in a barn, they would enthusiastically say, “Yes!” Rose grew up in Rossville and Fred in St. Marys. Proud Kansas natives, they purchased a 1929 barn on five acres north of Wamego in April 2006. After 20 years living in the Southwest, the couple eager to return home. “We were born and raised around here. We’re Kansas people, and we have always loved the Manhattan area,” says Rose. After purchasing the Chevrolet dealership in Wamego with their two grown sons, Toby and Todd, the Browns planned to build a house in front of the barn. But after looking closer at the barn they decided to turn it into their home. The couple parked their RV next to the barn and called it “home” during the yearlong renovation.

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“They used to have square dances here. Folks in the area tell us they remember dancing upstairs. So many people have thanked us for saving this old barn.”

– Rose Brown

Home worthy Fortunately the barn had good bones, which Fred had verified by an engineer before beginning the project. “The foundation is poured concrete, which isn’t that common in old barns. If it had been rock, it’s likely this barn wouldn’t have still been here, and if it was I would have never decided to renovate it,” Fred says. The original construction of the barn was also quite sturdy. The 4-by-4 yellow pine supports and beams are still evident in the house and lend a rustic feel to the modern great room, which also features 9-foot ceilings. The open room, containing the living room, dining room and kitchen, is the area of the old barn where the cows were milked and hay was unloaded. An antique milk separator and upright kitchen cabinet help give the room a country feel. Large picture windows, which look out across the valley to the south, allow plenty of natural light and warmth to flood the room. An original wall of the old corn crib separates the west wall of this room from the guest suite. A new metal roof and red vinyl siding were added to update the exterior while maintaining the integrity and feel of the historic barn. Whenever possible, the wood and walls from the original barn were used, and when original wood had to be removed, it was often reused in other areas. For instance, the walls and area around the electric fireplace in the master bedroom are paneled in wood from other parts of the original barn. TOP Rose and Fred in their custom kitchen. The two lived in their RV for a year while the barn was renovated. ABOVE Designing the home was a creative endeavor given the spacious floor plan.


manhattan magazine

manhattan living |

Modern and efficient Tile floors run throughout most of the first floor with heating elements underneath. The first floor is cooled by a mini-duct high velocity air-conditioning system. “That’s unusual, but it helps remove humidity and is a lot more energy-efficient,” says Fred. The house is heated in zones that work from a tankless hot water heater. This negates the need for fans to drive heat into different areas and provides a consistent heat throughout the house. The great room also has a cast-iron pellet stove to provide heat in the open space, a boost on the coldest days and nights. The wide yellow pine steps to the second floor are located inside of the heated garage, which also features a large, cedar-lined closet. The attached four-car garage also has heated floors, and part of it functions as a kennel for the couple’s miniature pinschers, which Fred trains and shows around the country.

Room to play The second floor, with its 24-foot ceilings and more yellow pine flooring, serves as a 40-by-35-foot game room with a full bath and bedroom loft. Nine windows stacked in a pyramid pattern up the south wall to

TOP Rose has incorporated whimsical farm items into the home’s décor. ABOVE The loft, with its 24-foot ceilings and pyramid of windows, provides plenty of sunlight throughout the home.

manhattan magazine


| manhattan living

allow natural light to pour into the room and provide ample air circulation during warm months. The upstairs has its own heating and cooling system, and the exposed ductwork provides an industrial feel that blends with rustic elements of the original roof beams and old barn doors of the room. The original hay hook, which attached to work horses that would then pull loads of hay into the barn, is still visible across the ceiling and into the north side of the bedroom loft area. “They used to have square dances here. Folks in the area tell us they remember dancing upstairs. So many people have thanked us for saving this old barn,” Rose says. And the Browns are happy they did, although it was not an easy job. It took Fred two weeks just to power-wash the barn from top to bottom. But neither seems to regret the time spent or having to live in their fifth wheel for close to a year. “We aren’t afraid of hard work, and we put our hearts into this place. It was a labor of love,” Rose says. Having grown up in Kansas, Rose and Fred have kept many treasures.

a few of the details

manhattan living |

The old barn by the numbers 1






2 stories and one loft 2 garages

(one attached­–four car; one detached–two car)

1 half bath




33 windows 3 full bathrooms 3 bedrooms


years that barn has been standing

| manhattan living

| Story by Kristin Kemerling


AsterHouse Design

Eryn Smith and Amanda Purdom, of AsterHouse Design, are making interior decorating an attainable luxury.


| Photography by Cathy Mores

Friendship blossoms into a savvy business partnership manhattan magazine

ryn Smith and Amanda Purdom often find themselves turning to each other and saying, “We’re living the dream.” They are referring to their chance of helping homeowners explore many facets of the interior design world through their business, AsterHouse Design. Smith and Purdom began AsterHouse Design less than a year ago to give their clients a process of design that is simple, easy and approachable. Their business specializes in evaluating commercial and residential spaces, then helping clients with staging, color assessment, redesign or art and accessories. “We are very big on being client-centric. Our goal at AsterHouse is that their house is that person. It is exactly how she would want it to be,” says Smith. “We don’t want AsterHouse to be a certain design style. We want the house to be a reflection of that person.” Not only are Smith and Purdom living their dream as interior designers—they also are living their dream by having close-knit families while successfully running their business. Smith and her husband, Jeff, have

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three children; Amanda and her husband, Eric, have two daughters. “We both have very strong, creative minds, so this gives us the opportunity to do that and still be true to the things that are a priority in our lives,” says Smith. “It sounds crazy because you really can’t have everything all at the same time, but it sure feels like we are really close at this point in time.” Before becoming business partners, Smith and Purdom became good friends while living in the same neighborhood in Manhattan. They now joke that their neighborhood is like Pleasantville because everybody knows everybody. “We just really hit it off. We had a lot of similar things in common,” says Purdom. “We would decorate each other’s homes for Christmas.”

“We both have very strong, creative minds, so this gives us the opportunity to do that and still be true to the things that are a priority in our lives.”

– Eryn Smith

Purdom goes on to explain her ruts of placing the same décor in the same place every year. “Eryn came over and decorated my house. It was amazing how it was the same stuff but just arranged differently, so the next week I went over to her house and decorated her home,” she says. Purdom, who has an art degree and was a former coowner of The Palace in Aggieville, and Smith, who was a registered nurse but was doing interior design work as a hobby while staying home with her small children, seemed to jibe. Five years later the pair decided to collaborate their efforts by starting AsterHouse Design, which they named in honor of their Kansas roots. “We love being from the Midwest and wanted something that boasted our love for Kansas, but we didn’t want something expected,” says Smith. “Aster is a main flower from Kansas, and the word astra is in the Kansas state motto.” TOP Eryn Smith, left, and Amanda Purdom are the creative forces behind AsterHouse Design. BOTTOM One of their first projects was a home renovation in an old school house. The slate tile in the kitchen is actually an original chalkboard. OPPOSITE The floors throughout are original and refinished, highlighting AsterHouse Design’s ability to recreate. opposite INSET The pair even worked around the original trophy case and water fountain.


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manhattan living |

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| manhattan living

Smith and Purdom both agree they get their design inspiration and ideas from everywhere. Sometimes they will find ideas in little things such as a napkin in a party store and will translate that color scheme into an actual room. “We love to travel for pleasure or as a family or for business,” says Purdom. “We find ourselves in some really fantastic cities, where we take pictures and tuck those ideas away, or we’ll find ideas in magazines and circle them and file those away as a resource, too.” The duo love how closely knit and tightly networked the community of Manhattan is and what great resources other businesses are to them. “I love the fact that if I need an opinion or I need to ask a question, I can send a text, shoot an email or make a phone call, and I have my answer or I know where to go,” says Purdom. “I think that is another reason we are successful. We are a part of a community that is trying to make a difference.” AsterHouse Design wants their clients to be confident in pursuing the items they love, then surrounding themselves with those items. They often come up with design ideas for their clients by simply asking them what their favorite pieces are in their home. “Don’t let the magazine or whatever is currently on trend dictate how you decorate your house. We don’t all have to have Pottery Barn houses,” says Smith. “Find the things that you really love and surround yourself with them because it is going to reflect you and your family, and it is going to be what is the most comfortable for you.” Not only do the designers help homeowners with their residential challenges, they also specialize in commercial spaces. They are currently working on the redesign of the Varney’s in Aggieville and a gift shop for Varney’s in the new Hilton. They were responsible for the overall design of the new Varney’s in the mall in Salina. “They really listened to our needs and gave us good guidance to what we wanted,” says Steve Levin, general manager of Varney’s. “Everything they have done so far has been spectacular. They really have captured the essence of Varney’s.”

TOP Beautiful cabinetry shines in the kitchen. BOTTOM LEFT Natural light shines on a cool blend of colors and furniture. BOTTOM RIGHT Smith and Purdom like to create rooms that are stylish and functional.


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One show-stopper piece per space. The whole room can look overdone if every surface is high-end. One dramatic or splurge-worthy piece per space makes for an interesting and budgetfriendly inspiring room.


High-grade fabric. Choose not only a beautiful piece but also quality fabric that is more durable.


Lighting is critical to a space. Put in a window to add natural light or call an electrician to add some overhead lighting on a dimmer switch, and of course fixtures and lamps make a huge difference.

Manhattan design gurus Eryn Smith and Amanda Purdom list a few of their favorite splurge-worthy items to turn a blah area into an extraordinary space.


A high-quality wool rug. This could easily become a family heirloom as well as the perfect way to ground a fabulous room.



Splurge-worthy design

High-thread-count sheets. When one spends six to eight hours a day in bed, it makes sense to spend a little more on quality bedding, especially sheets.


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Alan and Kim Nelson celebrate family, success and good food at Nelson’s Landing in Leonardville. Scenes of the family, the restaurant and famed Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson, Alan and Kim’s son, make this eatery a favorite spot for locals.


on a dream celebrating good fortune at

Nelson’s Landing

Story by

Dennis Toll

Photography by

Tim Sigle



Already successful ranchers,

Alan and Kim Nelson

wanted to open a quaint, family-oriented restaurant in downtown Leonardville,

a small town located

north of Manhattan

on U.S. Highway 24. Despite not knowing much about running a restaurant, the couple opened Nelson’s Landing on December 1, 2007. Life hasn’t been the same since. “We just opened the door one evening and never told anybody,” says Kim. “It kind of exploded since then.” Four years later Nelson’s Landing is a huge success story in a tiny Kansas town. Occupying four large rooms in connected old buildings, it’s hard to miss it at the corner of Erpelding (Leonardville’s main street) and Highway 24. Aside from locals, Nelson’s Landing attracts hungry diners from across the state and beyond. The atmosphere is rustic, and the menu features generous helpings of down-home country cooking. The chicken fried steak and sweet potato fries are favorites. Diners are greeted by a large display of memorabilia

Opposite top Nelson’s Landing offers plenty of specials, which Steve Thurlow, left, and Matt Thurlow know well.


from local sports teams including the Riley County High Falcons, Kansas State Wildcats and the Green Bay Packers.

Nelson’s Landing 107 N. Erpelding, Leonardville

(785) 293-5661 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday Noon-Midnight Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday

To understand why these three teams are proudly displayed is to understand a big reason for the success of Nelson’s Landing. “A lot of it is popularity of Jordy,” says Kim of their youngest son and second of their three children. He is also something of a legend among K-State fans. Jordy was a high school standout athlete in all sports he played, and he dreamed of playing football for the Wildcats. He walked on to the program in 2003 and was converted to a wide receiver by legendary coach Bill Snyder. Earning a scholarship, Jordy also received All-Big XII and All-America honors. Following his collegiate career, Jordy was drafted to the Green Bay Packers. His nine receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown in last year’s Super Bowl helped propel the team to champions. Yes, that is Jordy’s picture on the cover of Sports Illustrated, which can be seen in the Nelson’s Landing display case. “The restaurant opened right when Jordy was beginning his career at K-State, and a lot of K-State people came to support it,” says Larry

Glessner. Leonardville resident Glessner is a family friend and the individual credited for the restaurant’s name— Nelson’s Landing. “It just sounded right.” Jordy didn’t create this sporting buzz all by himself. In fact, the Nelson family is well-known for their sporting accomplishments. Jordy’s older brother, Mike, was considered, by many, a better high school football player than Jordy, but Mike happily chose life as a rancher and works with his father. Younger sister Kelsey is the all-time leading scorer for the Falcon girls’ basketball team and went on to play hoops for the Wildcats. Don’t be fooled: Nelson’s Landing is not just about sports. Terry Marcotte likes the friendliness and hometown feel of the restaurant. “There is also the convenience and the comfort of it all, and the food is definitely good,” he says. Most of the 35 employees at the restaurant come from in and around Leonardville. “When you open something in a small town, it helps when there are familiar people running the

Family scenes from the 2011 Super Bowl are on display at Nelson’s Landing.


establishment,” says Kim. “One of the cool things about here is that most of all the employees are local. One of the things I wanted to give back was an opportunity for high school kids to get a job here in town.” Keeping the events calendar fresh in a small town, the restaurant recently brought in live jazz music and served a special menu featuring lobster tail. And, of course, what local restaurant would be complete without regular specials like barbecue ribs on the first Saturday of the month, prime rib on the third Saturday, T-bones every Tuesday night and Mexican Thursdays? “It was supposed to be more of a little bar-and-grill type place,” Kim says of her initial dream. “I had no idea it would be this big of an operation.” Today the restaurant runs as smoothly as a deep touchdown pass from Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers to Jordy. “It all works smoothly when I stay out of the kitchen,” Kim laughs. Alan keeps the facilities up, works a little in the bar on weekends, and he and Mike help out whenever needed. Most of Mike and Alan’s time is spent on the ranch where they raise all the beef for the restaurant—the lobster tail they import. Kelsey helps with special events, and Kim serves tables on weekends, oversees the business and keeps it all moving. And when Jordy’s in town, you’d best bet he’s also there hanging out. “I am thrilled for what we’ve accomplished here,” Kim says. “It’s exciting. The success started right away, and my reaction was, ‘Oh my goodness, what have we done?’”


To experience Nelson’s Landing is to experience a family dedicated to athletics.

Top Left: Martin Brand enjoys a taco salad. Bottom Right: Jenna Rudell helps another happy customer.


| manhattan businesses

| Story by Robin Farrell Edmunds

Trivia Time Live Trivia attracts Manhattan’s resident brainiacs

Diners jump into the Live Trivia action at Old Chicago in Manhattan.


manhattan magazine

| Photography by Cathy Mores

manhattan businesses |


t’s almost 9 p.m. on a Thursday night at Old Chicago. The crowd is overflowing from the bar, and the volume is rising. When 30-year-old Amber Jacobs appears down near the far end of the bar and announces that Live Trivia is about to get under way, the chatter decreases considerably as participants mentally stretch for a two-hour contest. The prize? One of three gift certificates to the restaurant, trivia points for a higher level of competition, and, of course, bragging rights.

Ready, set The idea of hosting a Live Trivia show at local bars and restaurants to help boost sales on off peak or slow nights debuted for Challenge Entertainment in 2004 at a TJ Mulligans in Germantown, Tennessee. Drew Cote, a golf instructor residing in the area at the time, stumbled on to the entertainment when he was approached about being a trivia host by the company’s founder and president, Britt Mock, while giving him a golf lesson. Cote enjoyed his own stint as a trivia jockey—the individual who interacts with the customers, asking trivia questions, playing music and keeping score—so much that when he took a new job in Lawrence nearly three years ago, he brought Live Trivia along. “People happen upon our game by chance, but we also attract customers who wouldn’t be here without Live Trivia,” says Cote, now area owner of Challenge Entertainment trivia shows in Kansas and Missouri.

Teamwork Jim Melton and his comrades, Jesse Payne and Jerrod Sanders, decided to play after Jacobs came by their booth at Old Chicago and handed them several small red-and-white answer sheets and a scoring sheet with instructions “We can do this only when we don’t have to work the next morning,” explains Melton. They’d never played before but had friends who had, so this was their first time in the weekly competition. They were planning on golfing the next day, so what did they name their team? “The John Dalys” an homage to the PGA golfer whose personal foibles have sometimes garnered more attention than his golf game. Jacobs tells the dozen or so teams the first three categories are Kansas trivia, sports and advertising.

manhattan magazine


| manhattan businesses


“What is the name of the governor’s mansion in Topeka?”

Teams have the length of one song to come up with an answer and give it to the trivia host. Since that first show in 2004, Challenge Entertainment now offers nearly 300 shows in 30 cities nationwide, according to Cote. His current 17 venues as part of Live Trivia are at select bars and restaurants in Lawrence, Kansas City, Wichita, Ottawa and Manhattan.

“What I like best is the good vibe in the bar. There’s good camaraderie and familiar faces.”

– Rob McGinnis

“I enjoy seeing people having fun in a friendly atmosphere, but they’re also spending money on food and drinks,” he says. “The appeal of Live Trivia is that they’re able to comfortably do both.”


“The book and the movie Moneyball, featuring Brad Pitt, focuses on what baseball team?”

Jacobs has moved on to another topic after giving the correct answer to the previous question. Other teams playing are veterans of the trivia contest, some having


manhattan magazine

manhattan businesses |

participated shortly after Live Trivia arrived at Old Chicago in April 2010. Jacobs was originally the member of one such team, “W is for Wookiee.” “I’m a big trivia nerd,” she says. An old roommate saw a flyer about the competition when he was at the restaurant with a girlfriend and enlisted Jacobs and a co-worker to join him. Calling herself the “Yoko Ono” of their team, Jacobs, whose day job is with Master Teacher, was hired by Cote to replace the previous trivia jockey who was finishing up college in Lawrence and hosting there. Twenty-five-year-old Steven Humbert and his wife, Sarah, teamed up with friends about a year ago and formed the team “Hannibal Lecter’s Dinner Theater.” Their day jobs are with Five Star Vending and Manhattan Parks and Recreation, but on Thursday nights, they hope for questions in their special categories (Steven: animated cartoons; Sarah: literature) and enjoy the company, a few brews and food. “We have come to enjoy the tradition,” says Humbert, who orders a Meat Me calzone every contest night. As far as his system for answering questions, he’s nonchalant. “If I know it, I know it. If I don’t, I just keep eating.”


“What is the name of the 1998 movie about the Butabi Brothers that got its start as a skit on Saturday Night Live?”

The category is movies, and one table obviously knows the answer as those seated around it all begin bobbing their heads in unison, replicating Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan from the actual movie. The John Dalys are in a three-way tie for fifth place as the final question is thrown out. They decide to go for broke and bet the maximum 20 points. TOP LEFT Amber Jacobs, a veteran trivia player, is now a trivia jockey running games. BOTTOM LEFT Players are given the length of a song to answer questions and compete for prizes.

manhattan magazine


| manhattan businesses

Put these four events in 4. chronological order from earliest to most recent: A. LBJ wins over Barry Goldwater B. the Tet Offensive begins C. the Supreme Court hears Miranda v. the State of Arizona D. the Beatles break up When Jacobs reads the final score, the John Dalys dominate as Melton and his friends win first place with 111 points. She hand-delivers a $50 gift certificate to their booth with congratulations. Two other teams take home $25 and $10 certificates. The top-five-placing teams also receive Kansas Trivia League points that accumulate toward a trip to Topeka (semi-finals) and Lawrence (finals) for a chance at $4,000 in prizes, twice a year. In November, Live Trivia opened at another Manhattan location, Tubby’s Sports Bar in Aggieville. Jacobs also hosts this show every Tuesday night, starting at 9 p.m. Cash prizes of $50, $20 and $10 are awarded to the top three teams. Rob McGinnis, bar manager at Old Chicago, likes what Live Trivia brings. “What I like best is the good vibe in the bar. There’s good camaraderie and familiar faces.”

Trivia Answers: 1.) Cedar Crest 2.) the Oakland A’s 3.) Night at the Roxbury 4.) LBJ wins over Barry Goldwater (1964); the Supreme Court hears Miranda v. the State of Arizona (1966); the Tet Offensive begins (1968); the Beatles break up (1970). Ben Hedges celebrates a correct answer.


manhattan magazine

manhattan businesses |

Meet Manhattan’s Other Trivia Entertainers Travis Young, 32 Occupation: Bartender/substitute teacher/Iraqi War veteran Location: Applebee’s Bar and Grill, 100 Manhattan Town Center, (785) 537-0408 When: 9-11 p.m. Tuesdays (free) Trivia Night Since: 2010 More: Writes his own questions; enjoys “history off the beaten path” but also “I try to step out of my comfort zone.” Recent topics: Nobel Peace Prize, zombies Tyler Headrick, 27 Occupation: Bartender/K-State student/Best Buy supervisor Location: Pat’s Blue Ribbon, 1200 Moro St., (785) 539-7426 When: 9 p.m. Thursdays ($5 entry—goes back as cash prize to top-two winning teams) Trivia Night Since: 2008 More: Writes his own questions: “I make sure they have their $5 worth of fun.” Recent topics: crossword clue, the Heisman Trophy, songs from musicals Jeff Kreuser, 41 Occupation: Athletic trainer at Lafene Health Center Location: Auntie Mae’s Parlor, 614 N. 12th St., (785) 539-8508 When: 8-11 p.m. Wednesdays ($5 entry—goes back as cash prize to top two winning teams) Trivia Night Since: 2004 More: Writes his own questions: “I like to see them put their heads together and think” but also “want them to have fun.” Recent topics: Biology/chemistry, potluck category, Saved by the Bell

manhattan magazine


| local profiles

| Story by Lou Ann Thomas

Finely tuned

A love of music and woodworking creates uniquely designed instruments


Will Yankey, an experienced furniture designer, has also found success in creating his own guitars.


hen Will Yankey sees a chair, he sees more than a place to sit. He sees how people interact with it and looks for ways to make it better. As a visiting instructor of interior architectural product design within the College of Architecture, Planning and Design at Kansas State University, Will says this is part of the life of a designer. “You see something and you want to make it more comfortable or to have better balance. I look at a chair and see how the back could be designed for greater comfort, or how it could have more stability,” he says.

manhattan magazine

| Photography by Alan Honey

While attending high school in Williamsville, Illinois, Will began playing bass guitar, and it wasn’t long until he started trying to make a better instrument. “I’ve built furniture since junior high and took the advanced woodworking course offered in my high school three times. The third time I took it, I built my first guitar, and I loved the process,” Will says. From that moment, Will was hooked. He still designs furniture, but combining his passion for music with woodworking as a luthier now fills most of his free time. “Music is a huge passion for me, and I figured I could build furniture, so why not guitars?” Will says. He admits there was a learning curve to that first instrument. “The first thing is to decide on the number of strings. Other than that, there is almost complete freedom in how the guitar begins to come together,” he says. Still, it took five years of honing his skills before he felt comfortable enough to sell one. He listed it on eBay—it sold quickly. “The buyer loved it and continues to send me emails telling me that he is in Los Angeles or Oregon, or some other place around the country, playing the guitar,” he says.

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| local profiles

Will beams when he talks about his guitars and the connection they have to his life. “As a teacher I like to watch my students grow and see them move out and experience the world on their own. It’s the same feeling I get with my guitars,” he says.

Custom fit Will designs his guitars around the human body and can cut the body of the guitar to fit the musician’s unique form. He also designs the neck and headstock to be perfectly balanced and sculpted to the player’s hand. This creates a heightened comfort level while playing, but it takes time and effort to create a customized instrument, several months in most cases.

RIGHT A finished bass by Yankey. He designs guitars around the human body, making each instrument unique. BELOW Yankey, a visiting instructor at K-State, finds inspiration in working with students.


“Music is as much a part of my life as walking, and jazz holds a place in my heart that nothing else does. Music affects and inspires my design.”

– Will Yankey

While a student of Rod Troyer, associate professor of interior architecture and product design at K-State, Will built two guitars. “Will has a great eye for design and for detail, but also the craftsmanship to see his designs through to completion,” Troyer says. Will admits he is a bit of a perfectionist and enjoys the combination of art and science that goes into building a guitar. “It fits me well. I’m a nerd to the bone and a perfectionist to the P,” he says. “Especially about things I love. If it’s something I’m interested in, then I want to make sure it is done right, to the n’th degree.” This is why Will carefully chooses each piece of wood that goes into his guitars. Different woods have different strengths and nuances, which create unique tonal qualities and reverberations when played. This process allows for further customization of Will’s guitars. For example, the tonal quality of mahogany creates a bright, sweet “woody” sound. Maple is considered to offer a brighter, more penetrating sound, while Bubinga, also known as African rosewood, creates a mellow, well-rounded sound. Troyer, a woodworker himself, says Will’s understanding of the different characteristics of various woods, as well as his ability to work with wood, is evident in his guitars. “I take a lot of pride in selecting my wood and often layer woods for a fuller, more customized sound,” Will says. “And since I use particular woods for a reason I never paint them, letting the natural quality of the grain shine through.”

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local profiles |

One guitar can take many months to create; just the layers of lacquer can take up to three months.


Mike Mores

E-Mail: Phone: 785.537.5151

| local profiles

Making beautiful music with a customized guitar Will Yankey incorporates some special techniques to further customize his guitars. One of those techniques is the “thru-neck” style, which means the neck of the guitar is a solid piece of wood that goes through the entire body. This gives the guitar a greater tonal quality as well as added durability and balance. Another special feature is the use of individual saddles for each string rather than attaching the strings to a one-piece metal bridge on the front of the guitar face. This keeps the strings from interacting with each other during play to create a purer sound.


The headstock, where the strings are attached to the top of the guitar neck, is usually specific to the guitar’s creator. Will’s guitars include a stylized cutout representing the dot at the top of the letter j, which is the logo to his company, Janke Design. “Janke” was the original, oldworld spelling of his last name. Will’s guitars are not only custom-built to a musician’s body, they are also created to be in perfect balance. In fact, his guitars are so ergonomically balanced that the instrument will maintain equilibrium when lifted with one finger slipped under the large curved top on the face.

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Instead he uses oil and lacquer finishes, of which the lacquer can take him more than three months to apply up to 15 layers of finishes on his guitars. Will listens to music while working on a guitar, jazz being his favorite genre. He says it feeds his curiosity and much like his guitars, is customized by the person creating the music. “Music is as much a part of my life as walking, and jazz holds a place in my heart that nothing else does. Music affects and inspires my design,” he says. “If I’m listening to slow and melodic music, I’ll create smooth designs. If I’m listening to something more lively, I find my designs are more energetic.”

Home again Will also finds inspiration by returning to Kansas. “Manhattan is the perfect size for me. I’m so happy to be back here and teaching,” he says. After graduating from K-State in 2007 with a degree in interior architecture and product design, Will worked in architectural visualization for M2 Studio Inc. in Dallas for three years. When the economy began to crumble, he found himself looking for a new job. In the fall of 2010 he was hired as an adjunct, part-time instructor at K-State, a year later as a visiting instructor full-time. Now when he finishes his M.A. in architecture from the University of Kansas in May 2012, he hopes to continue his teaching career on a tenure track at K-State. In the meantime he’ll continue surrounding himself with music and creating unique, custom-built guitars—he is now working on his eighth. “If I build 20 guitars and don’t sell a one of them, I’m OK with that,” says Will. “It’s a passion, and I’ll enjoy making and playing every one of them.”

| local profiles

| Story by Megan Molitor

The Recruit Meet one inspiring soldier-to-be whose only wish is to serve her country


hen one door closes, Melissa Wood doesn’t wait for another one to open. Instead, she pries the closed door back

open herself. After growing up in Junction City and graduating from Kansas State University in May 2011, Wood was certain she knew her next step—getting a head start on her Army career by entering officer training school. And why not? After all, her military background made her a perfect candidate. “She grew up in it and knows it’s what she wants,” says Staff Sgt. Thomas Schlieper, an Army recruiter in

Kansas State University graduate Melissa Wood is looking forward to serving her country by enlisting in the Army for active duty.


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| Photography by Tim Sigle

local profiles |

Manhattan who worked with Wood. “She graduated from K-State and is a born leader. Those are the qualities we need in great soldiers.” Her father retired to Junction City in 2000 and continues to work with the Army. She has one aunt who served, several uncles and all of her grandfather’s brothers served in either WWII or Korea, and her cousin is currently serving in the Marine Corps. “When I found out I didn’t make the cut for officer training school, I was heartbroken,” says Wood. “It’s the first goal I set that I didn’t achieve. It took a long time to get over, and I thought the military just wasn’t meant to be for me. But, after a while, in my heart I couldn’t see my life without it.” Despite not making it into the ultracompetitive program, Wood had some soul-searching to do. She regrouped and made a decision that shocked even her military-rooted family—she enlisted in the Army for active duty.

“My dad taught me that life isn’t fair and you have to make the best of it. You get out of life what you put into it.”

– Melissa Wood

“Initially I was scared to tell my parents, and my dad was hesitant at first,” she says. “But, when they realized that it was really what I wanted—not because it was comfortable and what I knew, but what would help me achieve my goals—they were more excited.” Maybe the reason her family and friends came around is because they saw a strong young woman with a real desire to serve her country. Schlieper says in the current financial economy, many young, future soldiers come in concerned about benefits or compensation. “The Army is often looked at as a last resort, but in reality, we’re the nation’s strongest team,” he says. “The standards and quality requirements for enlistments have changed. Melissa is someone who will be that quality soldier.” Wood is ready to be a part of that team, even if she can’t join as an officer. She knows it runs deeper than what the Army can do for her. “I feel privileged to be an American. Based on the example of my family members, giving back via service feels natural,” she says. Wood’s service will come in the form of physically helping wounded soldiers. As a medic, she will be trained to provide emergency medical assistance to military forces wounded or injured in the field, as well as operate under a doctor or physician’s assistant.


| local profiles

After three years, Wood will be eligible for the Army’s physician’s assistant school, which she hopes to enter. As someone who knows firsthand the importance of taking care of the nation’s military families, she wants to give back by serving them once she finishes her training. “It’s like a two-for-one special,” jokes Wood. “The Army helps me, and I get to help the Army. If I can practice medicine, save lives, while also serving my country and the Army as a whole, that’s amazing.” Wood also believes the Manhattan community makes for an easier transition into the life of a soldier. Because Manhattan welcomes both soldiers and college students, individuals on different life paths are constantly coming and going from the community. There are challenges in both paths, she says, but with different faces. “Whether you’re studying for a test or getting muddy in the field, you’re still learning lessons,” Wood says. If that’s the case, Wood has a lot to look forward to. When she leaves for basic training in January, and then Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio for her medic’s training, she’ll take with her the strength of her family, especially her father, who will deploy to Korea two days after she leaves. Manhattan and Junction City will always be home for Wood, but she looks forward to expanding her horizons and seeing the world. In fact, that is both her excitement and fear. “It’s the unknown; I don’t know who I’ll meet,” Wood says. “I’ve always lived here, this is my first big move. It’s scary, but the possibilities are endless. When I leave the Army, I want to smile knowing I did my best in everything I did, and that the reasons I joined were the same reasons it was worth it.” above Melissa Wood worked closely with Staff Sgt. Thomas Schlieper during her recruitment.


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q&a with

Anissa Hudak Little Apple Business Women

I first learned about Little Apple Business Women (LABW) from Facebook. I had a short message from one of the organizers, Anissa Hudak, on how excited she was to learn that Manhattan Magazine’s editor was a woman. As a result of her inquiry, my curiosity was piqued. Hudak shares more with us on what LABW is, how it’s making a difference in the community and how she landed in the driver’s seat.

Learn more about Little Apple Business Women by visiting www.

Interview conducted, condensed and edited by Katy Ibsen. Photography by Alan Honey

To start, tell us a little about yourself and how you ended up in Manhattan? Originally from New York, I now call Manhattan, Kansas, home. My husband is an Army officer, stationed at Fort Riley. I’m a mom to two very active boys. I have a business management degree from Orange County Community College and attended Marist College for Paralegal Studies. Over the past 14-plus years I have owned and operated several small businesses. What is your day job? I’m an account executive with First Financial Merchant Services, a Merchant Account company. I’m also a reiki master and operate a small reiki practice. I’m currently in the process of launching my third business in January 2012; however, the most important job title I will ever hold is “mom.”   Tell us about LABW. How did it begin?  The Little Apple Business Women has been in existence for about two years now. It was started with a core group of ladies who wanted a “ladies-only” networking group. I started attending meetings in January of 2011 and in May, two of the founding members needed to step away due to personal and professional reasons, leaving the remaining founding member, Tara Jackson, to run the group on her own. I offered to help Tara run the group, and at the same time Julie Arnett joined and offered to help. As they say, “The rest is history.” The three of us work very well together—it’s been a lot of fun.   What is the demographic of your membership?  We run the gamut from college students to grandmothers. We even have some ladies that bring their children with them to the meetings, which we would rather

they do and join us than let a lack of child care hold them back. Some ladies produce their own products; others represent companies; some work from home; some have a storefront. Women are natural networkers/marketers. What’s so fascinating is to observe ladies who might not otherwise have much in common, but because of our group they are networking, developing relationships, working together in joint ventures and genuinely enjoying themselves while promoting their businesses. You’re using Facebook. How has this been advantageous to LABW? In May 2011 we had about five members. Now, at the end of November, we have close to 50 members. Facebook, if nothing else, has helped us grow. It has also helped us with community exposure and promoting our events. We will be adding Twitter, LinkedIn and social networks to help expand our exposure.   What inspired LABW? Our motto is “Empowering and Endorsing Business Women in our Community.” Our overall community inspires us; by strengthening women in business we have a positive effect on our community’s economy. We also give back to our community through philanthropic activities; we recently held the Holiday Harvest Showcase, presenting 45 women-run businesses to the public and benefiting the Manhattan Crisis Center. Our next benefit event is scheduled for March 2012 for Habitat for Humanity’s Hero Home.    What would be your wish for Manhattan? For LABW? For Manhattan, I would love to see a Macy’s, Bloomingdales and a Neiman Marcus!   For LABW, it would be great to have more members. We’ve discussed the group owning a building, a place where we could hold our monthly meetings; a gal could hold a business function, maybe some offices. It’s something we see in our future. To make that a reality sooner rather than later would be a fabulous wish come true.   How is LABW changing the perspective of female professionals in Manhattan? Manhattan has a very strong group of women business professionals. Once a month, I get to spend an evening with about 50 female entrepreneurs who are incredibly passionate about what they do. The income generated from their businesses not only has a direct effect on their family, but on our community’s overall economy.   If you could put anything on your business card, what would you say? I have no idea! Maybe “My cape is at the cleaners.”

on the


Volunteer Assistant Coach Bettie Wade still trains with Rovelto.

cliff rovelto has made a monumental mark on track and field

story by mark janssen

photography by tim sigle


In his 20th season with the track program, Rovelto says he is a teacher at heart. “What I do is all about the kid and not about me. When it comes to a competition, I should be almost invisible,� he says. Instead, Rovelto focuses on the process. He is excited by going to the track every day and working with athletes of all levels to help them reach their personal potential.

In the blocks


Rovelto came from a military background, where he attended schools in Willoughby Hills, Ohio; Fort Riley, Junction City, Wamego and Leavenworth between ninth and 12th grades. He played football, baseball, golf and basketball, but never track except for two years of cross-country in high school.

Coach Cliff Rovelto has become a legend in the world of track and field. He is with his 20th season at Kansas State University.



“I was good enough to be on the varsity cross-country team but nothing more,” says Rovelto of his own modest athleticism. He planned to attend the University of Kansas and eventually enter law school, but instead he entered into a coaching internship with the track and field team, and he began hanging around the legendary coach Bob Timmons. “I knew absolutely nothing about track. Nothing … but all the events intrigued me,” says Rovelto. Upon graduation, he landed a teaching assignment in history and government at McLouth High School, where he also was an assistant boy’s basketball coach, head track coach and started the cross-country program. “During the two-year period that I was coaching in high school I totally engrossed myself into learning the sport. I went to every clinic I could find and spent every dime on books and tapes,” says Rovelto, who estimates that he has spent $15,000 on books, tapes and clinics on track. Returning to KU to work on his master’s degree, Rovelto found himself again helping with the KU track program and focusing on a future in track and field by attending clinics hosted by the USA Track and Field Federation. He also started digging into the areas of biomechanics and exercise science.

Fierce dedication Rovelto’s coaching package has worked to the highest degree. He has coached 11 individual Olympians (13 times) from four different countries, 23 (32 times) World Championship athletes 10 NCAA title winners, and this past fall he was the head coach of the Men’s United States Pan American track and field team. “He had a hand in everything I did,” says Steve Fritz, a fourth-place decathlon finisher in the 1996 Games. “A lot of coaches have a specialty and then hand you off to someone else. With Cliff, he has a knowledge in all of the events, which gives you a constant voice.”


– Cliff Rovelto


While having attended every Olympic Games since 1996, and serving on eight USA team coaching staffs, Rovelto refers to the highest track competition as “just another track meet” where the important thing is the process to get to that level rather than the meet itself. “My job is getting a kid to realize his potential. If that’s the Olympics, that’s my goal; if that’s to be eighth place in the Big 12 meet, that’s my goal,” he says. Rovelto spends roughly 8-10 hours a day overseeing individual workouts for his runners, jumpers and throwers. Then, “I’m recruiting, writing workouts or reading information that might better me until two or three in the morning. That’s every night ... Saturday and Sunday included.” As for his peers, “They think I’m out of my mind because this is all I do. I absolutely do nothing else. This is my life,” he says.

Teammate As a husband, the 56-year-old Rovelto admits, “I’m probably not a very good one.” His wife, Karol, responds, “Track is always going to come first no matter what time of the year and no matter where we are. Someone, somewhere, always needs a workout done,” she says. “If I didn’t work for him I would never see him,” says Karol, K-State’s track and field administrative assistant, who calls her husband boss, Cliff or coach, depending on whom she might be talking with. The two have been married for nine and a half years. Cliff coached Karol, who is 14 years younger, to a personal record of 6’5½” in the high jump in 2003 when she was 33. The mark still ranks on the Top Ten USA All-Time Outdoor List. Rovelto once carried a 2-handicap in golf but says he hasn’t smacked a Titleist for three years or seen a movie in “I can’t remember the last time.” Rovelto would much rather watch a college basketball game than a track meet but says, “If I’m sitting at a basketball game, then I’m not calling a recruit, or I’m not doing a workout for a kid, and I feel guilty.” Rovelto affirms that 2011 NCAA champions like K-State high jumper Erik Kynard and multi-eventer Ryann Krais deserve everything he has to get them to that level. “If I’m not working those hours to get them to that level, then I’m cheating them,” he says. And he does so in a cool, calm and collected style. “I rarely raise my voice, but I am very, very demanding. The thing I admire about track athletes is you can’t hide. In a team sport you can hide for a short time, but if you do that in track … if you’re even at 95 percent, you’re going to get embarrassed,” he says. That’s the reason Rovelto gives 100 percent—if not beyond.


| for the family |

Editor’s Note: Join Manhattan Magazine for Get to Know, a four-part series highlighting organizations, agencies and events in Manhattan that serve our families and youth.

Get to Know:

The Boys & Girls Club Story by Kim Hanke


Photography by Terry Szel

A look at 17 years of serving Manhattan’s after-school population 52

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for the family |


he Boys & Girls Club of Manhattan has continued to serve the community’s youth for nearly 20 years. Initially existing as a local youth group serving mainly teens, the organization was incorporated as the Boys & Girls Club in 1994 and now serves kids ages 5-18.

Support “Our goal is to make sure our youth like what they are doing,” says Joyce Glasscock, executive director. “Studies show that when kids come back day after day, and year after year, we have more of an impact as far as success.” Serving kids at eight different locations, the club offers programs for before and after school, early release and in-service days, and spring break. Transportation is provided to the main Fifth Street facility from six elementary schools, though some schools serve children on-site (Ogden, Lee, Marlatt, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt elementary schools; Anthony and Eisenhower middle schools). Additionally a summer program is offered at the Fifth Street facility for all ages, and a teen center is open every Friday, at the Fifth Street location, for middle and high school age youth.

The Boys & Girls Club of Manhattan continues to provide area youth with fostering programs and a safe place to go after school.

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“Club membership is not limited to low-income families, and kids don’t have to be enrolled in a Manhattan school to be involved. We don’t ever want to turn anyone away.”

– Leah Ost, marketing and public relations coordinator

In order to provide a safe environment, the club has developed targeted program areas to help members excel in academics, establishing healthy lifestyles, citizenship and character building. Unique to Manhattan is its assistance for children of military families, which accounts for about 25 percent of those enrolled. With this focus, the club is researching additional grants from the U.S. Department of Justice, according to Glasscock. “We work hard to make sure we are serving the military families the best we can,” she says.

Education “Our priority is to ensure that youth are taking away tools for academic success, healthy living, and that they are engaging in their community,” says Glasscock. Volunteers with the club provide help with homework, tutoring programs, mentor pairing with Kansas State University students, art activities, leisure reading, book clubs, writing activities, computer instruction and Internet safety training. Since sexting and cyberbulling can be issues for young adults, the club recognizes this and provides education for its members. To encourage healthy lifestyles, the club teaches the importance of making healthy eating and exercise lifelong choices. Recreational activities promote this goal and also provide a healthy, competitive atmosphere to help strengthen positive interaction with others. “We want to make sure kids understand that even in day-today activities, it’s important to learn teamwork and show appropriate behavior,” says Glasscock.

Leadership A career launch program for middle school and high school students helps explore career options, interests and teaches tools for having a successful job interview. With that comes an encouragement for youth to take on leadership roles and to participate in team-building activities. Recognition of Youth of the Month and Youth of the Year are given to those who show good character, improvement, or go above and beyond to help others.


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for the family |

MOMPerspective Alicia Bartlett and her three boys have been involved with the Boys & Girls Club of Manhattan since 2011. Her boys, two of them twins, are in second and third grades in Manhattan and enjoy the experience of the club. “We joined because I’d heard good things about the programs,” says Bartlett. “I needed a good place to send my kids, and they have several great young male role models for my boys to look up to.” Bartlett says that while all of the club’s support is helpful, “I like the computer lab in particular. I’m not very tech-savvy. Since everything that is done now is on computers it is so important for the kids to learn about them. I know the kids really enjoy them as well.” “I love the Boys & Girls Club,” she says. “All the staff are friendly, from the program staff to the administrative staff. Everyone is always polite and smiling. The communication is great, too.”


Number of area youth the Boys & Girls Club of Manhattan serves through recreational and educational activities annually.

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| for the family

Get Involved For information on volunteering, donating or club membership, contact the Boys & Girls Club (785) 539-1947, 13th Annual Casino Night and Auction Slated for February 17, 2012, this annual fundraiser welcomes donors and volunteers to celebrate the club and test their luck with the dealer.

“This helps kids realize that people are paying attention and that it can be rewarding to make good decisions and to be responsible,” says Glasscock.

It Just Takes One This yearlong campaign invites area residents and businesses to make a small or large investment in the future of the Boys & Girls Club of Manhattan. From replacing that morning latte with a reoccurring donation to a sizeable one-time gift, it just takes one to make a difference.

Future The Manhattan club has received a 21st Century Learning Center Grant through the U.S. Department of Education to enrich the academic outcomes program. With their acceptance of the grant, the club is required to hire an outside evaluator to assess the program, creating real-time feedback on their work. “Our evaluation suggested that there was a strong improvement in the scoring of youth who attend the after-school programs,” says Glasscock. The club has also volunteered for a pilot program with the Boys & Girls Club of America. The program will provide feedback on the types of experiences kids are having and will evaluate how often they attend, the intricacies of why they are attending and why at a certain regularity. This data, Glasscock says, will help establish outcome goals and help make decisions on how to increase and improve the quality of the Club’s programs in order to serve as many youth as they can as often as possible.


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I’ve made a move, Now it’s your turn! Selling The Community is My Business Eileen A. Meyer REALTOR®

Cell: 785-313-5123 Office: 785-539-3737 Ext. 111

• Accredited Buyer Representative • Efficiency Works Certified • Associate Broker • Over 20 years Business Experience in the Manhattan Community • Awarded REALTOR® of the Year 2010 by the Manhattan Association of REALTORS® • Former Logistics Officer in the US Army • K-State Graduate

What I can offer you: Residential real estate sales assistance to include the sale of your property, the purchase of a new home, investment or retirement property in the Manhattan area. Experienced in working with clients whose needs are to purchase, or to sell. If you are a first time home buyer, the process will be explained each step of the way.

Now Let’s Get Moving! 1430 Poyntz Ave. | Manhattan, Kansas | 785-539-3737 | |

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| Story by Gloria Gale

Chattanooga’s Riverbend Festival

| Photography courtesy of the Chattanooga Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

Rich history dovetails with scenic beauty as you chug along this vibrant Tennessee city by foot, rail or river

More than a Whistle Stop

p “

ardon me, boys, is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo?” That first line from Glenn Miller’s l941 tune helped immortalize Chattanooga’s claim to fame decades before this Tennessee city bloomed into one of the region’s most revitalized destinations. The renaissance of Chattanooga has been a long time coming, thoughtfully planned and executed with enviable results.

Road to gentrification Once known as the “Dynamo of Dixie,” this Southern belle, on the bend of the Tennessee River, wasn’t always as gussied up as she is now. Years of heavy industrialization turned her into a bog of pollution and neglect in the mid-1980s. Infamously tagged as the “Dirtiest city in America” by the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Chattanooga’s citizens rallied to embark upon a 20-year revitalization. Embraced by a private-public collaboration, the beacon of change resulted in a Downtown Riverfront District that’s become a blueprint for urban revival. Tennessee Aquarium


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Adventure town Downtown meets the Tennessee River on what locals call Chattanooga’s front porch a great place to begin. Journey along The Riverfront District’s 13-mile paved pathway skirting the Tennessee River, cinched in on both sides with museums, public art, shops, green space, piers and restaurants. Notably the Tennessee Aquarium at Aquarium Plaza/ Visitors Center is a must-see, anchoring one end. Rated as one of the top aquariums in the nation by Trip Advisor members, this is one of the best examples of freshwater and saltwater displays in the country. Clustered nearby are attractions including IMAX 3D theater, Creative Discovery Museum and the nation’s longest pedestrian-only, steel-truss Walnut Street Bridge, leading to the south bluffs, home of Bluff View Arts District. Resembling a quaint European village, the District is an ideal place for coffee or lunch in one of the charming cafes overlooking the Tennessee River. Two museums, the Hunter Museum of American Art and the Houston Museum of Decorative Arts, reside here along with a sculpture garden and bocce court—all worth a visit before meandering back down to Aquarium Plaza. No trip to Chattanooga is complete without a stop at the famous Choo Choo, accessed by the free electric shuttle conveniently connecting everything downtown. This 24-acre entertainment complex not only showcases the notable Victorian train but also includes hotels, restaurants and a railroad museum.

Conveniently loCated next to dillions West

Outdoor Mecca There’s a reason Chattanooga is called the “Scenic City.” Surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains, lush river valleys and acres of wilderness, this outdoor playground is blessed with abundant natural resources. Six miles from downtown stands Lookout Mountain 2,400 feet above sea level. This towering bluff is historically significant as the site of major battles that changed the outcome of the Civil War. The Lookout Mountain area is also the home of Rock City Gardens, Ruby Falls, a 145-foot underground waterfall, and the Incline Railway, the steepest passenger railway in the world. Adventure multiplies along Lookout Mountain’s 38 miles of hiking and biking trails. Be sure to visit Point Park military outlook not only for the history but the sweeping views from the summit. For the extreme sports buff, try a heart-pumping aerial adventure at America’s largest mountain hang-gliding school that also makes it home on the peak.

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Walnut Street Bridge

Hunter Museum


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Custom Shutter Collection More opportunities abound nearby with a visit to the spectacular underground caverns at Raccoon Mountain or exploring the Tennessee and Ocoee rivers by kayak, white-water raft or canoe. Those with an eye toward retail bliss will find a trove of shopping just across from the Tennessee Aquarium on the city’s NorthShore. This eclectic neighborhood boasts boutiques, coffeehouses, casual and fine dining, plus a range of one-of-a-kind small businesses. The NorthShore also is home to Coolidge and Renaissance parks. Six-acre Coolidge Park features a 100-year old vintage carousel complete with 52 hand-carved animals. Adjacent to Coolidge Park is Renaissance Park, the newest addition to the city park system. Unwind in this delightful eco-conscious environment filled with picturesque walking trails, wetlands and historical points of interest.

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Kick back It’s time to relax and experience Chattanooga’s vibrant food and entertainment scene. There’s no problem finding trendy restaurants or downhome hot spots all within easy walking distance downtown. Throughout the year, downtown’s lively roster of arts and culture beckons with numerous festivals, Broadway musicals, theater productions or performances by the Symphony & Opera or ballet company. On Friday evenings catch the free, Nightfall music series, free Saturday night music on the river at Riverfront Nights, live music at Rhythm & Brews or Riverbend nine-day Festival and Pops on the River Festival during June and July. Nearly a quarter-million ‘Noogians’ now have a city that’s grown into its own. Reinvented with a nod to the hip and historical, Chattanooga boasts surprises around every bend. According to Outside magazine, “Chattanooga has been designated twice as the No. 2 city on the top “10 Dream Towns to Live Big, Play Hard and Work (if you must).”

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More information on Chattanooga

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Jan- Mar ’12

e v e n t s January 7

Tuttle Creek Lake Eagle Day. Environmental education program featuring two presentations, one on eagle and raptor habits and habitats, the second on bald eagle nesting in Kansas. These presentations will be followed by a bus tour through the areas near Tuttle Creek Dam to view bald eagles in the wild. Presentations will take place at the Manhattan Fire Station. 9 a.m. (785) 539-8511.

January 19

Young Frankenstein. McCain Auditorium presents the classic Mel Brooks film in its musical version featuring all the classic movie moments with new surprises for the stage. 7:30 p.m. Tickets available online or by contacting (785) 532-6428,

January 22

Manhattan Bridal Expo and Bridal Show. Speak with wedding professionals, get ideas, price vendors and plan your big day at the 42nd Annual Bridal Expo. Events begin at noon at the Manhattan Conference Center in the new Garden Hilton Inn. The Fashion Show starts at 2:30, and more than $3,000 in gifts and prizes will be given away. Free event.

February 11

Polar Plunge. Join Special Olympics Kansas as they host the 2012 Polar Plunge and Strut at the Tuttle Creek Swim Beach. Costume contests and awards to the highest-fundraising team and individual. (913) 236-9290,

February 11

A Dress the Heart Gala. Join the Mercy Community Health Foundation and Mercy Auxiliary as they celebrate and raise funds for Mercy Regional Health Center’s cardiac initiative and surgical services. Social hour, auction and gala events, 6:30 p.m., Holiday Inn at the Campus. For tickets or sponsorship information, call (785) 587-5462.

February 24-26 & March 1-4

The Graduate. Manhattan Arts Center presents the stage adaptation of the landmark 1967 film, The Graduate, following Benjamin Braddock and his bizarre love triangle. $15 for adults and $10 for military and students. 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. (785) 537-4420,

Creating a comfortable lifestyle. Stop, relax and unwind at Energy Center Manhattan Pool Swimming Pools Hot Tubs & Saunas Patio Furniture Umbrellas Fire Pits Grills & Smokers Wood, Gas, Pellet, Electric Fireplaces & Stoves Gift Items & More!

528 Pillsbury Dr. Manhattan,KS 66502

March 2-3

Flint Hills Festival of Wines. The 13th Annual Flint Hills Festival of Wines weekend kicks off with a wine dinner and live auction Friday night, where guests will partake in a gourmet multi-course meal featuring wine pairings. The Grand Tasting will take place on Saturday featuring more than 200 wine and spirits and hors d’oeuvres. Saturday’s events also include a silent auction. Proceeds will benefit Homecare & Hospice Agency and The Good Shepherd Hospice House. Dinner tickets are $105 each. Grand Tasting tickets are $50 each. (785) 537-0688, www.

March 17

Manhattan Art Center’s Blarney Breakfast. Make your way to Kite’s in Aggieville for a St. Patrick’s Day breakfast buffet, including treats like green eggs and ham. 7:30 a.m. For price information, contact the MAC office at (785) 537-4420 or

All events are subject to change.


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Manhattan Magazine  

Manhattan Magazine Winter 11/12