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t a company training meeting a few months ago, I was introduced to a new co-worker. This guy was extremely motivated and on the ball. I was pretty impressed with him, until I looked down and saw that he was wearing white socks with a pair of dark dress slacks. Maybe it’s superficial, but at that moment this guy’s credibility as a sharp shooter and go-getter entirely evaporated. I suddenly saw Steve Erkle standing in front of me. Other people at the meeting noticed as well, and got a laugh out of it. No one took the guy seriously. You don’t want to be this guy. If you want to impress people, you have to pay attention to the details. It doesn’t matter if you’ve put together an awesome outfit; if you don’t have the right socks, you spoil your whole look. 2

To help you not sabotage your image or credibility like the guy at the meeting, follow these simple rules when selecting which kind of sock to wear with your ensembles.

Wear dress socks with dress shoes.

Don’t try to wear athletic socks with dress shoes even if the socks are black. Athletic socks are thicker than dress socks and don’t match the refined style of dress shoes. If you try wearing gym socks with a pair of dress shoes, they’ll bunch out over the shoe and look goofy. Stick to dress socks. The thin material feels nice on your foot and looks sharp. With jeans there’s a little more wiggle room. Preferably, you should have dark socks even with denim, but you can get away with wearing gym socks with jeans.

Sock color should match your pants, not your shoes.




This is a rule that many people are confused about. I’ve heard numerous arguments about whether you should match socks with shoes or socks with pants. You should always match socks with pants because when you sit down and your socks are exposed, you want a solid line of color from your pants to your shoes. Socks that don’t match your pant color create a jarring break in your outfit. So black socks go with black pants and brown socks go with brown pants. Absolutely and under no condition should you ever wear white socks with dark pants unless you want to look like Steve Erkle or 1980′s Michael Jackson.

Novelty socks are for elementary school teachers.

nd K ate McK ay By: B rett a

The goofiest thing is to see people who wear socks with sandals. Society’s ability to take you seriously will be reduced to zero if you do this. Sandals were designed to be worn with bare feet, so please, do not wear socks with sandals. Socks with shorts should be avoided as well. Wearing socks with shorts visually makes your legs look shorter. If you need to wear socks while wearing shorts, invest in some ankle socks that aren’t visible when you wear you sneakers.

| art ofm

No socks with sandals or shorts.

No man should own a pair of orange novelty socks that say “Boo!” on them and are adorned with little bats. The only excuse you have for wearing these is if you’re an elementary school teacher named Mrs. Heart. Keep you sock collection simple and classic and you’ll never go wrong. 3







An Interview With the Sanford AirMed Crew

ON THE COVER DEL HOFER 26 Accolades to a Torchbearer PAGE 8




Facial Hair Can Be Good, Bad and Ugly



A Beginner’s Guide to Ice Fishing





ARTICLES RAISE A GLASS AT WÜRST BIER HALL 14 New Downtown Eatery Boasts European Food and Convivial Atmosphere



GOT INK? Workplace Tattoos Gaining Awareness, Acceptance



CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Soo Asheim Jessica Ballou Meghan Feir Paul Hankel Jessica Jasperson Alicia Underlee Nelson

PUBLISHED BY Urban Toad Media LLP /urbantoadmedia

PAGE 18 24


Bringing it Back to Life

“Feir” not my lady! VOLUME 1 • ISSUE 4

READ AN ISSUE ONLINE: ADVERTISING SUBMISSIONS Urban Toad Media LLP 118 Broadway North, Suite 412 Fargo, ND 58102 701-388-4506 The Good Life Men’s Magazine is distributed six times a year by Urban Toad Media LLP. Material may not be reproduced without permission. The Good Life Men’s Magazine accepts no liability for reader dissatisfaction arising from content in this publication. The opinions expressed, or advice given, are the views of individual writers or advertisers and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of The Good Life Men’s Magazine.




Dad, Don’t Let Rules Diminish the Relationship


raining and disciplining kids is tough. It’s even harder when you’re in a complex family situation, and more and more dads are finding themselves in that place. Our staff recently heard from several dads whose stories illustrate this (and whose names I have changed here). James is a partial-custody father. His 12-year-old daughter is acting out— taking things from a relative’s house, and generally being irresponsible at school and in other ways. James is trying to address these issues, but finds it hard to make any progress with his daughter since his time with her is limited and her mom takes a softer approach to discipline that he doesn’t agree with. Kevin works long hours, which really limits his opportunities to spend time with his 6-year-old stepson. The boy sees his biological father mostly on birthdays and holidays, but Kevin says the other father is very lax in his rules and expectations. So, while the other dad gets to be the “fun dad” when he’s around, Kevin is afraid the boy sees him as the “mean dad” since he’s the one who’s handling many of the everyday behavior issues. And really, most all dads deal with similar questions from time to time: How do I balance the hard side and the soft side of being a father? When does my child need more love as opposed to discipline? There are no easy answers, but I’m reminded of the classic wisdom for parents: “Rules without relationship leads to rebellion.” That might even be more relevant for dads and kids in these complex situations, but it’s a great reminder for me and surely

By: CAREY CASEY | WWW.FATHERS.COM many other dads, no matter what the family situation. Kids do need the rules. They benefit from being held accountable to a standard of behavior and learning from their poor choices and disobedience. They need to learn proper respect for authority, and that starts at home. But I think it’s easy for dads to forget the relationship side. When a child is misbehaving, we need to start asking ourselves, Does she know she’s loved? And, have I demonstrated that love and spoken it into her life regularly? Those should be among our top goals with each of our kids. Dads, we really need to go the extra mile when it comes to building relationships with each of our children. With that foundation, dads in difficult situations can influence their child more than if they’re just “laying down the law.” After all, the daughter will go to her mom’s house and “the law” will change. So building a strong relationship is another powerful way to influence her character. There are no quick fixes—and it could take time—but a good place to start is to simply tune into your child’s interests. Find a common hobby or activity you enjoy. Come up with ways to just have fun together. Those positive interactions will show your child that you genuinely care for her, and you’re not just trying to win a battle or teach a lesson. She’ll grow to trust you more and more, and her behavior will likely change because she’ll have a greater desire to please you. Talking about household rules and expectations won’t involve a major confrontation. It will be much easier to ask, “Would you do something for me?” She may even start coming to you with big questions and issues, even

though she knows others in her life are more likely to give her what she wants. You’re consistent and you keep your promises. Even more, you’re an involved, creative, positive force in her life. You invest in the relationship. She trusts that you really do have her best interest in mind, and she looks forward to that time with you. Hang in there, dads. You’re playing a huge and vital role in your children’s lives. What have you seen in your kids? Are they better behaved after you’ve done something fun together?

Action Points for Dads on the Fathering Journey

• Plan an activity that helps your child discover — or rediscover — the simple joy of childhood. Even in the daily battles of life, don’t let him forget that being a kid should be fun. • Are you a step dad? Make sure to work closely with the children’s mother on discipline issues, so you don’t have to be the “bad guy” enforcer. • As much as you can, work together with other parents in your child’s life, so you’re sending consistent messages about expectations and consequences. • Does your job severely limit your time with your children? Take a hard look at changes you might make so you can make more consistent investments in their lives. • Make it your goal to laugh — really laugh hard — with your child or teenager at least a couple times each week.

To Beard, or not to beard facial hair can be good, bad and ugly By: meghan feir | Photos: Urban toad Media

acial hair. I like it – on men, I mean. It’s extraordinary how random patches of hair on a man’s face can evoke such entirely different messages. For example, a handlebar mustache makes a man look like he’s no longer a cowboy in training, and mutton chops are best saved for the dinner plate. As a native Minnesotan who’s usually freezing October through April (sometimes through July) and who couldn’t grow a beard if she tried, I can imagine how men could want to have some sort of facial covering during the colder months in the Midwest. After all, animals are allowed to grow their winter coats, so why shouldn’t men? (An argument and a solution to that would be to just buy a scarf.) Facial hair can be hot; it can look cunning; it can make a man seem mysterious and virile; it can make a 15-year-old boy look like a 15-year-old who’s trying really hard not to look 12, however scraggly and saddening it may appear. Facial hair is a powerful thing, and as everyone knows, “With great power comes great responsibility.” (Thanks, Uncle Ben.)

To beard, or not to beard: that is the question: Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind of women to suffer The slings and arrows of itchy, outrageous unkemptness, Or to take arms with a slew of razors, And by opposing end them? To die: to shave; No more; and by a shave to say we end The heart-ache and the thousand natural locks That flesh is to hair, ‘tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish’d. — William Shavesbeard, from his play “Hairlet” (I ran this by an English professor with a beard, and it was approved.)

Unfortunately, many men think they’re being ironically hot by sporting unkempt, long, mountain-man beards. The same thing happened with mullets a couple years ago, but I think that recycled trend of irony has seen its end. Yeah, yeah, I know, I’ve heard; business in the front, party in the back. So, would the phrase for advocating horrifying beards be “Look Amish, party hard-ish”? Many factors go into how facial hair comes off (I don’t mean with a razor). How it is perceived depends on the guy; it depends on the length; it depends on how it fills in; it depends on their facial structure; it depends on their attitude toward it; it depends on how much neck hair is involved; it depends on how many crumbs get stuck in it after every meal; it depends on if it hosts a family of small birds; it depends on a lot of things.

It’s undeniable that whether we care about our appearance or not, we are sending messages to other people, so unless you’re trying to look like a man with nothing to lose because you’ve lost it all already, figure out which looks best suit you. Enjoy your hair, but treat it right. Wash it. Trim it. Keep it in line.


Catching Fish and Good Times By: Jessica Jasperson PHOTOS SUBMITTED BY: Bret AMundson


s the temperatures drop and the days get shorter, people are limited to the outdoor activities available in the winter. Ice fishing scratches that itch for fresh air and time spent with friends and family. Bret “T-Bone” Amundson fished in the summer while growing up, but very little in the winter. About five years ago Amundson picked up the winter pass time of ice fishing and shares his tips for the beginner ice fisher. The Good Life: What did you learn your first time on the ice? Bret Amundson: It’s not much fun without electronics.   GL: When is the best time of the year to ice fish? BA: Early ice, or early in the season when there is enough safe ice to fish on. That’s when fish are starting to fatten up for the long winter ahead, so fishing can go really well. Late season can be a good time as well. Of course you’ll find exceptions to this throughout the season. GL: How do you find a prime location for ice fishing?


BA: Scouting! A lot of times you can find fish in the same places as late season or early season open water fishing. Otherwise prepare to drill lots of holes and don’t be afraid to look for active fish on other spots on the lake.  

pop-ups that are built into sleds that fold down for easy transportation. Mine even has a snowmobile hitch attachment. There are wheel houses that you can pull behind a vehicle and they look like enclosed trailers. Some resorts also have “sleeper”

“An auger, a bucket and a pole is all you really need. Dress warm and you can have a great day fishing on the ice.” — Bret “T-Bone” Amundson GL: Do you always need a shelter when ice fishing? BA: No, I used to think this too. An auger, a bucket and a pole is all you really need. Dress warm and you can have a great day fishing on the ice. Some days, it can be sunny and 30 degrees out and you’ll hate spending that inside a shelter. Plus you can be more mobile without one. GL: If a shelter is used, what kinds of shelters are available? BA: There are a number of shelters you can use from lightweight portable shelters that are similar to pop up ground blinds. You can get

houses that include bunks, satellite TV, portable toilets and more luxuries. You’ll even find some private houses that are nicer than some people’s homes. GL: Do you build your own shelter or purchase it? BA: You can buy kits to build your own, but it still might cost in the thousands. Most people purchase their own and they might own a portable and a wheel house for later in the season. Every one will generally be heated. The portables will include a small propane heater, while the bigger houses could have wall heaters built in.

Bret Wi Walleye th a Fr Secret om a Lak Northe e in rn MN 11

Bret’s Lab “Mika”, Taste-Testing a Perch

GL: Do you need a lot of equipment for ice fishing? BA: Not at all. All you need is something to drill a hole in the ice, a fishing pole and bait. But I won’t fish without some sort of electronic flasher. They help you locate fish under the ice so you don’t waste your time fishing water that doesn’t have any fish.   GL: What kinds of equipment do you need to get started? How much does equipment cost?

GL: How do you drill the perfect fishing hole, safely and efficiently? BA: Line up your auger straight and let ‘er buck! It’s much easier than it looks. The key is to keep your feet dry when you pull the auger back out of the water as water will come with it. Also, make sure you are on safe ice before you start drilling.   GL: How deep should the line be in the water once the bait is attached?

BA: A rod and reel combo can be as low as $20 at most sporting good stores. A hand auger can be relatively inexpensive compared to a gas/propane powered auger and that’s about it. Warm clothes should be worn of course and if you decide to purchase a flasher unit (Vexilar, MarCum or Humminbird), they can run from $200 - $1,200 depending on the model. They’re not necessary, but as I mentioned earlier, I won’t fish without one. GL: What kinds of bait should be used? BA: Depends on the body of water. If you can, you should research the forage base of the lake you plan on fishing, and then purchase the appropriate bait. A quick stop into a local bait shop should be able to answer that question for you. 12

A Delicious Meal of Fresh Perch

BA: That will also depend on the lake and species you’re fishing. Primarily you’ll be fishing near the bottom of the lake. Electronics will help you determine how deep the fish are, and then you can put your bait right with them or just above them.   GL: How long can a party of ice fishermen stay on the ice? BA: Until the beer runs out! Oh, you meant a different kind of party. Well as long as you’re staying warm and there aren’t any restrictions against night fishing, you can stay as long as you want. GL: What are safety tips for the beginner ice fisherman? BA: Talk to the bait shops first. They can help with some ice conditions, bait selections and if you spend a couple bucks, they might even give you some hot bite information. Bret “T-Bone” Amundson spent 13 years on the radio in Fargo-Moorhead and is now the publisher of Minnesota Sporting Journal magazine, host of Minnesota Sporting Journal Radio (heard on AM 970 WDAY Saturdays at noon) and will spend his winter guiding ice fishing on Lac qui Parle at Watson Hunting Camp. Learn more at and

Bret Amundson with a Devils Lake Walleye


on ee Nels l r e d n ia U dia By: Alic rban toad Me U : s o Phot

RAISE A GLASS AT New Downtown Eatery Boasts European Food and Convivial Atmosphere


ood and beer fans, rejoice; Wurst Bier Hall is now open in the Cityscapes Plaza at the corner of 1st Avenue and Roberts Street in downtown Fargo. The eatery’s food, brews and the beer hall atmosphere just might make it an instant classic. “There’s nothing like this in town,” said Bert Meyers, who owns the business with his wife Lisa and twin brother Klaus. “It’s completely new and original and specializes in foods you can’t get anywhere else in Fargo. You’ll be able to get German 14

dishes any time of year, not just the once or twice when there’s a special event.” The Meyers name is synonymous with good food and a good time downtown. Bert and Lisa owned Bertrosa’s, a favorite local lunch spot that served up Chicago-style street food from 1999 until its sale in 2012 and Bert and Klaus own and run Dempsey’s Public House, an always-bustling bar in the heart of downtown Fargo. The owners are looking forward to delving into their heritage –

Lisa is German-American and the Meyers boys have Irish and German roots – and their passions on this new project. As evidenced by the restaurant’s name, sausage will feature prominently on the menu. “Kielbasa, German, bratwurst, currywurst, and mettwurst among the 15 varieties of sausage on the menu,” said Meyers. “There’s something for everyone. Some of the more unique sausages are linguiça, bleu cheese brat, wild boar, elk, rabbit, chicken apple, and alligator. These items will rotate as we showcase different

Bert Meyers, Lisa meyers, klaus Meyers

The Rules for drinking from Das Boot by Bert Meyers

Drink again Klaus!

1. The boot can never touch the table until empty. 2.  Before you drink, you must flick the glass with your finger. You must flick the glass again after you drink before passing the boot to the next person. 3.  You must always drink from the boot with the toe facing up. 4.  If you get splashed in the face with beer you must drink again.  5.  The person that drank from the boot immediately preceding the person that empties the boot must buy the next boot. 6.  If you break rules 2-4 you must drink again. 7.  Never clink Das Boot with other glassware or slam it on the table, it will break!”


varieties, because you know...variety is the spice of life!” But Head Chef Jay Morrison’s culinary vision goes well beyond sausage and traditional German favorites like schnitzel and spaetzle – although you’ll find those on the menu, too. “Although it’s mainly a sausage and beer establishment, we’ll offer a variety of different dishes,” said Meyers. “It’s not strictly German, it’s German/European, so our menu will be focused on German/European beer and food.” The food is a spirited mash up of meat and carbs, equal parts creativity and comfort. Highlights include pierogies with Srichacha curry butter sauce, Borscht soup and Bavarian pretzels with a house beer cheese dip. Wurst Bier Hall also offers classic American pub food with a twist, like an unusual mustard fried cheese burger and the “Porketta Fargo”, a riff on a Philly cheesesteak made with seasoned pork and topped with

homemade salsa verde. Even Klaus and Bert’s mom’s potato salad makes an appearance. Customers can grab a seat at the long, communal tables (one seats up to 20!) and choose a brew from Wurst Bier Hall’s monster beer list to wash it all down. There’s room for a whopping 36 beers on tap alone, with plenty of bottled options as well. Part of the reason for the extensive tap selection is simple. “We want to drink beer out of Das Boot!” said Meyers. “It’s a glass beer boot passed from one guest at the table to the next one clockwise for a festive time.” It turns out there’re a lot of stories told about this particular drinking tradition and, like any beer hall owner worth his salt, Meyers is eager to tell the tales. “It is commonly believed that a general somewhere promised his troops to drink beer from his boot if they were successful in battle. When the troops prevailed, the general had a glassmaker fashion a boot from

glass to fulfill his promise without tasting his own feet and to avoid spoiling the beer in his leather boot.” “Another tradition holds that during the First World War, German soldiers began passing around a leather boot filled with beer, as they were lacking glasses,” Meyers continued. “It became a symbol for good luck, as the soldiers would flick the boot before drinking it for good luck, and flick it again after drinking to wish the next soldier good luck. Since then, soldiers have enjoyed toasting to their victories with a beer boot. “ The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner and is available for private rentals. The trio has plans serve brunch in the future and the patio will be open when the weather warms up this spring. The group’s success with their previous ventures and a groundswell of customer interest has the trio excited to see the community’s reaction.

Andrea Williams, Bert Meyers, Lisa meyers


“We’ve been doing research on this concept for well over a year and people have been asking for this type of business,” said Meyers. It appeals to everyone, he said, “Everyone that likes to gather together and who loves good food, good beer, and good fun.” That’s the good life as Meyers sees it;

“Friends, family, and enjoying the ride.”


An Interview With the Sanford AirMed Crew


ny resident of the downtown Fargo area has more than likely heard the distinctive sound made from the rotor wash of one of Sanford’s AirMed helicopters. To most, it is an exciting sight to see and hear the helicopters take off and land at Sanford’s downtown helipad, located at the hospital on North Broadway. To some, it may be a loud inconvenience, especially late at night. That is, until you realize exactly what these helicopters and their brave crew are racing off to do. Ask any Emergency Room doctor or paramedic and they’ll tell you, saving lives isn’t easy to do. Traumatic injuries, manic patients and concerned family members all blend together to make any life-

saving situation a challenge for even seasoned medical professionals. Now imagine performing these life-saving duties in the belly of a helicopter while flying through the air at over one hundred miles per hour. While this may sound like a scenario out of a movie or medical drama, it’s just another day in the life of Tim Meyer and his Sanford AirMed crew. Meyer has been with the Sanford team since 1997, and is the Director of Emergency Air Transport. The Good Life was able to sit down with Meyer and several members of the Fargo-based crew and chat about life as a member of the elite medical unit. The Good Life: How did Sanford AirMed get its start?

Tim Meyer: AirMed began as Life Flight back in 1984. We started off with an airplane. In 1985 we added a helicopter. We began our flight program during that decade and ran with one helicopter and one plane up until about 2011, when we got the second airplane. GL: What are the primary duties of Sanford AirMed Services and its staff? TM: We are an air ambulance service. We respond to emergencies and transport sick and ill people, by air, throughout North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. Also, using our airplane, we’ve been to twenty six other states. Our crew here is licensed in North Dakota and Minnesota and our Sioux Falls Crew is licensed in South Dakota.

By: paul hankel | Photos: Urban toad Media


Tim Meyer - Director of Emergency Air Transport, Jenny Amundson - RN, Bobby Meyers - Pilot, Chad Erickson - Lead Pilot, Jen Berntson - RN, Aaron Reimer - Flight Paramedic, Rod Wirth - Flight Paramedic


Chad Erickson - Lead Pilot The Sanford AirMed crew is based out of Bismarck and Fargo, in North Dakota, Bemidji, Minnesota, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. According to Meyers, they respond to up to 1,200 calls per year.

TM: Our nurses have extensive experience in intensive care units and our paramedics have lots of experience in field medicine. They can both do a lot of the things the other is doing, but both have their areas of expertise.

GL: What personnel does your team consist of?

The nurses and paramedics are required to have at least 3 years of exemplary service as an ICU nurse or ambulance paramedic. Once accepted into the program, they “One call, you might be (performing undergo rigorous training techniques) in the aircraft. The next call, before going out on calls. Meyer, who is a veteran you might be in someone’s living room. It’s went on to challenging … When you’re a regular nurse, himself, explain that the pilots are your patients come to you.” mostly military veterans.

TM: Our core team is our Adult Team. That would consist of a pilot, a paramedic and nurse. In our fixed-wing airplane we use two pilots. We also have a NICU team, which stands for neonatal intensive care unit, and they deal with – Jennifer Berntson, Nurse, Sanford AirMed Sanford AirMed’s fleet babies and children. And consists of two types of lastly, we have a Maternal team which consists of an OB (obstetrics) nurse who sleek and powerful aircraft. The first, a Beechcraft King accompanies the Adult Team nurse. So we can handle a Air airplane that is capable of hitting 300 miles per wide range of specialized cases, whereas, if AirMed wasn’t hour and with a flight range of five hours. The other, an EC 145 Twin Engine Light Utility Helicopter, which available, there might not be any options. can reach speeds of 155 mph and can lift 4 tons. The GL: What background does one need to possess in order interiors feature advanced medical and communication equipment. The crew is based out of the downtown to be an AirMed paramedic or nurse? 20

hospital and also maintains a hanger in North Fargo. We were joined later in the conversation by several of the other members of Meyer’s crew. GL: What made you want to be a flight nurse? Jenny Amundson, Flight Nurse, 2 years: I loved ER Nursing and ICU Nursing and this job was a way to blend both types of nursing into one. Each had a different reason for being there, including Aaron Reimer, who is one of the newer members of the crew and is using the job as an excellent source of training before going to medical school. GL: What’s the most challenging part of your job? Jennifer Berntson, Nurse, 6 years: I think it’s the logistics of it- doing what we’re trained to do in many different types of environments. One call, you might be (performing techniques) in the aircraft. The next call, you might be in someone’s living room. It’s challenging, especially from a nursing standpoint. When you’re a regular nurse, your patients come to you. GL: Can you share with us one of your most memorable response calls? Rodney Wirth, with the team since 1990: Many years ago, my partner and I were up in northern Minnesota. We were picking up this guy who was having difficulty breathing and we gave him some medication to sedate him. As we were giving it to him I told him ‘Ok you’re gonna go to sleep now. Goodnight!’. He ended up in the ICU for a considerable length of time. When he woke up, I went down to visit him. I walked in the door and he said, ‘I remember you! You’re the guy who said goodnight and that’s the last thing I remember for six weeks!’ While there are, undoubtedly, lots of laughs and stories that come along with being a member of Sanford’s AirMed team, when the call comes in, it’s all business. It’s the business of saving lives and being local heroes to all of the patients that the AirMed crew flies off to help. We asked the members of the Sanford AirMed team what ‘the good life,’ meant to them. Tim Meyer spoke for all of them, and his answer was short, but powerful.

“Meaningful Work.” 21

Workplace Tattoos Gaining Awareness, Acceptance As a bald man with extensive body art ranging from religious images to skulls, Jeremy Hartje has found that some people seem uncomfortable approaching or getting to know him. But the owner of Hardcore Ink Body Art Studio in West Fargo wants people to know that a good percentage of people from nearly every profession has some form of body art, and that’s okay. Tattoos in the workplace have been slowly gaining acceptance, and the negative stigma associated with them has been diminished, albeit not completely disappeared yet. Upon seeing someone with body art, the negative stereotype is that he or she just loves to drink, party it up and get tattoos. They’re seen as trouble and not someone to mess with. But Hartje wants people to know that a large percentage of those with tattoos are very friendly. “I always tell people that if you give them the opportunity to show you their character and the kind of person they are, they will surprise you,” he said. He used to work in the medical profession, where body art had to be covered up at all times. Now that he’s been in the tattoo industry for a while, including a year and a half at his shop’s current location, it is nice to be able to display his body art freely without restriction. Web programmer Dave Kerzman is relatively new to the body art community, as he got his first tattoo from Hardcore Ink two weeks ago. The tribal tattoo is 22-inches wide and reaches from shoulder to shoulder. To him, it’s a symbol of health. He recently lost weight, and he wanted some more encouragement. “It’s a reminder of getting and staying healthy,” he said. Even though body art isn’t a big deal in his profession, he does encounter people from time to time outside of work who may cast a judging eye at first glance. Kerzman said the negative stereotype of tattoos likely comes from the history of the rougher crowd that used to have them. Even though some of that negative stereotype still exists, he said a way to overcome that is to just be friendly and remind people to keep an open mind. “People should be able to do what they want to express themselves,” he said. West Fargo Police Canine Officer Pete Nielsen has quite a few tattoos, although you probably wouldn’t know it because none of them show outside of his uniform. His tattoos, which include tribal symbols, skulls, initials and some custom By: JESSICA BALLOU | Photos: Urban toad Media


designs, are all strategically placed on his body so that they would be covered by a t-shirt. He said people are becoming more accepting of tattoos, but the level of acceptance depends on where a person lives. In North Dakota, which is a typically very conservative area of the United States, acceptance isn’t as great as in other parts of the country. Local real estate agent Ben Schroeder looks like the typical clean-cut, clean-shaven, “catalog” guy. He wears dress clothing often due to his profession, so when clients and others find out he has tattoos, he said 99 percent of the time they give him a shocked look and say “I never thought someone like you would have tattoos.” He got his first tattoo when he was 18, and now he has been adding to a large tribal tattoo. When working in the corporate world, he made it a point to not bring up his body art. But now if the topic of tattoos comes up, he talks about it without hesitation. A common sentiment from these men was that the more awareness that is brought to people who have body art, the more acceptance there would be to move past the stereotypes.

“I always tell people that if you give them the opportunity to show you their character and the kind of person they are, they will surprise you.” — Jeremy Hartje


ChivalrY in the 21st Century

BRINGING IT BACK TO LIFE Chivalry is dead. Now, wait a second. That’s not entirely true. If I’m wearing heels, at least a few guys will open a door for me. If I’m wearing tennis shoes or flats, the chance of that happening drops 80 percent. The wretched part is that I’m not even kidding. If you Google the word “chivalry,” and visit, you’ll read that chivalry describes “The qualities idealized by knighthood, such as bravery, courtesy, honor, and gallantry toward women,” along with “A manifestation of any of these qualities.” Some things should remain in the past, like outhouses and dial-up Internet, but when it comes to practicing courtesy, both men and women need to revive and encourage its existence. Manners and chivalry go hand in hand, and being polite doesn’t mean you’re boring. I’m going to tell you all a little tale. It’s tender, surprising and even sad. No, it’s not an ABC Family movie. This is less predictable. Once upon a time, I went on a date with a nice guy. He wouldn’t let me get into his carriage, I mean, car until he got out of it and opened the passenger door for me. He did the same when we arrived at the restaurant. I

think he even helped me take my coat off. Was I drooling from his acts of thoughtfulness? No, I was weirded out. Wait. What? Yeah. I was taken aback by his manners. I was used to being treated like one of the guys, not like a lady. I was so accustomed to a lack of courtesy that I didn’t know how to react when faced with such politeness. Many guys and girls have never had manners pounded in their head, or they’ve just decided to ignore them, and “chivalry,” that thing we’ve heard about in fairytales, is often seen as archaic by our lazy, dishonorable society. It took me a few years of recovering from the I-shouldn’task-for-help-because-I’m-awoman-hear-me-roar rut to realize that women don’t have to be weak-minded, annoyingly dependent damsels in distress in order to enjoy being treated like a lady. You won’t see me crying, waiting for a big, strong man to carry me over a puddle (though that would be nice), but appreciating when a man is courteous, thoughtful and even protective doesn’t make me any weaker of a woman. As this apropos phrase says, “A real woman can do it all by herself, but a real man won’t let her.” Whether you’re a real man or a fake one, according to that saying, the point of that statement is to be


February 14th is Valentine’s Day. Now is your chance to be chivalrous!

By: meghan feir 24

thoughtful. Don’t save your manners for Valentine’s Day or when you want something. Sharpen your skills by practicing them every day of the year. Chivalry and manners go beyond buying a girl supper. Any guy with $5 or less can accomplish that by ordering a burger off the dollar menu. Courtesy is something you practice and make habitual. Just like working out or hunting, you have to put in some effort to make yourself better. To make a cultural change, both men and women need to treat each other with kindness and respect if they want it dished their way. It’s a twoway street. It’s up to us to retrain society.



By: SOO ASHEIM | Photos: Urban toad Media



orn on a farm north of Huron, South Dakota, Del Hofer (pronounced: Ho-fer) was a middle child in a family of four boys and one girl. Del’s parents rented a small farm on the outskirts of Huron, where farmland was rough and rocky. Del, his brothers and his dad plowed and seeded their land with horses. Victims of an economy often unfair and always unkind to small farmers, his parents lost their farm in 1947. When Del was 12, the family moved into Huron where Del picked up odd jobs here and there, as many children did back in those days in order to help out their families. But during his free hours Del could be found two blocks from his home, outside the Harley-Davidson store, hunkered down watching as older young men with a penchant for speed and adventure blazed by on huge 28

motorcycles breaking the serenity of Huron’s small-town dullness. Mesmerized by the sleekness and speed, Del continued to watch day after day as the motorcycle riders vanished before his eyes. Until the day one of the burley-looking, hoarse-throated men suddenly stopped right in front of Del and asked, “Hey, kid! Ya wanna ride?” Del climbed behind the mammoth man and off they flew. “I thought I’d died and gone to heaven” is Del’s description of his first ride on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Utterly hooked, Del knew one day he would find a way to buy his own bike that would blister the rough terrain leading out of South Dakota. A couple of years passed with Del still watching the motorcyclists coming and going through the tiny town of Huron. Del’s older brother had a motorcycle of his own but as older brothers tend to do with little brothers, Del’s brother ignored Del’s

pleas to take it for a ride, until one day, Del’s brother said, “Tell you what. If you can start it up, I’ll let you take it for a spin.” For nearly two years Del had watched the motorcyclists only two blocks away coming and going from the Harley-Davidson store as they climbed their motorized horses and started the engines. Del had no doubt he could start his brother’s. He was 14 years old with a chance for the first time ever to actually straddle a motorcycle and take it wherever he could. All he had to do was get it started. Challenges were a part of life for this young man-child whose only dream in life was to take off on a thundering machine with two wheels. Del got the machine started, took off on his brother’s motorcycle and simultaneously made the first step of his lifelong journey. From that day on, every extra penny Del made was saved for one purpose: a motorcycle. The simple yearning for a motorcycle had grown

the motorcycle that started it all... into an obsession for Del. Del quit high school at age 16 to take a job delivering Western Union telegrams. While visiting his uncle, Del mentioned he was looking for a motorcycle to buy and asked his uncle if he knew anyone who wanted to sell one. His uncle thought for a moment and said, “Well, maybe. I know a guy who has his stored at his sister’s place. Do you want to go take a look?” Del said, “Sure! Let’s go see it.” Awhile later, they were at the place where the motorcycle was stored and found the father of the man who owned it waiting for them. Del was in complete awe of what sat before him: a black 1947 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead. This beauty before him had a windshield, twin straight pipes, handmade leather saddlebags and gorgeous spotlights. Nothing this grand had Del Hofer ever wanted so much. He asked the owner if he could start it. The man said, “Sure, go ahead.” After Del gave the kick-start his best effort, they all stood listening as the engine purred before them. Del next asked if he could take the motorcycle for a ride. “Noooo, am afraid that’s not going to happen,” the bike owner said. Del had to have that bike. He asked the man how much he wanted for the Knucklehead. “Two-hundred and fifty dollars” was the amount the man Photo submitted by: Del HOfer 29

wanted, and Del didn’t have it. But he knew he could make payments for as long as needed if he could strike a deal with the owner. They shook hands, and the very next week, Del began paying the man $25 a week. As a Western Union deliveryman, Del made $28.51 a week. After making his weekly motorcycle payment, Del was left with the paltry sum of $3.51 to his name each week to carry him through until the next week’s payday. But as Hofer explains himself, “I was determined.” The phrase would be repeated time and again throughout the next 60-plus years. Finally, the day arrived to make the last payment on the most expensive and important purchase of 16-year-old Del Hofer’s life. At first, he just stared at the motorcycle sitting on the road. Slowly, he swung a leg over and straddled the Harley. Placing his hands on the hand grips, he nudged the cycle stand upward

Photo submitted by: Del HOfer 30

and then, simultaneously pulling the hand accelerator toward him and strumming the kick starter, he felt the vibration beneath him and off he flew like an eagle soaring above. Del Hofer and the black 1947 Knucklehead moved and navigated around holes in the rutted streets, maneuvering ahead of older drivers going five miles an hour as if he and the Knucklehead were one machine. As Del arrived at his parents’ home, he sat for a moment listening to the loud tap, tap, tap of the Harley engine before he turned it off. Del’s mother came outside, obviously not happy and wanting to know “What’s that motorcycle doing here?” Answering his mother, Del replied, “It’s mine. I just purchased it.” Del’s mother reacted in a manner he had never seen before. Standing upright as she threw her shoulders back, Mrs. Hofer said, “You take that right back from wherever you got it and

get your money back! I’ve got one son that rides the wheels off his and I’m not going to have another one do the same!” Del’s cloud nine feeling coming home disintegrated into vapor. He told his mother, “Well, Mother, I’ll take it back, get my money back, give you the money and then I’m outta here.” With that, Del Hofer’s mother turned, stomped toward the door, went inside and slammed the door so hard Del was sure she’d knocked the hinges off! Not five minutes had passed when Mrs. Hofer returned with a 180-degree attitude change, and holding a small black camera in her hand, she said,

“Well, if you’re going to keep that thing, i guess we should take your picture.”

LIVING LIFE ON A HOG Sixteen years old, riding to and fro, here and yonder on his treasured Knucklehead and finally able to keep all $28.51 of his weekly paycheck, Del Hofer was living the life. Adventures to towns in the distance near and far made him new friends and good times. Del even experienced his first Sturgis week in 1952. Could life get sunnier? Del considered the question once, then twice, and on the third pondering Del says, “I had a discussion with myself about the future. Life is a long time. In life you have to have an education.” With that decided, Del returned to school a year after he had quit. After graduating, Del had to make another major decision for the third phase of his life. In those days, there were not as many choices or decisions to make. Young men in the 1950s really only Photo submitted by: Del HOfer

INTO THE WILD BLUE YONDER Del Hofer became “Airman Hofer” when he joined the Air Force on March 8,1955. During his four-year stint Del served 13 months in Korea, or, rather, a few miles above the 38th parallel. Del served as an Airborne Radio Operator/ Communications Specialist and was in charge of the messages received by and sent to the bombers with Strategic Air Command (SAC), and as a Survival Instructor for the pilots who were flying the bombers. Del Hofer is proud of

had two choices: go on to college or enlist in the service. “I had no money to go to college, so the decision to enlist was not a difficult one.” Photo submitted by: Del HOfer

his country and equally proud of his service, but Korea is an era of his life he rather leave in the past as Hofer is a man who has always preferred looking ahead. After four years with Uncle Sam’s Airmen, Del decided it was time to accept his honorable discharge, head back to Huron, South Dakota, find a job and let fate determine what was next. And if he didn’t care for what the fate warriors had in mind for him, he would just figure a way to change the plan.

DESTINY SIGNALS The job he found was working on the Chicago Northwestern railroad. However, about that same time, things were slowing down a tad in Huron, and because he was a recent hire, as “low man on the totem pole” he wasn’t called in as frequently. Never afraid to take on more responsibilities, he began working as a radiator repairman. The irony here is where the part-time radiator repair job was, and for whom: The owner of the radiator shop also owned the Harley-Davidson dealership. 31

As the days turned into weeks and the weeks marched forward, a year passed and Del was given an opportunity he knows was his very own brass ring. His radiator repair shop boss and owner of the small Harley-Davidson dealership, where Del was also repairing motorcycle engines, asked Del if he would consider going to the HarleyDavidson Service School. Surprised and excited about his future prospects, Del accepted the offer. Once the application was submitted and Del was accepted to the Harley Service School, plans for the trip and stay in Milwaukee were made. Everything was falling into place. Del had two good jobs, he was in love with the girl of his choice and now he was set to learn everything he possibly could about HarleyDavidson motorcycles, putting his career choice on track for the future. There was just one thing that had slipped Del Hofer’s memory that might cause a bit of a problem: Del and his fiancée, Renee Spargo, were to be married within the same time frame as the Harley-Davidson Service School program. Problem? What problem? Del and Renee were married as planned. As for their honeymoon, well, that too was now “planned.” Milwaukee is a lovely place in the middle of February; at least that’s what Del told Renee, and he swears to it even today, some 50-plus years later.

graduation from service school

Photo submitted by: Del HOfer 32

CLOSING THE CIRCLE OF FATE As another year passed quickly, Del was once again shown “the light” of fate when his boss at the Harley Dealership took him aside one day and asked, “Would you consider buying me out of the motorcycle business?” As shocked as he felt, Del knew this was more than fate simply winking at him. Without batting an eye, he accepted, and the deal for him to take over the small shop with little inventory and only a few motorcycles was signed. But where would he go? His soon-to-be ex-boss didn’t want the motorcycle shop anywhere near his radiator repair business. Claiming not to like motorcycles, and “motorcycle people” even less, he wanted Del to move the HarleyDavidson dealership elsewhere.

Having just signed the agreement to buy the Harley-Davidson dealership for $2,500, Del wanted to find a good place to relocate that wasn’t expensive, yet had the square footage he needed to work on engines and display the motorcycles he had for sale. Like sirens to the sea merchants, the perfect location sang to Del: the same motorcycle shop that was only two blocks from where he grew up in Huron.

WHEN THE STARS ALIGN Del rented the same store space for the next 10 years. In 1971, as his business had expanded and his friendship deepened with John Davidson (grandson of the original founder), Del was offered a larger

and more lucrative Harley-Davidson dealership with several choice cities to choose from: St. Paul, Sioux Falls, Albuquerque, Rapid City, Des Moines, Mankato, Rochester and Fargo. Familiar with many of the choices, the one he wanted to see for certain was Fargo. What he saw, he liked, primarily because of three major and feasible reasons. The Fargo/Moorhead area was vast and would eventually provide a much larger population. While there were a few manufacturing companies, the majority were owned and operated locally. None were tied to major nationally recognized corporations or companies that, with a downward turn in the economy, would suddenly close up and move out, taking many employees with them. There were three colleges here, and there was a cross between two interstate highways, one of which was not finished, but when it was, it would run its course to Mexico. Fargo was surrounded by dark black, rich farmland. Agriculture in 1971 was still the number one economic stability in North Dakota and the Red River Valley as a whole. More than anything, that factor appealed to Del the most. He chose to move and reopen his HarleyDavidson dealership in Fargo, which he did, 10 years after he had opened his dealership in Huron, and, kinky as it seems, almost to the anniversary date of buying his first Harley-Davidson motorcycle, the Knucklehead.

NEW BEGINNINGS ARE SOMETIMES HARD Del Hofer opened his first Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealership in North Dakota on what is now known as 36th Street South (a.k.a., the frontage road off 13th Avenue South), where it remained until 1991. In 1971 there simply was not an overflow within the local F/M population standing in line to buy motorcycles. Del says some of it had to do with an old Marlon Brando movie about bad bikers called “The Wild One,” as well as because, unlike in other areas of the country, primarily where the weather was warmer, college kids and biker enthusiasts were from more financially conservative backgrounds. Harley Davidson motorcycles are not inexpensive. Spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on an unnecessary item that can only be used a short portion of the year was almost a claim against Mother Nature for some. The Japanese and other motorcycle manufacturers jumped into the game by the mid-1970s by bringing in smaller and less expensive motorcycles. Plus, Hofer credits the slogan “You meet the nicest people on a Honda” with appealing to younger and less 33

traditional motorcycle riders and drawing an entirely new generation of bikers into the mix of motorcycle enthusiasts. By the mid-1970s, more people were showing an interest in riding motorcycles in North Dakota and western Minnesota, especially those who had lake cabins and liked to go camping in the summertime. Around 1991, Del and Renee wanted to expand their HarleyDavidson dealership to sell more golf carts and accessories. They bought the building in West Fargo, on the frontage road off Main Avenue, where HarleyDavidson is still located today. And a few years ago, Del increased the back side of the building to include an entire line of Harley-Davidson clothing.

Del & Renee

Photo submitted by: Del HOfer

SEE THE WORLD ON A HARLEY Sixty-two years later, “See the world on a Harley” could easily be Del Hofer’s family slogan. Although he fell in love with motorcycles at age 14, it was Del’s first Harley-Davidson at the age of 16 that truly solidified the marriage he and Harley-Davidson would have. One’s destiny is not always in one’s hands. Some go with the flow and others merely drift along with the waves of letting life happen to them. Del Hofer did the opposite. He followed his passion, while applying his mechanical aptitude with his innate salesmanship. The tri-combo led to traveling the world to places such as New Zealand, a favorite spot to tour for Renee and Del and one they made a “sister city” with an entire country to bond with for present and future riders. 34

Del speaks of a creed of honor he learned from his father while on the farm in Huron: “If you borrow a bushel of oats, always return it plus one.” In the 42 years Del and Renee Hofer have lived and owned the only Harley-Davidson dealership in the Fargo/Moorhead area, they have indeed given back, paid it forward and come to the aid of many charitable institutions, not in the thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, but with millions of dollars. In particular, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Children’s Miracle Network have been huge recipients. Several other benefactors are Adopt a Family every Christmas season, the West Fargo Youth Hockey Association, the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, Red River Zoo, the Rape & Abuse Foundation, Families of Deployed Veterans; Humanity for Animals at NDSU, the F-M Acro Team, Riders Educational Motorcycle Training, and the Salvation Army. And the list doesn’t end there. Del Hofer has spent the last 53 years promoting Harley-Davidson motorcycles as a way of life. For Del, Harley-Davidson represents the biggest, longest-lasting

and best. Del, Renee and their two sons are the embodiment of a family that doesn’t seek the limelight or fanfare, and who have continued to give to their community time and time again. Among the many achievements Del Hofer has made in his 78 years of living life to the fullest was being inducted into the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame. For anyone who has not experienced Sturgis, think of it as winning the Oscars and the Grammys at the same time. When asked what he believes makes a “good life,” Del Hofer replies,

“Knowing that you get out of life what you are willing to put into it. Life doesn’t hand out freebies; it all takes work.” Del and Renee Hofer sold the Harley-Davidson dealership recently with plans to do a bit more traveling, and Del has a passel of antique motorcycles he’s been storing over the years that he’d like to bring back to life.



The Good Life Men's Magazine - January/February 2014