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As early as the 1600’s the pocket watch was a common accessory for gentlemen around the world. A classy time piece that was adorned by a small chain could be found in the vest pocket of men everywhere. A must have for men working on the railroad during the 19th century the pocket watch has declined in popularity. The more practical and once considered feminine wrist watch has taken over. During WWI the pocket watch was slowly being replaced by the wrist watch. Military men found the wrist watch far more convenient. Although still being used by the railroad, the pocket watch began to decline in popularity after WWI and by the 40’s the pocket watch was all but extinct. The pocket watch staged a small comeback in the 70’s and early 80’s primarily due to men’s fashion and trendy three-piece suit. Today some steampunk and Victorian fashion cultures still sport the occasional pocket watch. Although there are a few companies that still make pocket watches, and newer modern versions are available, the original classic pocket watch is a rare find today. Types: Open-face; Lacks a metal cover Hunter-case; Metal spring hinge cover Premium Silver Pocket Window Watch w/Chain Made by Charles Hubert of Paris | $94.95 Premium Collection Stainless Steel Charles Hubert of Paris | $181.08 Gold Shield Premium Mechanical w/Chain Made by Charles Hubert of Paris | $94.95



Contents Cover





In Every Issue








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CREATIVE DIRECTOR Dawn Siewert PHOTOGRAPHY Darren Losee CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Soo Asheim Jessica Ballou Cantrell Meghan Feir Jessica Jasperson Alicia Underlee Nelson


PUBLISHED BY Urban Toad Media LLP /urbantoadmedia






READ AN ISSUE ONLINE: ADVERTISING SUBMISSIONS Urban Toad Media LLP 624 Main Avenue, Suite 7 Fargo, ND 58103 701-388-4506 | 701-261-9139

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. 5


5 Things to Do with Kids When They Don’t Want to Be with You ALLPRODAD.COM


t seems like just yesterday you couldn’t pry your children off you with a crowbar. Everywhere you went, anything you were doing, they wanted to be along for the ride. Now they’re hitting their teen years and, suddenly, hanging out with mom and dad ranks on the fun scale somewhere between typing a term paper on e-coli bacteria and cleaning out the rain gutters. It’s tough not to feel hurt when little Johnny or Suzie now sigh and roll their eyes at the very idea of engaging in a game of monopoly when, just two years ago, they would’ve sold their interest in Park Place just to keep the match going for another hour. Here are five parenting things you can do to cope and maybe even reclaim some lost real estate with your kids when it seems they don’t want to be with you. 6

1. Don’t take it personally. Easier said than done but still, this is one of those “try and remember yourself at 13” moments. Looking back, the teen years are typically marked by a certain level of first time self-awareness and consequently, selfishness. While you shouldn’t put up with insensitivity and rudeness, neither should you take it too hard when a trip to the mall with friends sounds better to your child than a day at the ballgame. 2. Don’t live on their level emotionally. This relates back to number one on our list, “Don’t take it personally.” When our children brush off our attention or seem disinterested in our company, it’s easy to feel rejected and to lash out with loud pronouncements about “the way it’s going to be in our house.” Or even

more raw, “Well fine then, why don’t you just go waste more time on Facebook! It’s obviously more important than me!” Even if you feel that way, don’t blurt that out to your child. That kind of anger isn’t likely to lead to anything productive in your relationship and most certainly will cause the divide between you to widen.

connecting with your kids means entering their world. From a faith perspective, this DOESN’T include becoming the permissive parent who tacitly endorses that which is immoral for the sake of appearing “cool”. You never want to secure your child’s friendship at the cost of their respect for you as their parent.

3. Stick to common ground experiences that can bridge the gap. One of the great quotes from the classic comedy, “City Slickers” comes when Daniel Stern’s character, Phil, reminisces, “When I was about 18 and my dad and I couldn’t communicate about anything at all, we could still talk about baseball.” What pleasures, hobbies, or passions have you and your child shared that might constitute common ground? Pursue them with your child and while you may not have deep, soulful, conversations about all that’s going on in their lives during the teen years, those shared experiences will provide a bridge of communication both now and later.     

5. Plan regular opportunities that take you both away from familiar distractions and allow you to be one-on-one. This can be touchy when it comes to insisting that your teen participates. But, when you put together a weekend in the mountains or at the beach, or anywhere but where you live, that doesn’t include anyone but family, you open up opportunities to connect with your child that aren’t usually available in everyday life. Removing peer pressure and the need to fit in allows your teen to breathe a little easier and let down long enough to let you in.

4. Try taking on the Galactic Overlord for once. Right? Seriously though, if your teen has a passion for video games or something else squarely outside of your experience, give it a try with them. Sometimes,

Huddle up with your older children tonight and say:  “Let’s go have some fun and next month.” Copyright 2012 All Pro Dad. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission. For more fatherhood resources, visit”




he Fargo Air Museum started as a concept in the minds of Gerry Beck and Robert Odegaard. Both men were crop sprayers in North Dakota, but also aircraft aficionados. Beck and Odegaard owned shops for aircraft maintenance, and fell in love with warbird restoration and making parts. Naturally, opening a museum came next for these two pilots. In order to showcase the various aircraft and restoration projects, Beck and Odegaard along with other people interested in aviation, started looking into the viability of the Fargo community supporting an air museum. In 2001, the air museum opened as a non-profit organization with the help of hard working volunteers. “A lot of sweat equity went into the building when it started,” Fargo Air Museum director of operations Helen O’Connor said. “The museum has grown considerably since that time and has really become a vital asset in our community.” 8

Before the Fargo Air Museum’s doors first opened, founding board members envisioned what the museum would give to those who visited. The vision sprouted from a mission to provide aviation education through restoration and preservation. “It was an exciting time with a lot of volunteer hours going into the museum and in-kind donations into getting it built,” O’Connor said. “It was very exciting and I think emotional, especially the Beck-Odegaard aspect of

Fargo Air Museum expands education, restoration, preservation opportunities it. They were thrilled to be able to have a place to display the aircraft they did have.” After thirteen years of living out the museum’s mission and displaying rare aircraft, excitement brews as the “BeckOdegaard Wing” prepares to open. Since the museum opening, Beck and Odegaard have both passed away. The wing will honor aviation preservation and education, as well as both men’s dedication to the Fargo Air Museum. The new 100-foot-by-150-foot building will provide more space and opportunity to showcase different sections, including different themes from history, much like the Museum of Flight in Seattle. Fargo Air Museum CEO, Scott Fletcher, said themes focused on World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Beck-Odegaard, Indian tribes, women in aviation and NASA will be incorporated into the buildings depending on donations. The museum has high hopes of being a worldly attraction, but still wants those who visit to experience North Dakota specifically through aviation history.  

“We really want to ensure North Dakota is the main focus of the museum,” Fletcher said. “We have great depth and richness in our culture in the state of North Dakota that needs to be highlighted in our museum artifacts. Our people are our greatest asset of the state.” Since the Fargo Air Museum planning began before 2001, three building phases made up the grand picture. After the second phase, the “Beck9

Odegaard Wing,” is completed, phase three consists of building the grand entrance that will house the library, offices, multi-media center and interactive exhibits. Phase three’s completion also depends on money raised from donations, memberships and events in the future.      There’s plenty of aircraft and history to discover even before all three phases are completed. The aircraft range from warbirds to people’s personal restoration projects. A lot of people may think of the Fargo Air Museum as a military museum, but it’s not solely focused on military aircraft.


“The museum has always paid high regard and respect to the military,” O’Connor said. “As an aviation museum, they recognize a lot of development in industry came because of the military.” A look inside the museum presents aircraft donated and owned by board members. Some aircraft are leased to the museum. The aircraft on display often change, so visiting more than once is a must. “We get several different aircraft donation offers monthly, and we have to pick and choose to make sure the collection matches our future intent and mission,”

Fletcher said. “The variety makes it nice and appealing.” The Fargo Air Museum provides the perfect atmosphere for families, school field trips and tours. The large space with aircraft hanging in the background provides a beautiful scene for weddings or corporate events. What sets the Fargo Air Museum apart from other air museums is the fact that most of the aircraft are airworthy. Several times in the summer you may catch an aircraft doing pre-flights before flying. The museum does do an email blast to active members giving them notice in case they would like to be there. Since the museum is a non-profit organization, board members and staff rely on fundraising, donations, memberships and renting out facilities for events in order to gift the Fargo-Moorhead community with a variety of aircraft. Currently the museum is raffling off five prizes to raise funds, including the grand prize of a 2014 F150 truck. Tickets cost $50, and all the potential winner needs to do is fill out a contact form and wait. The winning names will be pulled on October 25, and the person does not need to be present to receive the prize. Visit to learn more about memberships, facility rentals and educational opportunities at the Fargo Air Museum.  

“The museum has always paid high regard and respect to the military,” — Helen O’Connor


Tricks, treats and the best costumes in town BY: MEGHAN FEIR

Even if you think tricks are for kids, wearing fantastic Halloween costumes shouldn’t end at age 12. To impress yourself and others with your getup this year, my best advice for you is this: Don’t be predictable. Wearing a mullet wig (business in the front, party in the back) with cut-off jean shorts is a costume that never even begins to amaze anyone. The next time I get asked “Why so serious?” by someone dressed up as the Joker, the evening could end in disaster – their own tragedy. If scary costumes aren’t quite your thing, consider going as a native Fargoan – a different role than you’re used to playing, that is. Are you a businessman? Try going as a Fargo biker. I’m talking about bicycles, by the way. Do you hang around Island Park with a skateboard glued to your foot? Dress up as your favorite jock from one of the surrounding high schools or colleges. If you want to get really crazy, try a combination of Fargoan roles.

Fargo biker guy (bicyclist)

Mustache? Check. Full beard? Even better. Be sure to wear spandex as you ride down Broadway on your Bianchi bike. Stop at Babb’s, Atomic or the like to visit with all the baristas, and be sure to grab a gluten-free cookie on your way out. Upon leaving this caffeinated facility, forget that you’re staying away from gluten and go get a locally brewed beer. Keep it local.

Turtlenecked Wino

Whether you’re still in college or nearly past retirement, you can dress up as a wino this Halloween. Make sure to act as pretentious as possible to really fit the role. Memorize a list of all the surrounding states’ wineries, research their reviews and fake an opinion about the quality of their fruit. Wine a little more, why don’t you? Pun intended. Wear black or grey so as not to startle anyone. Turtlenecks and ponchos are always acceptable.

Sleazy, yet successful, Fargo businessman Here’s your storyline: You are proud of your successes – your home in West 12

“To impress yourself and others with your getup this year , my best advice for you is this: Don’t be predictable.” Fargo, the business you started from the ground up with your best bud from high school, and the fact that you have a week’s supply of beer in the office fridge for your clients. The main thing to remember with this character is that you think you’re classy, even though you visit less than respectable joints, laugh about it, and tell perverted jokes every 10 seconds around your employees. Hey, you have money, which equates class, right?

Manly Crafty McCrafter

This character also requires a mustache or a beard, if you’re able to grow facial hair. Choose some sort of art to master, whether that entails making bow ties out of recycled trash, selling your grandmother’s recipe for homemade sauerkraut in a mason jar or creating furniture out of concrete. Wear glasses, even if they don’t have a prescription. Slip on suspenders whenever possible. If you want to go the extra mile, dress up as Mr. Rogers, but show off your sleeves – your tattoos. It’s all about balancing how you project your inner scrapbooking mom and rebel child. What other stereotypical Fargoan characters could you dress up as for Halloween? If you say a snarky journalist who needs a filter and a larger dose of written manners, well, that would be a winning costume, as well. There are plenty of those in this town.




he men of Drekker Brewing Company believe in getting their hands dirty. In a world where beer nerds worship exotic yeast strains and ever more potent hops and automated systems have mechanized the brewing process, the owners of Fargo’s newest microbrewery (which takes its name from the Old Norse words for “to drink”, “a draft drink” and “Viking ship) are going back to the basics. Jesse Feigum, Mark Bjornstad and cousins Darin and Mason Montplaisir are digging deep into the science, artistry and backbreaking work of craft brewing to create a wide range of satisfying and drinkable handcrafted beers. 14

“We really believe in the craft side of craft brewing,” said co-founder Bjornstad. “Brewing is a science. But if you do it with creativity and passion, it’s an art too. The combination of science and art — that’s craftsmanship. We want our thumbprint on our beer. We do it all by hand.“ Brewing by hand means the group has to be especially vigilant about consistency. But they wouldn’t have it any other way. “I don’t mean that automated brewing is bad,” said Bjornstad. “But if I wanted to work at a computer, I’d work at a computer. So much of the time (brewing) is just all this stainless steel in a factory and a guy who sits at what looks like a NASA control board. We’ve really lost connection to the beer.” Drekker Brewing Company is different by design “We wanted to do the type of brewing where we turn every valve by hand, where we’re moving the beer between tanks,” said Bjornstad. “It’s hands-on, labor intensive. It’s hard work. And I think you can see that passion come through in the product.” 15

Beer is our craft, but Drekker is about much more than the content of the glass. It’s about what happens when a few of those glasses get raised together. We really think that when people connect around beer, some really cool things can happen. — Co-Founder Mark Bjornstad


Their fingerprints are all over their new downtown Fargo production brewery and taproom as well. Located in the Cityscapes Plaza building at 630 1st Avenue North, Drekker Brewing Company will open to the public in early October. The four owners worked alongside their contractors through the dog days of summer, re-finishing and painting walls and prepping the space for electrical and plumbing updates. They chose and designed furniture and artwork to create the casual, comfortably industrial atmosphere they wanted. They custom-designed their 10 barrel brewing system. And they integrated their taproom and production brewery, taking customers even closer to the product in their glass. “The bar kind of wraps around the cold room and then continues to wrap around the brewery, so you’ll see the brewhouse in the back, you’ll see the fermenters near the bar,” said Bjornstad. We really want people to see how their beer is made, see the people making it and talk about what they like in it. We want people to get as close to their beer as possible.” And there’s plenty of beer to try. Drekker Brewing Company offers a rotating selection of year-round and seasonal beers, some of which will only be available at the taproom. The company’s six year-round beers (a porter, Black IPA, American IPA, Irish Red, American Wheat and a Pale Ale) will be always available in the taproom. Drekker Brewing Company will also offer three to five seasonal or occasional beers, starting with a fall-friendly Oktoberfest brew when the weather cools and pumpkin ales and stouts for winter. Summer beers will experiment with various refreshing wheat beer combinations, including some inspired by desserts and cocktails. The brewery aims to offer a beer for everyone, not just craft beer enthusiasts. “We wanted a variety of beer,” explained Bjornstad. “They’re true to style, but people will be surprised at how drinkable and approachable they really are. Our beers are really mild bodied and full flavored.”

Brewery tours are also available and growlers are for sale so customers can bring their favorite beers home. Once the taproom is established, Drekker Brewing Company plans to continue its expansion into local restaurants and bars and schedule community events like tap takeovers and beer dinners. The men of Drekker Brewing Company want to bring people closer to their beer and closer to each other. This sense of connection infiltrates every aspect of their business and defines their vision of the good life. “You don’t want to drink beer alone and you certainly don’t want to brew beer alone either,” said Bjornstad. “We had a dream. And I think that, for us, The Good Life is getting up every morning and chasing that dream. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s going to be worth it.”

We really believe in the craft side of craft brewing. Brewing is a science. But if you do it with creativity and passion, it’s an art too. The combination of science and art — that’s craftsmanship.

” 17


Name: Dave Jacobs Occupation: Morning show host on Robbie and Dave in the Morning – FM 107.9 The Fox Favorite Halloween song: Thurl Ravenscroft’s “Grim, Grinning Ghosts BY: MEGHAN FEIR | PHOTOS: URBAN TOAD MEDIA

ince the mid-1990s, Dave Jacobs and his wife, Margie, have been freaking out their neighbors – on purpose. The couple built a permanent structure on their property in Leonard, N.D., that is specifically designed for their haunted Halloween set up. “I change it up every year. It keeps my creativity at a level that I like to have it,” Jacobs said. Living in upstate New York before moving to New Jersey as a college student, Jacobs experienced the strong tradition of New England’s fascination with the autumn holiday and all things spooky. “In one of the old houses we lived in when I was a kid, my brother fell through the wall in the basement, and there was a hidden room,” Jacobs said. “There was an old cot and a wooden wheelchair.” Behind the mystifying 200-year-old house was an antiquated cemetery surrounded by a stone wall, complete with sunken graves and bat head iron ornaments that rested atop handles of an equally ominous gate. “It was right out of a Stephen King movie,” Jacobs said. “We would play around it as kids, so I guess I grew up with a macabre sense of humor. Maybe that just stuck. I just love Halloween.” Jacobs hopes to scare and not scar his audience, which is why there are three levels to his set up. The first level is for the little ones where he leaves the lights on and plays nonthreatening Scooby Doo tunes. However, as you go deeper into the structure, the terrors multiply. “If you can get people to achieve suspension of disbelief, meaning, they’re not sure if it’s real or not, then as haunter, you’ve done your job.” The Jacobs own hundreds of costumes, outfitting each of their yearly volunteers in the creepiest of getups. Jacobs is also a handyman, building his own prosthetics and props in an effort to create a more affordable destination for families to enjoy the holiday together. 19

They charge nothing for the 20-minute walk-through, but ask that visitors bring a non-perishable food item to be donated. “Donate something other than canned corn and peas for the food bank, please. It wouldn’t kill you to throw in a can of Chef Boyardee,” Jacobs said with a laugh. “This is a great country, and there are kids going to bed hungry. There are more problems with hungry kids and the homeless in this area than we think.” For Jacobs, The Good Life is comprised of giving back and making a difference in others’ lives, whether that’s in the form of entertainment or donating. “If I can take from McCartney, all I need is a pint a day, to provide for my family and do what I can to make the world better than I found it,” Jacobs said. “There’s a big difference between a hand up and a handout. And trust in God. It seems too many people are afraid to say that out loud nowadays.” If you’d like to pay the Crypt at Jacobs Manor a visit around Halloween, it will be open from 7-11 p.m. Oct. 17, 18, 24, 25 and 31. You can also find them on Facebook by searching for “Crypt at Jacobs Manor.” Address: 307 Railroad Ave. Leonard, N.D.


The coating Jacobs uses when he wants something to look like stone or brick is appropriately called Monster Mud. Use it to cover foam or other substances to create brick or stone facades, tombstones or statues. What you’ll need: • 5 gallon bucket of joint compound • 1-2 gallons of paint (any color, but black will turn it into a nice grey) • 1 gallon of glue • 1 gallon of dry lock (to waterproof your structure) • Water

Directions/notes: Mix all the ingredients together. In order to easily paint or spray the mud on surfaces with a hopper, make sure your mud has the consistency of pancake batter. If you’re carving something out of foam, like cobblestone bricks, cover them with the Monster Mud. You can add an aged quality to the look by using a wire brush to distress some of the bricks. 21




hawn Aker first heard about men’s roller derby from a coworker who skated with the Fargo Moorhead Derby Girls. She said they were going to start a men’s league in Fargo, and since he used to skate a bit when growing up, he figured he’d give derby a shot. Now he’s been involved with the Fargo-Moorhead Men’s Roller Derby league since its inception in April 2010 as president. “It’s not new, but it’s making a comeback,” Aker said about the sport. “Not a lot of people play. It’s fun, and there’s a lot of endurance and conditioning involved. It’s very physical.”

History and Rules Recently the league has started offering “fresh meat” classes for people who haven’t really skated before or want to improve their skating skills. The class meets twice a week for two-hour sessions for three months, and participants learn the basics and how to move together as a team. Some people aren’t quite prepared for the physicality of the sport when they first sign up. It can take a while for your legs to be properly conditioned, and there are a lot of weird ways you can fall when skating around the track. Some guys have broken legs, 23

“It doesn’t matter what build you have, whether you’re tall, short, skinny, chunky,” Eric Harris said. “There’s a spot for everyone.”


dislocated kneecaps, broken fingers and more, but Aker said it’s no more dangerous than hockey, although in hockey, players have more, thick pads to cover their bodies. The Rock City Riot league has both home and travel teams. The travel team skates under the Rock City Riot name in the national Men’s Roller Derby Association, and the two home teams are the Hipcheck Murphys and the Quad Brawlers. The home teams compete in bouts against each other.

Two teams of five members skate counterclockwise on a track in each bout. One team member is the jammer, or scoring player, who wears a helmet with two stars on it and the other four are blockers. A bout is played in two periods of 30 minutes, and players score points during jams, which are plays that last up to two minutes. Jammers earn points for their team by skating around the track and lapping members of the opposing team. Blockers try to help their team’s jammer get ahead while deterring the other team’s jammer from advancing on the track.

It’s Not RollerJam Anymore Most movies that depict roller derby aren’t completely accurate in their portrayals of the actual sport. In the movie Whip It, for example, the roller derby members skate on a bank track, which curves up and down. Aker said most roller derby leagues opt for a flat track instead since more teams currently compete on that type of tracks. The movie also isn’t accurate when it comes to the physicality of the game. As opposed to using their 25

elbows and body checking a lot, Aker said you can only use your hips and shoulders. Many people think roller derby is still fake because of the popularity of RollerJam, a show that was on TV in the late 90s. Aker insists that was all scripted, but this sport in real life isn’t. There are rules, and you can definitely get hurt if you’re not being careful. “Some people are surprised it has rules, but we can’t just do whatever,” he said with a laugh. Chris York, secretary and co-captain, said a lot of people think derby players get to punch and elbow people like crazy, but he insists there are rules and strategy to the game. “It’s like organized chaos,” Harris added.

‘Everyone’s a teacher and a learner’ York got started in the league when it first formed in 2010. He didn’t know how to skate at all, but he thought it sounded like fun. “I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “But I’m still here!” He said the competition and camaraderie are what keep him skating and participating in the league. “It’s a hobby I found that took over,” he said. He even loved the sport so much, he coached in the girls’ league until retiring at the end of last season. Eric Harris, treasurer of the Fargo league and vice president of the national Men’s Roller Derby Association, said he enjoys the entrepreneurial spirit of the sport. He said all leagues figure everything out from scratch, and that helps bond them together. Bismarck started a men’s league about a year and a half after Fargo did, and York said the team feels almost like a big brother now.


He was also quick to bring up all the camaraderie found in this sport, even between competing teams. “Everyone came up together with a low skill level,” he said. “We were helping each other. Everyone’s a teacher and a learner. Even after what looks like a brutal match, people on both teams will be hugging each other and saying ‘good job on that block’ or something like that.” Harris’ derby name is Biff Quick because he thought he’d be a clumsy skater and he likes pancakes. Aker’s derby name is The Wretched, or W for short, because it’s from one of his favorite Nine Inch Nails songs. York just uses his regular name for bouts.

‘There’s a spot for everyone’ York said they’re always looking for new people to join the team or be volunteers or fans. “Don’t be scared!” Harris said. “We teach them everything. If you’ve skated in hockey, you’ll be fine. You just have to get used to it.” Aker said because of all the training and conditioning you do in the beginning, you lost about 15 pounds right away. “It doesn’t matter what build you have, whether you’re tall, short, skinny, chunky,” Harris said. “There’s a spot for everyone.” He said in addition to physical differences, the players comprise a wide variety of professions as well, ranging from food service, construction, IT and more. “Everyone always gets along, both in the community and worldwide,” York said.



FALL DATE IDEAS T he spring has always been associated with romance – the blossoming flowers supposedly mirroring the spate of budding new loves. But in my opinion, the holidays and the fall are the most romantic times of year. Maybe it’s because the fall is my favorite season, maybe it’s because I love donning sweaters again and all things pumpkin-spiced, but I think autumn’s one of the best times to plan an outing with your gal. The chill in the air is conducive to cuddling, the changing leaves provide an inspiring backdrop, and there’s just this ineffable, stirring feeling this time of year that lends itself to romance…far more than the humming of bees in my opinion! Whether you’re trying to win the heart of a new crush or are looking for something fun to do with your spouse, here are 10 great fall date ideas that will have you rustling up some romance along with the leaves.

FOOTBALL GAME Pageantry, excitement, and yes, even romance. Football games make great dates, particularly first dates. They give you the comfortable side-by-side

position offered on a movie date, but with the opportunity to stop and chat whenever you like. And with things constantly happening on the field, there’s always something to talk about if conversation lags. Kate’s and my first date was to an Oklahoma/ Tulsa football game. And we’re still together ten years later, so it worked out pretty well for me. Touchdown!

PUMPKIN CARVING The fun of carving pumpkins is something you never outgrow. Scooping out the pumpkin goo, getting creative with a knife, and experiencing the little thrill of seeing your pumpkin lit from within. Begin your date by taking your girl to a proper pumpkin patch, picking out your gourds together, and springing for both pumpkins. Then go back to your place to gut and carve up some jack-o-lanterns. After going all Norman Bates on your pumpkins, you and your date can roast the seeds and sit on the porch to admire your work.

HAUNTED ATTRACTION Doing something a little scary makes your brain release dopamine, and researchers have found that


this neurochemical can make you feel more attracted and attached to the person you’re with; first dates that include a pulse-pounding activity more often lead to second and third dates because of this. So if you’re looking to win the heart of your new gal pal, bring her to a haunted house or other spooky attraction. By the time the last zombie jumps out at you with his blade-less chainsaw, you’ ll be going steady for sure.



Cattle, carnival rides, midway games, sideshow attractions, hot tub displays, and deep-fried butter. Where else can you find this winning combination of things except the state fair? If you’re worried about making conversation, you’ll never want for things

to talk about — if you can’t have fun on a date at the fair, you might consider applying for the job of the aforementioned zombie. And now that you know how win your gal a giant stuffed bear and show off your he-man strength on the High Striker, you’ve got this date in the bag.

HALLOWEEN PARADE If you think parades are only for holidays like the Fourth of July, then you’re really missing out. Halloween parades — devoid as they are of ties to history, war, or death — are parades that can let it all hang out. People go just to be kooky and have fun. There’s music, dancing, costumes, and just a whole lot of people having a good time. If you want to get dressed up, but costume parties aren’t your thing, here’s your opportunity.

HAYRIDE Hayrides abound this time of year, but if you’re making a date out of it, be sure to pick a good one. They’re frequently found at pumpkin patches, but these are often tailored for the wee kiddies, and the ride doesn’t last very long or go very far. Look for hayrides that are offered by real ranches or farms, follow a nice, scenic route, (if it’s under the moonlight, all the better), and provide a little something extra like cider and hot chocolate, traditional horse-drawn (as opposed to motorized) propulsion, or a history tour along the way.

FOLIAGE DRIVE Watching the green leaves transform into beautiful displays of vibrant oranges, yellows, and reds is one of the best parts of autumn. But driving through your neighborhood or walking across campus just doesn’t give you a sweeping view of the unfolding majesty. So hop in your car, pack a couple of sandwiches for a picnic, and take a scenic drive through mountain passes where you and your date can get an aweinspiring look at the seasons’ changing of the guard.

This can be a stand-alone date, or something you make time for en route to another one of these suggested activities.

APPLE CIDER MILL If you’re lucky enough to have an apple cider mill where you live, take advantage of it for a casual afternoon date. You can watch how the cider is made, sip on samples, browse the kitschy products in the country store, and sit down to eat some delicious donuts. Fall-tastic.

GHOST HUNT It’s hard to imagine ghosts showing their pallid faces when it’s 102 in the middle of July (even humans go into hiding). But when the sun starts to set earlier and the

chilly air returns, the world seems considerably spookier. Which makes fall the prime time for ghost hunting. If she’s up for it, grab your lady friend and a couple of flashlights and go explore an abandoned building where specters have supposedly been spotted. If you’re looking for a more low-key (and definitely legal) option, many tours of reportedly haunted parts of town are offered this time of year.

WEENIE ROAST Let’s face it: there’s never a bad time for a weenie roast. But the fall is peak weenie roast season. It’s chilly but not freezing — the perfect time for cuddling by the campfire, munching on hot dogs and s’mores, and engaging in some good old fashioned fireside smooching. 29




VOLUNTEERS RISKING THEIR LIVES Put on your ‘thinking cap’ and try to imagine what a baker, a scuba instructor, fire fighters, and an ittybitty middle aged woman all have in common. What could bring them together once a month for a few hours of no nonsense training exercises that could one day save your life, or the life of someone you care about? Give up? They are all certified members of local river and lake water rescue teams.

WHO, WHY AND WHEN Founded in 1993, the original team members were Mike Knorr, a well-known diving expert in Moorhead as the one-time owner of Mick’s Scuba, and probably the only one with a natural knack for jumping into unknown, large bodies of water at the drop of a hat. Mike’s co-founding members were Charlie Van Raden, Marty Soeth, Joe Upton, and Pete Fendt. Today Mike Knorr and Pete Fendt are still with the VWR team providing guidance and the coordination for the once a month mandatory training sessions required for certification. A once a month mandatory training session is required for certification for each of the 26 member VWR team members. The why for each member is as varied as they are as a group, yet when asked individually one answer is always the same, “because it’s vitally needed and

not just any one can do this.” After having watched a training session with both the Moorhead Fire Department members, as well as the Valley Water Rescue team, I am here to assure anyone with any illusion about jumping into the Red River to “rescue” a person, cat, or dog — for heaven’s sake do not try it. The current alone would prevent many from even reaching a drowning victim, never mind hitting an area that could suck down an elephant. The best thing anyone without proper training and a dry suit should do if happening upon a Red River (or any other river) drowning victim is to call 911 immediately and hope the trained members of either Fargo or Moorhead’s Fire team or Valley Water Rescue team reach the scene as soon as possible. Staying on shore while watching where the person is drifting will be a major plus in aiding the water rescue team when they arrive, and is the safest and best way anyone could help.

THE UNDERSTATED VALUE OF CONTINUOUS TRAINING Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “that which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has improved.” There is no quote that fits the Valley Water Rescue team more appropriately than this one, as this group of on-call, 24/7, volunteer heroes practices 31

their skills once a month, each and every month of the year. It matters not how cold or how hot the last Monday of each month may be, if one wants to remain an active member on the team, he/she must attend at least 66 percent of all their training exercises. This requirement is a mandate in order to keep every member of their rescue team safe. The men, and three women, who belong to the Valley Water Rescue team don thermal underwear and dry suits, full face masks, air tanks, air hoses plus at least 30 pounds of extra leaded weights for balancing the buoyancy of their dry suits, and fins. They are also connected to communication pieces in order to let their team members know what they are finding. The time of year it may be has no bearing on when or if the team practices. It might be in 90 degrees or in frigid temperatures as low as 30 below. The VWR members do all this in the pursuit and belief that “practice makes perfect,” or at least will aid in their survival while they are rescuing or recovering someone who took a nasty spill into a very dark place.

DIVERS AND TENDERS My question “is everyone a diver” was answered with a definite “no.” There are members of the VWR who indeed do a lot of the


diving for rescue/recovery. However, none of them would be able to do so without their trusted partners: “Diver number 2,” and especially their “Tender,” an apt description for the team member who will make absolutely certain the diver preparing to enter the water is geared up and down with everything they need and that all instruments are a ten-four to go. Sherry Johnson from West Fargo, a tiny woman weighing in at about 90 pounds soaking wet from head to toe, has been a member of the Valley Water Rescue crew for 13 years and one of Valley Water Rescue’s longest serving Tenders. Johnson, easily three times smaller than most of the very athletic and robust men she serves with commands with an attitude no one dares to challenge. Sherry explains how she views what her job as Tender means, “they do it the right way or they don’t go in.” As we all gathered under the First Avenue North Bridge, a couple of divers were busy scoping out where to enter the water. It was decided not to try the dive here due to finding too much glass that might wind up

cutting one of the divers. The entire group, including Bud Meyers, VWR’s official Canine handler, arrived with his scent dogs, Barnaby and Laura, headed further down, under the Center Avenue Bridge. Before long, it looked as if a small band of frogmen were setting up an encampment on the Red’s river bank. Several minutes passed and as it is now past five o’clock, the heat index has peaked, with the humidity feeling about 75 percent. I felt an instant empathy for the three divers who already had their divers’ suits on, waiting for the green light to start putting their tanks and gear into place on their bodies. During this time, Johnson explained more about the critical importance of a Tender’s job. Essentially, Tenders are who make the difference whether or not a diver could lose their life or not. A Tender makes doubly certain the divers have everything they may need, above or under the water, by going through each and every aspect of what they have on them − their tanks, their hoses, their pony tank, their communication ear and voice pieces. The the Tender will attach a tether line with which a diver can communicate or let them know if they have a problem, or get into unforeseen trouble. While the


divers’ all have ear and mouthpieces to communicate, technology is not 100 percent fool proof, and the tether line is their back up in case the first method fails. The lightheartedness and bantering of the group takes a more serious tone as everyone gets into place. Anyone having anything to do with VWR’s rescue team must have an inflatable life jacket on. No life jacket, no passing through. I watched as one diver who has been checked out thoroughly by his Tender, and has his tether line


hooked up, is now sitting patiently on a bolder. It is above 85 degrees outside and I can only imagine how horribly uncomfortable this man wearing thermal underwear, a dry suit and about 65 pounds of gear must feel. This is the back-up diver for the two who are already in the water scouring around for the pieces of rebar they are challenged to find. There are always three divers prepared to hit the water at all times. In the event one diver runs into a tangled line, or any one of a hundred things that could

possibly mess up a diver, there will always be another on land to help pull him out. Imagine diving five or ten feet in the dark — yes, in the dark, because while it is light above the water, the Red River is filled with clay silt and is anything but transparent. Contrary to popular lore, the Red River really is not filthy or even polluted; it just has tons of clay in it. Duane Kashmark, a long-time member of the VWR team and current owner of Mick’s Scuba, described diving in the Red River to me, “diving in the Red

is like having blinders on. I’ve actually gone in, and after a few minutes, I have to remind myself if my eyes are really closed or not.” Often the team has to go into rivers and other bodies of water in the nighttime or wee early morning hours. They always have a light on their suits, but knowing what to do and how to handle nighttime dives is as tricky as it gets in these types of water retrievals. Diving the Red is similar. A diver has found a piece of the rebar! This practice session was a success.

FIRE DEPARTMENTS DO MORE THAN FIGHT FIRES Our local fire fighter should be acknowledged for what they do in water rescue as well. VWR works in conjunction with all local fire departments who are in control of rescue operations and will use VWR’s expertise when needed. I was invited to watch as Captain Dave Allen of Moorhead’s

Southside Fire Station led his Fire Fighters at the Oakgrove Bridge for their monthly training session the week before the VWR team had their practice session. The Moorhead guys were training how to read the current in order to know where their diver should enter the water and where best to place the bright orange fences they use in helping to rescue animals and people.

We in the FM area are indeed very fortunate to have so many dedicated people and teams in place should any one of us ever need a water rescue.


The Good Life Men's Magazine - September/October 2014  
The Good Life Men's Magazine - September/October 2014  

Men's Roller Derby, Beer Brewing, A Haunted House and more in Fargo Moorhead's premier men's magazine!