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Wining and Dining For Guys A Man’s Guide to Wine and Champagne By: JESSICA BALLOU | PHOTO: URBAN TOAD MEDIA


en are known to grab an ice-cold beer or two after a particularly long day at work or on a night out with the guys. But Joe Docimo, general manager at Mezzaluna in Fargo, encourages guys to reach for a classier beverage: wine. While most tend to lean toward sweeter wines like Moscato when first trying wine, Docimo encourages people to sample the dryer flavors that accompany red wines since they tend to pair better with meaty, savory, “manly” dishes. “It’s more popular now for guys,” he said. “It’s classy. It’s nice to just sit down with a bottle of wine.” Cabernet sauvignon is a bold and assertive red wine that features 2

aromas such as cedar, dark earth, green pepper and smokiness. Due to these manly scents, Docimo considers it a real “man’s wine.” This dry red wine can pair nicely with juicy steaks and other grilled items. Tempranillo is a grape from Spain that makes full-bodied red wines. Because of the deep, rustic aromas like tobacco, leather and spice, this wine pairs nicely with pizza, barbeques and other typical “guy” foods. Syrah, or shiraz, stems from a dark grape that makes dry red wine with powerful flavor. It features an aroma full of fresh cracked black pepper with a full-bodied, robust taste that pairs well with steaks, chops and other savory foods.

Another typically girly alcoholic beverage is slowly making an appearance as well: champagne. Docimo said men are typically appealed to champagne by the flavor and texture. “And women like it, which is a good reason for men to like it, too,” he said with a chuckle. Despite the fancy nature of the beverage, you don’t have to eat something fancy to accompany it. Docimo recommends potato chips, buttered popcorn or pretzel rods with hummus as a tasty snack with champagne. Despite the stereotype, wines with robust, big flavors and champagne have plenty to offer men looking to try something new.


Submit your photo with The Good Life Men’s Magazine to: 3

IN EVERY ISSUE 28 Local Hero Detective Chris Nichtern A Hero Behind the Badge

ON THE COVER 18 Music Man Steve Stine Living the Good Life



2 Wining and Dining for Guys A Man’s Guide to Wine and Champagne 6 The Garbage Man Can One Man’s Trash … Is This Guy’s Job


8 Hooves, Hope & Hard Work Let the Races Begin



CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Soo Asheim Jessica Ballou Cantrell Meghan Feir Paul Hankel Jessica Jasperson Jenessa McAllister


The Truth Behind Colonoscopies An Interview With North Dakota’s “Queens of Colonoscopy”

26 Manly Hats 34 Dads Are Heroes 35 You and Your Child’s Teacher

Saying Goodbye to Man’s 14

Best Friend Memorializing and Remembering a Pet’s Life

Boys and Their Trucks 16




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PUBLISHED BY | Urban Toad Media LLP | ADVERTISING SUBMISSIONS Urban Toad Media LLP | 118 Broadway North, Suite 412 | Fargo, ND 58102 | 701.388.4506 The Good Life magazine is distributed six times a year by Urban Toad Media LLP. Material may not be reproduced without permission. The Good Life 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.


The Garbage Man Can One Man’s Trash … Is This Guy’s Job

Sanitation specialist. Garbage man. Trash collector. Sanitation engineer. No matter what you call him, Paul Hirchert is here to help. 6



e and the others who work for West Fargo’s garbage department are out every day rain, shine, sleet or snow to serve the citizens and the city the best they can. The West Fargo Sanitation crew grew from eight guys in 2005 when Hirchert first started to 19 now. Comradery is an important part of the job, and they work as a well-oiled machine tasked with picking up garbage and providing great service every single day of the year. Each person runs on a route for two weeks and then changes routes with a different guy for the next two weeks, and so forth. Since there are six different routes a day, it takes a while to learn it all. Their days start by meeting around 7 o’clock a.m. to go over the previous day’s work and updates for the current day. The city’s six trucks are checked for oil changes, tire pressure and other safety measures before three leave on residential routes and three leave on commercial routes. After a lunch break at 11:30 a.m., the team meets to discuss any route adjustments or other updates. Then they go back out “and knock it out,” as Hirchert said, until about 3:30 p.m. The men run what Hirchert calls a 10-15: One person drives 10 miles an hour while the other hangs on the side of the truck grabbing garbage for 15 minutes, and then they switch. When winter weather reaches a frosty 20 degrees below zero, the men are decked out with good gloves and heavy outfits thanks to the city’s clothing allowance. But even with those few extra layers, “it’s dang cold,” Hirchert said with a chuckle. Due to the drop in temperature, the teams may change to a 10-10, allowing the person hanging from the back of the truck to be out for 10 minutes at a time rather than 15. The same principle applies in the summertime when the heat and humidity are rising. One of the many redeeming qualities of the job includes seeing what people choose to throw away. “It’s everything from some of the nicest furniture I’ve ever seen to diapers and everything,” he said. “Sometimes you’ve got loose dog doo doo, or people throw away a chainsaw. It’s basically anything and everything.” Despite being around big, foul messes every day, do they ever get used to the smell? “To a point you get used to it, but nah,” Hirchert said with a laugh. He likes to make it clear that the smelly, messy part of their job doesn’t spill into their personal lives. “Because we handle garbage by hand, we get dirty, and not necessarily because we like it,” he said. “What we look like on the street isn’t what we look like outside of work.” If the town keeps growing, will West Fargo follow suit of surrounding cities and move to a mechanical way of trash Sometimes you’ve got collecting instead? loose dog doo doo, or “I think West Fargo likes a small town atmosphere and it’s people throw away a a city on the grow, no doubt about it, but I think the system chainsaw. It’s basically will be like this for a while,” he said. And what does the good life mean to him? “A good life means anything and everything.” being able to go to work and being able to do the job and being — PAUL HIRCHERT healthy doing it,” he said. 7

Hooves, Hope & Hard Work By: Jessica Jasperson | PHOTOS: Urban toad media


Let the Races Begin


ifferent factors led to the closing of the North Dakota Horse Park, which first opened in 2003, but many are working hard towards a successful return. “The North Dakota Racing Commission, North Dakota State University, and the North Dakota Horse Park foundation found common ground,” NDHP officials said. “If you build it, they will come.” Throughout the 10 years of existence, the horse park has undergone improvements and additions including concessions, bleacher seats and the auxiliary Don Hart Memorial Barn. Since 2008, a permanent indoor tent serves as a wagering facility and a sit-down cafeteria.


The park holds events for thoroughbred and quarter horse racing, and is one of the two horse parks found in North Dakota. The NDHP is located at 5180 19th Ave. N., Fargo, ND. The NDSU Equine Complex is situated within the North Dakota Horse Park on 14 acres of land. Mike Schmitz, long-time volunteer for the NDHP, is hopeful and excited about the park’s future. “There are so many opportunities with the track and the location of Fargo,” Schmitz said. “This is too good to let fall by the wayside. After being dormant for two years, the park reopened in the summer of 2012 for two weekends and has been persevering ever since. “The crowds returned and the horsemen did as well, making for the most successful and contentious meet in the Dakotas,” Horse Park officials said. Next season, three or four weekends of horse racing is their goal. “It’s been a long road,” Schmitz said. “We were very successful last year and this year and we’re banking on having a lot of success next summer.” The NDHP welcomes all area horsemen to their six and a half furlong racing track and stabling for up to 450 horses. “Fargo’s proximity, in the southeast corner of the state, offers an “allpoints” opportunity to attract horsemen and equine athletes from a variety of sites,” Horse Park officials said. 10

During weekends the horse park holds events, Northwest Fargo is transformed into “Derby City” as popular jockeys, horse trainers and racing fans from across the tri-state area visit “the little track on the prairie.” Two popular events, both estimated at a $10,000 purse in 2013, include the North Dakota Derby and the North Dakota Futurity. “The five and a half furlong North Dakota Futurity is one of the most unpredictable and exciting events of the meet,” Horse Park officials said. Although, horse racing comes with the option of placing bets, monetary values are not the only prized possession of the NDHP. The park complex, jockeys, horse trainers, families, fans and the dedicated announcer, Bubby Haar, possess passion for the sport of horse racing. Haar has been calling races for almost 20 years, nine of those years calling in Fargo, and the NDHP keeps pulling him back. “It’s a real thrill. I like driving up here to Fargo,” Haar said according to Horse Park officials. “I like the people and the horses, and this is without a doubt the best stop on the annual circuit.”

Visit our facebook page to view more photos from the ND Horse Park at: 11


The Truth Behind Colonoscopies An Interview With North Dakota’s “Queens of Colonoscopy”


hen you first imagine a 6-foot tube (a colonoscope) going up your butt, it often warrants an immediate cringe. But, just as you discovered by your mother forcing you to eat vegetables as a child, sometimes you need to take some rather unappealing precautions for the sake of your health. By now, you may have seen the “Queens of Colonoscopy” ad that features the medical royalty of the Midwest commanding their subjects to get their colons checked regularly. Based out of Lisbon, N.D., at the Lisbon Family Medical Clinic, these professionals told us why it’s so vital to get colonoscopies, especially after age 50.

Cleaning is the worst: Preparing for your colonoscopy

Though drinking a mass quantity of diarrhea-inducing formula is less than pleasant, that is the worst part of the process, according to Meredith Kelsen, CNP. Kelsen said 12

the day prior to the procedure is the worst because “You have to have clear liquids the day before, and you have to do a colon cleanse.” By using an IV medication at the clinic, patients are able to sleep through the actual procedure, anesthesia blanketing their experience in a dreamless slumber, without even the faintest recollection of what was just inserted in their “behindular zone.” “After you’ve had the colonoscopy, you’re tired and drowsy because of the medication that was used, but afterwards very few will experience some nausea.”

Putting it off unnecessary

Another member of royalty, Stacey Spilovoy, MPAC, said she had one gentleman who had put off having a colonoscopy for several years, a no-no in the eyes of the crowned. “Finally, at the nagging of his wife and after seeing the commercial, he came in and had it done,” said Spilovoy. “He didn’t remember anything. There was

Queens of Colonoscopy Left to right: Katie Tanner PA-C Stacey Spilovoy-Walton PA-C Meredith Kelsen C-NP Barbara Scheets-Olson MD

no discomfort and he’s spreading the word, as well.” Katie Tanner, PAC, said the procedure typically takes 45 minutes, but it depends on how “cleaned out” and thorough you are with your preparation, so poop long and prosper, guys. “Some people are fairly straightforward. Others are not as well prepped and they need to do a little cleansing, but basically it’s just 45 minutes.”

With a little help from their wives: Women urge men to get checkups

“I’m here because my wife made me come,” a common phrase Dr. Barbara Sheets-Olson has heard declared more than a few times from her male patients. “Married men live longer and have healthier lives,” said Sheets-Olson. “A lot of times it is the woman who pushes them to come in, but even if they don’t have a woman pushing them, they just need to come in and have a checkup. The best thing is prevention and to catch it early and the colonoscopy is the best way to do that.” Before you deny the rights of your colon by skipping out on another exam, remember that “the Queens of Colonoscopy will be looking for you,” ready and waiting to make sure your colon is cancer-free. 13

Memorializing and Remembering a Pet’s Life

Teri-Lee James, DVM, MPH Two Rivers Veterinarian Hospital


By: Jenessa McAllister | PHOTOS: URBAN TOAD MEDIA

t can be one of the hardest things to deal with in life: the loss of a pet. Besides the loss or sickness of a loved one, pet death can be one of the most difficult experiences for a person to go through. There are obvious emotions tied to the event, and there are some even surprising emotions. After it happens, there are popular, respectful and even unique ways to memorialize and remember a pet’s life. Teri-Lee James, DVM, MPH is a veterinarian at Two Rivers Veterinary Hospital in West Fargo. Two Rivers is a small animal and exotic pet practice, which means that James sees a lot of dogs and cats. While she performs regular physical exams, she also administers the not-so-exciting euthanization processes. Because of her experience in the area of pet euthanization, James sees the emotions families and individuals go through during this tough time. “It’s hard, because a lot of people who don’t have pets don’t really understand,” James said. “If they’ve never had that connection to a pet; they just don’t get it. It can be a very profound loss for some people. It is very real grief.” James said that while pet owners most often deal with sadness as an emotion, another overlooked aspect is guilt. When a human gets sick, it’s no question that everything will be done to help to get that person better. However, in the case of pets, it’s often difficult for people to justify the cost. “If, say, a dog develops some kind of cancer, and we decide it would respond well to chemotherapy, 14


Companion Gardens Pet Cemetery 4108 3rd Avenue North - Fargo

Penelope and Richard

that can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000,” she said. “Sometimes people feel guilty because they simply cannot provide the type of treatment that’s needed.” Another form of guilt comes in the case when pet owners feel they are keeping a pet alive simply for their own enjoyment, not because it would lead to a better life for the pet. “There comes a time when you have to consider what’s best for the animal,” James said. “Would they be happier riding in the car to appointments, or instead spending time at home with family?” When a pet dies — either naturally or through an owner’s decision — there are many ways to memorialize and remember that pet’s life. At Two Rivers, James said they make a print of every pet’s paw for the owner to take home. These can be turned into wall hangings, and even tattoos. James also said that the most common way she sees people memorialize their pet is through

cremation. “We have a service that will come to pick up the pet and take it after euthanization, and return the ashes to us to give back to the owner,” she said. “Probably 90 percent or more of people choose that.” There are multiple places where pet owners can buy items in which they can store the ashes. One local company,, sells a solid maple box made specifically for pets’ ashes. With a removable divider — perfect for memorabilia — and a place for a photo on the outside, this makes a respectful, beautiful option for storing ashes.

having them put into bullets for hunting, and pressing them into vinyl records. These, among many other options, are available online. No matter if it’s a tattoo, a donation made in a pet’s name or a

The company also sells a memorial dog tag that can be engraved with your pet’s name; it works well on a necklace, car keys or anywhere you might want a reminder of your beloved pet.

Some of the more unique and even bizarre things people choose to have done with the ashes include turning it into gems for jewelry,

piece of jewelry, memorializing a pet is important. Pets are a huge part of one’s life, and they definitely leave an impact worth remembering. 15


Boys and Their Trucks Trucks garner mixed reactions from women If there’s one thing many men in this area love, it’s trucks. If there’s one thing many women in this area don’t care about, it’s trucks. I’m generalizing, but there are reasons for that. If this article offends you, take heart; I’m doing this for your benefit. I, Meghan Feir, am here to lead you through the jungle of various women’s thoughts.


How you think you’re perceived vs. what she actually thinks of you Romping down the street, burning fuel in your gas-guzzling monstrosity as you show off earsplitting pipes down Main will turn ladies’ heads, but for all the wrong reasons. The following are a few thoughts that may cross a woman’s mind when put in the situation of witnessing such an act (in order of no importance): 1 “Another one.” 2 “He’s probably wearing a muscle tee and a bandanna, too.” 3 “That is so incredibly attractive. Wow, what a beast. I want a ride in his sweet truck.” (The latter statement is said only in jest.)

Bonded for life: Love for trucks runs deep I tried digging deeper into this bond men have with trucks, specifically. As a young boy, the adventurous male turns to vehicles, and in turn, develops a need for speed. And, as competition among their sex heightens, the need for bigger and manlier possessions germinates, as well. Thus, the wild male delights in oversized trucks, with wheels the size of a small car and larger, more obnoxious pipes, used as a sort of unsuccessful mating call. I enjoy riding in trucks, but the behaviors that often accompany the driver are like a fork grating against a dinner plate (porcelain, not paper). Tricking your truck will only impress your equally truck-obsessed friends, not the majority of women. Yes, there are women out there who love trucks, but I’m stereotyping, so stay with me. With all of that being said, enjoy your truck, but be wary of the attitude that often accompanies truck ownership.




he morning I reached Steve Stine about setting up an interview time, he was about to serve his two daughters, Lanee and Immy, their lunch. Thinking back to that phone call, I realize Steve’s calm demeanor in the midst of making his daughters lunch plus his polite request to call me back – after his children were fed – impressed me. But beyond just impressing me, it blew apart my stereotype about metal music guitar playing rockers. Knowing only that Steve Stine is now a well-known and well respected rock ‘n roll guitarist from West Fargo with a considerable resume packed with names such as Steve Grimmett (a heavy metal British singer from the band Grimm Reaper) who Stine recorded an album with (GRIMMSTINE) and with whom he still collaborates. The GrimmStine album is still available today on two major labels. My stereotypical brain was trying to fuse together either of them taking the time to prepare a nutritious noon lunch for themselves, never mind two little girls. As I have learned since meeting Steve Stine in person and finding more about him, “typical” is not an adjective anyone would use to describe Steve Stine. My second impression was as confusing as my first. For a supposed maniacal rocker in his forty’s, Steve could pass the “look” test with his waist long hair and tattoo’s. However, the newer built townhome and chalk 18

colored driveway that Mr. Rogers Neighborhood would love just wasn’t where I figured a world traveling heavy metal guitarist would call “home.” Steve invited me in and as we settled in to discuss his music, career and life, I began to understand this was a man who has the “been there-done that” attitude that over time has morphed into a person who found early in his life that, “what I give I always get back to reap the joy and witness the benefits our gifts mean to others.”


Living the Life of Love and Rock ‘N Roll During the many school holidays and summer vacation hours Steve Stine spent at Schmitt Music he could have been their number one salesman. Anything and everything that made a melody that Steve could learn, practice with or play began at Schmitt Music. On Steve’s thirteenth birthday his parents gave him his first guitar and not just a guitar, but an electric guitar. Soon Steve started his own “mini music school” by offering guitar lessons, performing summer concerts, who also wanted a life playing rock ‘n roll music. Word got around pretty quickly and before long Steve Stine was a well-known name in a variety of music circles. Steve formed “garage bands” and followed every major musical trend and troupe playing all the 70’s and 80’s heavy metal tunes. While at West Fargo High his band teacher allowed him to use one of the school’s practice studios during his study halls. He admits he was a decent student who never gave anyone in reason not to say yes when it came to his music. After graduation from West Fargo High School, in 1988, Steve enrolled at Moorhead State University in Moorhead where he studied under Mike Coates and Bill Law, both noted musical professors. Shortly after college, Stine and two fellow musician friends formed “Dozer,” a rock band that lasted over ten years and played an 19


average of forty to fifty week-ends a year. Before long, Steve Stine’s music endeavors were no longer a hobby. With teaching, composing, practicing and performing - music was his life. And Steve says he was “okay with that. I loved the life. I was doing exactly what I felt I am meant to do and I was okay with that.” As the years rolled from one January to another, Steve met his soulmate. Her name is Jessica and during Stine’s active rock star guitar playing days performing with heavy hitter names such as Journey, Mötley Crüe, Dokken and multiple others as well as teaching private guitar lessons (at one time as many as 100 a week) Jessica and daughter Lanee stayed, even when Steve was gone on the weekends, which was far more often than not. The road gets old after many years of not being home for birthdays or special family events and as with many hard core performers, time eventually catches up. It doesn’t have to be a bolt of lightning or even a major “crisis” to awaken an individual’s sixth sense. In Stine’s case, it wasn’t either of those. Sometimes it is an overall awareness that there is simply “more” or the happy times could be even happier. In Stine’s mind, it was time to reassess his true passions and goals. As a younger man he knew his love for music would always be a major factor in whatever he did. He just needed to find a way to be able to make and share his music while spending less time on the road his family.



When he joined the Red River Valley Academy Montessori to teach music, he realized another passion that had fallen by the wayside: teaching music and experiencing the wonderment in his students eyes as they lit up as they learned new skills and progressed to a new level of musical understanding, just as he had with each new musical feat he mastered. Teaching anything to a novice or a bare-bones beginner is always challenging. But, teaching on-line guitar lessons for both teacher and student can be doubly rewarding. It not only allows the student to learn in the privacy of their own home but at their own comfort level by interacting or asking questions on a chat room link that is included if the student would like to interact with Steve during the lesson. The on-line lessons led to private in-home guitar lessons with students who varied in their lesson needs by how much education and motivation they have. But, always remembering the primary reason for trying any of it was to have fun. Steve Stine now teaches ONLINE MASTERCLASSES to groups of students at: LESSONFACE. COM and for others who would like some instructional education with DVD’s go to In 2007, Steve and Jessica decided to get married. Of course few people can actually boast they were married in a Scottish Castle, but Steve and Jessica can. Steve’s GrimmStine collaborator and great friend, Steve Grimmett was Stine’s best man and as any best man and friend would, he offered his home for their wedding reception.

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: Steve stine 21

The 2000’s Bring Big Changes Professionally and personally as well, 2010 was another big year for Steve as he joined North Dakota State University’s Music Education Department as a guitar instructor. Remembering how intense and exciting a time college can be made Stine an instant hit with his students. On a personal level, life began to make a lot more sense as he finally found a pocket of people, who like Steve and Jessica, felt a need to find a place to “belong” without pretending to be people they were not. They

Steve with Student angela hartje 22

Steve with Student tristan hartje

began joining Steve’s rock buddy Karl Kreutz (the “Dozer” years) at Prairie Heights Community Church. Steve explains he never saw himself as a “Sunday morning, put on a suit to go sing kind of person.” Stine feels deeply about life and love and how we should treat one another and has his own viewpoint on what happens after life. But sitting in a church pew next to someone who was more concerned about his hair length or what he was wearing just didn’t play the right chords for him. Prairie Heights Community Church isn’t anything like that. And when he has a question he isn’t afraid to ask it. Steve’s feeling is this is a church that meets his spiritual needs in “real

time” and while facing the hazards living in today’s world. It’s about figuring out who you are, where you belong and how to be the best you can be in the world we live in today. And the bonus with this church is Steve gets to play his guitar for a congregation he loves and who love him for who he is, off and on stage. In 2011 Steve joined ELEVATE ROCK SCHOOL whose students stole his heart with what they wanted to do. Students at Elevate have lessons once a week. The lessons alternate between a “Core Lesson” and a Rock Band session. Elevate students learn how to jam with other students just as a live rock band would. They will

also have the advantage Steve Stine and many others never had prior to experiencing it in “live, living color” in learning the art of performing live concerts as well as the pitfalls to sidestep along the way. Who else better to teach such a course than Steve Stine? 23



When I met Steve for our interview, he was already up against the clock as he had an “Anniversary lunch” planned with his wife, Jessica. I wondered when the man sleeps. Steve confided his days are “sometimes very tight time wise” and I can certainly see why. Steve loves the summer months as he gets to see and spend much more time with Jessica and the two girls he loves so much – Lanee who is twelve and Immy who is four. The schedule Steve keeps is a break-neck one that would wear out even the most robust “forty-something” person. And yet Stine has taken yet another job. The prestigious and world-renowned magazine “Guitar World” has recently hired Steve to write columns for them. The first one is out now and online at: So how does a kid from podunk West Fargo, North Dakota, growing up in a mobile home park with two brothers, two loving and encouraging parents make his way into the lime light of adoring music fans locally and world-wide, meet other famous guitar players, and manage to write his own manifest for happiness and success with not a lick of embarrassing conquests or an arrest record? Steve said it best: “believing in something more, something way bigger. God has always opened doors of opportunity for me.” Is Steve Stine living the good life? He thinks so and is a subscriber in remembering that having and living the good life requires nurturing the relationships you have with the people you care about. “I would never, ever do anything to embarrass or hurt my family.” Steve Stine, musical virtuoso, teacher, mentor, husband, father, rocker, and believer in the positive side of life. Are you living the good life? 25



The first and obviously the coolest hat on the planet. The Fedora. An old school La Cosa Nostra favorite - this lid is popular with the goombahs and can never go out of style. Wear it with your favorite t-shirt for that tough kid on the block look or pair it up with your favorite three piece and you’re sure to impress or intimidate those that dare hang out with such a cool fella. $99.95 •


By far the most comfortable hat on the list. A soft floppy cloth hat often with a button brim that was first associated with the working class. This lid is a great everyday casual hat. $55.00 • 26

Are you too old to pull off the young hip look? Are you old enough to sport the sophisticated ever so cool Sinatra lid? Either way gentleman, lose that baseball cap and try your luck with some of these covers.


You know who you are. And if you don’t you may not deserve to wear this manly hat. A hat with purpose and an attitude only a true cowboy can carry. You’ll know a real Stetson by the dirt and sweat caused from hard work and possibly a bar fight or two. Not a hat for you city boys and those of you that sport this hat have earned it and wear it with pride. $74.00 •


A traditional Mexican hat that may be seen on the wall of many mexican restaurants or college dorm rooms. Wear this festive hat if you are participating in a traditional Mexican celebration or if you’ve had too much to drink during spring break. You can find these at your local party supply store.

And I’m not talking funny shoes and a heavy black ball. The Bowler is a hat with history. Since 1849 this cool cover has protected the heads of many Londoners. Also known as a Derby Hat this hat is a great choice for those windy days and always a hit while placing your trifecta bet at the horse track. $218.00 •


Often confused with the knit beanie. This cold weather head warmer is a Canadian favorite and a must-have for any hockey player. After scoring a hat trick or crushing your opponent into the boards, throw this hat on and head for the pub for a cold beer eh. $18.95 • 27





ne of most well-known benefits about residing in the Fargo-Moorhead area is the low crime rate and the sense of safety that its residents enjoy. It’s even been said, “Fargo’s so safe that you can leave your car running while you run

into the store!” Most residents believe that this sense of safety is a key combination of several factors: the cold weather, “It keeps the riffraff out,” said one resident, and our dedicated force of law enforcement officers whom tirelessly patrol our streets. One such dedicated lawman is Detective Chris Nichtern of the Fargo Police Department. Not only is he a hero with a badge and nearly 17 years of experience in law enforcement, but in 2012 he was selected as the Fargo Police Department’s Employee of the Year.

Following his police training, Nichtern became a part-time Sheriff’s Deputy in Meeker County, Minnesota and got his first taste of what it was like to be working in law enforcement. When asked about his first duty post, Nichtern said, “It was my first real job in law enforcement. It was an exciting, but terrifying time! In the beginning you rode around with an officer for two or three weeks and then it was like ‘well here’s your gun and your car, good luck!’” During his time as a Deputy, Nichtern also worked as a police officer in Dassel, Minnesota, a small town within Meeker County. “There were days where I would, literally,

His Path to Becoming a Local Hero Nichtern grew up in Starbuck, Minnesota and graduated from Minnewaska High School in 1992. After high school, Nichtern attended Minnesota State University-Moorhead where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. Then, in the summer of 1996, he attended the Police Academy at Alexandria Tech where he completed the 10-week training course. 30

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: chris nichtern

get done with one shift, switch uniforms, and go to the other shift. It was a fun time.”

His Time With the Fargo Police Department In January of 1997, Nichtern joined the Fargo Police Department. He credits his time as a Sheriff’s Deputy in Meeker County for making it an easy transition. “I really valued my time there [Meeker County]. I gained a lot of experience.” Nichtern worked as a patrol officer before becoming a detective within the department. He has been a detective for close to nine years and investigates Domestic Violence cases, primarily. “We have two different teams. There’s a Property Team, which investigates things like property thefts, vandalism, vehicle break-ins and things like that. Anything really having to do with property being stolen or damaged.” Nichtern then described the Personal Team, of which his branch of investigations is a part of. “I’ve been working primarily Domestic Violence cases for about two years now. However, our unit, the Personal Team, investigates anything that has to do with a physical crime such as rape, an assault or murder. However, when something serious occurs, such as a murder, the whole department gets involved.” When asked about the transition from patrol officer to becoming a detective, Nichtern said, “Going from being a police officer to being a


The cases we work on aren’t solved in 44 minutes!” — DETECTIVE CHRIS NICHTERN

detective isn’t really a promotion in the sense that you don’t make more money and you don’t have a higher rank or anything like that. It is a promotion in the sense that it is a step up and there is, I think, a higher regard for the work that we do and the cases that we work on.” When asked how being a police detective in real life compares to the detectives we see portrayed on police dramas on television, Nichtern chuckled and said “The cases we work on aren’t solved in 44 minutes! It takes time and there’s lots of paperwork!”

His Award Currently Detective Nichtern deals mainly with Domestic Violence cases. It was for his work within this unit, which consists of just him, that he earned the 2012 Fargo Police Department Employee of the Year Award. Detective Nichtern was selected from a department of roughly 140 officers and was nominated by his Sergeant. 32

The award was a complete surprise, said Nichtern. In fact, he didn’t even know he was nominated. “It was a huge honor and a total surprise. I would not have expected it at all.” Although, perhaps it shouldn’t have been since, in 2011, he received the Chief’s Distinguished Service Medal, another award given to officers who go above and beyond the call of duty. Nichtern went on to explain that the Employee of the Year award is different from the other awards that are given out in the sense that it is not specific. “It’s different in the sense that it’s not a specific awards such as the Life-Saving Award, given to an officer whom, for example, saved a child that was choking. This award was more of a culmination of all the work I had done within the Domestic Violence unit within the last year or so.” The Fargo Police Department Employee of the Year award was the direct result of all of the hard work Nichtern had done and the successful relationships he

she was a dispatcher within the Fargo Police Department. She currently serves as a patrol officer. The Nichterns have two children: a son, 15, and a daughter, 10, and live in West Fargo. They also have three dogs, to which Nichtern said, “They’re family too!”

Hero Status In summation, Detective Nichtern is just one of the humble, hard-working and dedicated law enforcement professionals that work tirelessly to ensure that the Fargo-Moorhead area is, and remains, one of the safest places in the country. His passion and drive for the work that he does is evident and his humbleness about his accomplishments and awards is palpable. When asked what the good life meant to him, Nichtern, without hesitating, said, “Family, being happy with where you are in life and being healthy, happy and supported.” Spoken like a truly humble hero. While we all go about our daily lives, it’s the commitment from the officers and detectives, such as Detective Chris Nichtern, of the Fargo Police Department that ensures we can all live the good life.

had built while working with local agencies such as the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center and the Cass County State’s Attorney’s Office. Along with the award, Nichtern also received some good-hearted ribbing and rubbing it in from his fellow officers. This is evidenced by a picture that hangs near his desk and hilariously depicts his face photo shopped into a picture of Army General David Petraeus who’s in uniform and has a chest full of medals. Nichtern chuckled and said that, even today, a few of his fellow officers still give him a hard time. “It’s all good fun,” he said.

His Family When not dutifully serving as a detective, Nichtern spends time with his family. He met his wife Connie, while 33

dads are heroes By: CAREY CASEY |


eff runs camera for music and drama productions at his church. Last December, he was behind the camera for the kids’ Christmas production. His own daughter, Emily, was a member of the cast. As part of the program, slides came up on the screen showing photos of the kids and some interesting facts about them — their siblings, favorite color, and all that. As the program began, Emily’s bio came on the screen. Jeff scanned the information and smiled at his daughter’s photo and funny answers. Then he got to the last question: “Who is your hero?” Emily’s answer was, “My Dad.” Jeff told us he was stunned; he pretty much melted as tears came to his eyes. He had never thought of himself in those terms. He said: “That little one-line response — that I had no idea about — changed me inside.” Jeff is a great dad; he’s involved, devoted to his family, and takes his role seriously. He’s committed to passing on a legacy of faith to his kids. I suppose it’s just his nature not to think of himself as a hero. But he is a hero to his daughter.

And that’s a message most dads need to hear. You are a hero to your children. You might not want to admit it; you may not even realize it. But your children look up to you, dad; they depend on you. You probably aren’t a “Superman” kind of hero, where you swoop in to rescue them and then you zoom off to another emergency. You’re actually even better. You’re there for them every single day. And even if you can’t see them that much, you’re still there for them. You’re available and willing to serve. One of your great powers is in the words you speak. One morning I was waiting with my son Chance for his bus to come, and we were joking around. We were looking out the window, and we couldn’t see anything, but I told him, “Son, the bus is coming.” “No it’s not, Dad.” “Yeah, Son, it’s coming.” About that time, the bus did come around the corner and he had to scramble out to meet it. That night I was tucking him in. Chance said, “So, Dad, you don’t really know everything, right?” And I said, “Sure I do, Son, just like with the bus.” I really laid it on thick: “I can see through walls and I saw that bus three blocks away.” So he said, “Okay, then where’s Mom on the other side of the wall in your bedroom?” And I told him, “She’s not on in there, Son. She went down the hall.” 34

“No she didn’t.” So he yelled for her, and sure enough, she wasn’t in the bedroom. I had seen her go past the door, but Chance hadn’t noticed. “Dads just know,” I told him. For a minute, he just looked at me. Then he asked me about PHoto: URBAN TOAD MEDIA somebody across town, and I told him that, of course, my powers are limited to a five-mile radius. As I said, we were just joking around. He knows I don’t have psychic powers. But all kidding aside, dad, you and I do have super powers. Can we predict the future? Probably not. But we can definitely shape the future by suggesting things and planting ideas in our children’s minds that will actually come true. That’s the power of a father’s words. It’s sad — and it makes me a little angry — that we hear too many negative examples of this, where a dad says, “Son, I’m not sure you’re cut out for this.” Or, “You’re probably not gifted that way.” The dad may be speaking truth. But he’s also creating a self-fulfilling prophecy that just about guarantees failure in his own child. So the point is to use that power for good. Tell your kids they can reach their dreams. They can do whatever they set their minds to. Point out skills and gifts you notice in them, and then cast a vision of how that gift could turn into a life calling and help them make a difference in the world. Dad, embrace your superhero identity. Not to puff you up on the outside, but to change you on the inside. This is a role we need to fill with confidence and intentionality. Heroes protect; they persevere; they show selfless love; they are faithful to their convictions; they understand right from wrong and they act on it. Heroes are humble, but when they come to the rescue, they are bigger than life. Whatever your fathering role calls you to today, approach it with confidence. Stand tall in your role. Exercise superhuman patience with your children when they get difficult. Display incredible courage when you are called to stand up to culture. You really do have special powers, dad. Please make sure you use them to build up your child.

You and Your Child’s Teacher


By: Ken Canfield |

here are many things you can do to ease the transition into a new school year. If your kids are like mine, they already have the scoop on their new teachers. Mrs. So-and-so is strict; Mr. So-and-so is really hard; Mrs. So-and-so lets you get away with anything. One study found that, for 64% of the parents surveyed, the number one concern in their children’s education is the teacher. Not every teacher will be perfect for your child. And sometimes it’s easy for us parents to get caught up in our children’s negative or even hostile feelings toward their teachers. But as caring, involved fathers, we can do a lot to ease the tension and help our kids do their best with their teachers. I have six positive ideas to share with you. First, get to know the teacher. Establish a friendly relationship early, so your first meeting isn’t over a problem.

Second, keep your child’s teacher up-to-date on problems at home. She’ll be better prepared if she knows about the illness, divorce or death in the family. Third, be quick to give praise. If the teacher handled a certain project with certain creativity, and it really paid off with your child, send her a note to say “thanks.” One compliment will go a long way. Number four: deal with problems early. If your son or daughter is confused in some subject, notify the teacher and ask how you can help before it becomes a serious problem. Fifth, be realistic. Teachers today are under a tremendous amount of stress. Lower your expectations, and allow them to make a few mistakes. Finally, don’t jump to conclusions. Sometimes children come home and tell you only the most sensational incidents-which may have already been through two or three stages of gossip. Do your best to stay calm and work out the problem in a constructive manner. The new school year has just started. Let’s all do our best to start the year as the partner of your child’s teacher-not her adversary. That one teacher may turn out to be the best your child ever had.



Profile for The Good Life Men's Magazine

The Good Life Men's Magazine - September/October  

The areas premier men's magazine. Featuring local inspirational men. Contains articles ranging from regional heroes, to things men want and...

The Good Life Men's Magazine - September/October  

The areas premier men's magazine. Featuring local inspirational men. Contains articles ranging from regional heroes, to things men want and...


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