Page 1











K o o p S

L a r T n e C

d Side of te n u a H e th n o lk a W a Take







• 4 Oz Softened Cream Cheese

• 8 Jalapeno Peppers, halved & seeded

• 4 Oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese

• 6 Oz Corn Kernels

• 8 Slices of Bacon, halved

• Salt & Pepper to Taste

• • • •

2 Lbs Ground Beef 2 Chopped Cloves Garlic 8 Oz Tomato Sauce 2 Tbsp Chili Powder

• • • •

1 Tsp Ground Cumin 1 Tsp Oregano 1 Tsp Salt 1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

• 1/4 C Corn Flour • 15 Oz Can Kidney Beans, Drained • 15 Oz Can Pinto Beans, Drained



Preheat grill to medium-high heat; lightly oil grate. Blend cheeses, corn, salt and pepper in a bowl. Fill jalapenos with mixture. Wrap each with bacon, securing with toothpick. Make sure toothpick goes through bacon and pepper. Place face down on grill and cook until bacon is crisp. Flip popper and grill until bacon is crisp.

Brown beef and garlic in large pot. Drain fat. Add tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir well and cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hr, stirring occasionally. Mix flour with 1/2 cup water & add to chili. If chili becomes dry, add water as needed. Serve with shredded cheese, chopped onions, tortilla chips, sour cream, and lime wedges.

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22 VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 5 • SEPT/OCT 2016


32 04 FROM THE EDITOR 06 THE HUB What’s got everybody talking 12 CALENDAR Don't miss these events 14 PROFILE Darcee Munsterteiger follows her dreams of becoming a vet 16 RECIPE Pumpkin Spice: Trick or Treat?



20 PROFILE Brian Kamerud spooks up fun for nearly 30 years

28 ATTACKING IT HEAD-ON Lisa Reich opens up about her experience with breast cancer

22 SCENE A peek into Dacotah Prairie Museum’s Kids History Camp

30 SCENE First Ever Rural Summit Draws Metro-Size Crowd

24 GALLERY Artists Sherri Treeby and Lee Leuning share how they found success in the Midwest 26 A WALK TO REMEMBER Mothers of Angels turn heartache into healing


32 PROFILE Dr. Timothy Downs seeks change at Northern State University 34 THRILLING GRILLING Two Aberdeen guys take up competitive smoking

36 CELEBRATING FALL WITH THE PUMPKIN RANCH No fall is complete without plenty of pumpkins! 38 SOWING THE SEEDS OF KNOWLEDGE Roncalli introduces Aberdeen’s very first Ag program 40 A NEW ERA OF EDUCATION A look at how World Classrooms is redefining how we learn


ISSN 2378-3060 MANAGING EDITOR Becca Simon

PUBLISHER Troy McQuillen


Eliot Lucas


Abby McQuillen abby@mcquillencreative.com




McQuillen Creative Group 423 S. Main St., Suite 1 Aberdeen SD, 57401 (605) 226-3481


Western Printing


Aberdeen Magazine welcomes your input. Message us your story ideas, drop off historic photos, or stop in for a chat. Email us at: becca@aberdeenmag.com troy@mcquillencreative.com




42 LITTLE RED HONDA CIVIC No one forgets their first car 44 SUDS UP! Get clean and smell great with Pip’s Squeaky Clean Soaps 46 TAKE A WALK ON THE HAUNTED SIDE Ghosts, goblins, and ghouls, oh my! 48 IN THE BACK Where are we now?

ON THE COVER The Alonzo Ward Hotel is rumored to be one of the most haunted places in South Dakota. In this issue, we talk ghost rumors and sightings in our very own hometown. Read on, if you dare… Photo by Troy McQuillen

Any personal information, email addresses, or contact submitted to the editorial office or online via our Facebook page will not be sold or distributed. Aberdeen Magazine does wish to publish public comments and attitudes regarding Aberdeen, therefore written submissions and comments on our Facebook page implies permission to utilize said information in editorial content. Aberdeen Magazine is produced exclusively in Aberdeen, South Dakota. All content is copyright with all rights reserved. No content may be shared, copied, scanned, or posted online without permission. Please just ask us first. We’re pretty flexible.

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Fallin’ For Fall


’ve always believed that fall was the most magical time of year. The leaves adopt beautiful hues of red, orange, and yellow, and a new school year kicks into gear, bringing with it the promises of a fresh start. Halloween, in particular, is my favorite holiday, and the moment the Christmas trees are tucked away for the season, my Halloween countdown begins. You may tell me that this is, in fact, too early. After all, there are ten whole months between Christmas and Halloween, along with 13 major holidays. However, I will tell you that it is simply never too early for pumpkin flavored everything, and spooky, scary skeletons and ghosts adorning the front lawns of houses throughout town. From my first time trick-or-treating dressed as a dinosaur to the very first Haunted Forest I ever attended, I always felt that Halloween in Aberdeen was unique. It didn’t matter that I cried the first time I went; I told all my friends that it was the coolest thing I had ever done and that I wasn’t scared at all (I was). Even today, the Haunted Forest is one of the highlights of my Halloween experience, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t still scare me…just a little. In this issue, we’ll take the mask off of one of the faces behind this beloved tradition, Brian Kamerud. We’ll also show you how to get your pumpkin fix and more with The Pumpkin Ranch, a spot that’s sure to be fun for the whole family. And of course, what’s Halloween without some good ol’ fashioned ghost hunting? As summer comes to a close and classes resume, many changes are abound in the educational landscape of Aberdeen. We’ll give you a closer look at the brand new agriculture program in the Aberdeen Catholic School System, as well as give a hearty welcome to NSU’s new president, Dr. Timothy Downs. We’ll also delve into World Classrooms, an organization that’s redefining the way we think about modern education. As I type this in early August, I am already eager to dig out my collection of sweaters and begin planning my Halloween costume for this year. This fall, I hope you won’t forget the magic of what made this season so much fun as a kid. Whether it’s putting your pumpkin carving skills to the test, baking up delicious fall-themed confections, or simply going on a hayride, there are all kinds of little joys to be found in fall. However you spend your Halloween, we hope we can help you make it simply… eerie-sistable. //


Managing Editor

CONTRIBUTORS ERIN BALLARD Erin is a student, writer, and lover of classic rock n’ roll. She comes from Tampa, Florida originally, but has called Aberdeen home for the last three years. She studies Professional Writing and Rhetoric, along with Desktop Publishing, at Northern State University. Anything involving fashion, music, and home décor makes her happy, and someday she hopes to live sustainably on her own farm. MARK BOWER Mark is the owner of Aberdeen RV Parts store, a local business he started from the ground up in 2010. Prior to starting the store, Mark owned Aberdeen Home Repair doing repair work on homes and mobile homes. Visit him at his store in Aberdeen at 21 2nd Ave NW or visit his website PartsForMyRV.com. HARRISON BROWN Harrison is an illustrator and game artist that hails from Portland, Maine. When not hunched over with a pencil in hand, you can usually find him sinking his teeth into his other favorite pass-time: cheeseburgers.

PAT GALLAGHER Pat lives, works, writes, and drives in Aberdeen where he dreams of cars made after 2010.

ANNA JAHRAUS Anna is a homegrown Aberdeen-based artist and designer. She loves holidays, online shopping and making up reasons to celebrate. Her current catch phrase is, “Good one.”

JENNY ROTH Jenny is a farmer’s wife, stay-at-home mother of three daughters, and writer living in Roscoe, SD. Her essays appear in the parenting magazine Mamalode, www.mamalode.com.

Subscribe online at AberdeenMag.com or send a check for $25 to the address below to guarantee 6 issues of Aberdeen’s community lifestyle magazine shows up in your mailbox! ABERDEEN MAGAZINE






FACEBOOK PAGE? WE HAVE ONE! Keep up with all of our updates at www.facebook.com/ AberdeenMagazine

The first bond payment was presented to the city council on July 25. Pictured left to right are Jessica Falken, Alan Johnson, Shirley Arment, David Bunsness, Clint Rux, Mayor Mike Levsen, Troy McQuillen, Carl Perry, Mark Remily, Rob Ronayne Todd Campbell and Lavonne Miller. Photo by Dani Daugherty

Progress changes every day on the corner of Washington and Third Avenue. Steelwork for the new library is nearly complete. Walls will soon be installed and interior work will occur during the winter months. Photo by Troy McQuillen

Library Foundation Donates First Bond Payment ON JULY 25, members of the Alexander Mitchell Public Library Foundation and fundraising steering committee handed over a check to the city council for $600,000 to go towards the first bond payments for the new library. This was the Foundation’s first installment of a committed $2.1 million pledge to help pay for



the $8 million project. This check, along with $350,000 previously provided by the Foundation, totals $950,000 of contributions to the city to date. Fundraising is ongoing and all families, companies, and individuals are encouraged to consider donating to this great project. If you’ve not seen the progress on the new

library, take a drive over by the ARCC. You’ll be quite surprised. As the superstructure and walls near completion, plans are being made to select the furnishings and interior decor. Interior work will continue through the winter months.// 


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Tony Arampatzis stands at the site of the TM Fitness remodel. By the time of publication, the new areas should be reaching completion.

Bavarian dancing is a staple at Oktoberfest. This year’s event will feature new craft beers and the Hammerschlagen game.

Photos courtesy of Courtney Rott Jr. and Thomas Black

The Steins are Calling


GET READY TO RAISE YOUR STEINS and have a good time! Aberdeen’s third annual Oktoberfest is upon us, and will include music, dancing, food, and, of course, plenty of beer. The festival is part of a worldwide celebration of German heritage that millions of people take part in. Courtney Rott, founder and director, spends about six months planning and perfecting the local Oktoberfest each year. One of his favorite events of the celebration is the Bavarian dancers, who travel all the way to the original Oktoberfest in Munich each year to perform. “They’re authentic right down to the buttons on their jackets…You just don’t see anything like it within 300 miles of us,” he says. The usual contests for steinholding, best costumes, and

yodeling will take place, alongside the crowd-favorite dachshund races and a German dog breed parade. A Root Beer Garden will be set up in the children’s area, along with face painting, crafts, and inflatables. New this year will be the Hammerschlagen game, a game in which players hammer nails into a stump, as well as selections from the new local Dakota Territory Brewing Company at the craft beer tasting event. This year’s Oktoberfest will be held in the Aberdeen Civic Arena on Saturday, October 8, from 1 pm to 11 pm. Tickets are $5 for adults; children 10 years old and younger are free. A schedule of events will be posted on the Aberdeen Oktoberfest Facebook page by Thursday, October 6. // — ERIN BALLARD


IF YOU’RE LOOKING TO MIX-UP YOUR WORKOUT ROUTINE, TM Fitness may be the place for you. The gym is receiving a huge facelift this fall that will provide all sorts of new opportunities for its members. New additions include an aerobics room, a new weight room, an endless pool, a hot tub, and a whole lot of new equipment. To m a ke t h e s e c h a n g e s happen, the size of the gym will be doubled. They are adding a new floor on the right side of the building and significantly increasing the size of the weight room. The first floor of the remodel, while technically not a part of the gym, will be home to Audra's Day Spa & Salon. Owner Tony Arampatzis is excited for all the ways the remodel will benefit members. New equipment and more space means a wider variety of classes will be offered to accommodate more people. The endless pool,

which allows people to swim against the current for a workout, will also help people that are in rehab or have joint problems. “They have complete control over the current in the pool,” Tony explains. “It can accommodate you wherever your fitness level is at.” In the future, he also plans on adding water treadmills and water bikes. The remodel is expected to reach completion in September. Thankfully, current members of the gym have nothing to worry about: there will still be complete 24 hour access even as the remodel is taking place. // — BECCA SIMON

Photos by Troy McQuillen

TM Fitness Getting Pumped Up



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NESD Celtic Faire When: September 16 – 17 Where: Holum Expo Building Cost: $5 for adults, $2 for 13-17 year olds Free for children 12 and under Experience a taste of Celtic culture at this 9th Annual Event that features history, arts, sports, dance, music, food, animals, and more. Don’t forget your kilt!





21 28

Gypsy Days When: September 28 – October 1 Where: NSU Campus, Main Street Join in the celebration of maroon and gold as NSU celebrates its 101st annual Gypsy Days. The party lasts all week and features a variety of sporting events, capped off with the largest parade in South Dakota.



2 12

Oktoberfest When: October 8, 1:00 PM – 11:00 PM Where: Aberdeen Civic Arena Cost: $5 for adults, Free for children 10 and under Come on down and celebrate Aberdeen’s German/ Russian heritage with music, dance, food, contests, a dog parade, and of course, plenty of beer.

Pheasant Season Opener When: October 15 – January 3 12:00 p.m to sunset for the first 7 days of the season; 10 a.m. to sunset the rest of the season. Each year, hundreds of hunters from across the country flock to the Aberdeen area to take part in the hunt. Don’t miss it!

South Dakota Film Festival When: September 21 – 25, 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM Where: Capitol Theatre Cost: TBD Love movies? Come to South Dakota’s very own film festival to watch a variety of films from new, talented filmmakers and meet fellow film lovers. OCTOBER


Arch Allies When: October 6, 7:00 PM Where: Downtown Aberdeen Like Journey, REO Speedwagon, or Styx? Then you’ll love Arch Allies, a tribute band dedicated to bringing your favorite songs back to the stage.

Pumpkin Patch for Kids 10 & Under When: October 2, 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM Where: Centennial Village Cost: Free will donation What’s fall without picking out your own pumpkin to paint? Don’t miss this event that also features face painting, barrel train rides, and food!


Haunted Forest When: October 21 – 22 6:30 – 10:00 PM for evening performance 1:00 – 3:00 PM for matinee (Saturday only) Where: Storybook Land/Wylie Park This terrifying Halloween event will take you on a walk through Wylie Park and Storybook Land as you’ve never seen them before. Enter if you dare….

NSU Culturefest When: October 28, 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM Where: NSU Barnett Center Cost: $5 for adults, $3 for students in grades 1-12 Free for children 6 years and under Experience a variety of cultures from around the world without even leaving Aberdeen! Join students from across the globe in this celebration of food, dress, customs, and more.

Always Fresh Always Seasonal Always Local May Through October

3PM - 6PM





The Alexander Mitchell Public Library invites you to join

JEANNE MARIE LASKAS, journalist and author of Concussion.

Thursday, October 6th, at 7:00PM, at the Aberdeen Community Theatre Jeanne will talk about her NY Times bestselling book, Concussion. The basis for the Will Smith movie, this is the inspiring story of Bennet Omalu, the pathologist who made one of the most significant discoveries of the 21st Century and went up against the NFL. Laskas was the reporter who helped Dr Omalu get the word out about his findings. Free tickets will be available at the Public Library beginning September 6th. The NSU bookstore has copies available for purchase and will be selling books the night of the event.

For more information please contact the Public Library at 605-626-7097 or visit our website at www.aberdeen.sd.us/library


N O C C I M O C Public Library

Kids Comic Con

r favorite super Come dressed as you and spend the ter rac cha ic com hero/ guest Super ial ec sp h morning wit tion by local tra ons dem Heroes. Special cial story spe , fts teen illustrator, cra and more! ies nit rtu po op oto time, ph vember 19th Date: Saturday, No PM -12 Time: 9:00 AM :00 through 5th n rte rga de Kin es: Grad

Teen & Adult Comic Co n

Experience Comic Con at the Public Library! Photo ops with surprise guest Super Heroes. Sho w off your Cosplay during the parade and prizes will be awarded. Special makeup demonstration and tutorials . Guest illustrator. Comic themed craf ts. Comic book exhibit and discussion with local vendor Flashbax. Date: Saturday, November 19th Time: 1:00-4:00 PM Ages: 6th grade through adu lt

Refreshments served. No registration required!




Darcee Munsterteiger Tails of a Dream Come True BY BECCA SIMON hen we are little, we often have lofty dreams of what we want to be when we grow up – whether it’s an actor, an astronaut, or a professional athlete – but by the time most of us reach adulthood, few continue to chase these dreams. Darcee Munsterteiger, veterinarian and co-owner of Northern Plains Animal Health, is one of the few who never gave up on her childhood dream. Growing up on a beef farm in central rural Minnesota led to Darcee’s dream of becoming a large animal vet. “I was a tomboy, and I loved being outside,” she said. “It was right up my alley.” However, the path to becoming a vet was far from an easy one. Eight years of rigorous schooling coupled with the hefty cost caused Darcee to second guess herself and change her major a couple of times during undergraduate school. But she kept reminding herself to hold onto her dreams, and went back to pre-vet. When she applied for vet school, she was accepted on her first try. “It was a challenge, but obviously it was meant to be.” Darcee met her husband, Greg Adolf, at school. Since he is from Bismarck, North Dakota, the two settled on eastern South Dakota as their stomping ground in order to be closer to both of their families. After they both graduated, they were fortunate enough to work in the same clinic in Milbank for a while. She stayed there doing large animal vet work for both dairy and beef cattle until she was six months pregnant with her first child. “Then life made some changes for me,” she said. Darcee and Greg’s next goal was to be independent and own their own clinic. After doing lots of research, they came to the conclusion that Aberdeen offered the best of both worlds: it had a small-town feel, but with both small and large animal clientele. Now all of Darcee’s days are filled with a variety of appointments with all kinds of creatures, big and small. No day is exactly like another. One of the biggest challenges of Darcee’s job is trying to find the common ground between both of her clients. “In the small animal veterinary world, you have both a patient and a client,” she explained. “My patient is the four-legged animal that comes in, but I also have a two-legged client attached. Your level of communication and psychological help always differs with both of those.” The diversity between the animals and people is also what makes Darcee’s job so interesting. Whether it’s adults bringing in their pets for appointments or children taking tours of the building, she is constantly meeting new people and animals. However, the joys of the job do not come without sorrow. Without a doubt, Darcee says the hardest part of her job is dealing with the end of life experience. “Some of us start out thinking we can handle this job, but your compassion level just continues to grow.” She often forms a personal connection with the people and animals she works with, which makes it even harder. “I will say I’m probably one of the biggest softies in this clinic. Sometimes I go home at night and have “YOU KNOW IF to have a good cry about what happened during the day.” YOU’RE HELPING Although chasing your dreams may sometimes seem impossible, Darcee encourages other aspiring vets not to give up. She says the best way to THE ANIMAL, prepare is to spend time with a vet or at a local clinic to make sure the job YOU’RE HELPING is actually the right fit for you. In addition, she expressed the importance THE PERSON TOO.” of taking a business class. “Greg is electrical engineering, and I was in vet school all the way through,” Darcee explained. “We were two very educated people who wanted to be veterinarians, but knew nothing about running a business. Take advantage of your time as an undergrad and take some business classes.” Above all, Darcee believes in being honest and upfront with her clients. By providing quality service that is both compassionate and ethical, she is able to help out countless clients who continue to come back to the clinic, which is without a doubt her favorite part of the job. “You know if you’re helping the animal, you’re helping the person too.” //



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Pumpkin Spice: Trick or Treat? Is it just hype or should the spice be left to lattes and pies?

1½ Ginger (use pre-ground) 3 Cinnamon



very year around this time we start to see all sorts of food promotions featuring “pumpkin spice” flavoring. For whatever reason, this spice concoction evolved beyond the essential seasoning of pumpkin pie and ended up in lattes, drinks, pastries, snacks and dog food, just to name a few. What’s good? What’s not? We set out to find the most bizarre pumpkin spice-flavored recipes on the internet and curated a small sampling for you. We had to wonder: Is this recipe a trick? Or is it a memorable treat?

A Word About Pumpkin All these recipes include canned pumpkin. Check the ingredients when purchasing. Pumpkin should be the only thing listed (no sugars, no spices). If you want to cook and mash up your own pumpkin, go for it. We didn’t. //



¼ All Spice

PUMPKIN SPICE BLEND (parts after grinding, use any increments, like teaspoons)

¼ Cloves

Photos by Troy McQuillen

What is Pumpkin Spice? We found that few recipes actually call for “pumpkin spice” as an individual ingredient. You can buy it on the spice rack, or you can make it yourself, as we did. Essential to the blend are cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and allspice. Research showed specific percentages of each varied dramatically. So here’s our ideal pumpkin spice blend. (See our spice ratios on the right.) Aside from the ginger, we ground all our own spices ourselves. Once you try this, you’ll never buy the pre-ground stuff again. Why? Side-byside comparisons reveal virtually no aroma from pre-ground versus an aromatic symphony of the home-ground. Make a batch for the season and put it on everything. Let us know if you stumble upon an amazing recipe.

1 Nutmeg

PUMPKIN SPICED HOT CHOCOLATE This looked so good we had to try it. If you’re really into healthy eating, you may like it. We were tricked into thinking this was as decadent as dairy-based hot chocolate. Makes two small cups. 4 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder 1 tsp. cornstarch 3 tsp. Stevia or Truvia or 4 tbsp. sugar ½ tsp. vanilla extract 2 cups coconut milk, unsweetened from carton or whole milk 4 tbsp. pumpkin 1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice |Directions| Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a slow simmer. It will thicken a bit. Pour into mugs, top with whipped cream or marshmallows. Inspired from Peanutbutterandpeppers.com.

PUMPKIN SPICED CAIPIRINHA We had never heard of this drink before, but apparently it is the mojito of Brazil. In honor of the past Olympics, we decided to make a pumpkin version and spice it up a bit. Yes, you can find Cachaca (distilled spirit from Brazil), but use a rum of your choice if you don’t want to buy a big bottle of it. ½ lime, cut into 4 pieces
 4 ounces brown sugar simple syrup 3 ounces Cachaca
 rum 3 ounces pumpkin puree ¼ tsp. pumpkin spice Ice |Directions| Make your own brown sugar simple syrup. Dissolve half a cup of brown sugar in half a cup of water in a saucepan,

bring to a slow boil, let cool, then store in the refrigerator. Muddle the lime, simple syrup, pumpkin and spice in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add four ice cubes and let sit for 15 minutes. Add Cachaca and shake until thoroughly mixed and chilled. Strain into a glass filled with ice, and garnish with a lime wheel. We found that the longer we let it sit on ice, the better it tasted. If you like funky cocktails, this may be a treat for you. Inspired by Popsugar.com. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE


PUMPKIN AND BACON SPICED CUP CAKES 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tbsp. baking powder ½ tsp. baking soda 2 tsp. pumpkin spice 2 eggs 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar ¾ cup pumpkin ½ cup butter, melted, then cooled 1 tsp. vanilla 4 slices of cooked bacon, finely chopped FOR ICING: ½ package of cream cheese, at room temperature 1 ¾ cups sifted icing sugar ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature 3 tbsp. maple syrup 4 slices cooked bacon, finely chopped

If you make one recipe from this issue, it must be these unusual treats! Recipe adapted from chatelaine.com. |Directions| 1 Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly spray a 12-cup muffin tin with oil or line with cupcake liners. 2 Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and pumpkin spice in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs with brown sugar, pumpkin, butter and vanilla in a large bowl. Gradually whisk flour mixture into egg mixture until evenly mixed. Stir in the chopped bacon. Mixture will be thick. Spoon into liners. Bake in center of oven until a toothpick inserted into center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 min. 3 Beat cream cheese with icing sugar, butter and maple syrup until evenly mixed and smooth. Refrigerate icing until firm, about 30 min. Spread or pipe icing over cooled cupcakes. Garnish with bacon.

PUMPKIN SPICED CHIP DIP If Pringles can produce a Pumpkin Spice flavored chip, we can invent a dip. 1 cup sour cream 6 tbsp. pumpkin 2 tsp. pumpkin spice 1 tsp. salt |Directions| Mix everything together, refrigerate for at least half an hour, and dip your favorite chip. We intended this to be a trick recipe but when we combined it with kettle-style potato chips, we were blown away!



PUMPKIN SPICED ICE CREAM 1 cup whole milk ½ cup heavy cream 2 egg yolks ½ cup plus 1 tbsp. superfine or granulated sugar /3 cup canned pumpkin


½ tsp. pumpkin spice drop of vanilla extract dash of dark rum (optional) |Directions| 1 Pour the milk and cream into a large saucepan and heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to steam but not boil. 2 Whisk the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl until smooth. Add 1/3 cup of the sugar and whisk until pale and slightly fluffy. Gradually and slowly, pour the hot milk into the egg mixture while whisking continuously to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Return the mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat, stirring frequently, until the custard thinly coats the back of a wooden spoon. Do not let boil. 3 Pour back into the bowl and set aside for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooled to room temperature. 4 Put the pumpkin, pumpkin spice, vanilla extract, remaining sugar, and a dash of rum, into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Cool in refrigerator for an hour. Add to the cooled custard and whisk well. Pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. 5 When the churning is completed, transfer the ice cream into a freezerproof container with a lid. Freeze until it reaches the correct scooping texture (at least 2 hours). Dust each portion with a little ground cinnamon before serving. This was a wonderful treat! From epicurious.com.




Brian Kamerud rian Kamerud’s chiropractic office is littered with ghosts of Halloweens’ Costume catalogues and prop books fill the shelf next to his desk. B past. A box of different colored hair extensions and a fake blood bag appear as he digs through, alongside fake skulls and a few light-up pumpkins. Dr. Kamerud is a charter member and ex-President of the Optimist Club. It was his membership with the club that originally got him involved with the Haunted Forest almost 30 years ago. “In the beginning, we would just put on a mask and get behind a tree,” he says, reminiscing on how much has changed since back then. And a lot has. While the Haunted Forest still puts up at least 13 scenes each year, the sets that scared visitors ten years ago may not even be part of the acts today. The gory scenes of the late 80s and early 90s are a thing of the past – today, zombies, rats, gargoyles, and killer clowns reign supreme for the scariest sets. And when he says he’s been involved in the organization of the event every year, he really means it. Dr. Kamerud has worked as an actor in the Haunted Forest every Halloween since he joined the Optimist Club. “I’ve hung from a noose, been a chainsaw killer, dressed up as a killer clown, hid in a pit as a mole man… I have always worked at a scene,” he says. In order to cope with the fluctuating scare trends over the years, Dr. Kamerud and his fellow volunteers have had to be a little creative when coming up with set ideas. “One year we had people jumping out from trees, the next we had flying monkeys and everything was coming from up above,” he recalls. “The following year I came up with ‘Mole Man’, who popped out of dug-in pits in the ground.” Crowds have grown over the years, too. “We get a lot of repeat business,” says Dr. Kamerud. To better surprise the teenagers who come back each night, volunteers have gotten smart. “We can’t give the same performance two nights in a row.” Even if the acts themselves are the same from night to night, their locations change. The goal is to keep guests on their toes. Looking back on all of the memorable years he’s spent working on the event, Dr. Kamerud recalls one night very vividly. “It was the year we introduced the Killer Clowns. We literally scared the pants off a Northern athlete. He ran away with his shorts around his ankles,” Kamerud remembers, laughing. That patron wasn’t the only one so terrified he left the scene of the crime. “Each year we have 20 to 25 people who won’t continue after the first set,” says Kamerud. Those numbers might have something to do with another of Dr. Kamerud’s favorite memories of Haunted Forest. A highlight for him has been the competition between two brothers who work on a different set every year. “Each year they compete to see who can scare the most people. It’s pretty entertaining.” “IT’S JUST FUN. Dr. Kamerud and the Optimist Club do their best to bring in new THE KIDS LOVE material as often as possible to the Haunted Forest. All of the money IT, THE ADULTS they spend at conventions is raised from ticket sales. One year, Dr. Kamerud mentioned Aberdeen’s Haunted Forest turnout to some people LOVE IT” at the Chicago conference: “You wouldn’t believe how surprised he was that we get 4,000 to 5,000 people in a weekend – they have theirs open year round and don’t get those kinds of numbers!” Haunted Forest has become a huge attraction for the Aberdeen area. To keep up with such a large and growing audience, the Optimist Club is always looking for new members who will help set-up and work sets at Haunted Forest each year. As of right now, it takes about two weeks and 200 volunteers to get the event ready for the public. Even if you aren’t a fan of getting scared, Dr. Kamerud promises it’s a good time. “It’s just fun. The kids love it, the adults love it. You’ll love it so much you won’t want to go back.” For more information, visit the Optimist Club Facebook page. //



Photo by Harrison Brown



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A Glimpse into the Past THIS SUMMER, AREA YOUTH STEPPED BACK IN TIME and experienced life in Aberdeen during the 1880s thanks to the Dacotah Prairie Museum’s Kids History Camp. Campers spent the day at the Brown County Fairground Centennial Village exploring historic buildings and partaking in old-time chores and games. We stopped by to visit the history camp for the morning, and participants told us about their favorite activities, including popping popcorn and cooking over the campfire, attending ‘school’ in a country one-room school house, and of course making ice cream by hand the old-fashioned way. Museum Curator of Education Sherri Rawstern said this year marked the 20th anniversary of the camp taking place in Aberdeen. Sherri has led the camp since the very first year. Even though the camp is geared towards youth ages 7 to 13, they also keep older kids busy who volunteer to help out as camp counselors. Most of the current camp counselors attended history camp at one time and enjoyed it so much that they chose to stay involved and help current campers learn all they can. Centennial Village is the perfect spot for the history camp. The site is home to some original buildings from the 1880s and also to replicas made to look like the era, including an old jailhouse, fire station, barber shop and post office, to name a few. Volunteers from local businesses donate their time to help clean, fix and paint the structures so that kids and visitors can take a peek into Aberdeen’s history. // — JENNY ROTH  FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE KIDS HISTORY CAMP,

Photos by Troy McQuillen




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Artists Sherri Treeby and Lee Leuning share how they found success in the Midwest

A N Y A R T I S T, W H E T H E R THEY ARE FRESH OUT OF COLLEGE and struggling to make a name for themselves or have been in the trade for years, knows that making a living on your work is no easy task. Add in the fact that in South Dakota, the next art community is a two to six hour drive away, and it makes it even harder. What’s an artist in the rural Midwest to do if they want to avoid living in the hubbub of a big city, but still be successful? Local artists Sherri Treeby and Lee Leuning have found their own answer to this question. After starting from the bottom 28 years ago, the two have completed over 200 sculptures, and are currently in 14 sculpture walks across the country. Sherri and Lee began their partnership in a sculpture class at NSU. Oftentimes, Sherri would create things that were too large for her to manipulate, and Lee would help her put together pieces. Before long, they realized they were a great team. They sold everything they made, and



began taking commissions from individuals and various businesses such as Ducks Unlimited and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. From there, the projects they accepted became larger and larger. They were chosen to do eleven statues for the City of Presidents project in Downtown Rapid City, which are a series of life-size bronze statues of our nation’s past presidents along the city’s streets and sidewalks. Their work can also be found all over Sioux Falls: in the Sanford hospital, the Sanford Sports Complex, and more. In Aberdeen, some of their most popular pieces include Milli Atkins in front of NSU’s education building and the large golden eagle that can be seen upon entering the CHS auditorium. Currently, Sherri and Lee are working on a series of sculptures called the Trail of Governors in Pierre, as well as a large-scale project they are keeping tightly under wraps. Sherri and Lee say they were able to find such large-scale success by working hard and finding their niche. “Believe in yourself and don’t chase anyone else’s tail,” Sherri advises. “Find the thing you’re really good at, and don’t stop until you’re satisfied.” Taking the audience into account is also critical


Sherri and Lee work on one of their newest multimedia sculptures, “Muse-ic,” which represents the joys and struggles of the creative process.

for success. “We always ask ourselves, who is going to buy this? Who is our patron?” Taking inspiration from artists Norman Rockwell and John Rodgers, Sherri and Lee’s nostalgic Americana-inspired work appeals to a wide demographic. What makes them stand out even more is that the figures depicted in their sculptures seem to come to life. “We don’t like statues,” Sherri elaborates. “We try to tell a story with every piece of art we do.” To do this, they leave all sorts of visual cues to guide the viewer along and put the pieces together. Their newest piece, titled “Muse-ic”, depicts a young woman playing a violin. Her skirt will be made of musical instruments, and on top of her bow sits a bluebird, which symbolizes lightness and beauty. Somewhere else on the sculpture will be a blackbird that represents an omen. The piece is meant to depict the creative process and all the struggles that go along with it. If you’re hoping to make a living as an artist, Lee advises, it is absolutely imperative to never underprice yourself. “You’re going to get judged by the harshest critics in the world: your patrons,” he says. “The best critique of our artwork is a check.” //

Photos by Harrison Brown

Sculpting Success

LOCAL GALLERIES Wein Gallery Presentation College 1500 North Main Street 605-229-8350 Mon-Thurs 8 am-9 pm, Fri 8 am-5 pm, and Sun 1-9 pm President’s Gallery, Lincoln Gallery and Student Center Gallery Northern State University 1200 South Jay Street 605-626-7766 President’s Gallery: Mon-Fri 8 am-10 pm, Lincoln Gallery: Mon-Fri 8 am-5 pm, Student Center: Mon-Fri 7 am-11 pm and weekends 1-9 pm Lamont Gallery Dacotah Prairie Museum 21 South Main Street 605-626-7117 Tues-Fri 9 am-5 pm, Sat and Sun 1-4 pm Artworks Co-op Gallery Lakewood Mall 3315 6th Ave SE Suite #48 605-725-0913 Thurs-Sun 12-6 pm or by appointment Jane West Gallery Capitol Theatre 415 South Main Street 605-225-2228 Open during events, call ahead for additional hours of operation ARCC Gallery Aberdeen Recreation and Cultural Center 225 3rd Ave SE 605-626-7081 Mon-Thurs 9 am-8 pm, Fri 9 am-5 pm and Sat 10 am-12 pm Red Rooster Coffee House Gallery 202 South Main Street 605-225-6603 Mon-Thurs 7 am-9 pm, Fri 7 am-11 pm and Sat 8 am-11 pm

All of Sherri and Lee’s sculptures tell a story using visual cues. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE


A Walk to Remember Mothers Of Angels Turn Heartache Into Healing


Mother of Angels members Jackie Kessler, Taym Schafer, Marne Neiger, and Erin Henning gather in front of the Wylie Park pavilion, where their largest event, A Walk to Remember, is held each year.

MOTHERS OF ANGELS IS A LOCAL ORGANIZATION serving families in Aberdeen and all over the country who are suffering from miscarriage and infant loss. The group formed informally in 2012, when a handful of area women began meeting over coffee to form a support network and share their similar experiences. Group Coordinator Marne Neiger of Mina says the founders quickly realized that they wanted to honor the memories of their own children by helping other grieving families in the community. They decided to begin raising money in hopes of being able to provide Aberdeen hospitals with memory boxes, keepsakes filled with various items meant to bring comfort, that could be given out to patients in need. That was four years ago, and today the women in Mothers of Angels still manage to turn their heartache into healing by giving to others. Thanks to their volunteered time and fundraising efforts, they now supply memory boxes to hospitals not only in Aberdeen but also in Watertown, Madison, Mobridge, Milbank, and Pierre as well as Winona, Montevideo, Ortonville and Willmar, Minnesota. According to Marne, being able to provide small hospitals with memory boxes is a gift the organization is very proud to be able to give. “We like to sign up to donate to hospitals in small towns and give our memory boxes to help women and families where a care program might not already be in place for their situation.” In addition to working with hospitals, Mothers of Angels also mails out memory boxes by referral to any location in North America. Over the years, they have sent out about 180 boxes to families and hospitals. The organization also continues with their cause to help grieving mothers by connecting them to local professional photographers who provide free “Now I Lay me Down to Sleep” hospital photos, “Gowns for Angels” burial gowns by Darda Schneider in Britton, and “Angel Albums” scrapbooks by Rebecca Hanson in Madison. The group members meet as needed to assemble memory boxes, plan fundraisers and provide support to one another. On October 8th, Mothers of Angels will host its fourth annual A Walk to Remember event at Wylie Park. This free event is open to the public and anyone wishing to remember a loved one or support a loved one is welcome to attend. A Walk to Remember starts out at 12:30pm with a silent auction at the Wylie Park Pavilion where anywhere from 50-75 items will be up for bid. Games, bouncy houses, and a duck pond will also be set up for the kids from 12:30-2:00pm. At 2:30 the day concludes with a short walk around Wylie Lake and a remembrance ceremony to follow. Families can place their infants’ names on flags to be displayed and read aloud during this ceremony. In past years around 150 to 200 people have participated in A Walk to Remember and many local businesses sponsor the fundraiser. Proceeds from the event go to supplies needed for making and distributing memory boxes. Marne describes the fellowship and purpose of the walk by saying, “Some of the people come to the event every year and it is the only time we see each other. It is a way for everyone to come to together to heal, connect and remember.” //  FOR MORE INFORMATION ON MOTHERS OF ANGELS AND A WALK TO REMEMBER, YOU CAN CONTACT MARNE NEIGER AT 605-228-4441 OR EMAIL MLNEIGER@GMAIL.COM.



Photo by Harrison Brown




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Attacking it Lisa Reich Opens Up About Her Experience With Breast Cancer BY BECCA SIMON 28


hen Lisa Reich became suspicious of a lump on her breast in April of 2014, she didn’t hesitate to take action. She had just had her annual mammogram a few months prior, and the doctors told her there was nothing to worry about. But it still bugged her. So she did what her gut told her to do: get it removed as soon as possible. She called up her plastic surgeon, Dr. Sanjay Mukerji, and got the lumpectopy scheduled as soon as possible. The lump was embedded in her tissue and was bigger than Lisa had thought at first. On Tuesday of the following week, Lisa found out it was stage two to three cancer. From there, everything moved incredibly fast. Lisa immediately met with a surgical associate named Dr. Larson who scheduled the date for her mastectomies. Dr. Conklin also had her do genetic testing before the surgery (BRCA test). Only a month later, she had her first mastectomy done. Due to her job as a coach and account leader for Studer Group, which frequently requires her to fly across the country, she scheduled only one side at a time so she would be able to pull luggage with one arm. After only a few days off, she was back on the job fulltime, as though nothing had happened — but knowing that cancer was now a part of her life. “I suppose I am a bit abnormal,” Lisa laughed. Two months later, she had the second surgery done on the other side. At the time, she thought that side would be prophylactic, but it ended up having cancer in it as well. “I didn’t even hesitate. Doing the other side, my motivation was to be symmetrical,” she said. “I wanted to be perky in the nursing home, so that’s why I did it. And I’m glad I did.” Throughout the process, Lisa kept a positive attitude. She only paused to worry once — when her son asked her if she was going to be okay. “I just went, ‘Yeah…yeah! I think so,’ but for just a moment I thought, ‘maybe I won’t be…’ That was the first time I even thought about mortality or that it was a threat to me in any way, but after that I really didn’t think about it, I didn’t really have time to.” It was thanks to all the wonderful people in her life that Lisa was able to keep pressing forward fearlessly. Rather than stopping to complain, her family took action to help instead. “My husband is not a whiner,” she said. “He just does stuff.

He says, ‘Okay, what do we need to do?’ That’s really helpful. If I hadn’t gone back to work right away, I could have laid on the couch and thought myself into a tizzy. I just didn’t do that.” All of her family members and friends were also there to support her every step of the way, which she is very grateful for. Lisa was also pleased with the top-notch care she received at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital. “We are so fortunate to have great medical care in a small Midwestern town—we have great facilities but also very wonderful caregivers in the doctors and nurses that are here for us.” Because Lisa’s grandmother and aunt both had breast cancer, it was always in the back of her mind. Since it was her grandmother who had it and not her mother, it didn’t occur to her as something to be worried about. So when a friend told her that she should get a prophylactic mastectomy done, she just laughed at first. “I contacted her after I had it done and said, ‘You were right. I should have.” Since Lisa caught the cancer before she became

Although having doctors you trust makes all the difference in the world, Lisa makes it known that it is just as important to be a good patient. “Take notes, come with questions, and don’t stop until you have them answered,” she advises. With a background in nursing, Lisa is a statistically minded person, so her doctor (Dr. Conklin) provided her with a decision making tree that helped them decide what treatment was needed for the highest cure rate. “Talk to people and figure out where you fit in the statistical world.” When Lisa makes decisions, she always puts the doctor’s thoughts with her own. “I’d never buy a car without opening the hood. I don’t know anything about cars, but I’d still do a little research on it, and I’d still want to know.” She applied this same type of thinking when she found out she had cancer. Although she didn’t know much about it at first, she became her own teacher and educated herself. “You don’t have to be naïve, the answers are available, you just need to research—and ask,” she said. Since Lisa has been through it before, women struggling with the prospect of breast cancer often come to her for advice. She is always more than willing to share her story. Many women are apprehensive to take action due to body image issues, but Lisa is nothing but optimistic. “I think I turned out better than before,” she said with a laugh. “Sanjay does such a nice job that it’s not really a visual distraction.” As far as cancer goes, Lisa believes she had it easy. “When people say the word ‘cancer survivor’, I don’t really feel like I survived anything. When I look at someone who went through chemo radiation, I think, they are the survivors, not me.” Everyone knows someone who has cancer. If they don’t, they will, or they know someone else who loves someone that has it. The best way to fight cancer is simply to prevent it. It’s important to pay attention to the signs, however small they may be, instead of dismissing them. Lisa is living evidence that with a bit of intuition and a whole lot of fighting spirit, the battle against breast cancer can be won. “People have been down with colds longer than I was with breast cancer. I feel very fortunate. My hope is that we can continue to find cures and provide treatments for all types of cancer to create the best outcomes possible,” she said. //

Photo by Troy McQuillen

“I THINK I TURNED OUT BETTER THAN BEFORE.” symptomatic, she was lucky enough to avoid radiation or chemotherapy. Hormonal therapy, however, was recommended. After doing her research and weighing her options, Lisa opted not to take the drug. “Most people probably do just fine with it,” she explained. “But there’s a number of people who get symptomatic with it. I didn’t want to do anything if I didn’t have to.” If she could do it over, Lisa would have had both mastectomies at once and took more time off of work. But due to her busy schedule, it just hadn’t seemed possible at the time. The most important thing Lisa learned throughout the entire process was to pay attention to her body and to trust her gut. If she hadn’t, she may not have caught the cancer in time. “Doctors are very, very smart, and they do have a lot of evidence they base their decisions on,” she elaborated, “but it’s guidance. They will tell you your options and recommend what they have to due to the evidence. But it’s up to you. If your gut tells you something different, don’t hesitate to ask questions.”




First Ever Rural Summit Draws Metro-Size Crowd

Photos courtesy of Dakota Resources

ACCORDING TO HEIDI MARTILLA-LOSURE OF DAKOTAFIRE MEDIA, rural areas of South Dakota do not have the day-to-day networking opportunities that exist in larger cities. This is why the Frederick community leader enjoyed Dakota Resources’ inaugural RuralX summit that attempted to create a “city” of like-minded folk to convene and discuss rural issues affecting sustainability. Over 200 people attended from five states and Saskatchewan, representing such sectors as agri-business, economic development, public offices, foundations, Native Americans, healthcare and many more. Keynote speakers and presenters touched on issues about schools as centers of innovation, connecting youth to community, rural health care, start-ups, entrepreneur development, and leadership succession. The event was held at the Dakota Event Center in Aberdeen on July 19 and 20th. The heat did not deter attendees from partaking in a farm-to-table dinner prepared by the folks from The Brass Kettle under a massive white tent. Dakota Resources plans to host the event again next July, so watch for dates. You won’t want to miss the next one. // — TROY MCQUILLEN



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Dr. Timothy Downs Champion of Change BY ERIN BALLARD ewly appointed Northern State University President Dr. Downs never planned to be higher education. "It just evolved," he said. And evolve it did. In fact, it wasn’t until N inafter receiving his master’s in communication studies at West Virginia University and doctorate in organizational communication at the University at Oklahoma that he really got the urge to pursue the particular career path. Fast forward 28 years and Dr. Downs has an impressive repertoire of higher education under his belt; he’s taught over twenty different courses for bachelors, masters, and doctorate students, served as provost of Niagara University, was dean of both the College of Humanities, Business, and Education at Pennsylvania’s Gannon University and of graduate studies and research at Emporia State University in Kansas, and acted as assistant vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Los Angeles. Now, after all those moves, and as the 17th President of Northern State, Dr. Downs intends to finally plant his roots. Literally. “I’d like to stay here and plant a big tree in the yard, get settled, and work together to make this community and this university even better than it already is,” he says. “The reason for all those moves [before] was to get to this point in my career. To get here.” When Dr. Downs first looked into the position at Northern, it was the relationship between the university and the community that really sold him. “The balance between community and the school here in Aberdeen is one of the biggest advantages. One of my agendas is to maintain that or make it even better, if possible. There has to be this partnership for both of us to succeed,” he explains. Accordingly, another of Dr. Downs’ main priorities as President of Northern will impact the community of Aberdeen as well. He hopes to increase enrollment at the university, which will in turn bring commerce and growth to the surrounding area. “You’ll have more students in town buying food, buying clothes, going to the movies. It should help the community,” explains Dr. Downs. “If [a student is] staying here, and committing to Aberdeen, that means we have another young mind, with new ideas and new perspectives, to help advance the community. Every student that comes out of Northern is an asset.” In the attempt to attract more students to Northern, Dr. Downs hopes to add and improve programs that reflect what the community of Aberdeen needs most. Job security for graduates at Northern is vital to the growth of Aberdeen. Northern students will become a part of the fabric of the community that sustains itself for another 100-200 years, as Dr. Downs explains. This long term project that Dr. Downs has planned for Northern is similar to ones he’s had successes with in previous positions. The most rewarding part of his career has been watching the students who have gone through programs he helped build have success post-graduation. He hopes to see many more leave Northern and contribute their talents in Aberdeen’s society. “College is about learning to navigate life in “NORTHERN IS A GREAT a system and meet goals and objectives and build a sense of self-confidence and respect,” he says. “You learn a lot of cool stuff on the way, but it really OPPORTUNITY. IT’S A sets you up to have success in life.” GREAT COMMUNITY; And always, Dr. Downs will look to the community of Aberdeen for support. “Everyone I’ve met here realizes how critical Northern is to the success of IT’S SAFE, IT’S EASY TO Aberdeen. The town really supports the university. As the president, I can’t NAVIGATE. I DON’T SEE take that for granted… I have to respect the town. It’s a mutual respect.” ANY NEGATIVES.” For now, Dr. Downs just looks forward to settling in and making a home here: “Northern is a great opportunity. It’s a great community; it’s safe, it’s easy to navigate. I don’t see any negatives.” Along with years of experience and many plans for the future, Dr. Downs brings his wife, Mary, and their two rescue dogs, Bob and Harvey, to Aberdeen. When they’re not being active in the community, you might find the two watching sports, biking, or hitting up the movie theater on a lazy Sunday afternoon. //



SPOUSE: Mary PETS: Bob (lab mix) and Harvey (English Pointer/German Shorthair mix) FAVORITE BOOK: The Winds of War by Herman Wouk, or anything about politics, war, and culture FAVORITE FOOD: Italian (I was raised on it!) and Mexican FAVORITE MUSIC: Music of the 60s and 70s, like Jackson Browne FAVORITE GENRE OF ART: French renaissance painters, the impressionists

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HUB | UP CLOSE Mark Bower and David Kanizar pose with Queen Georgialee Quail and Jr. Queen Morgan Schwartz during the annual Snow Queen BBQ competition at Centennial Village.

and pulled home behind my pickup (my family said I had lost my mind!) Our very first KCBS competition was in June in Huron. At the time, this level of competition was way, WAY out of our league. We didn’t care. Have you ever been so excited about something that you didn’t sleep a week before the event? That was me before our very first “MY FAMILY KCBS competition. Finally, the day came to leave SAID I HAD for Huron with smoker in tow LOST MY behind my motorhome. At Redfield MIND.” my rear camera showed sparks flying. My heart sank. I pulled over to discover a blown tire with further damage to the springs and axle, all caused by a dry bearing. Now what? I unhooked the smoker and drove back to Aberdeen to get my flatbed trailer. Many thanks to my friend JB who dropped everything to help me load and get my smoker to Huron. We arrived in Huron without further incident. The atmosphere was electric. Smokers and cookers of every shape and size spread throughout the campground. Could heaven be much better than this? Just like on TV, meat turn-ins started at noon the next day. To cook pork shoulder and brisket low and slow, the cook-time can be 10+ hours, which means firing-up the smoker around midnight. Watching everyone tend their smokers throughout the night was the coolest sight. One competitor, after firing-up their smoker, said they have a ritual of smoking a pizza and invited David and I over for a slice. I told David, “We need a ritual like that!” In our first KCBS competition, we bombed. We took last place overall of 42 teams. But Huron also had some side-cooking competitions where we got some calls, so that kept us positive. The next KCBS competition was in Watertown in July. BY MARK BOWER There, our chicken and brisket received higher scores, which was encouraging. I can safely say it was those competitions that got At the end of July we competed in the Snow me hooked. Dave’s passion for BBQ started years Queen competition at Centennial Village in ago cooking in his backyard, and he blames me for Aberdeen. Cooking barbeque and hanging with dragging him into competitions. In the beginning, the Snow Queens – who wouldn’t love doing we used Dave’s small Wal-Mart smoker and picked that? The beauty of competing locally is that there up a few calls. Having some success then fueled a are always friends willing to help finish-off the burning desire to buy a bigger smoker and compete leftovers. Afterwards we had over 50 ‘friends’ at area KCBS sanctioned competitions (like the just waiting for samples. ones you see on TV). The tailgate competition at the BCF will be Most people who start a hobby start small. our next big cooking event. With more cash and They, like David, go to a big-box store, buy their prizes than ever before, it’s sure to be an event first smoker and play until they get the hang of that will attract more BBQ’ers like us. So as we smoking meat. But not me. I go big or go home. fire-up our smoker at the BCF and cook that My first smoker was a used 200-gallon offset ceremonious pizza, our passions will soon have reverse-flow smoker that I picked up in Iowa us looking for the next BBQ competition. //

Thrilling Grilling MY LATEST HOBBY IS ENTERING BBQ COMPETITIONS. Yep, BBQ competitions. And oh how I’ve developed a huge passion for them. I religiously watch all the BBQ Pitmaster shows on cable TV. I can’t explain why, but I’m infatuated with BBQ competitions, and it’s not just because it includes the use of my beloved motorhome. Hobbies are a lot more fun when you can share your passion with someone else. David Kanizar had the same passion, and soon we were working together, trying to get some calls (awards) in area BBQ competitions. My passion started over the last couple summers by entering backyard competitions held by the Snow Queen and Brown County Fair (BCF).



Photo by Troy McQuillen

Two Aberdeen Guys Take Up Competitive Smoking



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Fired Up for Snow Queen Fundraisers THE SECOND ANNUAL BLUES BREWS & BBQ was held at Centennial Village (see story at left) and included a lot of fun and entertainment for all ages. This relatively new event is a summer-time fundraiser for the South Dakota Snow Queen group. Along with bands, activities and vendors, the Snow Queen folks had their own food truck and served up some pretty tasty ribs. Greg Cramer provided his secret recipe and cooking skills for the Snow Queen booth. His talent won them first place in people’s choice for best ribs. Watch for Snow Queen activities to pick up in the fall months. // — TROY MCQUILLEN

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Celebrate Fall Pumpkin Ranch


h e re a re s o m a ny wo n d e r f u l sights and sounds unique only to this time of year: the crisp autumn breeze paired with the warmth of a bonfire, wagons full of fresh cut pumpkins, mugs filled with warm drinks held by gloved hands. This fall, Randy and Steph Mages invite everyone to enjoy these experiences and more at The Pumpkin Ranch, located at their farm just North of Aberdeen on Richmond Road. The ranch is open to the public and admission



is free. Guests are welcome to browse the approximately 3000 hills of pumpkin plants and choose their own to purchase. In addition to pumpkin picking, visitors can enjoy a hayride, relax and roast marshmallows over the fire, feed the horses, and sip hot chocolate and apple cider. Randy and Steph planted about 15 different varieties of pumpkins as well as an assortment of gourds and squash on nearly four acres this spring in preparation for the pumpkin picking season. Pumpkins of all sizes will be available, along with some distinctive types, including pink pumpkins whose proceeds support cancer research and ‘naked pumpkins’ with soft-shell


seeds easy for roasting. This will be the third year the couple has hosted The Pumpkin Ranch. They have looked forward to sharing their farm with the community each year. “We have families that come back every single weekend. We are open just to spend time out here and enjoy the farm,” Steph explained. “A lot of families come out for hours and just visit or set up photo shoots and do family pictures.” Randy grew up on a farm that planted pumpkins, and decided to implement the pumpkin picking idea because it was a family activity not yet available in Aberdeen and because it is a hobby they both enjoy doing.

Photos courtesy of Randy and Steph Mages. Photo left by Harrison Brown

with the

The Pumpkin Ranch, located at 38502 129th Street, will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00-5:00 PM the last weekend in September and the first three weekends in October. There will be a few special events taking place this year, including a visit from Spirit, the mascot dog from Presentation College, on October 8th, and a late night pumpkin pick by flashlight and bonfire on one of the Saturday evenings. Birthday parties and group tours are also welcome! // ď š FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO SCHEDULE A TOUR, CONTACT RANDY AND STEPH AT 605-290-5479 OR SEARCH THE PUMPKIN RANCH ABERDEEN ON FACEBOOK.

The Pumpkin Ranch offers fall fun for everyone, including pumpkins of all sizes ripe for the picking, hayrides, horse feeding, and more. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE



Sowing the Seeds of Knowledge Roncalli Introduces Aberdeen’s Very First Ag Program FOR DECADES, BROWN COUNTY HAS BEEN HOME to more corn stalks than people, and has even been referred to as the number one Ag county in South Dakota. Despite this, no area schools have stepped up to provide students with the agricultural skills needed to navigate the fields. Until now, that is. Starting this fall, the Aberdeen Catholic School System will sow the seeds leading to a fresh crop of bright minds with the introduction of the very first Ag program in the community. The idea for an Ag program stems from the mind of Ed Mitzel, principal of Roncalli junior and senior high. During his time in Bon Homme, which had a lot of strong agriculture programs, he saw the benefits and opportunities students could gain from both the classes offered and the inclusion of an FFA chapter. When Ed started contemplating the idea around a year ago, he asked students in the hallway to see if there was any interest in an Ag program. Later, a meeting was held, and a considerable turnout showed up to express their enthusiasm. “There’s been a very positive reaction to the implementation of this program, and we’ve received a lot of support,” Ed said. For eighth grade students, an Intro to Ag class will be required to provide a basis for the various fields the Ag classes will cover. For high schoolers, all Ag classes will be electives. Currently, there are five or six classes scheduled, including Ag Engineering, Ag Foods, Natural Resources, Biotechnology, and Ag Animal Science. Mr. Bradley Cihak, who was formerly teaching



Principal Ed Mitzel, left, and instructor Bradley Cihak, right, are Ag in Gettysburg, will teach all of these classes spearheading the effort to integrate an Ag program into the Aberdeen in addition to supervising Roncalli’s new FFA Catholic School System. chapter. According to Mr. Cihak, the classes will be mostly science based. “Students will use applied Along with the various opportunities the science and math to balance feed rations, figure program will provide for students, Mr. Cihak out how much pesticide or herbicide to put is hopeful that the implementation of an Ag on crops to keep them safe and healthy, and program will lead to a deeper appreciation and understanding of agriculture as more,” he explained. “There’s also a whole. “I want them to truly computer work involved. It’s a “THERE’S BEEN A see what it all encompasses. It’s a very broad field.” VERY POSITIVE Ed has nothing but high hopes lot more than just the farmer out planting in the field. It’s also the for the future of this program. The REACTION… program will be CDE certified, WE’VE RECEIVED A processing, getting the food to the grocery store, all the technology which means students can use LOT OF SUPPORT.” and science that goes into it, as the experience they gain at FFA events for college applications well as designing a program to and scholarships. “I saw wonderful things with make sure you’re utilizing crops and everything it in the last school district I was at. It provides efficiently. I want them to understand where wonderful opportunities for the students to take their food is coming from and take something new classes that will potentially lead to a career.” from it.” //

Photo by Anna Jahraus


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World Classrooms is bringing the Midwest into a new era of education BY ERIN BALLARD


Photos courtesy of Megan Holm

A New

hen friends Al Ward and Brett Newton decided to go into business together, they weren’t sure at first which direction to go. They did, however, know that it had to have significance. “We wanted to build something that would really impact the community in a positive way, and at the same time something that we were really passionate about,” says Al. After much prayer, and a few frustrations along the way, they arrived at the idea of educational travel and created World Classrooms. This would combine Al’s 30 plus years of travel with Brett’s background in education in order to create something truly unique and special. In fact, there are no other businesses in the Midwest that offer what World Classrooms does. Their vision, as listed on the company website, is to give students the platform to explore history, science, music, and art in an environment outside of the classroom. World Classrooms specializes primarily in student trips to Washington, D.C. and New York City, though they have lead trips to Chicago, Boston, and some international locations. One of the central ideas that helped develop World Classrooms is the idea that no one should be reduced to their GPA or a test score. “Every student is unique and has something special to give. We’re pretty passionate about the positive impact we can have on kids’ lives, both on and after the trip,” explains Brett.

Students visit iconic locations across the country in places such as Washington D.C., and New York City on their quest to learn more and have fun while doing so.

That’s why the trips World Classrooms puts together are such a mix of fun and education. “Those moments that we can give the kids a break are huge because they’ll be engaged right after that,” says Brett. These breaks consist of anything from dancing and listening to music on buses, to visiting famous bowling alleys and cupcake shops in the area. “We have rules... but we make the rules fun to follow,” explains Al. On World Classrooms trips, students are taught how to be world travelers, which includes always saying please and thank you, picking up after themselves, sticking to the “Never-Alone” rule, and leaving hotel rooms tidy. “These teens are great people and they prove it every day; we seldom have any problems.” A study listed on World Classrooms’ website shows that the youth who embark on these journeys are actually better students when they return home. Fifty-seven percent are more likely to get a college degree or receive secondary education, and fifty-nine percent

have said it helped them achieve better grades. The experiences they have on these trips teach students to be creative, use their insight, have fun, make huge strides in personal growth, and change into whoever they want to become. For even the most cautious of people, World Classrooms has you covered. “The thing that stands out about us, what’s really unique, is that we’re there from the start, answering questions, meeting with parents, being available at any time,” says Brett. “We’re intricately involved in the entire process at the school, in order to give the teachers and parents peace of mind about travel.” Safety is, in fact, their top priority. Many features are put in place to guarantee that students are safe and accounted for at all times on their journey. These include round-theclock-tour directors, adult chaperones, health and medical coverage, 24-7 emergency support, and night security. “Everything with us is turnkey,” explains Brett. Everything is included in


the trip price: all transportation costs, admission fees, meals, lodging accommodations, and guided tours. World Classrooms has worked with about 60 schools across five states, including ones in Aberdeen, Warner, Miller, Webster, Watertown, and Mitchell. “The principals and teachers in the schools that we get to partner with every day are the cream of the crop individuals,” says Al. “They are selfless educators who are paying a price to stay in South Dakota and mold our state's future.” What’s most important to the team is that this opportunity is available to all students, regardless of their parent’s socio-economic status. That’s why they start planning trips 15-20 months in advance. To make these trips accessible, World Classrooms offers several different payment plans for their program. And while they have planned many trips over the course of their three years in business, Al can honestly say that every single one has been memorable, because each trip is full of its own unique and unexpected surprises— from walking in on a presidential caravan to watching street performers play multicultural music. Some of Al’s favorite moments have come from the students. “When you get on the plane with students who have never been on an airplane…and just see the look on their faces as we lift off, or the time they go, ‘Oh my gosh, there’s the U.S. Capital. I see it, I see it!’” It’s reactions like this that keep Al, Brett, and the entire team at World Classrooms working so hard to pursue the values that they believe so firmly in. There are over a thousand students signed up for these trips next summer alone. And this is all from the hard work of 12 extremely dedicated and passionate employees. “This is a big deal. We feel like travel is a huge part of [students’] education and it isn’t going away,” says Brett. //  WORLD CLASSROOMS OFFICES ARE LOCATED AT THE ABERDEEN DEVELOPMENT CENTER'S SMART CENTER IN THE INDUSTRIAL PARK. FOR MORE INFORMATION YOU CAN REACH THEM BY PHONE AT (800) 275-3980.



A B E R D E E N | Y E S T E R D AY S


EVERY YEAR I GO TO SIZZLIN’ SUMMER NIGHTS, and I’m disappointed. Not by the cars there, but the ones that aren’t. My cars. I don’t expect the actual cars I drove to be there, but the models don’t even make the grade. There’s a good reason: my cars are dull. In my version of the American love affair with cars, I’m a function-over-form guy. Fuel efficiency and cargo space don’t rank highly for collectors. Not that I don’t fantasize sometimes about a Corvette or Ferrari—those curves and the power—but I always return to one with sensible tires. I count around 20 cars in my life. The one with the best chance of showing up on Main Street is probably the first one I ever drove: a 1955 Ford Customline (its overinflated look always makes me think of bald Fred Mertz in I Love Lucy—did I say dull?). I use “drove” loosely. I was two years old, living in Redfield. My parents had just returned from somewhere so I gallantly decided to drive the babysitter home. Unbeknownst to me, someone else did. Alone, I was standing in the driver’s seat one moment, and the next, having probably kicked the parking brake, I was a block away from home, up a curb, about 20 feet short of Highway 281, and hiding from the adults coming out of the house in front of me. Dad made me apologize to Mom for scaring her by disappearing. She was six months pregnant, which probably explains something about my little sister. Often hand-me-downs, my cars were basically interchangeable—simply the way I got from place to place. Functional. As a teenager, I inherited my brother’s 1972 Ford Maverick, the other car I think could show up on Main Street. It was the first car in which I made an uncountable and unrequited number of trips past a particular girl’s house. Then it had too many miles, so we traded. But eventually, cars took me through life. A Chevy Vega got me to college—800 miles, always filled to the brim with people and stuff, usually



driving all through the night. So did my father’s Oldsmobile 98, in which my brothers said I could take the whole junior class out for beer. I used a Chevy Citation for a senior year trip out East, where we almost got in a fight with singer Rick James. After college, that car moved me to the East Coast and took me on first dates with my wife. The red Honda Civic, the first new car I ever bought, took my wife and me to the hospital to have our children and also took our young family to one of their funerals. A Ford Taurus brought us back to South Dakota. My son drowned a Mercury Sable on Dakota Street in May 2007 (and, having thoroughly baptized it, resurrected it the next day). Another son, driving his little sister, nearly slid across 6th Avenue in a Dodge Dakota with suspect brakes. And the vans. Not the custom conversion

vans that were the dream of my concupiscent teens, but the family mini-vans—a Pontiac Trans Sport and Toyota Sienna—that I have driven for nearly half of my 40-some driving career. Like many guys, I never thought I’d drive one, but I became impressed with—or grateful for— their functionality and the simple ability to fit my whole family comfortably (well, relatively; we never stopped filling cars to the brim). Even if some slept, watched movies, played video games, or fought, we were together in one space, a valuable feature for a family growing up, getting cars, going to college, moving on. Despite their curves, Corvettes aren’t made for that. In the end, chagrined that my cars didn’t make the cut, I am a little envious of people who fill Main Street with memorable cars, but I’m satisfied with cars filled with good memories. //

Photo by Troy McQuillen




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re you a fan of staying clean, smelling good, and keeping your skin healthy? Thankfully, you don’t have to look any farther than Pip’s Squeaky Clean Soaps, a local handmade soap shop owned and operated by Sarah Simmons. Contrary to the name, Sarah offers more than just soap. She carries all kinds of all-natural products to keep you feeling fresh, from lip balm to laundry soap to bath bombs. “We’re always trying new things,” she elaborated. Pip’s Soaps offers their products in three



different categories to meet the needs of every type of customer. Lovers of sweet scents will enjoy a variety of products scented either with natural essential oils or fragrance oils. Unscented products are also offered for customers who may be sensitive to scents. Sarah began making lip balm and other similar products as early as high school. Learning to make soap was always a passion of hers, but she didn’t know anyone who could show her the ropes. This didn’t stop her, however. After going to college, getting married, and having kids, she

decided to take matters into her own hands. “I got a couple of books and decided I was going to do this.” A Washington native, Sarah grew up surrounded by farmer’s markets a little different from the ones we have here in South Dakota. Pike’s Place market in Seattle, for instance, offers a wide variety of wares ranging from pottery to baked goods, and also features live musicians. So when she started selling soap at Aberdeen’s farmer’s market in 2012, people were a little confused at first.

Photos by Troy McQuillen


with the drive to expand led her to obtain her own space in the Citizens Building. “My kids got tired of not being able to make lunch when they wanted to,” Sarah laughed. “You have to keep everything separate, and clean everything before and after you make soap. I’d have stuff here and there and everywhere, so it was nice to be able to get out of my house.” Although Sarah has always had a passion for making things, her favorite thing about running Pip’s Squeaky Clean Soaps is the ability to help people in a little way. “I love when someone will tell me that my product worked really well for them. Somebody will say, ‘I can’t use anything

else, but I can use your products.’ I sold perfume to a lady who has never been able to wear perfume before, but can wear mine. That just feels good. It’s very fulfilling.” Currently, Sarah’s store is open by appointment only due to her busy schedule. In the future, she hopes to keep regular store hours as well as continue to sell her products in other stores across the state. She’s also working on adding lotions to her lineup. To get squeaky clean and smell fantastic doing so, visit Sarah’s website at pipssqueakycleansoaps.com, visit her at the Farmer’s Market on Thursdays, or stop by one of the locations offering her products. //

BY BECCA SIMON Sarah Simmons offers all sorts of homemade, all-natural products such as bath bombs, lip balm, and of course, soap, to keep you feeling fresh and smelling great.

However, it didn’t take long for everyone to fall in love with Pip’s Squeaky Clean Soaps. From its humble farmer’s market beginnings, the business has expanded to offer products in a variety of stores across the community and even the state. Currently, you can find Sarah’s products in Natural Abundance and Centsable Fashions in Aberdeen, as well as the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs gift shop, Mount Rushmore, the Spearfish Canyon Resort, and more. Until recently, Sarah operated almost entirely out of her own home. A lack of space combined SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE




a aKe

on the

d e T N u Ha , s in l b o G , s t s Gho ! y M h O , s l u o h G and ANNA JAHRAUS TIONS BY BY BECCA SIMON ILLUSTRA






ccasionally, employees of the Ward Hotel are serenaded by the sound of piano music in the b a l l ro o m , d e s p i t e the fact that the piano is tucked into a corner and completely covered up. In the past, a maid could be spotted going in and out of the hotel rooms that are now apartments, even though there are no maids currently employed. The frequency of unexplained occurrences in the Ward is nothing new. Various ghosts are rumored to haunt the building, earning it a spot in the top ten haunted places in South Dakota. The story goes that a young girl jumped to her death from the fifth floor of the building, but her spirit lives on, creating mischief and wreaking havoc. To this day, employees have experienced drawers opening on their desks and cabinets opening and closing on their own. Once, the large, heavy podium that stands in the center of the room flipped over as if being pushed by some invisible force. Blankets have been ripped off beds in what used to be room 230, and high heels have been heard walking on a wooden floor, despite the fact that the floors are carpeted. Tales of wandering lost souls have been passed down through generations since ancient times. From century t o c e n t u r y, t h e appearance of a ghost continues to change – since the 19th century, people have generally thought of ghosts as translucent specters, but in early European times, ghosts appeared real until they walked through a wall. Regardless of the form they take, however, these stories have continued to frighten and captivate every generation. Aberdeen in particular is a hotbed for supernatural sightings. The town’s rich history, along with its well-preserved slew of still

intact historical buildings means the ghost stories are absolutely ripe for the picking. Whether you believe them or not is entirely up to you, but even for the most practiced skeptic, it’s very hard to deny that things that seem to defy all physical laws are nothing more than spooky garbage. Which brings me to the question: Are ghosts the spirits of the undead as we’ve come to accept them, or is the word “ghost” simply a name for something we don’t understand? Local paranormal investigator Randy Ivy has been enraptured with the unknown since he was too young to understand what was going on, and has dedicated much of his time to answering these types of questions. He claims that every place he has lived in since moving to Aberdeen has had some sort of paranormal activity. Especially common are what Randy calls “residual” hauntings, or ghosts that reenact the same instance over and over again at the same time, almost like a recording. “Aberdeen is good for this because we have underground water, quartz, and marble in the ground that produces energy,” he explained. “They vibrate at different speeds and are great for recording things. Highenergy moments are picked up and converted into a different form of energy that can be played back. You hear stories a b o u t t h e l a dy that walked down the hallway and turned right into a wall. It’s because it’s that energy on a rewind. It all sounds crazy, but it’s a new science, so no one has the answers to everything.”

that different types of energy are at play. There is an electrical room in the basement that is surrounded by wiring, both in the ground and up and over it. This is what Randy calls a “fear cage” –electromagnetic fields that affect your brain and kick your survival instincts into gear. Despite the many advances in technology used to investigate things that go “bump” in the night, there are still many hauntings that science can’t explain. Several houses and apartment buildings in Aberdeen have had multiple reports of “intelligent” hauntings, or cases in which a ghost is able to interact with objects and people in the living world. In one empty home on 8th Avenue, Randy picked up over 40 EVPs (recordings of spirits’ voices) of dogs barking, people joking, and even of voices referring to the people within his group. When he knocked on a wall, someone or something would knock back, even though the group was alone and there was no electricity in the

"no one has the answers to everything.”

These recordings aren’t the only factors that make a place haunted – or at least cause us to feel that it is. The basement of the Ward has reportedly given employees the heebie-jeebies for decades, causing many to avoid it altogether. Although it seems as though something spooky is afoot, according to Randy, it’s more likely

building at the time. In another home, a man hung wind chimes made of silverware inherited from his grandmother in the corner of the kitchen, away from any windows. “He could talk to it,” Randy said. “He’d ask it to turn to the right, and the wind chime would turn to the right. He’d tell it to stop and it would stop. It moved wherever he told it to go.” Multiple buildings in downtown Aberdeen and beyond are reported to have similar hauntings – elevators dinging in buildings with no electricity, doors slamming randomly, eerie silhouettes lurking in doorways, and more. Are these unexplained phenomena ghosts? Or are they simply something modern science doesn’t have the capability to comprehend yet? Perhaps a heightened mental state when we feel frightened causes us to see things we wouldn’t normally. But regardless of what you believe, there is something exhilarating about suspending your belief for a time and indulging in the exploration of the unknown. Perhaps you’ll find something absolutely spooktacular. //










Photos by Troy McQuillen

1. 517 S. Main Street, Originally built by the Dakota Farmer in 1904, later used as Elk’s Lodge. 2. 321 S. Main Street, built as Olwin Angell Department store in 1903. 3. 201 S. Main Street, built in 1906 as First National Bank. 4. 21 S. Main Street Dacotah Prairie Museum, built in 1889 as the Northwestern National Bank. 5. Lincoln and 1st Avenue Brown County Courthouse, built in 1904. 6. 123 South Lincoln Aberdeen Municipal Building, “City Hall,” built 1911. 7. 102 Fourth Avenue S.E. Old Post Office, Federal Courthouse.


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Aberdeen Magazine September/October 2016  

Aberdeen, South Dakota's community lifestyle magazine.

Aberdeen Magazine September/October 2016  

Aberdeen, South Dakota's community lifestyle magazine.