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Your source for what’s happening in Aberdeen.


Never miss an event in the Hub City.



From a wig shop in the ’70s to a modern salon, Adam & Eve Styling Salon & Wig Center has seen a lot of changes over the past 49 years. Here, second-generation owner Lori Burgard reflects on running a business in her hometown.


With a love for film and a story to tell, Aberdeen native Brandon Lunzman wove real-life experiences together to write, direct, and star in his first feature film.


The Aberdeen University-Civic Symphony is the oldest continuous running orchestra in the state, and only getting better with each passing note.

28 42


Captain Eve Larson, USAF, of Frederick shares memories from her first experience as a flight nurse during the Vietnam War.


On average, every day in the U.S. 22 veterans take their own life. Chris Reder is working to change that number to zero at the DTOM 22/0 ranch south of Aberdeen.


Finally, area veterans will have a place that is all their own and that is always open to them. Find out about the upcoming Aberdeen Area Veterans Memorial Center.


There’s a familiar jingle in Aberdeen as the Salvation Army launches its annual Christmas Kettle Campaign. Read about the hundreds of volunteers who ring bells, serve meals, deliver gifts, and more.


“Bringing God to soldiers and soldiers to God.” Meet four local military chaplains who have served our country overseas and at home.


Wendell and Robin Niewenhuis deck the halls with thrift store finds and DIY beauty.


They were meant to be just a temporary solution to a student housing shortage, but for nearly two decades, Quonset huts and barracks-style houses provided a unique, on-campus living environment at Northern State.


When food reminds you of time spent with friends and family, it’s always good. Feast your eyes on a Thanksgiving meal that celebrates life’s blessings. ADAM & EVE + BRANDON LUNZMAN + VETERANS + SALVATION ARMY + QUONSVILLE


 ON THE COVER Thanksgiving is all about making memories around food, and hosting family and friends is a gift our publisher Troy and his wife Dani love to share. For our cover, they prepared a holiday feast with recipes inspired by some of their favorite Thanksgiving memories. After planning, cooking, setting the table, and climbing a ladder to get the perfect overhead photo you see here—it was finally time to enjoy this delicious spread!

2 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE november/december 2019





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We always put a lot of heart into each issue of Aberdeen Magazine, but that is especially true when it comes to our holiday edition. I have a hard time not putting up my tree and lights before Halloween, so getting to think about November and December months ahead of time as we put these pages together for you is like unwrapping an early Christmas present. On that note, I invite you to check out our story “The Gift of Home” (pg. 42). Here, you can kick off your shoes and relax as you peruse Wendell and Robin Niewenhuis’ holiday-ready home. (P.S.—Open House stories like these are some of our favorites, so if you or anyone you know has a home that you think we should feature, let us know!) We have more holiday fun on page 54, where our publisher Troy McQuillen and his lovely wife Dani throw a mouthwatering Thanksgiving feast. Warning: don’t read this one on an empty stomach! You’ll also notice that a common thread woven throughout this issue is our area veterans. The stories of men and women who have served our country will always amaze me, and it’s only fitting that we talk about some of these real-life superheroes for Veterans Day. We’ll hear from Captain Eve Larson, USAF, on her time as a flight nurse during the Vietnam War (pg. 26). You’ll also get to meet veteran Chris Reder and his DTOM 22/0 Ranch (pg. 28). Next, on page 36 you can see our armed forces from the point of view of four local military chaplains. And to top it off, we have some exciting news on page 30 about the upcoming Aberdeen Area Veterans Memorial Center. Watch for their capital campaign launching early next year. Along with all of this, we’re bringing you a longtime business, a piece of NSU history that you might not know about, the oldest continuous running symphony in the state, an up-and-coming filmmaker, one of our most important service organizations, and much more—all from right here in your hometown. I won’t keep you any longer from diving into this issue! From everyone at Aberdeen Magazine, we wish you a safe, merry, and happy holiday season.


T H IS ISS U E ’ S C O NT R I B UTO R S JENIFER FJELSTAD is a journalism and French major studying at Augustana University. This summer, she interned as a writer and editor for Aberdeen Magazine and Aberdeen Weddings. In her free time, she enjoys dancing in hiphop and pom styles with the Augustana Spirit Squad.

DANI MCQUILLEN loves parties with themes, decorations, and creative flair as befits the granddaughter of the original Sioux “Martha Stewart” of the Prairie. She exhibits this flair at the MCG annual holiday party and a plethora of beautiful family events.

PATRICK GALLAGHER is a regular contributor commenting on Aberdeen’s personality, food options, and history.

TROY MCQUILLEN is a lifelong resident of Aberdeen (except for some college time away from home) and the publisher of Aberdeen Magazine. He collects historical facts and photos, takes photos, and researches local stories rooted in legend and rumor, all in an effort to preserve Aberdeen's history for generations to come.

EVE LARSON is a Frederick native who served as a flight nurse for the Wyoming Air National Guard during the Vietnam War. She is proud to be a woman veteran and an active member in the Aberdeen area veteran community.

KARLIE SPIRY is an English major at Northern State University and will be graduating in December 2019. This fall, she is using her writing and editing talents as an intern with Aberdeen Magazine.

4 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE november/december 2019


PUBLISHER Troy McQuillen

DESIGN Eliot Lucas

AD SALES Alyssa Roller alyssa@mcquillencreative.com

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

PRINTING Midstates Printing

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

WEBSITE www.aberdeenmag.com

PRIVACY STATEMENT 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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CUSTOM FRAMING AND GIFTS SET UP SHOP ON MAIN  Brittany Sayler (left) and Ashley Bartscher opened The Main Frame Custom Framing and Gift Gallery this September in downtown Aberdeen.

has naturally evolved into friendships with their customers. “It’s such a cool job because we get to really know our customers and our community,” Ashley says. Along with custom framing, Brittany and Ashley also do high-quality, custom printing on anything from t-shirts and hats to coffee mugs and keychains. If you find something on Pinterest that you want printed on a t-shirt for your next family reunion or birthday party, they’ve got you covered. Or, if you want to leave the design work to them, they are happy to take over the creative process too. They

NEW VA CLINIC BREAKS GROUND In September, the Sioux Falls Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System broke ground on a new outreach clinic in Aberdeen. The clinic, located at 909 South Lamont Street (behind Target), will be larger than the current one by nearly 2,000 square feet. This additional space will make it possible for them to offer more services for veterans in primary care, mental health care, and telehealth. The Sioux Falls VA estimates that over 2,500 veterans received care at the Aberdeen clinic in 2017. This includes veterans from not only Brown County, but several surrounding counties as well. Currently, there is no timeline for when the clinic is expected to be complete. // — Jenny Roth

6 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE november/december 2019

say the list of project possibilities is endless and as unique as each person who walks through the door, especially with their new storefront. Brittany explains, “This location was really a blessing. We were looking for a bigger space because there are so many tools and supplies and moving parts that come with a frame shop, and this just fell into place.” // — Jenny Roth  The Main Frame Custom Framing and Gift Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Saturday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. You can reach them at 605-290-8597 or find them on Facebook.

 This building rendering shows the future Aberdeen Veterans Affairs Clinic going up behind Target.

Photo courtesy of the Sioux Falls Dept. of Veterans Affairs

Photo courtesy of Meagan Williams, Charming Acres Photography

“Anything a customer holds dear to their heart, we can frame it for them to keep,” says Brittany Sayler. Brittany and her sister Ashley Bartscher are the owners of The Main Frame Custom Framing and Gift Gallery (formerly Main Addiction). Their new shop, located at 523 South Main Street, opened in September, with a grand opening celebration planned for the weekend of December 6-8. True to their slogan—“Expressing Memories Then, Now & Forever,” Brittany and Ashley say they went into business because they love to help people cherish life’s milestones. They custom frame photographs and artwork, but also create shadowboxes filled with memorabilia from special events, such as graduation diplomas, baby clothes, and sports gear. Working so closely with people’s memories


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 Susan Dalager (pictured) has expanded her Montessori School of Aberdeen after moving the school into Calvary Baptist Church.

MONTESSORI SCHOOL AND CALVARY BAPTIST FORM PARTNERSHIP While Susan Dalager was searching for a new location for her Montessori School of Aberdeen, it just so happened that Calvary Baptist Church was also on a search themselves. The church has a smaller congregation and was looking for a way their building could serve others in the community. The answer came in the form of the almost 40 children who now come to the church five days a week as Montessori School students. Susan moved her school to the church almost two years ago and says it has been a blessing to both parties involved. “It’s a partnership and we’re working together for these children. We get to use this beautiful building, and in return the children liven everything up here the way they do.” The Montessori School has children ages infant through six years old who learn in a self-directed and hands-on learning environment. Their space at Calvary Baptist has allowed them to grow in enrollment and expand their programming. They added their infant program this past summer, and have all their students under one roof, whereas previously they were split up into two separate locations. Students can use the church’s gymnasium, as well as a large outdoor space that includes a playground, space to ride bikes, and raised garden beds. About their current location, Susan says, “It’s just a happy, busy, functioning school, and we are really thankful every day to use this building.” // — Jenny Roth  For more information on the Montessori School of Aberdeen, find them on Facebook or visit www.montessoriaberdeen.com.

8 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE november/december 2019

Aberdeen has received another dose of international flavor, as Tokyo Sushi & Steakhouse opened in August in the Aberdeen Mall where Shenanigans used to be. Owner David Chen says he brought the restaurant chain to the Hub City because so many customers requested it. “We have a lot of customers from Aberdeen who go to Sioux Falls often, and they kept asking because there’s not much Japanese food here.” Tokyo Sushi & Steakhouse serves a variety of raw fish and teppanyaki style cuisine. Guests can also see their food being prepared in front of them, as the restaurant offers hibachi grilled food too. A crowd favorite dish is the hibachi style lobster tail. This is Chen’s seventh restaurant to open under the name of Tokyo Sushi. It took seven months to get the space in the mall ready for customers again. After Shenanigans closed in 2013, it had remained vacant for several years, and when Chen got a hold of it, everything had to be gutted and renovated. Demolition started in early January of this year and renovations finished in July. // — Karlie Spiry  Tokyo Sushi and Steakhouse is open Monday through Friday from 11:00 AM to 9:30 PM, Friday and Saturday from 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM, and Sunday from 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM. To see their menu, search @TokyoAberdeen on Facebook or give them a call at 605-262-3888.

 Tokyo Sushi & Steakhouse offers a hibachi grilled menu along with sushi and Japanese cuisine.

Photos by Troy McQuillen



AT THE WORKSHOP Power Hours give business professionals and entrepreneurs an opportunity to learn important information. Cost is $15 to attend with lunch provided, free to members of the Workshop.

Meet the Faces Focused on Our Patients

For a schedule and registration information go to adcsd.com/events/category/power-hours or call 229-5335.

Horizon wants you to meet our newest providers. Cassandra Aesoph, CNP and Danny Wolfgram, MD have joined Catherine D. Friesen, CNP in our Aberdeen location. Our team is excited to deliver comprehensive care to our friends, students and neighbors throughout the region. • Wellness exams for all ages • Interpreter services available • Medicaid and those with or without insurance accepted • And so much more


Call Horizon Health Care in Aberdeen at 605.725.3900 to schedule your appointment. 506 S. Wilson Street


Aberdeen, SD 57401

november/december 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE




fresh, airy aesthetic and feel that all their heaviness is lifted away from them,” Julie says, “and we want them to leave feeling inspired and happy.” The focal point of the store is a nine-foot sales counter that also acts as a gathering space with stools for customers to relax on while talking with the staff. Julie says her goal is that the

new storefront will offer more high-quality clothing options to more women in the Aberdeen community. // — Jenifer Fjelstad  Mainstream Boutique is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and Sunday from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM. For more information, search @MainstreamboutiqueAberdeen on Facebook or call 605-262-3046.

Saturday, November 23 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Sunday, November 24 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Fine and folk art exhibitors, food, and entertainment Civic Arena | 203 S Washington St | Aberdeen SD

Co-sponsored by Aberdeen Area Arts Council (605-226-1557) and Aberdeen Parks Recreation & Forestry (605-626-7015) 10 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE november/december 2019

Congratulations to our Aberdeen Public Schools athletes, fine arts performers, and academic achievers. We have GREAT students and staff, and the Aberdeen Public Schools Foundation is proud to support them ALL!

Photo courtesy of Jordyn Photography

 Ready to help customers at Mainstream Boutique’s new storefront are Jordan Rohrbach, Nikki Reigle, owner Julie Fischbach, and Allison Kleffman.


Mainstream Boutique celebrated the grand opening of their new location in September. The new store, at 3211 Seventh Avenue Southeast Suite 107 in the Shoppes on Seventh building, is just a few doors from their former site, but is triple in size. With more square footage, the boutique has expanded its clothing lines to include sizes XS to 3XL and has added a much larger shoe collection. They also hope to use the additional space to partner with other small businesses and to host more community-wide events. With the new location also comes a brand-new look. Owner Julie Fischbach and Manager Nikki Reigle created a minimalist custom design with white, neutral, and plant-based tones for the store. “We want our customers to walk in to a very light, fun,

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This time of year, gifting and giving are on everyone’s hearts. To help with your holiday planning, here are seven ways you can locally donate time, money, or goods. A quick note: When giving to a specific organization in town, the best thing to do is call them ahead of time and ask what they need. Or, if you are unsure where to start, contact the United Way of Northeastern South Dakota at 605-225-0212. They’ll be able to connect you with nonprofits and service groups who are looking for assistance. by JENNY ROTH

2 0 1 9 - 2 0 2 0

Coats for Kids (and Other Folks) On November 9 from 9:00 AM to noon, North Highland United Methodist Church (620 15th Avenue Northeast) will distribute thousands of winter gear items for infants, children, women, and men. They accept gently used or new snowsuits, coats, snow pants, gloves, hats, and gloves/mittens. Children’s gear and coats for men and boys are their biggest needs. Items can be dropped off at several locations throughout town, or at the church until November 8. They also need volunteers to help sort and organize donations leading up to distribution day. For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, call 605-226-1279.






November 9, 2019, 7:30 PM | Harvey and Cynthia Jewett Theater, JFAC




Christopher Stanichar, Conductor

William Wieland: Commissioned Work for AUCS Vaughan Williams: Fantasy on Thomas Tallis Joined by Aberdeen Central High School Orchestra (Joseph Berns, Director) and White Spruce Chamber Ensemble


Stravinsky: “Berceuse and Finale” from Firebird Conducted by Alex Fokkens

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Conducted by Robert Vodnoy and joined by NSU Alumna, Megan Potter



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For Information, call 605-626-2497 or visit www.aberdeensymphony.org

12 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE november/december 2019


6th Ave. Aberdeen

Safe Harbor New Beginnings Center During the holidays, gifts can be donated to the boys and girls (ages 10-17) at the New Beginnings Center. They always accept movie tickets, gift cards for restaurants, and bowling passes. For a complete list of gift ideas, call 605-262-5300.

International Students About 140 international students from 30 different countries attend NSU. During the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, you can welcome a student who doesn’t have travel plans or a host family to a seat at your dinner table. Not cooking a big meal? You can also invite them to simply spend the day with your family while you go shopping, out to eat, or to the movies. To learn more call Stacey Schmidt, international student coordinator, at 605-626-7672.

Safe Harbor is always in need of small, daily items like shampoo and conditioner, laundry detergent, baby diapers and wipes, and women’s and children’s clothing. You can call them first to organize a donation at 605-226-1212.

Salvation Army The Salvation Army has several volunteer opportunities during the holiday season. Bell ringers are always needed, or if you can’t ring a bell, you can always adopt a kettle and place it at your office party or cash register. Their Angel Tree will also be up at the Aberdeen Mall starting November 5. Shoppers can grab a tag from the tree, shop for the child listed, and then return the gift to the mall or the Salvation Army office. In early December, volunteers are needed to deliver gifts to area nursing homes, and on December 20, they need cooks to prepare their Christmas dinner and helpers to clean up afterward. For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, call 605-225-7410.

Christmas Caroling The United Way of Northeastern South Dakota and several service clubs organize visits to both Avera St. Luke’s and Sanford Hospitals on Christmas Eve day. Volunteers sing Christmas carols and give poinsettias and gifts to patients. Children patients also receive a toy and a visit from Santa! This volunteer opportunity is family-friendly and there is no need to sign up ahead of time. For more information, follow @unitedwaynesd on Facebook or call 605-225-0212.

Churches and Schools To give directly to a local student or family, contact your school district or church. School administrators and church leaders interact with the public on a daily basis and know if someone is in need and what you can donate to help.

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november/december 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE


 The Oak Ridge Boys


Nov. 3, 12 PM - 3 PM Dakota Event Center  Wedding gowns, photographers, cakes, decorations, DJs, flowers, and more under one roof. Free admission.


Nov. 9, 10 AM - 12 PM Odde Ice Center  Certified coaches and players will teach the basics and give tours of the rink. All equipment is available at no cost. For youth ages 4-11.


Nov. 12, 7:00 PM K.O. Lee Aberdeen Public Library  Test your word search skills by playing the classic Boggle word game. Teams of 2-4 players with prizes for the winners. Free.


Nov. 5, 7 PM K.O. Lee Aberdeen Public Library  A readers theater based on the experiences of three brothers, two who immigrated to Dakota Territory, and one who stayed in Norway. Free admission. EAST ASIA ART AND MUSIC WORKSHOP

Thursdays, Nov. 7-28 & Dec. 5 & 12, 4 PM NSU Student Center  Free art and music lessons for NSU students and the Aberdeen community. Painting, calligraphy, and more.

14 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE november/december 2019


Nov. 9, 7:30 PM Harvey and Cynthia Jewett Theater, NSU  Wish AUCS a happy 100th birthday at their opening concert of the season. For tickets call 605-626-2900.


Nov. 14, 6:30 PM Aberdeen Civic Arena  Feast your eyes on the best pheasant sandwich recipes in Aberdeen. Free admission.


Nov. 25, 7 PM - 9 PM Johnson Fine Arts Center  A timeless holiday story for all ages brought to life on stage. Tickets at nutcracker.com. WILLIAMS AND REE

Nov. 29, 7 PM Best Western Ramkota Hotel  Enjoy a night of laughs hosted by the SD Snow Queen Festival. Tickets at Aberdeen Floral.

 Sons of Serendip


First three Thursdays in Nov. & Dec., 12:30 PM Aberdeen Recreation and Cultural Center  Demonstrations on how to safely manipulate clear and colored glass with a torch by artist Caleb Crosby. Ages 18 and up. Call 605-626-7081. PUB TRIVIA


Nov. 15, 4 PM - 5 PM K.O. Lee Aberdeen Public Library  Jokes, songs, stories, and a puppet show for all ages. Free. TURKEY SHOOT

Nov. 16, 6 PM - 11 PM Yelduz Shriners  Games and the chance to win turkeys, hams, pork loins, and more. Family-friendly and free admission. THE OAK RIDGE BOYS

Nov. 17, 6 PM-10 PM Aberdeen Civic Arena  Hits and Christmas favorites by the Oak Ridge Boys. Tickets at farmforum.net/orb.


Nov. 20, 6 PM - 9 PM Red Rooster Coffee House  Indie pop music brought to you by Racket Man from Cleveland, Ohio. $3 admission. AG APPRECIATION BANQUET

Nov. 22, 5:30 PM Dakota Event Center  Entertainment by John King with a social, dinner, and program to salute area farmers and ranchers. Tickets at business.aberdeen-chamber.com

Wednesdays, 8:00 PM Buffalo Wings & Rings  Two games of trivia plus prizes every Wednesday night. Free to play.


Nov. 23, 10 AM - 5 PM & Nov. 24, 10 AM - 4 PM Aberdeen Civic Arena  Food, entertainment, and nearly 50 artisan booths with gifts for your holiday shopping list. Free admission.

Dec. 7, 7 PM & Dec. 8, 3 PM & 7 PM Aberdeen Civic Arena  The message of Christmas presented through music, orchestra, and special effect lighting. Free will donation. NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS PARTY

Dec. 13, 5 PM - 9 PM YAPAtorium  Free event for tweens and teens. Trick or treat gift exchange, Bean Boozled, ugly sweater contest, and gingerbread house making. MUSEUM HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE

Dec. 14, 1 PM - 4 PM Dacotah Prairie Museum  Treats, music, and family activities at the museum. Free admission. HOLIDAY CELEBRATION FOR YOUTH

Dec. 16, 6 PM - 8 PM Aberdeen Civic Arena  A holiday party with crafts, games, songs, and surprises. $1 per person admission.


Nov. 24 & Dec. 29, 7:30 PM Slackers  Open mic for music, poetry, song, spoken word, and comedy performers of all levels. Free admission.


Nov. 19, 7:00 PM Johnson Fine Arts Center  Quartet ensemble featuring harp, voice, cello, and piano as seen on season 9 of America’s Got Talent. Tickets at aberdeencommunityconcerts.org.




Dec. 31 Ramkota Event Center  Ring in the New Year with rock & roll and country-rock music by Eclipse. Tickets at the door. MEDORA CHRISTMAS CONCERT

 Winterfest

Dec. 1, 4:00 PM Johnson Fine Arts Center  A family-friendly show with holiday spirit and favorite Medora performers. Tickets at aberdeencommunityconcerts.org

november/december 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE



 Adam & Eve Styling Salon & Wig Center has been family-owned in Aberdeen for almost 50 years. Pictured are three generations, founder Lisa Bean (front), her daughter Lori Burgard (back), and Lori’s daughters Stephanie Burgard (left) and Stacey Burgard.


Photos by Troy McQuillen


hen Lori Burgard was ten years old, her mother came home from her job as a hotel banquet room manager and announced she was opening a wig shop. Lori’s response was, “What?” Her mother, Lisa Fjelstad (Bean), did not have a cosmetology license, or even any real experience doing hair. Sure, she had done the occasional styles for friends while they sat around her kitchen table over coffee, but nobody had predicted that would lead to her starting a business in Aberdeen that almost 50 years later is stronger than ever. It was 1970, and wigs were all the rage when Lisa opened her store on Sixth Avenue, just a few doors from where the current salon stands today. She purchased 500 wigs (some of the brand Adam & Eve, hence the shop’s name) and her clientele quickly grew. With modern wigs being mostly synthetic, you only have to wash them and shake them out a bit and they will go back to their natural style and curls. However, that was not the case when Lisa was getting her business off the ground. Back then, the wigs were made of real human hair, meaning they would need some professional upkeep to look good. One day a friend, Dee Fiedler, asked Lisa, “Do you have anyone to style the wigs?” Her response was, “When can you start?” The new business owner h a d n’t t a ke n t h i s i n t o consideration, but luckily Dee had recently received her hairstyling license and was up for the job. A couple of years later, Lisa began an apprenticeship under Peggy Ackerman, another stylist who worked for her, and earned a cosmetology license for herself in 1976. She then expanded the shop from two styling chairs to five, all while keeping the wig store. Lori was along for the ride, first helping in her mother’s salon by folding towels, sweeping floors, and answering phones, and then graduating from cosmetology school in 1981 and becoming a stylist. Though the career is definitely the right one for her, she admits it wasn’t her very first choice. Like most teenagers, she wanted to venture out on her own, and even though Lisa offered to pay for her education if she came and worked at Adam & Eve, Lori declined. Instead, she got a job at Control Data, where she spent a year feeling bored and getting into trouble for talking too much. “I figured I had better

 The team at Adam & Eve, starting back row L to R: Dawn Pfitzer, Karissa Nisich, Sherri Roth, Danielle Larson, Liz Murray, Tami Killion, Samantha Lehr, Ryann Ganje, Alisen Clark, Lacey Hilgemann, Darla Wick, Stacey Burgard, Stephanie Burgard, Jessica Hardie, and Lori Burgard.

find a job where I could talk to people and still get paid. To this day, when I drive to work I’m not thinking about what I have to do that day, but about who I get to see and spend time with while I’m there,” she says. Lisa and Lori worked together at Adam & Eve for the next decade, until Lori and her husband, who had both lived in the Aberdeen area their entire lives, decided they wanted to try something different. They relocated to Grafton, North Dakota, and Lori got a job in an office. She says they had been there about four months when her husband asked, “Are you going to cry every day we are here? Do you want to go home?” The answer to both questions was, “Yes!” And the couple soon returned, happily, to Aberdeen. Lori laughs, “I had only missed about one perm appointment with my clients, and thankfully, I got almost all of them back.” The mother and daughter duo picked up working together right

where they had left off and continued to do so until Lisa’s retirement in 1996. Since then, Lori has been keeping her family’s business alive and well. For two years in a row, Adam & Eve has won Northeast South Dakota’s Readers’ Choice Best Beauty Shop award. Their massage therapist, Danielle Larson, was also named the 2019 Readers’ Choice Best Massage Therapist. The salon has a countless number of clients, 17 employees, and in 2020, they will celebrate 50 years in business. Their success can be contributed to an amazing staff, outstanding leadership, teamwork, considerate price points, and the willingness to always change. They have grown from a simple wig shop and salon to adding spa services like massages, pedicures, manicures, body waxing, and facials, as well as cutting edge hair replacement techniques. They have also continuously knocked down walls, literally, as the salon has gone through several remodels over the years to keep it bright and modern. Their wig center is still an integral part of the business, and a unique one for the area, as their collection of about 30 wigs is the largest in town. Most of their wig clients nowadays are cancer patients, november/december 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE


 The salon’s massage therapist, Danielle Larson, was named the 2019 Readers’ Choice Best Massage Therapist.

and Adam & Eve fits them for wigs free of charge. Lori explains, “It is a humbling experience that we can help people who are facing such a difficult time by providing them with solutions for hair loss so they can feel confident.” It also shows how they go beyond just doing hair and have tapped into really touching lives. The salon has physically gotten bigger, as has Lori’s number of employees, the longest of whom has been with her for 25 years. When Lori attended beauty school, there was a Stewart’s School of Hairstyling in downtown Aberdeen, so it was easier for her mother to find girls in town who were looking for work. For her, finding staff has been one of the most challenging parts of being a business owner in Aberdeen. To bring in good employees, she sets her salon apart in one important way. “I am a mom first as a business owner, and I want the people who work for me to be able to be moms first, too. This is their job, but I give them flexibility so they don’t have to miss out on their kids’ activities and can enjoy their families,” she says.

18 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE november/december 2019

The stylists at Adam & Eve are employed through the salon and earn commissions, paid vacation days, and benefits. This ensures that enough stylists are always there for walk-in traffic, which makes up a significant portion of their business, and that they can keep their price points tailored to the customer. Lori says, “We are a family salon, and we offer a variety of services and strive to keep an affordable price point for the community. Staying competitive in our pricing has been a factor in keeping our doors open this long.” Adam & Eve also takes their tagline, “Style for Every Generation,” to heart. They have stylists who specialize in younger generations, and those who take care of the elderly. Even when a client passes away, with the family’s wishes, they will style their hair one last time before their funeral services. Perhaps one of the best changes that Lori has seen take place in her salon over the years is the addition of her daughters, Stacey and Stephanie, to the family business. Stacey, who recently graduated with a business degree from Northern State

University, has been working in reception since she was a teenager and has advanced to floor manager. Just a few months ago, Stephanie moved back to Aberdeen with a cosmetology license and joined Adam & Eve’s styling team. Like Lori, the girls watched their mother run the salon while growing up and say they have learned a lot from her about what it means to be a leader. Stephanie gives an example: “She is up front working with the customers, the stylists, and her clientele. It is amazing to see how far this place has come, and to see how she gives clients what they want and what is best for them while providing for her staff and family.” Stacey adds, “I have been working here most of my life, and it is an absolute joy to watch my mother do this. She inspires me every day. I am extremely proud of what she and my grandmother have accomplished.” //  Adam & Eve Styling Salon & Wig Center is located at 1718 Sixth Avenue Southeast. You can reach them at 605-229-1700 or by visiting www.adamandevestylingsalon.com.

Photos by Troy McQuillen

 Adam & Eve started as a wig shop and still maintains a large wig collection, many of which serve cancer patients going through chemotherapy.

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Photo by Troy McQuillen


 Tales of An American Hoodrat was filmed exclusively in the Aberdeen area, utilizing local homes, businesses, and schools as set locations. Above: Four of the film’s leading characters were played by (L to R): Brandon Lunzman, Tylan Glover, Thomas Goetz, and Nate Wilson.

see someone who is in a bad situation, or who doesn’t seem to have the best moral compass, I want to know what’s really going on with them. This type of struggle is what the film’s really about.” Hoodrat explores this complex topic with humor, emotion, and authenticity. To date, it has won Best Feature Film at the South Dakota Film Festival and Best First Feature Film at Cinemafest in New York. Lunzman says the recognition the film has garnered so far is beyond anything he could have hoped for. “I really just had a story to tell and a love for making film. I’m more grateful to have been able to complete this than anything.” As a kid, Lunzman collected DVDs and VHS tapes, and after doing a few video projects in high school, he realized he wanted to pursue film not just as a hobby, but as a career. He knew it would require getting out of his comfort zone, and he had the support of his loved ones to go for it. “My family has always really encouraged me, they’ve never said,

Photos courtesy of Brandon Lunzman

“By the time high school was ending, I had experienced more than most teenagers would ever like to admit,” declares Leighton Harper, the protagonist in Tales of an American Hoodrat. These words are powerful, because although Leighton is a fictional character, his story is inspired by true events. Aberdeen native Brandon Lunzman wrote, directed, and played Leighton in his debut feature film. Hoodrat follows the lives of four teenagers who don’t always play by the rules, and who often take advantage of the people closest to them. But there are reasons to root for these kids that at first don’t meet the eye. Lunzman explains, “The deeper you dive into these characters’ lives, the more you see how their family situations aren’t always the best, and that they are constantly at war with themselves more than anything else.” Lunzman took circumstances he saw others going through while growing up and put them together into one story. He continues, “Anytime I

november/december 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE


 Hoodrat won Best Feature Film at this year’s SD Film Festival. Photo by Greg Gilbertson

 Having fun on set are L to R: Allison Berg, Shaun O’Connell, Kalie Dey, Brandon Lunzman, Lyndon Orr, and Josh Arment.

CAST BRANDON LUNZMAN. . . . . Leighton Harper NATE BRUCE WILSON . . . . Kaden Adkins THOMAS GOETZ. . . . . . . . . Jaren Evans TYLAN GLOVER. . . . . . . . . . Terron Grey CHRIS BEETEM . . . . . . . . . . Uncle Garrity

CREW Writter/Directer . . . . . . . BRANDON LUNZMAN Producer. . . . . . . . . . . . . MJ LUNZMAN Co-Producer. . . . . . . . . . DAVE LUNZMAN Director of Photography. . SHAUN O’CONNELL Editer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BRANDON LUNZMAN First Assistant Director. . KALIE DEY Camera Assistant . . . . . ALLISON BERG Boom Operator . . . . . . . JOSH ARMENT

22 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE november/december 2019

‘Maybe you should do something else or do something more realistic,’” he says. Lunzman’s leap of faith really came when he was awarded a scholarship to Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida, a top-ranking entertainment and media school. He studied there for just over two years, writing short films, helping a peer with a feature film, and acting. After graduating in 2017, he wrote Hoodrat and brought it back to his hometown. He says there were several advantages to filming the movie in Aberdeen. One he is most proud of is the pool of local talent. “I figured if I was that lonely kid in high school who loved film, that there had to be other people here who wanted to do this too and who wanted more platforms to show their talents,” he says. His cast is filled with actors of all ages from the Aberdeen area, including high school students. Even the movie’s soundtrack is made up of songs by South Dakota musicians. As far as finding set locations, Lunzman says that almost everyone he asked was happy to

help. They shot scenes at several homes and businesses, including Thatzza Pizza, Scotty’s, Riverside Cemetery, Schriver’s Memorial, CK’s Express, Richmond Lake Disc Golf Course, Ipswich School, and the Edmunds County Courthouse. His parents allowed their house to be turned into a film set, and his mom, MJ Lunzman, took on the role of the film’s producer, a position that required her to wear many different hats on any given day. “Without her help, I never could have done this,” Lunzman says. Once production wrapped up in August 2018, Lunzman spent the next nine months editing and then finally sending Hoodrat to film festivals. Now that it is out in the world, and the nerves of making his first feature are behind him, he says he is looking forward to what comes next. “I have other projects in mind and definitely want to keep making movies, and I would love to continue filming in Aberdeen.” You can follow Tales of an American Hoodrat on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. //

“I really just had a story to tell and a love for making film.”

Photos courtesy of Brandon Lunzman


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THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT THOSE STRINGS A hundred years after their very first note, the Aberdeen University-Civic Symphony sounds better than ever


efore radio, before records, and way before TV, if you wanted entertainment, live music was it. And in the early 1900s, any city who was anybody had its own symphony. Northern State University established their Normal Orchestra as early as 1906. It was an instant community hit. A few years later, the Aberdeen Municipal Band (led by H. C. Bronson) put out the call for local string musicians to come forward for a meeting of the city’s first symphony orchestra. The announcement in an October 1919 edition of the Aberdeen Daily News read, “It is desired that no player be overlooked, and to this end Mr. Bronson extends an invitation to all players to be present.” By the following year, the university symphony and the city symphony were playing together, under conductor Howard Elson Goodsell. The Daily News

predicted the symphony’s success, “The new orchestra may be the founder of a symphony orchestra in later years that Aberdeen will be proud of.” They were right. A century later, the Aberdeen University-Civic Symphony (AUCS) is the oldest, continuous running orchestra in the state. More importantly, they still perform for sold-out crowds. Of course, they have seen plenty of changes over time; in name, in performers, and in conductors. What has remained the same, though, is that the music is still for everyone. Dr. Christopher Stanichar, present-day AUCS conductor, echoes that first call for musicians from 100 years ago, “The really cool thing about orchestra is

that it is so uplifting. It brings people of all backgrounds and abilities together to work on a performance.” This is Dr. Stanichar’s second season with AUCS. He also leads two other symphonies, one in Iowa and another in Minnesota. The reason he travels across the Midwest is for the music. For him, each performance is like an exhibition of art, and there is no sound like the symphony. The minute he heard his first live orchestra concert as a kid, he knew he would work in the music world someday. “I sat there and just froze,” he remembers. “It was unlike anything else I had ever heard. I decided then and there that this is what I wanted to do.” He describes AUCS as

“When those waves of music hit you—there’s nothing like it.”




Not true! If it isn’t your style, you can leave the suit or tuxedo at home and wear jeans. The performers often dress up to keep things unified and so there’s less distraction from the music, but audience members are encouraged to come as they are and to dress comfortably.

24 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE november/december 2019



Quite the opposite! The symphony is familyfriendly and puts on kid-friendly performances, such as their Wizard of Oz show coming this spring. Students and kids get in free to nearly all concerts, with adult tickets costing just $18. Most shows are about 70 minutes in length, no longer than the average movie.

Photos courtesy of Aberdeen University-Civic Symphony


 AUCS has a full orchestra of woodwinds, brass, percussion, and strings


November 9, 7:30 PM, Harvey and Cynthia Jewett Theater, JFAC In celebration of their 100th year, AUCS will play two pieces written in 1919: Stravinky’s “Berceuse and Finale” from Firebird, and Vaughan Williams’ Fantasy on Thomas Tallis. Conductor Stanichar says Fantasy is one of his favorite string pieces of all time. “It’s a dark piece written in the shadows of the first World War. It has a sobering feeling to it and is just really beautiful.” Their birthday performance also includes a new piece by NSU’s own William Wieland, as well as South Dakota, My Dakota, written by Aberdeen native John Cacavas. Also on the program is Carmen Symphony, a haunting and tragic love story featuring NSU alumna Megan Potter. a hybrid symphony—composed of a mixture of people, which is what makes it so special. High schoolers, NSU students and faculty, community members, traveling musicians from the surrounding area, and professionals all come together to play their instruments. AUCS has about 65 performers, 90 when joined by the Central High School Orchestra. The group meets weekly and performs three concerts each season. Even though there are more options for entertainment vying for the attention of audience members these days, Dr. Kenneth Boulton, Dean of NSU’s School of Fine Arts, says AUCS’ numbers are on the rise. They have twice as many string bass players as last year, and a number of new violinists. On average, their performances attract 350-600 ticket holders, with some shows bringing in closer to 1,000. Dr. Boulton credits Conductor Stanichar for this continual growth. “Christopher has

 This is Conductor Stanichar’s second season with AUCS. He continues to recruit new performers to the symphony, from high schoolers and college students to community members and professionals.

been very effective in recruiting additional performers. They all want to play for him and the energy he brings to the orchestra.” P r o f e s s i o n a l a n d e n t h u s i a s t i c leadership, combined with the one-andonly experience of symphony, all have contributed to AUCS’ success. JoAnne Barry, a longtime fan of the orchestra, says the performances are truly timeless and multigenerational. “There are no words with symphonic music, so it pulls at your imagination and allows you to create your own story to go with the emotions you hear. When those waves of music hit you—there’s nothing like it. There’s just something about those strings.” //  For tickets, or to learn more about the Aberdeen University-Civic Symphony, visit www.aberdeensymphony.org or call 605-626-2497.


February 29, 7:30 PM, Harvey and Cynthia Jewett Theater, JFAC AUCS’ second concert of the season will be full of pieces written by great composers who did not complete their masterpieces for one reason or another. First up is Fidelio by Beethoven, and not by coincidence. Dr. Stanichar says, “Orchestras throughout the world are celebrating Beethoven’s 250th birthday, and AUCS is participating as well.” The concert will also feature Franz Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, written five years before the composer’s premature death at age 31, and a collaboration with the NSU Choir on a piece from Alexander Borodin’s Prince Igor. Rounding out the evening will be performances by the 2019-2020 AUCS NSU Concerto-Aria Competition winners.


April 25, 7:30 PM & April 26, 3:00 PM, Harvey and Cynthia Jewett Theater, JFAC



Nope! The composers you hear at AUCS concerts come from many different backgrounds and often led very interesting lives. In the program for each performance, attendees can read about the composers they are hearing, so they can better appreciate and understand why they created each piece of music.

This debut event in Aberdeen features a screening of the 1939 Wizard of Oz movie with AUCS performing the live, original soundtrack. A spectacular, family-friendly show you don’t want to miss!

november/december 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE





Captain Eve Larson, USAF, shares her memories of being a flight nurse during the Vietnam War. by CAPTAIN EVE LARSON, USAF


eterans Day is a day of sadness, as I remember my first experience with the horrors of war as a flight nurse for the Wyoming Air National Guard (WANG) in 1969. I became familiar with the WANG when I was recruited by a fellow nurse at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver. Betty convinced me it would be fun to fly around the world and be paid for it. She was right, as my time as a flight nurse was a great adventure. After filling out reams of paperwork, I was soon on my way to Austin, Texas, for two weeks of USAF Basic Training, followed by six weeks of Aeromedical Flight Nurse Training. One outstanding friend I made during that time was Mary Blinker. Years later, when I was out of the military and back working in Denver, I received a letter that a plane Mary was on had crashed in February 1975 as it was leaving Hanoi. Her name is one of the last ones on the Vietnam Wall. The WANG flew what was called near offshore missions for the Aeromedical Unit of the United States Air Force (USAF). My first post-training flight was a flight to Goose Bay, Labrador. We were running one patient, a young boy and his mother, to a military base in Goose Bay. It was a very quiet flight spent playing games with our young patient. After spending the night in Goose Bay, we started back for Newfoundland but could not land because of the weather. As we headed back to Wyoming, we were diverted to Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C., for a plane to plane transfer of wounded soldiers arriving from Vietnam. We parked next to a huge USAF C141 plane and met our patients, handsome young men who were so glad to be home, even if on stretchers. My training was now over, and I was a flight nurse on duty and expected to know what to do for these young men. The medical records describing their wounds were written on 8 by 10 notecards. One was a below-the-knee amputation, and another was still bleeding through his cast. Other injuries were so new that most were still bleeding and were to be checked in and the status noted on their medical card. That flight from Andrews Air Force Base to Dover Air Force Base in New Jersey was about 40 minutes. It was during that time that the tragedy of the Vietnam War hit me in the heart. Those young men that were on that flight are the veterans of today. For me, Veterans Day is a time for tears and hating war. //

26 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE november/december 2019

Photo by Troy McQuillen


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november/december 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE



A FOUNDATION FOR HEALING AND HOPE Using a cutting-edge, sensory based therapy, a new veteran’s ranch near Aberdeen is working to stop the 22 a day. by JENNY ROTH


n a ranch just south of Aberdeen lives Max, an 18-year-old medicine hat paint horse who is quick to say hello. But don’t be fooled, this is no ordinary ranch and definitely no ordinary horse. Max is one of the few horses in the whole world trained in the Draper Sensory Method, a therapy treatment that uses movement and the brain-body connection to heal mental illness and neurological disorders. The method is highly specialized, and so is the ranch where Max works. It is a veteran’s ranch, and the cornerstone of Chris Reder’s DTOM 22/0 Foundation.

 Chris Reder and his horse Max provide free therapy treatment for veterans suffering from mental illnesses and neurological disorders at the DTOM 22/0 Ranch.

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can neutralize stress and chemical imbalances in the brain, reset neurons, and ultimately repair the vestibular part of the brain. The goal is not to just have short-term relief while riding Max, but long-term results for issues like post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries, and chemical dependency. Most participants come in twice a week for a total of about 10 to 15 visits. Reder says the treatments are completely free for any veteran, and that he works with Northeastern Mental Health Center and local veteran’s groups to get referrals for those who could benefit from the method. As the foundation grows, Reder hopes it will someday include a lodge for up to 32 veterans to live and/or work at the ranch as they reacclimate to civilian life. Providing this around-the-clock support system is another way to stop the 22 a day. Reder explains the mission behind his nonprofit, “When we join the military, we take an oath to be our brother’s and sister’s keeper and to not leave anyone behind. We’re trying to honor that oath and reduce these suicides. We are so fortunate to live in such a wonderful country because of our men and women in uniform. When they come back broken, we can’t turn our backs on them, we have to take care of them. It’s our duty.” //  For more information on the DTOM 22/0 Foundation, find them on Facebook or visit www.DTOM220.org.

Photo by Troy McQuillen

Reder started DTOM 22/0 after an accident caused him to be medically discharged from his job as a cryptologic technician for the U.S. Navy. He says the years following the accident were difficult, and that he found healing for himself by volunteering with other organizations that served his fellow veterans. Doing this volunteer work also gave him the inspiration to take it one step further and start his own nonprofit, and in March 2017, the DTOM 22/0 Foundation was born. DTOM stands for “Dont Tread On Me”—a nod to the first U.S. Navy Jack. On average, every day in the U.S. 22 veterans take their own life. The 22/0 signifies Reder’s goal of changing that number from 22 a day to zero. Opening the veteran’s ranch is phase one of his nonprofit. This summer, after going through Draper Sensory Method treatment himself and seeing the difference it made in the recovery from his own brain injury, Reder completed training with Max at the Horseback Miracles Ranch in Colorado. He is now one of only six practitioners in the country who are certified in helping others using this method. In it, riders sit on Max backward with their eyes closed, while Reder leads them around an outdoor arena. The horse’s movements create frequencies that travel up the spine of the rider and into the brain. These frequencies


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november/december 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE




Plans are underway for the construction of the Aberdeen Area Veterans Memorial Center by JENNY ROTH


embers of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) used to gather at the VFW building in Aberdeen. A few years ago, though, that building was sold, leaving the group without a place to hold their monthly meetings. As far as numbers go, the DAV isn’t huge, but they are very active in caring for their members and other community veterans. They hold a motorcycle run for disabled vets, as well as a Forget-Me-Not Drive. They also operate a van that gives veterans free rides to and from appointments at the Sioux Falls and Fargo VA Hospitals. For now, the DAV hosts its monthly meetings at the Plymouth Congregational Church. But a space of their own is something they have been hoping to find for years. It would make it easier for members to meet and plan local events, as well as give them the opportunity to host larger regional and statewide events for their organization. The DAV’s story is similar to that of several veteran organizations in the Aberdeen area. In all, roughly 5,000

veterans live in Brown County. Five of the major groups that support them—the DAV, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion, Marine Corps League, and The Forty and Eight, are without a permanent facility of their own. Instead of each trying to find and maintain their own building, these five groups decided to do what veterans are known for—work together and take care of their comrades. In doing so, they formed one organization that represents them all, Aberdeen Area Veterans, Inc. (AAVI). After years of careful planning and consideration, in 2020 AAVI will kick off its capital campaign to fund a monumental project: the construction of the Aberdeen Area Veterans Memorial Center. The center, designed by HKG Architects, will be located on North Roosevelt Street just east of Kirk’s Auto Repair. At 19,500 square feet, it will be a place for veterans, their families, and their community. For veterans, it will house office, meeting, gym, and recreation spaces that they can use free of charge. To welcome their

families, it will also have a large outdoor area and a park, and undeveloped space so future generations can create what they need on site in the years to come. For the community, it will have a kitchen to host burger and steak nights and rooms large enough for events like weddings and small conventions. Dennis Nelson, post commander with the VFW in Aberdeen, says he hopes the building will be an attraction for visitors, too. “I’d like for it to include information about the wars veterans from this area have fought in and pieces of our history, so that it will be something that attracts people and has them telling others how they have to come and see this.” The dream of having a veteran’s building in Aberdeen has been a long time coming.  A rendering of the upcoming Aberdeen Area Veteran’s Memorial Center on North Roosevelt Street.

30 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE november/december 2019

JOINING FORCES Many veteran organizations exist to advocate for vets, help care for them, and to preserve memories of soldiers and their contributions to freedom. The Aberdeen Area Veterans, Inc., is comprised of five, regional active veterans organizations who are banding together to create the new Veterans Memorial Center. VFW The Veterans of Foreign Wars is a nonprofit organization comprised of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, guard and reserve forces. Their roots date to 1899 when veterans of the SpanishAmerican War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service. Many arrived home wounded or sick and there was no medical care or pension for them, and they were left to care for themselves. Many of the local groups banded together to form the VFW of the United States and the movement quickly gained momentum. Today, membership stands at more than 1.6 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliary. Brown County Membership: 500

Photo by Troy McQuillen

 Aberdeen Area Veterans, Inc. is spearheading the new Aberdeen Area Veterans Memorial Center. Pictured are AAVI members L to R: Tom Leonhardt, Truman Henry, Ron Schaffer, Chip Swanson, Skip Clay, Tim Evans, Roger Schaible, Dale Strom, Vern Preszler, Ron Krogman, Al Oschner, Sean Johnson, and Mel Volk.

It started out as an idea scratched onto paper by a few veterans and has since only grown in support. President of the board for AAVI, Sean Johnson, says the building’s main purpose is to give all veterans a place of their own that is always open to them. “That comradery when veterans gather together is a special thing. This center will give veterans of all ages somewhere to have conversations and to also participate in social activities. We’ll have things like pool and darts and the gym for the young people, and a spot to grab a coffee for the older people who want to sit and visit.” Staying engaged with each other and in their community is vital, especially when it comes to mental health. Sean says, “When veterans come home from a combat situation and aren’t getting out of the house and aren’t getting involved with things, that’s when depression and the suicide risk increases. Engaging with other veterans who understand you is so important.” AAVI purposely included “Aberdeen area” in the center’s name. Veteran groups in the small communities surrounding Aberdeen are seeing dwindling numbers and aging members. If those posts close, it leaves rural veterans without much support. The new center will offer them the chance to join one, or several, veteran groups under a single roof. It will take at least a few years for the Aberdeen Area Veterans Memorial Center to be complete. Their next step is launching their capital campaign and raising the about $5 million needed for construction. Once the building does open its doors, the sky is the limit for the ways it will serve veterans and eastern South Dakota as a whole. //

DAV DAV is a nonprofit charity that provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations and their families, helping more than 1 million vets each year. Annually, the organization provides more than 600,000 rides to veterans attending medical appointments and assists veterans with over 200,000 benefit claims. DAV’s services are offered at no cost to vets, their families and survivors. DAV is also a leader in connecting veterans with meaningful employment, providing resources to ensure they have the opportunity to participate in the American dream that their sacrifices made possible. DAV empowers our nation’s heroes by helping to provide the resources they need and ensuring our nation keeps the promises made to them. Brown County Membership: 225 40 & 8 Founded in 1920, the Forty and Eight is committed to upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States, to promote the well-being of veterans, their widows, widowers and orphans, and to facilitate charitable endeavors that support child welfare and nurses training. The title of The Forty and Eight is derived from the experiences of U.S. troops during World War I in France. Americans soldiers were transported to the front on the French rail system. Cramped into boxcars, each stenciled with “40 Hommes/8 Chevaux,” denoting its capacity to hold either 40 men or 8 horses. Thereafter, they found “40/8” a lighthearted symbol of the deeper service, unspoken horrors and shared sacrifice that bind all who have endured combat. Brown County Membership: 65 American Legion The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919. Focusing on service to veterans, service members and communities, the Legion evolved from a group of war-weary veterans of World War I into one of the most influential nonprofits in the United States. Membership swiftly grew to over 1 million, and local posts sprang up across the country. Today, membership stands at nearly 2 million in more than 13,000 posts worldwide. The posts are organized into 55 departments: one each for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, France, Mexico and the Philippines. The Legion has influenced social change in America, won benefits for veterans, and produced many important programs for children. Brown County Membership: 700 Marines The Marine Corps League perpetuates the traditions and spirit of ALL Marines and Navy FMF Corpsmen, who proudly wear or who have worn the eagle, globe, and anchor of the Corps. It takes great pride in crediting its founding in 1923 to World War I hero, then Major General Commandant John A. Lejeune. The mission of the Marine Corps League is to promote the interest and to preserve traditions of the United States Marine Corps; strengthen the fraternity of Marines and their families; serve Marines, FMF Corpsmen, and FMF Chaplains who foster the ideals of Americanism and patriotic volunteerism. Brown County Membership: 50 Information sourced from respective organizational websites. november/december 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE



IT’S MORE THAN BELL RINGING The Salvation Army is a primary source of assistance in our community, thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who pitch in during the holidays and beyond.


 Pictured are staff members at the Salvation Army in Aberdeen, back row L to R: Tony Jones, Brenda Grote, and Major Dale Hunt. Front row L to R: Sue Grewe, Syd Beckler, and Major Mary Hunt.

ike many people, I imagine, most of my encounters with the Salvation Army have been with people ringing bells at stores at Christmas time to solicit donations for the Corps’ services for people in need. Fairly recently, I learned of the assistance my grandfather received during and after his service in World War I. Not long enough later, after he died at age 46, my grandmother and her young children, including my mom and one born after his death, also received aid from the Army. As is often the case, we don’t always know who is in need. The Salvation Army is, certainly, one of the primary sources of assistance in Aberdeen. From the tens of thousands of meals it serves in its dining room or delivers, to personal visits to hundreds of nursing home residents, to thousands of gifts shared with children, the Salvation Army puts a personal face on addressing need.

32 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE november/december 2019

Founded in England in 1865 and now in more than 100 countries, the Army first came to Aberdeen in 1892. For more than 70 years, it was located downtown on Fourth Avenue, behind today’s Brass Kettle. That building was demolished in 1984, and the Army built and moved into its current building on Sixth Avenue and 10th Street in 1985. The thrift store was built in 2005. Major Dale Hunt, with his wife Mary, has directed the Aberdeen Corps since 2016, but his story goes back much further. “I attended the Army all my life, since I was

Photos by Troy McQuillen


 The Salvation Army Thrift Store, at 1025 Sixth Avenue SW, is open six days a week.  People do not need to subscribe to the Army’s religious beliefs to receive assistance but are welcome to attend their Sunday Christian services, youth groups, and women’s groups.

probably a week old,” he says. “My mother belonged, and she always made sure we went to the programs.” Originally from Bismarck, Major Hunt was the Corps Officer at locations in Indiana, Kansas, Wisconsin, and Illinois as well as in Minneapolis and Grand Forks. His 17-member staff in Aberdeen includes administrators, janitorial staff, food preparers, and thrift Store workers. In describing the services the Aberdeen Corps provides, the Major is sure to add, “We are also a church”—and he is also quick to point out that people do not need to subscribe to the Army’s religious beliefs to receive assistance. In addition to youth groups, women’s groups, and other spiritual services, they offer Sunday Christian services. About 30-50 people attend weekly, and one of the people there will be Sue Grewe, the operations manager at the Aberdeen Corps, who has worked there for more than 30 years. Her family owned Taylor Laundry, which was located next to the old Salvation Army building downtown. “My mom and grandma would shop in the thrift store, and from the invitation of the salesclerk, Doris Hunter, our family came to the church services. We have been attending since then,” she says, adding, “I grew up going to Sunday school, Sunday morning and evening services, youth group, and anything else that was

happening at the Corps.” As this suggests, youth activities have been a key service for the Salvation Army for many years. In Sue’s younger days, “Our youth group had approximately 15-20 kids, and we had approximately 20 people in our brass band. The band was made up of youth and adults. We would play during the church services and at open-air services (street corner ministry), at annual banquets, and wherever else we were needed.” Times have changed for youth, of course, and other opportunities have proliferated. The Aberdeen Army’s band and youth group don’t exist anymore, but the Corps offers an after- school program for elementary students. In addition, the Corps provides hundreds of lunches to kids at Aberdeen parks, school supplies, and gifts at Christmas. At Christmas, the Army assists 300 families with a gift package containing a Christmas Day dinner. The food is donated by individuals as well as local stores. The Christmas packages also include toys donated for children at special Christmas trees in town and Toys for Tots—“So they have something to open on Christmas,” Major Hunt says. The Army also organizes hundreds of visits to nursing home residents. Volunteers from the Army’s church, youth center kids, Aberdeen Christian School, and other

RULES FOR APPROACHING BELL RINGERS My suggestions to people approaching bell ringers—speaking from experience on both ends of the bell: s Make no sudden movements

(sorry, wrong list).

s Eye contact with a bell ringer

doesn’t obligate you to give. You can even say, “Hi!”

s Don’t worry—bell ringers want

you to donate (it helps make the volunteer time more worth the while), but they don’t expect it, and they aren’t offended if you don’t. They’ll forget what you did.

s Let your children drop in the

donation—they pretty much all want to do it.

s Just do it. The bell ringer will

feel better, and you will too.

november/december 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE


 The Salvation Army Truck delivers free sack lunches to kids at several locations in Aberdeen during the summer months.

groups bring gifts to all nursing home residents for Christmas and Easter. They also offer to pray with them and sometimes sing Christmas carols. In addition, staff members work with hundreds of people a year, offering direct help for food, rent, and utilities vouchers, as well as help with clothing and furniture through the thrift store. While these services are meant to help prevent homelessness, for people who are homeless, the Army coordinates with the Journey Home shelter. The Army’s work, the staff is quick to point out, relies on volunteers. “I really like doing it. I like helping people,” says Mona Greenhalgh, who was ringing bells in Oklahoma before she moved to Aberdeen and continued to help the Army. Volunteers do many jobs to help, receiving and stocking goods at the thrift store, working in the kitchen, serving food, helping with Christmas activities, and visiting people. Major Hunt says they have 450-600 volunteers. In fiscal year 2018 (ending September 30), volunteers

put in 14,388 hours, almost 1,200 per month—600 days in a year. As of July 2019, volunteers were working at a 1,500 hour per month rate. That must be partly due to Tony Jones, who became volunteer director in July 2018. It was a return for him. A Missouri native, he had worked for

Award wiNNing

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the Army in Aberdeen for several years in the early 2000s before he went overseas to do mission work. No doubt he’s a good model for his volunteers. Another volunteer, Robert Webb, has supported the Salvation Army for more than 40 years, since before he joined the

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board of advisors in 1976. Besides ringing bells, he’s driven the mobile canteen to provide refreshments to firefighters in the Aberdeen area and in the Black Hills, and he also drove it around Aberdeen in 2007 to help people dealing with the aftereffects of that year’s flood. He helped expand the Snack Packs program, which provides weekend snacks for 425 area school kids. “We were doing four schools originally, and now we do nine in town and four in nearby communities,” he notes. Retired from the former Webb Shoes, he keeps volunteering. A highlight for him is “the thank you notes from students at Lincoln and other schools for the snack packs. It makes you know you’re reaching the right people. You hope that down the road they’ll remember it came from the Salvation Army, and they’ll pitch in.” The Major says some volunteers tell them they were helped by the Army at some point in their lives, and now it’s time to give back, but “Most don’t say that, so they probably are just volunteering.” He stresses, “There’s still more need and more need for help. We still need more volunteer help.” Plus, as Robert Webb adds, “You do get to see some of the good you’re able to do.” Tony is the guy to contact to volunteer. “I enjoy it,” says Mona, who does many volunteer jobs at the Corps, coming five days a week and starting each day by making coffee because “I think people should have that at the beginning of the day.” After which, she adds, “Then either the Major or Tony come and get me, saying ‘we need extra help’ somewhere,” she laughs. “And I say, ‘Oh, okay.’” She adds that her husband joined her in volunteering and often signs her up to ring bells at Walmart, which, at the end of town without much to block the December north wind, can be a hazardous duty. Fortunately, when she first moved from warmer Oklahoma, the Corps “gave me some winter clothes

so I could ring bells there.” Bell ringing is universal for the Salvation Army in America. It started in San Francisco in 1891 and spread across the country. In Aberdeen, volunteers from more than 40 local clubs and organizations ring bells, starting the Friday before Thanksgiving and finishing on Christmas Eve. The job is pretty selfexplanatory—someone stands by a kettle and rings a bell to attract donations—but there used to be some, well, whistles with the bells. When she was young, Sue Grewe says, “We used to have little houses for bell ringing. We used them downtown, and they had little heaters inside. Because we had two of us at the house during our time, we would trade off to warm up; but sometimes the little house became too warm to a kid!” Bell ringing is more than just an iconic Salvation Army thing. “Christmas is very important to us,” Major Hunt says, adding starkly, “If we don’t reach our goal at Christmas, we don’t make it all year.” And it’s getting harder. Some Army Corps around the country have noticed a decline in giving in kettles at stores as people do more online shopping. In addition, ringing locations are declining. Last year, I rang my bell at Shopko, which, like other previous spots such as K-Mart, no longer exists. But the ringers will be out there again this year. The Salvation Army is one of the best (although, certainly, not the only) ways to make a difference for people in need in Aberdeen. It does a lot. As Robert Webb says, “It’s more than bell ringing. It’s helping the community be more than a step ahead. We can’t cure every ill, but we can help put a smile on someone’s face.” It’s more than bell ringing, but that’s an introduction. Drop something in the kettle. You’ll make a difference, and besides, the person you help could be your neighbor or the ancestor of someone you’ll love someday. //


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THE FAR-FLUNG FLOCK Aberdeen Military Chaplains Minister Worldwide by PATRICK GALLAGHER

“Bringing God to soldiers and soldiers to God”—that’s the basic job description for military chaplains. It’s a noble calling for a minister, and both soldiers and chaplains in Aberdeen appreciate it. “Chaplains are absolutely critical for the mission of the Guard today,” said Brig. Gen. Tom Croymans of Aberdeen, Assistant Adjutant General for South Dakota Army National Guard. “Readiness means more than just being physically fit these days.” He added, “We ask soldiers to do a lot—hard things. They have to be able to sort that out, and that’s what chaplains help with. They help address the things soldiers do and see.” Father Mike Griffin, a National Guard chaplain from 2009-2017 and current pastor at Aberdeen St. Mary’s, said, “I had to do ministry a completely different way.” Chaplains are in charge of the spiritual needs of all troops. “They came from all faith traditions or none,” he said, “but the basic duty is that you perform or you provide”—perform a religious service or provide what soldiers need. “I never felt good about clergy being exempt from service,” said Rev. John Hisel, associate pastor at First United Methodist Church, explaining why he enlisted in the Army during the Vietnam War. “I needed to kind of pay my dues, and I thought the guys could benefit from me being there.” When he was in seminary, a military chaplain had spoken about the chaplaincy. A few years later, he signed up and served from 1970-1975. Father Joe Holzhauser, formerly at Aberdeen St. Mary’s and now in Pierre,

36 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE november/december 2019

also heard a pitch in seminary in 1980. “The chief of chaplains for the U.S. Army came and preached about the disconnect between church teachings and the killing of war,” he remembered. “I couldn’t condone war, but I wanted to support the men there, so I signed on as a National Guard chaplain” and served for 26 years. The seed was probably planted much earlier, however: “When I had my first communion in second grade, I saw a picture of a military chaplain. I decided when I grew up, I wanted to be a priest and wear that uniform.” Rev. Kay Reeb, the only woman military chaplain with Aberdeen connections I spoke with, joined the Navy in 1992 as a chaplain. The Peever native had been a youth pastor at Aberdeen’s Good Shepherd Lutheran and later in Oakes during Desert Storm. Many young people there were in the Reserves, and she worried who would look after them if they were called up, so she joined too. “I was too old for the Army, and the Air Force said they had too many Lutherans,” she said, “so I joined the Navy, and it’s been wonderful.” The youngest of these former military chaplains, Fr. Griffin was the oldest to sign

up—at 46. One day in 2009, a staffer at his Sioux Falls parish told him her brother in Iraq could only get to church once in 18 months. The next day, he received a letter from the National Guard about the military chaplaincy (adding to the coincidence, it was from the brother-in-law of another priest in his parish). After praying about it, he decided to give it a try. Military chaplains must be ordained ministers to get the job, but there’s still training. Fr. Griffin’s nine-week chaplain school took two years to complete. “The course was divided into several phases to account for chaplains having parishes to attend to as well,” he noted. Like soldiers, National Guard chaplains keep their day jobs. In addition to “lots of classroom work on ministering to military life,” there was boot camp, “not as rigorous as regular boot camp, but more rigorous than I was expecting.” Chaplains minister to soldiers during wartime and peace, at home and abroad. One of Rev. Hisel’s first assignments was at Fort Ord in California. “We counseled a lot,” he said. “Often the soldiers walked in devastated about something.” In addition, the

We ask soldiers to do a lot—hard things. They have to be able to sort that out, and that’s what chaplains help with. –BRIG. GEN. TOM CROYMANS

ďƒ™ Rev. John Hisel (below and in photos at left), associate pastor at First United Methodist Church, enlisted as a military chaplain during the Vietnam War.

november/december 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE


 Rev. Kay Reeb of Peever is pictured delivering school supplies during one of her two tours in Iraq as a military chaplain.

draft caused “built-in resentment for being where they didn’t want to be,” and he worked with a lot of soldiers who wanted out. While National Guard chaplains participate in regular trainings along with soldiers, they’re on call the rest of the time too. Sergeant First Class Jamie Bachman, with the Aberdeen unit, said, “It’s a family, and we’re people, and people have problems. If I have a soldier with behavior or family issues, usually the chaplain is my first go to.” Chaplains aren’t only for problems, however. SFC Matt Baumgarn had a military chaplain perform his wedding rather than his own pastor. When Rev. Hisel arrived in Vietnam in 1971, he had two weeks of training: e.g., how to relate to locals and how to spot booby traps (like a Coke can connected to a bomb). Ministering to the infantry meant he was in the field most of the time at a mountaintop firebase, where his living quarters were underground. Every day, he said, “I would talk with the commanders, often in an underground bunker, to get suggestions on where to go to help troops,” which often meant where the commander thought morale needed attention. He had to be airlifted to where the troops were.

38 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE november/december 2019

“Everything was done fast,” he said. “The helicopters never landed. They hovered and you jumped on and off.” Fr. Holzhauser deployed twice in wartime, to Iraq in 1990-1991 and Afghanistan in 2004-2005 (as well as to Europe and Latin America in peacetime). To minister to farflung troops, he traveled by helicopter and convoy. “The South Dakota people were surprised how much I was away from them because I had services to do in multiple places,” he said. In Afghanistan, he served 28 bases. “By the time you got to all of them, a month went by.”

I was too old for the Army, and the Air Force said they had too many Lutherans, so I joined the Navy, and it’s been wonderful. –REV. KAY REEB

While Fr. Holzhauser didn’t see female chaplains during his first deployment, there were some the second time. In fact, Rev. Reeb was in Iraq with the Marines at about that time. She served two tours there, in 2004-2005 and in 2007-2008. The first time, she was in Fallujah during some of the heaviest fighting there. During her second tour, in Al Asaid at a calmer time and in a calmer place, she worked with troops to distribute soccer balls sent from a California church to the youth in the area. When Fr. Griffin deployed to Afghanistan in 2013, his commander expected that when a convoy left the base, the soldiers would see him praying for them. During the soldiers’ final vehicle checks, “I’d lay hands on a vehicle to bless it. The guys would look around at me and ask, ‘What are you doing, sir?’ because they didn’t like people touching their vehicles.” After blessing everything, he’d be at the gate kneeling in prayer as they drove away, “The last thing they saw as they left the base.” Mike Herman, who graduated from Central with Fr. Griffin, served in the military for 30 years, including 15 months in Afghanistan. “Chaplains are critical during deployment,” he said, helping with

mental health issues, especially young soldiers who were away from home for the first time. “They need someone to talk to.” Fr. Griffin agreed, “Deployments aren’t easy. Lots of emotional stuff and grinding routine.” He added, “Plus everything is brown! One day I took a picture of a cloud because it was the first one I’d seen in a month and a half.” When she attended services overseas during her deployment to Kuwait and Iraq in 2003-2004, Sarah Bierman found “Going into the tents for services was like a piece of home. You stepped out of combat and got a sense of peace. You get wrapped up in a deployment. It’s nice to have a reminder of your spirituality and who you are as a human being, not just a soldier— as one of God’s children.” It wasn’t always peaceful. Paula Beckler, who deployed with Sarah, said her best friend was attending services in Baghdad’s Green Zone when the  Fr. Mike Griffin of Aberdeen St. Mary’s leads a group of soldiers in prayer.

 Fr. Griffin (at right) served as a military chaplain from 2009-2017 with the National Guard.

Going into the tents for services was like a piece of home. You stepped out of combat and got a sense of peace. –SARAH BIERMAN

building was bombed. “To this day,” Paula said, “she can’t worship inside a building.” “Holidays can be very lonely when you’re deployed,” Mike Herman said, but the chaplains helped. Rev. Hisel did 11 field services on Christmas in Vietnam. “I had a helicopter assigned to me,” he recalled. “We hopped from one place to another to be with the troops on Christmas Day.” During Christmas midnight mass at Bagram Air Base, Fr. Holzhauser remembered, “There were 1,500-2,000 soldiers at the service, and we sang ‘Silent Night.’ We started in English and then had all the international troops sing it in their own language. The melody is the same, even if the words are different. It was very moving.” Both of Rev. Reeb’s tours kept her away from home for the holidays. “My husband left the tree up at home, and we celebrated Christmas in March!” she said, noting how important family support is. “They truly served too.” “Death was a kind of constant thing,” Rev. Hisel noted. “Going by Graves Registration, which was basically the base mortuary, with stacks of caskets outside waiting to be used, november/december 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE


 Fr. Joe Holzhauser (at left) was deployed twice during wartime as a military chaplain. He served in the National Guard for 26 years.

was foreboding and depressing to me.” He added, “When soldiers were killed, I did memorial services. We set up a memorial area with the soldier’s stuff—tarp, boots, and so on.” Four decades later, Mike Herman experienced similar memorials when four soldiers were killed in action on his first day at camp. Soldiers’ deaths aren’t just overseas issues. Stateside, Fr. Holzhauser said, “You’re on call for deaths. A chaplain is assigned to go with an officer to notify the family.” Once he had to notify a family about the death of a son he had helped prepare for confirmation years earlier. Chaplains risk death too. Rev. Hisel knew of over a dozen Army chaplains killed during Vietnam. Only one chaplain has been killed on duty since that war, but more than 400 have been killed on duty since the military chaplaincy was established during the Revolutionary War. Although these chaplains have left the military, the military hasn’t left them. While she retired in 2012 and her home base is now near Peever, Rev. Reeb is a junior ROTC instructor at a New York high school— “still in uniform every day.” Rev. Hisel organized a support group for veterans, hosts an annual Veterans Day appreciation meal, and recently received the Veterans Advocate award from the Aberdeen Chamber. Paula Beckler says that even after they retired, both Fr. Holzhauser and Fr. Griffin readily agreed to visit with soldiers who needed a friendly ear. In “bringing God to soldiers and soldiers to God,” these Aberdeen chaplains answered a calling they heard in various ways. Besides the good they did for service members, they all would agree with Fr. Holzhauser’s assessment, “It’s a big part of my life. I’m very lucky.” //

When I had my first communion in second grade, I saw a picture of a military chaplain. I decided when I grew up, I wanted to be a priest and wear that uniform. –FATHER JOE HOLZHAUSER




40 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE november/december 2019

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42 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE november/december 2019

 Robin and Wendell Niewenhuis have completed numerous DIY projects and renovations on their home in Aberdeen.

W For every season, Wendell and Robin Niewenhuis decorate with refurbished and minimalistic elegance. by JENNY ROTH


endell and Robin Niewenhuis have long been brave, DIY types. Case in point: they painted the ceiling in their family room black. Unconventional? Perhaps. But it’s also stunning against the light-colored walls, not to mention the part of their house that gets the most compliments. “It was something I had wanted to do, and we just went for it,” Robin says. The Niewenhuises rarely buy anything new when it comes to furnishing and decorating their home. Most everything they own is a thrift store find that they brought back to life by adding a coat of paint or the touch of a sewing needle. The couple works well together. Wendell has completed much of the remodeling projects, while Robin has done everything from painting furniture to turning table linens into curtains. This year, their home underwent one of its biggest transformations yet when they had a commercial kitchen installed in the lower level for Robin’s business, Sweet Pea Cakery. Robin started the bakery almost two years ago and credits her beautiful new workspace to her father. “My dad passed away last July, and he always wanted me to do something like this. I wouldn’t have probably spent the money on a kitchen, so this is just such an amazing gift from him.” During the holidays, the Niewenhuises keep their decorating simple and adorned with repurposed treasures, like their Christmas dish set from the Salvation Army. What is their absolute favorite thing about their home? “It’s that our grandkids love to come over,” they say. Possibly the best gift of all. // november/december 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE


ďƒš Christmas stockings hung by the door are a welcoming sight for family and friends.

ďƒ˜ When it comes to decorating, Robin says she starts with a neutral palette and then adds pops of color, such as red and black. Almost all of the furniture and decor you see in the Niewenhuis' home are thrift store finds that they revamped. For example, the curtains shown above were once table linens.

44 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE november/december 2019

 The Niewenhuises start with white and then bring in color with furniture, like this blue shelf in their living room area.

 Robin painted their piano to match the home’s rustic appeal

 This holiday dish set was an unexpected Salvation Army Thrift Store find. When it comes to thrifting, Robin says go often and keep your eyes open for what you could use, instead of looking for one specific thing.

november/december 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE


 Simple Christmas decorations are added throughout the home.

 Robin operates her bakery, Sweet Pea Cakery, from the lower level of the couple’s home.

46 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE november/december 2019

 Everything shown here, from the holiday dishes and table and chairs to the curtains and furniture, was carefully selected from second-hand stores and fits in beautifully.

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QUONSVILLE With an influx in enrollment after WWII, Northern State Teachers College responded to a student housing shortage by adding a group of Quonset huts that became a community all their own. by KARLIE SPIRY

 John Chilson, a veteran, and his family stand outside their Quonset for a photo in 1948. Photo courtesy of Beulah Williams Library Archives and Special Collections.

48 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE november/december 2019

 Photo taken above the old amphitheater that used to be in the southwest corner of campus where Steele Hall is today. Facing east, a view of Quonsville. All 30 huts surrounded Seymour Hall, which was torn down in the 2000s. The huts were either curved or had a standard, gabled roofline. Photo courtesy of Beulah Williams Library Archives and Special Collections.


fter World War II, Northern State Teachers College faced a severe housing crisis. An increase in enrollment of G.I.s, or Norvets as Northern’s veterans would later be known as, catapulted the college’s census number to over 844 students in 1946. This drastic increase left Northern severely unprepared, as student enrollment during the war years was only around 210. It was cramped living, with three or sometimes even four students sharing a room that had a maximum occupancy of two. At the time, the only dormitories on campus were Graham, Seymour, and the recently built Lincoln Hall. Depending on the flow and demand of students, each dormitory would be assigned to either males or females and would never be co-ed unless a floor was assigned as family housing. The solution to this new housing shortage came in a form the Norvets were already familiar with. Quonset huts and military style barracks were converted into family houses and kept on Northern’s campus.

In 1945, Northern applied for 35 emergency housing units from the Federal Public Housing Authority (FPHA) in Chicago. In April 1946, construction started on the housing project, with Henry H. Hackett & Sons of Rapid City federally contracted to build the huts. The project began with only ten huts being built due to supply limitations on building materials. The whole country was still recovering from WWII, and excessive amounts of steel were not readily available. It was almost a full year before the first 18 huts were completed, and it wouldn’t be until 1948 that 30 huts would be finished, housing 60 families in total. In Mark C. Bartusis’ book, Northern State University: The First Century, 1901-2000, the agreement made with the FPHA required Northern to build sewer and electrical lines from the Central Building to these huts and ensure they were heated and had running water. Northern also had to provide a laundry service on campus. The laundry hut was one of the busiest buildings during its operation. It was located in the area that

is referred to as the campus green today. It housed six washers that operated from six in the morning to ten at night. In 1948, The Exponent reported that the facility was upgraded with two new Maytag washers and a new clothesline for students to use. The Quonset huts were family housing units. Only veterans and their families, through an application process, could live in them. Each hut consisted of two units. Each unit contained two bedrooms, a living room, bathroom, and a kitchen that had a cook stove and an ice box. Some Quonset huts had a fuel locker, too. The barracks style houses were modeled in the same style as the huts, but instead of having curved sides and roof, they had straight sides and a traditional, gabled roof. The barracks style houses also had the exact same setup inside as the Quonsets. Rent was paid monthly, and it was based on the income of the veteran. Families had the option to furnish their huts themselves or rent furniture from the college. The huts were supposed to be a temporary solution to the housing problem. They were november/december 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE


 The inner metal frame of a Quonset hut being built on the east side of campus by workers of the Henry H. Hackett & Sons construction company. The old greenhouse can be seen in the background. Photo courtesy of Beulah Williams Library Archives and Special Collections.  John Chilson and his family enjoy their time together in the open plan of their living room, dining room, and kitchen. Babies were a common occurrence in Quonsville as many veterans started their families there. Photo courtesy of Beulah Williams Library Archives and Special Collections.

federally contracted to be on campus for only three years with the contract expiring in 1949. However, in 1948, Northern requested to purchase the federal contracts from the government. The huts were deeded to the state through the Board of Regents. After this transaction, the Board of Regents received all the money that the huts brought in and the structures remained on campus for nearly two more decades. The Exponent reported in October 1946 that the first 10 families to live in the huts were the families of Jack Hurst, Francis

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Brewer, John Tillotson, Wallace Webb, Robert Rhombs, Charles Parrott, Miles Egset, Vernon Zick, Albert Cranston, and Willard Forester. The huts these families occupied were built in the area behind where the Mewaldt-Jensen building stands on Northern’s campus today. The other 20 huts were built around Seymour Hall (where Great Plains East is) all the way to the edge of the avenue near Kramer Hall and McArther-Welsh Hall. As mentioned in the Bartusis book, the most striking feature about the Quonset

huts was the goal of self-government. The families who lived in the huts quickly renamed the community to either “Norvet City” or the more popular “Quonsville.” It was in Quonsville that many of the families wanted a place that they felt represented themselves. This led to the creation of a city charter, a mayor position, and a council for the Quonset huts. The first mayor of Quonsville was Joe Shelley, and he was elected in 1947. A council of five Norvets were also chosen to represent the five wards of Quonsville: Ralph Johnson and Francis Brewer were mentioned by full name. The other three were only listed by their last names: Colossi, Hilgeman, and Aman. The mayor and council would work together with an elected student manager under the guidance of Theodore Rozendahl, who was superintendent of buildings and land at Northern. Not much can be found on the Quonsville mayor position or what activities the council did specifically. As reported by The Exponent, the primary objectives they focused on were increasing subsistence payments and general housing maintenance inquiries.

 Robert Rhombs (standing with the clipboard) was the first student manager of Quonsville from 1947 to 1948. Rhombs was also a veteran and started his own intermural basketball team while at Northern. Here, he is speaking with a veteran resident of Quonsville. Photo courtesy of Beulah Williams Library Archives and Special Collections.

 Veteran Albert Cranston, his wife, and their two daughters Peggy Ann and Sharon Grace pose for a family photo in their Quonset hut kitchen. Photo courtesy of Beulah Williams Library Archives and Special Collections.

The families that lived in the huts varied from young married couples to growing families. One such family was that of Ralph and Bernie Johnson. Ralph was in the Navy, and after the war ended, he married Bernie when she was just 17. Ralph enrolled at Northern in 1945, and he and Bernie were the first to occupy Quonset 23, located in the southwest corner of Quonsville. While at Northern, they had their first child. The Johnsons only lived in the hut for just over a year before Ralph transferred to MIT in Boston, MA, but Bernie still remembers fondly what life was like living in Quonsville. “I was only 17, and it was just after the war time, so it didn’t take much to please me. Anything you had you appreciated. If we would have stayed any longer, we might have had problems because there wasn’t an awful lot of storage and in the summertime it would get hot.” The kitchen and living rooms were open concept by design, and the cupboards were built onto the slope of the curved walls. Bernie had purchased fiesta-themed dinnerware, and her mother-in-law had november/december 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE


 Yvonne Warne and her family lived in a Quonset hut at 315 N. Third Street (replaced by an apartment building). Pictured are Marjorie Filegar Ormand, Jeanne Filegar Clarke, and Yvonne Filegar Warne, daughters of Edward and Nelva Filegar. They lived in this hut from 1953-1959. Photos provided by Yvonne Warne.

gifted her handmade yellow, green, and blue striped curtains that gave her kitchen a Spanish theme. The personal touches didn’t stop there, as Bernie also grew morning glories on one side of the hut and moon flowers on the other on built-up flower beds. To beat the heat during the summer, the Johnsons would run a hose over the top of their hut and let the water run down the rounded sides into the flower beds to cool the metal and water the flowers. Bernie described the cookstove as having four burners that used coal or wood for fuel. It also had a reservoir that channeled water through it, and that was how occupants heated their water for the day. “If you started early in the morning, you would have hot water by the end of the night. It also heated the big water tank for showers, so if you didn’t take your shower right after you heated those stoves up, you had to take a cold shower.” Bernie laughed, speaking from experience. Bernie was one of the few wives who didn’t attend classes while living at Northern. Her Quonset hut became a regular meeting place for the other wives in between classes to meet up and have coffee. She jokingly called it the “Coffee Hut.” While living in Quonsville may have seemed idyllic and the short-term answer to Northern’s housing problem, it was not

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 Bernie Johnson and her late husband, “Bud” Ralph, lived in a Northern Quonset hut when Bud returned from the war. He attended classes and Bernie was a housewife. The framed photo of the couple is from Gypsy Day, 1946. Bud was in the Navy from 1942 to 1946. He served on the ship Intrepid and was part of Navy Bombing Squadron 18. He was shot down over the Pacific and was consider Missing in Action in 1944. Photo by Troy McQuillen.

the harmonious community that many college kids experience today. Bernie explained it as being “very clique-ish.” According to her, it was the old service rule. “The ones that were officers in the service stuck together, and the ones that enlisted stuck together. Of course, these guys were studying hard to get going again so there wasn’t a lot of socialization. You mostly just stuck to your own little group.” By the time Bernie and Ralph moved into their hut, the people who had already been living in Quonsville were well-situated in their houses. “We were kind of the underclassmen, not in the class itself, but they were more established than we were. We were living off $110 a month. That was G.I. pay,” Bernie said. “Rent was $18, and we rented one chest of drawers for 75 cents a month instead of buying a brand new one.” Of course, Bernie and Ralph had some good times living in Quonsville. On their first Christmas living in their Quonset hut, their little dog got into some real trouble

with the Christmas tree. “Our first Christmas we had a little dog. Our Christmas tree was decorated with angel hair, which I don’t think they make anymore. The dog knocked the tree over and took some ornaments into the closet where our shoes were, and of course that angel hair went right along with it. For a long time, we had ground glass in our shoes!” Over the years, Northern’s campus grew exponentially with buildings coming and going. To make room for the building of Kramer Hall, the Quonset huts were gradually sold off. The Aberdeen Daily News reported in 1961 that units 5 through 16 were sold through sealed bids. Marvin Dombrowe of Huffton bought six huts and a metal clad frame for the total sum of $1,285. The laundry hut was also sold to Harvey Howell of Aberdeen for $20.50. In 1963, the Aberdeen Daily News also noted units 17 through 36 were sold through sealed bids. At the time, these huts were being used as classrooms. The gabled roof

 The Cunningham’s Quonset hut as it looked prior to their remodeling work at North Penn Street. Photo provided by Brown County Assessor’s office.  The late, Calvin “Bud” Cunningham ultimately remodeled every inch of their Quonset Hut, including straight walls, a pitched roof and a basement that he dug by hand.

huts were sold as metal clad frames and consisted of units 41 through 60. These were sold through sealed bids as well. The new owners were responsible for removing them and any damages made to campus. By 1965, there were only five huts left on campus and all were repurposed as different buildings. Two huts were converted into the Reading Center and the Northeast South Dakota Mental Health Center. Two more huts were used as a storage shed next to the Garage, or what is now known as the Physical Plant, and the last one was used as a physics lab. This physics lab was later converted to one of the only three Physics Space Tracking Laboratories in the United States in 1967. Regardless of what happened to the huts, they provided a home for many families, including Clark Swisher for a brief period in 1950 while his house was being constructed on Melgaard Road. Although their presence was brief on campus compared to buildings like Graham Hall, which has been around since Northern’s founding, the Quonset huts were an integral feature to the university’s burgeoning campus and history. //  We would like to acknowledge and thank those that assisted with this story: Bernie Johnson, JoAnn Cunningham, Brown County Assessor’s office, NSU Librarian/Archivist Stephanie Cossette, Yvonne Warne, and Tracy Steele. Do you have an Aberdeen Quonset hut story or pictures? We’d love to hear from you. See page 4 for Publisher Troy McQuillen’s contact information.

 JoAnn Cunningham holds a decoupaged picture of her Quonset hut in its original condition on North Penn Street when they purchased it in 1963 (see above). Her late husband, Calvin “Bud” Cunningham remolded the house over the years, ultimately removing any hints of curved roofs or ceilings. The Cunninghams moved in a second hut and converted it into a garage. Photo by Troy McQuillen.

Ghosts of Quonsets Past The Aberdeen community also features a few Quonset huts as homes. During the postwar era, Quonset huts became a popular choice for housing. Several were built on site in the 900 block of North Penn Street in 1945. One is still in its original curved shape while the others have been converted to box-style homes. JoAnn Cunningham and her late husband Calvin “Bud” Cunningham bought their Quonset in 1963. Bud systematically added on, dug a basement by hand, and added a second Quonset as a garage, leaving no traces of curved roofs or ceilings. One Quonset was located at 315 N. Third Street, but has since been replaced with an apartment. There is also one Quonset hut still standing in West Hill, just north of Steven Lust Automotive. One of the Northern Quonset huts was purchased by the Country Club but was later sold to the Aberdeen Board of Education for $500 and placed on Simmons Field to be used as a concession stand and storage shed. november/december 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE



Thankful for



hanksgiving means different things to different people, but, universally, people eagerly anticipate a beautiful and delicious meal with friends and family. Over the years, I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving dinners on my home reservation, the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, various communities across South Dakota, and a potluck in California while traveling for work. I also, in addition to my Sioux heritage, descend from the Oneida (Tribal) Nation of Wisconsin, which meant that, for my family, the wild rice grown in those woodland communities of my maternal grandfather was always a staple on our Thanksgiving table. Now that I am in northeastern South Dakota as a transplanted Aberdonian, additional foods will join our Thanksgiving table as a nod to my new community, including a pumpkin küchen and a pheasant dish to accompany the usual turkey. In addition to a wild rice dish as a nod to my Oneida heritage, we’ll feast on a cranberry sweet potato bake from that California work trip potluck.

54 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE november/december 2019

The preparation for the cover shot was just as challenging as regular Thanksgiving and even a little more so to achieve a picture perfect moment, including heating the top scoop of mashed potatoes a little extra so the pat of butter on it would be perfectly melty. What really made this Thanksgiving photo shoot fun was the random last minute invitation for our daughter’s boyfriend and his Dad, our first meal together. Our guests stepped in and helped us with not only the table set up, but assisting Troy in the gravity-defying photo angle. But after the last photo was taken, we all dived in to a great meal together with a lot of food and laughter. Some of my best Thanksgiving memories were the surprise celebrations like this photo shoot or the work potluck where I picked up the recipe for the gorgeous and delicious cranberry sweet potato bake recipe in this issue. One of my favorite Aberdeen surprise Thanksgiving guest stories involved inviting a friend of a friend who was a Thanksgiving orphan to my home for the last Thanksgiving I would ever spend with my mother in 2014. My mother’s health had been a challenge for a few years and we were all concerned about her. My mom had been uncomfortable this trip and, as people were joking and laughing, the last minute guest formed an alliance with her in a debate against all of the rest of us. He had my Mom laughing and teasing just like her old silly self over that delightful meal that included her favorite wild rice and giblet gravy recipe in this issue. So this Thanksgiving, be grateful for your Thanksgiving adventures, your random guests or the times you were welcomed as the random guest, new local recipes, old family favorite recipes, and all the blessings of family and friends in 2019. Maybe you should celebrate all those blessings with a party worthy of a photo shoot?! //

Photos by Troy McQuillen

 It’s easy to make a welcoming table with some quick and easy decorations. For our regular parties with family and friends, we have on hand three basic tablecloth colors – black, white, and beige linen. You can turn plastic folding tables into a grand dining room with fabric tablecloths as the base for your table décor. For just a couple dollars, we buy a roll of wrapping paper and cut it in half for an instant and inexpensive table runner. Your decorations can be rounded out with a bouquet or two and some fresh accent greens. Get some basic supplies at your local floral shop or nursery starting with a handful of greens to scatter along the table runner and another set of greens for filling out your bouquets. Also, get a couple iconic flowers to be the stars of your bouquets. Then, secure pre-made coordinating bouquets at your local grocery store to fill out the rest of your homemade bouquet inexpensively. For this table, we also got a round pumpkin for the table bouquet, a couple pheasant feathers from Troy’s brother, and a small decorative pumpkin for each place setting to make a regular Thanksgiving table more memorable. This formula can work for any holiday or party gathering, with the biggest investment being the base fabric tablecloths to make every event seem extra special.

WILD RICE WITH GIBLET GRAVY INGREDIENTS Turkey giblets and neck or, if none in your turkey ½ lb. fresh or frozen gizzards 1 container of chicken or turkey stock (or equivalent mixing water with bouillon) 1 ½ c. wild rice or wild rice mix 3 c. water or additional broth for cooking rice Corn starch as needed Optional ½ package of minced fresh mushrooms, sautéed in butter DIRECTIONS • Start the rice cooking with the water or broth. Pure wild rice will take longer, 70-90 minutes until the grains split and curl, and the mixes will take 45-60 minutes until tender. Add more liquid as needed until rice is tender. • Boil the giblets in a saucepan just covered with chicken/ turkey stock/broth for 30 minutes. Save leftover giblet boiling broth for gravy. Remove giblets and let cool before mincing after cutting connective tissue in center and edges of giblets as well as slicing off connective skin on one side. If using neck, use a fork to pull the meat from in between the neck bones.

PUMPKIN KÜCHEN The idea for this state dessert originated in northeast South Dakota; enjoy it at Thanksgiving as an alternative to pumpkin pie garnished with fresh whipped cream. CRUST INGREDIENTS


1 ½ c. whole whipping cream 1 egg, beaten 5 Tbs. sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top 2 Tbs. flour 1 tsp. vanilla ¾ c. canned pumpkin ½ tsp. cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top ⅛ tsp. nutmeg Optional: add one Tbsp. sugar to each cup of fresh whipping cream and whip with a mixer until peaks start to form.

¾ c. warm water ¼ c. granulated sugar ½ packet (1 ⅛ tsp.) fast-rising yeast 3 Tbs. butter flavored Crisco 2 ¼ c. flour, plus more if dough is slightly sticky and for dusting the countertop ¼ tsp. cinnamon ¼ tsp. nutmeg ¾ tsp. salt

• Add giblets and mushrooms to the giblet boiling water. Bring to a boil. Add four tablespoons of cornstarch to 1 ½ c. hot water and stir until dissolved, slowly add half to boiling mixture while stirring. Cook for 3-4 minutes while stirring. If mixture doesn’t thicken to gravy, repeat process. • Serve wild rice smothered with giblet gravy.

DIRECTIONS • Start the crust by putting ¼ c. sugar and the yeast into the warm water and let it sit for 15 minutes. • Add the remaining dough ingredients to the yeast mixture and use a pastry blender and your hands to combine the ingredients until a soft dough forms. Let the dough rise in a warm place, then knead it down and let it rise a second time. • Use Crisco or cooking spray on two small pie pans or fluted tart rounds. Roll the dough out into two rounds and fit into the two pans or rounds so they can rise while you prepare your custard. For a fun extra snack, take your dough leftovers and roll them out, cut into squares or strips, butter, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and bake for a few minutes while you prepare your custard. • Pour in enough custard to just cover the bottom of the crust and then add the same amount again (count ladles or pour out of a measuring cup to estimate volume used). • Sprinkle the tops generously with cinnamon and sugar and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until set. The centers should jiggle just slightly when shaken. november/december 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE


PHEASANT STUFFED MUSHROOMS A great use for pheasant meat that makes for a tasty appetizer or accompaniment to fall dinner. Feel free to adjust herbs and salt to taste. INGREDIENTS 24 button mushrooms, medium size, stems removed and saved ¼ c. celery, finely chopped ¼ red onion, finely chopped ½ c. mushroom stems, finely chopped ¼ tsp. ground sage ¼ tsp. ground thyme

¼ tsp. paprika 2 c. cooked and shredded pheasant meat 4 oz. cream cheese, softened ¼ c. shredded cheddar cheese 2 Tbs. bread crumbs ½ tsp. salt Shredded Parmesan Cheese

DIRECTIONS • Wash mushrooms, remove stems. Trim the bottoms of mushrooms to make room for stuffing. Chop mushroom stems and additional mushrooms to fill a ½ cup. Sauté celery, onion, and mushroom stems in a little oil or butter, about five minutes or until onion is soft. Mix in the herbs. Set aside. • Preheat oven to 350°. In a large mixing bowl add the pheasant, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, breadcrumbs, and salt. Mix together to evenly distribute cream cheese. Mix in the reserved sautéed vegetables. Spoon mixture on to mushroom tops, using your hands to mold the mixture into a heaping dome. • Arrange on a cookie sheet, top with Parmesan cheese, and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and serve.

CRANBERRY SWEET POTATO BAKE A colorful and delicious addition to your Thanksgiving table where the mellow tang of fresh cranberries pairs perfectly with the sweetness of orange juice and brown sugar. INGREDIENTS


4 large sweet potatoes 2 c. fresh cranberries 2/3 c. packed brown sugar 3 Tbs. melted butter ½ c. orange juice

½ c. chopped walnuts ¼ c. packed brown sugar ½ tsp. ground cinnamon 3 Tbs. melted butter


Photos by Troy McQuillen

• Boil peeled sweet potatoes until they are tender, but not mushy, 20-30 minutes at a low boil. Drain. When cool enough to handle, cut into ¼-in. slices. • Mix brown sugar and butter. Place half of the sweet potatoes in a greased 2-½-qt. baking dish. Top with half of the raw cranberries and brown sugar and butter mixture. Repeat. Pour orange juice over top of layers. Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. • In a small bowl, combine the walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Sprinkle over sweet potato mixture. Bake, uncovered, until topping is golden brown, about 10 minutes longer.

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Aberdeen Magazine November/December 2019  

Aberdeen, South Dakota's community lifestyle magazine.

Aberdeen Magazine November/December 2019  

Aberdeen, South Dakota's community lifestyle magazine.