The Good Life – March-April 2017

Featuring Joe Karvonen - Motorcycle enthusiast and owner of Sisufab. Local Hero - Korean War Vet, Wilbert Scheffler, Gun Safety 101, How to Tie a Bow Tie and more in Fargo Moorhead's only men's magazine.

Featuring Joe Karvonen - Motorcycle enthusiast and owner of Sisufab. Local Hero - Korean War Vet, Wilbert Scheffler, Gun Safety 101, How to Tie a Bow Tie and more in Fargo Moorhead's only men's magazine.


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A few weeks ago, I got accused of being a<br />

helicopter parent. Why? Because I wouldn’t<br />

allow my then 15-month-old son, Macklin,<br />

to run around with a plastic fork in his hand.<br />

I calmly explained to my foresight-deficient<br />

friend that while said fork may be a harmless,<br />

utilitarian eating device to us adults, it’s nothing more than<br />

an unsheathed, medieval eye-poker for an uncoordinated<br />

toddler who only learned to walk two months prior.<br />

It wasn’t helicopter parenting. It was parenting. Parenting<br />

with an eye for potential disasters, and so far Mack still has<br />

two intact eyes, as do all of his playmates. I doubt I’ll ever<br />

receive the thanks I most definitely deserve, but it made<br />

me realize something. If forks are no longer forks, what<br />

else has changed since the introduction of toddlerhood<br />

into my life?<br />

<strong>The</strong> short answer was a lot. Some things have even taken<br />

on new meaning now that we have a walking, handsy<br />

toddler meandering his way through the house. And it’s<br />

not just things. A lifetime of carefully cultivated comfort<br />

is being systematically dismantled under the Mack<br />

Administration.<br />

Ruined Routines<br />

I’ve never lost my car keys. Why? Because I follow a<br />

routine. I always (used to) put them in the same spot—the<br />

left hand pocket of my jacket. Well guess which arm Mack<br />

prefers to ride in to and from the car? My left, which means<br />

there’s no way to both carry him and access my keys. It’s a<br />

real problem.<br />

So just put your keys in your right pocket, you’re thinking.<br />

I guess I have to. I guess my son—whom I love more than<br />

anything, but has only been a part of my life for about<br />

1/17th the amount of time I’ve routinely kept my keys<br />

in my left pocket—now gets to dictate where I store my<br />

personal items. Fine, but now I’m going to have to find<br />

a new place for my wallet, which will undoubtedly force<br />

my phone to find a new home. I just want to know where<br />

it will end. I’m worried this is how fanny packs came into<br />

existence… Oh, you got kids? Here, wear this and forget<br />

you ever had pockets.<br />

Everything Gets Taller<br />

I remember the day we brought home our entertainment<br />

center. Miraculously, it matched the sofa table we already<br />

had in the downstairs living room. Same color wood, same<br />

finish and even the same height. <strong>The</strong> DVD player, receiver,<br />

record player, etc. all looked like they were custom made<br />

for this piece of furniture. I remember thinking we did<br />

it. We completed the basement, and with it, the house.<br />

Everything was perfect.<br />

<strong>The</strong>n we brought Mack home, and that veil of perfection<br />

started to show just how thin it really was. <strong>The</strong> more<br />

mobile Mack became, the more that perfection rubbed<br />

2 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

off our house… and in one specific way. Those<br />

perfectly matching tables have one fatal flaw—<br />

they’re not six feet off the ground. Which is<br />

normal. <strong>The</strong>y’re normal tables. With normal<br />

things on them. For normal people. But<br />

toddlers are not normal people.<br />

As such, the new definition of perfection in<br />

our house is “a realistic expectation to be able<br />

to sit for more than one minute before having<br />

to get up and move something up and out of<br />

Mack’s reach.” You’d think as a stay-at-home<br />

dad who spends most all day playing this game<br />

that eventually I’d win, or at least get a glimpse<br />

of the final move. Nope. Honestly, I think the<br />

only way to win this game would be to move<br />

and start fresh.<br />

Kitchen Dowel Rods<br />

One challenge to the “Raise & Save” game<br />

showed itself early on: shelf space. We do not<br />

have an abundance of shelving in our house, so<br />

we quickly depleted all the easy moves. (Plus,<br />

just because something is out of arm’s reach by<br />

no means makes it out of site, and that game…<br />

let’s just say that game has no winners.)<br />

You also can’t take the entire lower half of<br />

your kitchen and move it up, at least not easily.<br />

Securing the cabinets was simple enough with<br />

your standard kid-proofing gear, but I had to<br />

get a little DIY when it came to the drawers.<br />

One dowel rod placed vertically down through<br />

a row of drawer handles joins them together<br />

into one, child-proof mega-drawer. So along<br />

with essentials like measuring cups, extra<br />

garbage bags and assorted can koozies, you’ll<br />

also find a few dowel rods in our kitchen should<br />

you ever need to… um, dowel something.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y don’t match the rest of our decor in<br />

any way, but they cost $0.98 a piece and do<br />

a fine job of keeping Mack out of my koozie<br />

collection. <strong>The</strong> rods also do a great job of<br />

destroying the finish on the drawers, ensuring<br />

a future kitchen remodel. You’re welcome,<br />

Dear!<br />

A lot has changed in a short amount of time.<br />

I can only imagine what it must be like for<br />

Macklin, for whom everything is not only<br />

changing, but everything is new. It’ll be<br />

a long time before he understands why I<br />

locked up the good filet knives behind a<br />

dowel rod immediately after he discovered<br />

them. But one day, I hope he’ll shake my hand<br />

—with all five fingers—and say thank you. •<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 3

Contents<br />

VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 5<br />

MARCH-APRIL <strong>2017</strong><br />

02<br />

06<br />

10<br />

14<br />

18<br />

24<br />

30<br />

















4 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

<strong>The</strong><br />




Urban Toad Media LLP<br />

www.urbantoadmedia.com<br />


Dawn Siewert<br />

dawn@urbantoadmedia.com<br />


Darren Losee<br />

darren@urbantoadmedia.com<br />


Meghan Feir<br />

Brittney <strong>Good</strong>man<br />

Ben Hanson<br />

Krissy Ness<br />


Darren Losee / 701-261-9139<br />

darren@urbantoadmedia.com<br />


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<strong>The</strong> <strong>Good</strong> <strong>Life</strong> Men’s Magazine is distributed six times<br />

a year by Urban Toad Media LLP. Material may not be<br />

reproduced without permission. <strong>The</strong> <strong>Good</strong> <strong>Life</strong> Men’s<br />

Magazine accepts no liability for reader dissatisfaction<br />

arising from content in this publication. <strong>The</strong> opinions<br />

expressed, or advice given, are the views of individual<br />

writers or advertisers and do not necessarily represent<br />

the views or policies of <strong>The</strong> <strong>Good</strong> <strong>Life</strong> Men’s Magazine.<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 5

More Than A Tasting Room • <strong>The</strong> Proof is in the Food<br />


Justin “Judd” Eskildsen has been cooking for over fifteen<br />

years and like most cooks he started at the bottom and<br />

worked his way up. With no formal training Eskildsen<br />

has proven he has style and talent in the cooking world.<br />

He began his journey at a young age in his mom’s kitchen.<br />

From there he worked at fast food restaurants and local<br />

restaurant Coaches before working his way to Red<br />

Bear in Moorhead. After taking a ten-year hiatus from<br />

cooking, Eskildsen then spent a year working under Chef<br />

Steve Schulz at <strong>The</strong> Toasted Frog as his Sous-chef. He<br />

mentioned that chef Schulz is his biggest local influence,<br />

“He never really sat down and taught me things, but he<br />

asked questions about dishes our crew would create that<br />

would encourage ideas that I already knew, but didn't put<br />

much importance in.” Eskildsen stated.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Coteau des Prairies Lodge in Havana, ND hired<br />

Eskildsen for his first gig as a stand-aloneChef. He created<br />

a 5-course beer dinner featuring Drekker Brewing Co.<br />

and it was an immediate hit. He has been called back<br />

to do many dinners since then. One of them being the<br />

“Tapas and Cocktails” featuring Proof Artisan Distillers<br />

before being officially hired as Proof’s head Chef. What<br />

an honor it must be to have someone taste your work and<br />

immediately want to hire you as their head Chef!<br />

6 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

“I like to have few good drinks, lots of great food, and too<br />

many laughs with the people who are close to me! FAMILY!<br />

Whether it's my real family, my close friends, my crew or<br />

Joel, John and the Minions... I love those people, and being<br />

able to have a free day with a group of any of those people<br />

is THE definition of <strong>The</strong> <strong>Good</strong> <strong>Life</strong>.”<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 7

“One of my favorite<br />

things since I've started<br />

cooking again, is when<br />

I see my food set in<br />

front of people,<br />

and they immediately<br />

reach for their phones<br />

to take pictures.”<br />

Eskildsen has taken the knowledge<br />

that he acquired on his own and<br />

from those he has worked with<br />

along the way and brought that with<br />

him to Proof Artisan Distillers.<br />

Working beside Eskildsen is his<br />

Sous-chef, Erik Johansen; because<br />

of his help, it is not uncommon<br />

to see Eskildsen roaming around<br />

Proof’s tasting room. “One of<br />

my favorite things since I've<br />

started cooking is when I see my<br />

food set in front of people and<br />

they immediately reach for their<br />

phones to take pictures,” affirmed<br />

Eskildsen. Among all the great<br />

food served at Proof, it is first and<br />

for most a tasting room for spirits,<br />

“It's irresponsible to serve cocktails<br />

without offering food; I created<br />

fairly large portions of appetizers<br />

meant for sharing.” <strong>The</strong> Tapas<br />

menu is meant for 3 or 4 people<br />

to share, but as the menu gained<br />

popularity Eskildsen expanded his<br />

menu to include entrées. When the<br />

people ask, he delivers.<br />

8 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

Every week Eskildsen prepares a special<br />

dish, <strong>The</strong> Chef’s Feature, which is an<br />

entrée he creates on his “days off”. <strong>The</strong>se<br />

dishes usually feature fish of the highest<br />

quality and freshness available. Eskildsen<br />

revealed that working with exotic fish is<br />

one if his favorite dishes to prepare. All<br />

of the fish he prepares is, as I mentioned<br />

before, fresh - like shipped from Hawaii<br />

weekly—fresh! It is important to add<br />

that if you find yourself wanting to try an<br />

entrée but notice an issue with allergies,<br />

speak to your server and Eskildsen will<br />

personally discuss options with you. It<br />

is not often that you find yourself in a<br />

situation where the head Chef will take<br />

time out of his busy night to ensure you<br />

enjoy every part of your meal.<br />

Among all the food and cocktails served,<br />

there is an entire staff at Proof that makes<br />

sure you are taken care of - from servers,<br />

to the mixologists and cooks. Not only<br />

does the food compliment the cocktails,<br />

so do the fine people working there.<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir knowledge on everything, Proof is<br />

nothing short of an experience when you<br />

visit.<br />

<strong>The</strong> journey for Eskildsen has been that<br />

of hard work and dedication. It is truly<br />

exciting eating his food and experiencing<br />

Proof’s tasting room.<br />

If it is amazing cocktails, delicious entrées<br />

or maybe just a couple appetizers you are<br />

looking for - look no further than Proof<br />

Artisan Distillers. You will get the best<br />

downtown Fargo has to offer without<br />

the hustle and bustle of a busy, crowded<br />

restaurant. Keep in mind though; Proof is<br />

not a restaurant but rather a tasting room<br />

and one heck of an experience. •<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 9


When given the assignment to profile a local elementary<br />

school teacher, I expected the interview to be a mixture<br />

of guarded cynicism and outright fatigue. Just the thought<br />

of trying to hold the attention of 30 nine-year-olds for six<br />

hours a day makes me tired ... and a bit cranky. But Branton<br />

Baarstad, a third-generation teacher at the beginning of his<br />

career, surprised me.<br />

Halfway through his first year teaching 4th grade at<br />

Roosevelt Elementary School in north Fargo, Baarstad is<br />

neither exhausted nor jaded. Quite the opposite, in fact. His<br />

optimism and excitement about his chosen profession are<br />

as genuine as any parent could hope to find in their child’s<br />

teacher.<br />

“It’s been awesome,” Baarstad said of his first few months<br />

on the job. “My class has been great, the staff is amazing<br />

and so is this community.”<br />

So what’s it really like to teach the 4th grade? Baarstad<br />

filled me in on what his usual day looks like at the head of<br />

the class.<br />

10 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

<strong>Good</strong> <strong>Life</strong>: First off, why 4th grade?<br />

Why not middle school or high school?<br />

Branton Baarstad: Initially, I wanted to<br />

be a music teacher, but halfway through<br />

college I decided I didn’t want to focus<br />

in just one area and wanted to teach all<br />

subjects. So I went to the elementary<br />

level and loved it. From practicums<br />

to time in the classrooms, I realized I<br />

could give back to my students what my<br />

teachers gave to me in the elementary<br />

classroom. It really felt like I was in the<br />

right place.<br />

GL: What do you hope your kids learn<br />

from you?<br />

BB: I try to teach my students that in<br />

life it’s not always about getting the best<br />

grades or the best this or that. It’s about<br />

doing your best and pushing yourself to<br />

your limit. If you do that, nothing will get<br />

in the way of becoming what you want<br />

to be. I want to see my students succeed<br />

every day, becoming better people not<br />

just better students. I also try to show<br />

them that they are not just loved by their<br />

family, but they’re also loved here at<br />

school by the teachers and faculty.<br />

GL: What does a normal day look like<br />

for a guy teaching the 4th grade?<br />

7:00 am<br />

I get up and get ready. My commute only takes<br />

about ten minutes, and I usually get to work<br />

around 8:00. [Baarstad earlier admitted he’s<br />

not a morning person, which might explain<br />

why, despite the short commute and lack of<br />

breakfast, he requires 50 minutes to muster the<br />

wherewithals to get out of bed and into the car.]<br />

8:00ish am<br />

I make coffee in my classroom … I’ve got a Keurig in my<br />

room. [Again, not a morning person.] I have all my stuff<br />

ready to go from the day before [it’s impressive how well<br />

he knows himself], so I just check the kids have what they<br />

need.<br />

8:20 am<br />

<strong>The</strong> bell rings. All teachers stand in the halls to greet their students in the<br />

morning, so I’m out there talking with them as soon as they roll in. Once<br />

they settle in, they start their morning work and get their brains going<br />

for about 15 minutes. I take a lunch count and attendance at that time<br />

and go around to make sure students are working and doing what they’re<br />

supposed to be doing.

8:45 am<br />

We start in with large group reading time for about 20<br />

minutes or so ... maybe a story from a book we read together<br />

or vocabulary or spelling words.<br />

9:00 am<br />

We work on writing for about 45 minutes … we’re working<br />

on personal narratives now, then it’s off to gym or music for<br />

40 minutes. This is my prep time to get ready for the next<br />

part of the day.<br />

10:40 am<br />

I pick up my students and we grab milk and juice on the way<br />

back up to our classroom to start our “dailies” … we rotate<br />

through every 15 minutes for one-on-one time, so every<br />

week I get at least 15 minutes with each student to check in.<br />

12:30 pm<br />

I pick up students at the lunch room and head back up to<br />

classroom for 15-20 minutes of silent reading time. I let<br />

them choose their own book to make sure they enjoy the<br />

reading, then we break into small group and large group<br />

math, for 70-80 minutes.<br />

2:00 pm<br />

We close out the day with either social studies or science.<br />

At 2:45, I have my students write in their planners, clean<br />

up their area and the bell rings at 2:52 and I hand out my<br />

high-fives.<br />

11:50 am<br />

Lunchtime and recess! I take<br />

them down for lunch and then I’ll<br />

usually go to the teachers’ lounge<br />

to see the other teachers and<br />

some parents if they’re there. I sit<br />

and talk and eat lunch …<br />

[I asked what he eats for<br />

lunch, and he said<br />

“some snack<br />

foods.” A dietary<br />

intervention<br />

may be<br />

needed.]<br />

“My class has been great,<br />

the staff is amazing and<br />

so is this community ...<br />

the students have a knack of<br />

knowing ‘hey this guy’s not ready,<br />

we got five minutes to go crazy!”<br />

12 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

3:00 pm<br />

Sometimes I have meetings after school; every<br />

Tuesday and Wednesday I have meetings for sure, and<br />

some Mondays.<br />


During the weekdays, I usually go home after<br />

preparing for the next day. I’m not coming in early<br />

to do prep work! I go home and run to train for<br />

Fargo marathon, then it’s Netflix and chill with<br />

my two dogs. It depends on how wired my brain<br />

gets on when I fall asleep. Sometimes it’s 10 p.m.,<br />

sometimes it’s midnight.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re you have it. A day in the life of an elementary<br />

school teacher in Fargo, ND. Not as crazy as you<br />

might expect, but perhaps that’s due to Branton<br />

Baarstad’s enviable professionalism and enthusiasm<br />

for his job. Still, he readily admits he has to keep a<br />

keen eye on his class to avoid a potential derailment.<br />

“You have to be on the ball all the time,” he said.<br />

“If you don’t, the students have a knack of knowing<br />

‘hey this guy’s not ready, we got five minutes to go<br />

crazy!’” •<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 13

14 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com<br />

“Living the good life<br />

to me means having<br />

enough time aside<br />

from my job that I<br />

love to have some<br />

free time to relax<br />

with my family, my<br />

dogs and my cats.”


As the radio announcer of “<strong>The</strong> Mike McFeely Show” on<br />

970 WDAY and a columnist for the “Fargo Forum,” Mike<br />

McFeely has been a recognizable voice in the community<br />

since the ‘90s, soon after he graduated from Moorhead<br />

State (MSUM) in 1989.<br />

On a typical, blustery Tuesday in Fargo, I had the<br />

opportunity to sit down in Drekker Brewing Company<br />

and pick McFeely’s brain about things besides politics,<br />

but President “<strong>The</strong> Donald” still got brought up, so don’t<br />

worry.<br />

<strong>Good</strong> <strong>Life</strong>: Are you nervous for the weird questions that<br />

are about to hit you?<br />

Mike McFeely: Should I be nervous for the weird<br />

questions? I’m in talk radio, so you never know what’s<br />

going to come. It’s usually people, who I often envision<br />

living in their mom’s basement, calling me, so I think I’m<br />

prepared. You don’t live in your mom’s basement, do you?<br />

GL: I actually don’t, though it’s a nice basement. So,<br />

what’s your favorite family tradition?<br />

MM: Well, I’m blushing because I thought it was going to<br />

be all, like, political, weird questions. My favorite family<br />

tradition is going to Itasca State Park in the fall to look<br />

at the leaves. It drives people crazy because they can’t<br />

believe it. I’m the guy who’s always ripping people and<br />

being mean to people on the radio, and I like to go to<br />

Itasca with my wife, daughter and our dogs and look at<br />

the colorful leaves. It’s my favorite day of the year.<br />

GL: If you could meet anyone from the past or present,<br />

who would it be?<br />

MM: Oh, my... Again.<br />

GL: I told you these were going to be tough questions.<br />

MM: I know, but who thinks about these things?<br />

GL: I do.<br />

Darren Losee: Meghan does.<br />

MM: Is this supposed to provide a window into my soul?<br />

GL: Yes.<br />

MM: I would like to meet Donald Trump because that<br />

would be absolutely fascinating. How could you not want<br />

to sit down and absolutely question everything about him,<br />

just to set him off? He clearly has a very thin skin and is<br />

very narcissistic and insecure.<br />

GL: I’d also like to ask him these questions.<br />

GL: What’s your biggest pet peeve—when people call<br />

from their mothers’ basements?<br />

MM: My biggest pet peeve in the world is that people don’t<br />

seem to trust anyone. Facts don’t matter anymore. You<br />

can tell facts to somebody, but if they don’t want to believe<br />

it, they just won’t believe it. <strong>The</strong>y’ll go on the internet and<br />

find other facts that they think are facts, but they’re not<br />

facts, and then they’ll pretend it’s a fact. You can’t reason<br />

with people if they disagree.<br />

GL: Where do you get your facts?<br />

MM: I get my facts from credible news organizations.<br />

As much as people don’t want to believe them or think<br />

it’s all fake news out there, there are still journalistic<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 15

“I would like to meet Donald Trump because that would be absolutely fascinating.”<br />

standards, like the “Washington Post,” “<strong>The</strong> New York<br />

Times,” “Minneapolis Star Tribune,” “LA Times,” “Fargo<br />

Forum”—there’s lots of actual news organizations that<br />

still try to find facts and present them as facts, but people<br />

just don’t want to believe it.<br />

GL: How do you know those are credible sources?<br />

MM: Because they employ real journalists. At some<br />

point, you have to trust institutions. If you don’t trust any<br />

information, unless it’s information you agree with or<br />

that solidifies your viewpoints of the world, how do you<br />

go forward?<br />

GL: How do you decide which journalists are credible<br />

and trustworthy?<br />

MM: Maybe it’s old school, but I believe journalists that<br />

are trained at reputable universities are trustworthy and<br />

at least attempt to be objective. Are any of us always<br />

objective all the time? We all have our biases and see the<br />

world through our eyes, but if you are a trained journalist<br />

and understand the role of a journalist, then I should<br />

trust you.<br />

GL: If two journalists attend the same reputable university<br />

and one of them goes to work at a news organization you<br />

don’t particularly like, would you still trust them?<br />

MM: I would probably lose trust for them if they go to<br />

a Breitbart.com. I don’t believe that’s a credible news<br />

source. It clearly has a slant that goes one direction and<br />

has an agenda or a purpose behind it. If you’re going to go<br />

work for that organization, then can I trust you anymore?<br />

GL: What is something people do that you love and<br />

always catches your attention, like someone opening a<br />

door for another person, or someone giving you a napkin<br />

with a beverage?<br />

MM: I like how people cannot resist petting a dog. When<br />

a dog walks up to somebody, I know it’s a good person<br />

if they instinctively reach down to pet the dog’s back.<br />

Somebody that blanches, ignores, or shoves the dog<br />

away—I have questions about them.<br />

GL: If someone wrote an article about you, what do you<br />

think would be a fitting headline? I don’t get this option<br />

because the headline is always relatively the same.<br />

MM: “He’s not as big of an a**hole as you think he is.”<br />

GL: Whose radio talk show would you want to listen to<br />

more, Batman’s or Superman’s?<br />

16 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

“My biggest pet peeve<br />

in the world is that<br />

people don’t seem<br />

to trust anyone.”<br />

MM: Batman. He’s more of a broody and<br />

introspective guy, and I picture myself<br />

as being broody and introspective,<br />

though I don’t know if that’s how I’m<br />

seen or not, so how could you not want<br />

to listen to a broody and introspective<br />

talk show host?<br />

GL: What’s been your worst date<br />

scenario?<br />

MM: Any date I’ve been on because I’m<br />

a bad dater.<br />

GL: What was the worst and most<br />

uncomfortable one?<br />

MM: Every date I’ve been on. I’m not<br />

kidding. I’m a terrible dater, and I’ll<br />

give you my wife’s phone number and<br />

you can ask her.<br />

GL: So how did that progress? How<br />

did you get a wife?<br />

MM: Alcohol. I’m not joking. God put<br />

alcohol on this earth for bad daters like<br />

me to actually have a shot.<br />

GL: Hah. A shot.<br />

GL: Favorite breakfast food?<br />

MM: Bacon. But I’m trying to not eat<br />

a lot because I’d like to live beyond<br />

the age of 55. I mean, I hope that’s<br />

everybody’s answer. If somebody says<br />

oatmeal, they should be shot.<br />

GL: Chewy or crispy?<br />

MM: Not crispy, but cooked beyond the<br />

point of rawness. Chewy, but not to the<br />

point of crispness.<br />

GL: That’s a very good place to be.<br />

MM: And pre-cooked, microwavable<br />

bacon should be outlawed.<br />

GL: What does living the good life<br />

mean to you?<br />

MM: Living the good life to me means<br />

having enough time aside from my<br />

job that I love to have some free time<br />

to relax with my family, my dogs and<br />

my cats. I don’t have any aspirations<br />

of being wealthy or jet setting across<br />

the world. I just like to spend time with<br />

them, cooking steak on the grill, mixing<br />

a drink and relaxing with the dogs in<br />

the backyard. I’m a simple man. •<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 17


Joe said he has “always” been into power sports<br />

and motorcycle racing, since childhood. And now, he<br />

added: “I’ve had the luxury and misfortune of turning<br />

my hobby into my job. It’s both the best thing and the<br />

worst thing in the world.”<br />

Joe wants to keep the excitement in power sports and motorcycles: “<strong>The</strong>y’re toys. I<br />

work in an industry of ‘big people toys.’ So many of us still tap into our youth mentality<br />

of wanting to have that toy ... And I am the same way. I still get excitement out of it.” He<br />

especially likes getting other people into these sports as a hobby: “My job is fulfilling because I can<br />

see the passion growing in someone else.”<br />

18 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

“I work in an industry of ‘big people toys.’ So many of us still tap into our youth<br />

mentality of wanting to have that toy ... And I am the same way.<br />

I still get excitement out of it.”<br />

Joe, 28 years old, started Sisufab in 2013, building his<br />

own shop in West Fargo, after a lifetime of motorcycle<br />

and power sports devotion, education, and also paying his<br />

professional dues. In addition to attending the Motorcycle<br />

Mechanics Institute, specializing in Harley-Davidson early<br />

and late models and Honda Hontech, he also has Harley-<br />

Davidson dealership experience and factory training,<br />

Triumph Motorcycle technician training, and extensive<br />

training and experience with Indian Motorcycles.<br />

Beginning with riding a dirt bike as a kid, Joe went on<br />

to work for an Arctic Cat ATV dealer as an adolescent<br />

and then worked at Ma’s Cycles in West Fargo during<br />

High School. Attending what Joe called West Fargo High<br />

School’s “excellent recreational engines program,” he<br />

is a two-time state winner in the Skills USA Motorcycle<br />

Service Technology program. Skills USA promotes<br />

vocational competitions for high school and college<br />

students across the United States. During his junior year<br />

he placed third nationally and in his senior year he won<br />

first place in the national competition, which also landed<br />

him a scholarship to the Universal Technical Institute<br />

– Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI) in Phoenix,<br />


After college at MMI, Joe worked for the local Harley-<br />

Davidson dealership and then also what is now Legendary<br />

Motor Sports (formerly Indian Triumph of Fargo).<br />

In 2013, Joe explained, “I thought I was going to get out<br />

of the motorcycle industry, but that didn’t happen.” While<br />

he was working in electric motor sales and service for<br />

a friend’s company, he built a small shop in West Fargo<br />

solely to work on motorcycles on the side, “and after a<br />

little while work came to me, and it really took off, and<br />

now we are where we are today.”<br />

Joe gives a great deal of credit to what he gained through<br />

20 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com<br />

Skills USA and West Fargo’s programs: “Those pinnacle<br />

game changing points steered me in the right direction<br />

to go to college. Both of these programs are ones that I<br />

do not want to see go away as they are huge assets to this<br />

industry” and provide opportunities for young people.<br />

Currently, one would describe Sisufab as “very busy.” Joe<br />

smilingly said, “<strong>The</strong>re’s no lack of stuff to do.”<br />

“Since we’re a smaller shop – there is constantly a<br />

struggle in balancing how much work one can do,” Joe<br />

explained. But he added, “It’s not a bad problem to have.”<br />

He described the local motorcycle culture as “strong:” “It

is better than it was in the early 2000s and it is also more<br />

diverse – we work with every kind of brand.” Although Joe<br />

described that a heavy part of their business is working<br />

on cruisers, such as Harley-Davidson and Indian, his shop<br />

also “branches away from that too.” Looking around the<br />

shop, there is often exotic motorcycles, like Ducati and<br />

<strong>April</strong>ia, mixed in with more common foreign motorcycles,<br />

like Honda and Kawasaki.<br />

Something new for Sisufab has been becoming the sole<br />

US distributor for the German motorcycle company,<br />

Krämer Motorcycles, specializing in road racing<br />

machines. Joe described this as exciting but also as a<br />

challenge, as it was more work than anticipated: “We<br />

are technically the US end of the company and the sole<br />

distributor. It’s been a good thing but a daunting task. It<br />

is fun and it also opens us up to the nationwide market.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> name of his company, Sisufab comes from the<br />

Finnish word “sisu” which means “courage, resilience<br />

and determination” and “fab” for “fabrication.”<br />

Joe lives with his girlfriend of six years, Brittany Taplin,<br />

who in addition to her work with a local architecture firm,<br />

helps out Sisufab with graphics, web site, computer work<br />

and in organizing and facilitating special events. Joe said<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 21

“I find myself concentrating more on making other people happy<br />

than on anything else. Making money is just a byproduct. If you<br />

concentrate on making money, you aren’t very happy.”<br />

that Brittany is also into power sports and has plans to<br />

explore road racing this year.<br />

In their spare time, Joe and Brittany love to go ice racing:<br />

“We put studded tires on our dirt bikes, haul them to a<br />

friend’s lake place, plow a track on the ice, and go ride.”<br />

Joe also enjoys non-motorized recreation, of the bicycle<br />

kind, as a way to keep in shape and relax.<br />

What’s on the horizon for Joe and Sisufab? First off, he<br />

is helping to organize an indoor motorcycle flat track<br />

race at the Schollander Pavilion at the West Fargo<br />

Fairground this <strong>April</strong> 29th. Flat track racing is highly<br />

competitive and fast-paced and is also sometimes<br />

22 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com<br />

referred to as “dirt track” racing. <strong>The</strong> last time flat<br />

track racing happened in West Fargo was in the 1980s.<br />

Joe is hoping this event will help spark excitement for<br />

motorcycle racing in this community again.<br />

For his business, Joe said, “Our future goal at this point<br />

– our achievable goal – is to try to find a new building<br />

to grow our business in size physically. Our shop is new,<br />

but it is small. We keep it tidy and clean but it is too little<br />

for what I have on a day to day basis.”<br />

Joe looked forward: “We have the hopes of expanding<br />

into doing more of a dealership set up, but not on a<br />

big scale. We have a strong market here. I am pretty

confident in the future that we will continue to grow at a<br />

steady and manageable pace.”<br />

When asked “What does <strong>The</strong> <strong>Good</strong> <strong>Life</strong> mean to you?”<br />

he explained: “To me, ‘the good life,’ is to be able to<br />

enjoy what I do on a day to day basis – through my<br />

business, being able to enjoy what I do with power<br />

sports and motorcycles and to help other people with<br />

the same thing. It makes my life enjoyable. It is a reason<br />

to get up in the morning and go to work. I find myself<br />

concentrating more on making other people happy than<br />

on anything else. Making money is just a byproduct.<br />

If you concentrate on making money, you aren’t very<br />

happy.” •<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 23

24 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

Ready. Aim. Fire. Actually, wait.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is a lot more to shooting a<br />

gun than just pulling the trigger and<br />

looking like you just stepped off the set<br />

of “Duck Dynasty” or “Lethal Weapon”<br />

(one, two, three or four).<br />

As a woman who has never worn pink<br />

camo and has not hunted much of<br />

anything, besides deals on clearance<br />

racks, my experience with guns is<br />

solely comprised of one game of Annie<br />

Oakley with a rifle and a handful of<br />

clay pigeons in a forsaken field.<br />

To familiarize myself with the basics,<br />

Brent Brattlof, the general manager at<br />

Bill’s Gun Shop and Range in Fargo<br />

and Moorhead, graciously taught me<br />

a few pointers about gun handling<br />

and safety. Every current and potential<br />

firearm owner should practice<br />

the steps mentioned in this article<br />

faithfully.<br />

To put the lesson into action, I was<br />

allowed to carefully use a 9mm<br />

handgun in the range, which was an<br />

exhilarating experience. I just wish<br />

I had been wearing my prescription<br />

glasses.<br />

Before you buy<br />

Whether you are a collector, a hunter,<br />

a safety activist or a combination of<br />

all three, it’s important to know the<br />

purpose behind the purchase before<br />

making your final selection.<br />

“You have to have a knowledge of<br />

the firearm to know what you want,”<br />

Brattlof said. “<strong>The</strong>re should be intent<br />

behind every purchase.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> staff at Bill’s Gun Shop and Range<br />

not only helps customers choose the<br />

right gun for their specific situations,<br />

they give in-depth training, illustrate<br />

how to take apart a firearm<br />

for field tripping and cleaning,<br />

offer classes, and sell safety<br />

equipment and safes for<br />

secure storage.<br />

Guns in the home<br />

As is the case with numerous<br />

Midwestern residents, Brattlof<br />

grew up in an environment<br />

where hunting meant spending<br />

some quality time with his<br />

father.<br />

“I probably started shooting when I<br />

was 8 with just a little .22 bolt-action<br />

rifle,” Brattlof said. “It just kind of<br />

progressed as I got older into hunting<br />

long guns, and I bought my first<br />

handgun when I was 22.”<br />

Every responsible gun owner knows<br />

that education begins in the home.<br />

In order to prevent accidents and the<br />

mishandling of weapons, parents need<br />

to educate their children about the<br />

proper treatment, power and potential<br />

dangers of weapons.<br />

“In my house, they stayed locked up<br />

in a safe. I didn’t even know where<br />

the key was until I was 16. I had zero<br />

access to the firearms, unless my dad<br />

was involved. Once I turned 16, I knew<br />

where the guns were, just in case I<br />

would need access to be able to<br />

protect or defend myself.”<br />

Although the risks of<br />

owning precarious<br />

weapons are real<br />

and must be<br />

taken seriously,<br />

the chance of<br />

accidents and<br />

incidents occurring<br />

can be greatly<br />

reduced with<br />

proper training.<br />


urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 25

As shooting becomes more of a sport, this<br />

type of education can be taught in entertaining<br />

ways, whether your child is participating in<br />

trap leagues or going to the range with your<br />

supervision and companionship.<br />

If you are going to carry a gun, you need to<br />

know how to correctly handle it.<br />

1. Never point a gun at someone<br />

“Always keep it in a direction where you know<br />

that if it goes off, it’s not going to hurt anybody<br />

or go where somebody could potentially be<br />

hurt.”<br />

2. Act as though the gun is<br />

loaded<br />

“Never underestimate the power of a firearm,<br />

and never underestimate the person handing<br />

you the gun. You don’t know if somebody<br />

keeps it loaded or not. When you pick it up,<br />

always treat it like it’s loaded. Keep the gun<br />

pointed down, clear the chamber to make<br />

sure it isn’t loaded, and even double check to<br />

make sure you didn’t miss something.”<br />

3. Don’t get too friendly with<br />

the trigger<br />

“Never have your finger on the trigger until<br />

you’re ready to shoot.”<br />

4. Hold the gun firmly in your<br />

hand<br />

“Make sure you have a firm grip so the recoil<br />

doesn’t force the gun from your hand.”<br />

5. Point in a safe direction<br />

“Make sure it’s pointed in a safe direction<br />

before you fire, and always know what’s<br />

behind your target as well, especially for deer<br />

hunting.”<br />

6. Store ammo separately from<br />

the firearm<br />

“When we transport firearms, the ammo and<br />

the guns are never in the same case. <strong>The</strong>y’re<br />

always separated.”<br />

26 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

7. Communicate and store your<br />

firearms in a safe place<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re’s sometimes a lack of communication as<br />

far as what needs to happen after the purchase.<br />

If you take the gun home in the case that you<br />

got, make sure to move it to a safe or secure<br />

location.”<br />

Bill’s Gun Shop has six locations (five that<br />

have ranges) in North Dakota, Minnesota and<br />

Wisconsin. <strong>The</strong>y host special nights for youth,<br />

ladies, and college students at discounted rates.<br />

See their ad on the back page for more info. •<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 27


IN 7 EASY STEPS (maybe 8 or 9)<br />

STEP ONE<br />

Begin with the bow tie facing<br />

up with the left side (A) slightly<br />

longer than the right side (B)<br />

and cross A over B.<br />

STEP TWO<br />

Bring A under B<br />

and bring up through the loop.<br />

(Throw it over your shoulder to<br />

get it out of the way.)<br />


Form a bow shape with B by<br />

folding the crease to the right<br />

and then folding to the left.<br />

(Don’t let go!)<br />


Bring A over and down the<br />

middle of bow shape created<br />

in step 3.<br />


Fold A into a second bow<br />

shape and hold.<br />

STEP SIX<br />

Push the new bow A through the<br />

loop behind bow B. Make sure<br />

folded ‘bows’ are on opposite<br />

sides of the tie.<br />


Tighten by pulling the<br />

folded sides of the bow.<br />

Adjust bows evenly.<br />

28 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com<br />

See step 1. Start process over<br />

because you are frustrated and<br />

not happy with your<br />

first attempt.<br />

Optional. Take a selfie and post<br />

it online because you are proud<br />

that you accomplished such a<br />

grown-up task.


Aquavit is starting to make a splash in the states.<br />

Not only for toasting or special occasions, our VänSkap<br />

Aquavit can be enjoyed alone or in a cocktail.<br />


HISTORY:<br />

Aquavit is a<br />

flavored spirit that<br />

has been produced<br />

in Scandinavia since<br />

the 15th century.<br />

To honor our deeply<br />

rooted Scandinavian<br />

heritage, we bring<br />

you our VänSkap<br />

(Swedish for<br />

friendship) Aquavit.<br />


• 2 oz MINIONS VänSkap Aquavit<br />

• 1 Teaspoon Honey<br />

• 2-4 Dashes Orange Bitters<br />

Pour all ingredients over ice.<br />

Stir for 30 seconds. Strain into<br />

a martini glass or cocktail coup.<br />

Garnish with braided orange.<br />


Sweet notes of<br />

citrus, fennel,<br />

and star anise are<br />

balanced with spicy<br />

notes of caraway,<br />

coriander, juniper and<br />

a slight hint of dill.<br />


Aquavit can be<br />

enjoyed chilled<br />

in a small glass or<br />

provide a unique<br />

twist in a traditional<br />

cocktail. To friends<br />

new and old, we raise<br />

our glass and say<br />

"VänSkap".<br />

RECIPE:<br />

Try this simple and<br />

tasty recipe you can<br />

make at home.<br />

www.proofdistillers.com<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 29


87 year old Barnesville native, Corporal Wilbert Scheffler<br />

of the US Army 7th Infantry during the Korean War, is<br />

a local hero worth getting to know. This reflective and<br />

grateful farmer and television repairman’s life was greatly<br />

influenced by his time in service in Korea.<br />

Wilbert is the recipient of many honors for his time in<br />

service, including the Bronze Star, Korean Service<br />

Medal, <strong>Good</strong> Conduct Medal, United Nations Service<br />

Medal, Combat Infantry Badge and the National Defense<br />

Service Medal.<br />

He entered Basic Training in 1952 at Camp Breckenridge,<br />

Kentucky. Wilbert described his fellow soldiers as “all<br />

farm kids, all the same people like I am.” After basic<br />

training, Wilbert said that where the soldier was assigned<br />

was “alphabetical”: “If your last name began near the<br />

beginning, you went to Germany. Mine was later, so I<br />

went to Korea. That’s that.”<br />

During his time in Korea, one of his duties was guarding<br />

a prisoner of war camp. Wilbert explained, “We spent two<br />

years guarding prisoners. Years later we learned it was<br />

a leper colony.” He did not end up with leprosy. Wilbert<br />

was also struck by the poverty of the Korean people,<br />

especially the children: “What really got me over there<br />

were those little orphan kids — they were starving. How<br />

they survived I don’t know. Many soldiers threw crackers<br />

to them and they fought over them.”<br />

30 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 31

He recalled one time early in the time in Korea: “I was<br />

so lucky … I was on the north side of Arsenal Hill – I<br />

moved out in the open so that I could see and I no more<br />

than moved and a mortar round came. I was buried<br />

under the rubble and dirt and I was protected. I was on<br />

guard duty all by myself. I was all alone and it was a bad<br />

place. But I was protected.”<br />

Wilbert was dismayed by the lack of attention paid to<br />

the veterans coming back from the Korean War. With<br />

emotion, he said, “When I came back from Korea, nobody<br />

gave a darn.” But something happened in October 2016<br />

that brought tears of joy to his eyes – he was one of the<br />

32 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

veterans selected to travel to Washington DC on the<br />

WDAY Honor Flight. Wilbert exclaimed, “<strong>The</strong> Honor<br />

Flight was like living in another world! People were<br />

so nice. And after the flight, returning home, seeing<br />

all those people at the airport when we came back,<br />

it got to me.”<br />

During the Honor Flight, Wilbert met many people and saw<br />

much. He described being kindly wheeled around in his<br />

wheelchair by Mike McFeely who took him to the Franklin<br />

Roosevelt Memorial. Wilbert enjoyed his time with Tracy<br />

Briggs, Forum Communications and founder of the Honor<br />

Flight back in 2007: “We got along really well. I could say<br />

anything to her and she understood. She wheeled me to the<br />

Vietnam Wall, the Korean War monument, and the Lincoln<br />

Monument.” Wilbert then got up to get something from<br />

another room and returned to proudly show me the thank<br />

you note he received from Briggs, smiled, and said: “She’s a<br />

nice lady.”<br />

When I asked Wilbert about the movie “Pork Chop Hill” he<br />

said, “It was a good movie. Gregory Peck is very good in it.<br />

But nothing can accurately show what we went through.”<br />

Wilbert says that circumstances and people saved his life while<br />

in Korea. Wilbert asserted, “Other people stepped in and saved<br />

me. I didn’t ask for any favors.”<br />

One of those that stepped in was his best friend at war,<br />

Jim Cunningham, who assigned Wilbert to the Commo<br />

(Communications) Unit because of his knowledge of working<br />

with radios and other devices. Wilbert always had a radio: “I kept<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 33

the<br />

radio<br />

going,<br />

guys loved the<br />

music. It helped us<br />

all. I carried the radio<br />

on my backpack. I made<br />

a case big enough for six<br />

flash light batteries and<br />

made it go 24 hours a day so<br />

that the guys had music. Music<br />

was just a life saver.”<br />

One time Wilbert left his radio at the<br />

prison camp he was guarding. When<br />

he got back to his unit, it was gone, and<br />

he figured it was lost forever. <strong>The</strong>n Jim<br />

Cunningham said, “Did you know they<br />

shipped your radio, it’s in supply?” Wilbert<br />

explained, “Getting that radio back was a<br />

life saver for me. It was a Zenith. It was high<br />

quality.”<br />

Another person whose intervention perhaps saved<br />

Wilbert’s life was the officer who decided to send<br />

him to the rear of the line during the Pork Chop<br />

Hill battle. Wilbert emotionally explained, "My best<br />

friend in the Army, Jim Cunningham, died on that hill.<br />

Somebody was looking out for me."<br />

He described the battle: “<strong>The</strong> last battle – out of the clear<br />

blue sky – I had about 40 points and I was supposed to go<br />

home. <strong>The</strong> guys with that many points went back in the<br />

rear. <strong>The</strong> Chinese hit Pork Chop and they were bound to<br />

take it, they just swarmed into battle. And then, us guys in<br />

the rear, we heard that we were going to counter attack.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y lined us up. So many guys were so afraid, they<br />

just collapsed. <strong>The</strong>y did not even have enough officers<br />

to make a company. We went to Hill 200, and they had<br />

decided to abandon Pork Chop.”<br />

a doctor go out of his way to say ‘stay another day?’ He was<br />

kind of like Alan Alda from M.A.S.H., a young guy. I don’t<br />

know his name. I think he saved my life.”<br />

Coming back from the war, he lived his life as a farmer and<br />

a television repairman on the side: “Back in the stone age, I<br />

fixed everyone’s television.”<br />

Wilbert misses Jim Cunningham and communicates with<br />

a relative of Jim’s via email and letters. After the war he<br />

became friends with fellow veteran, Dick Mosca, who was<br />

an officer in the Navy and a Minnesota highway patrolman<br />

who died a week before the October 2016 WDAY Honor<br />

Flight: “He accepted me for what I was. We would go to<br />

veteran’s funerals together. I really miss him.” A major<br />

reason Wilbert went on the Honor Flight was to honor Dick.<br />

Wilbert has been married to Mary Ann since 1976.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y have two children. <strong>The</strong>ir son, Bill, works in the IT<br />

department at MSUM and who Wilbert encouraged with<br />

computers. His daughter, Peggy, lives in Carrington. She<br />

has given him two grandchildren. Evidence of his pride in<br />

his children and grandchildren are in the many photos in<br />

their Barnesville home. Mary Ann and Wilbert are active in<br />

the Barnesville VFW chapter, where he is a Quartermaster.<br />

Wilbert’s son, Bill said this of his dad: “I think the war affected<br />

him in some pretty profound ways. He values all life and<br />

living and, consequently, none of our family members are<br />

hunters, which is unusual for this area. He often feels guilty<br />

eating meat. We grew up on a farm with pet cats, dogs, a pet<br />

chicken that lived in the house for a while, even a pet calf<br />

that roamed our farm yard at one point that he had to bottle<br />

feed to keep alive. He values home and hearth above all else<br />

and was never much for travel or similar excitement that<br />

most people crave after he returned home. I don’t think any<br />

of us who weren’t there with him can ever fully understand<br />

what he saw and what he went through… As a listener to<br />

his stories, it is hard to process it all, I couldn’t imagine<br />

And finally, there was a doctor at the M.A.S.H unit<br />

where he was recovering from a very bad fever. Wilbert<br />

remembered that the doctor asserted, “Stay another<br />

day. It’s really bad out there.” Wilbert thinks his chances<br />

of survival were greatly increased by that kind doctor:<br />

“My company went into it. It was really bad, but I stayed<br />

another day or two, and was saved.” He asked, “Why did<br />

34 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

living through and surviving it. All he wanted was to be<br />

home and ever since he returned home, it’s where he<br />

wants to be and where he is happiest - surrounded by<br />

everyone and everything he values most.”<br />

Bill continued: “We did not have a lot growing up but<br />

he’d still go the extra mile for friends and people in<br />

the local community by helping them with their TVs<br />

and electronics much like he did maintaining radio for<br />

friends back in Korea. Without realizing it at the time,<br />

I followed in his footsteps by continuing the tradition<br />

and helping people in my community with computers<br />

and still do even today in my free time.”<br />

Bill credits Wilbert for his career in computing after<br />

his dad brought a very early Apple II Plus computer<br />

home one day for Bill: “I hooked it to one of the many<br />

televisions in my bedroom (one of the perks of having<br />

a dad who fixed TVs!) and it was love at first sight for<br />

me when I realized I could program it to do whatever<br />

I wanted.”<br />

When asked about how he keeps all of these memories<br />

clear, Wilbert said, “I eat a lot of blueberries. It keeps<br />

your mind sharp.” He is proud that the only pill he<br />

takes is for high blood pressure.<br />

When asked what he considered “<strong>The</strong> <strong>Good</strong> <strong>Life</strong>,”<br />

Wilbert thought a bit and said, “I don’t know ... After<br />

I got back from the war and I owned a farm and I was<br />

helping people with their machinery and television ...<br />

That to me was a good life. All that I went through in<br />

the war and I was not wounded and I am alive. That is<br />

a good life.” •<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 35

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