FREE TO A GOOD HOME
You Might Be A Parent...
WRITTEN BY: BEN HANSON / MR. FULL-TIME DAD
I’m as indifferent as it gets towards Jeff Foxworthy, except on one
account: the guy has managed to turn a single joke into a multi-million
dollar, decades-long career. I’m not here to disparage anyone who likes
his particular brand of comedy, but I am here to shamelessly rip him off
with my own take on his now classic routine.
Over the past three-and-a-half years of parenthood, Macklin’s mama and
I have been casually taking notes on the multitude of lifestyle changes
taking place one might otherwise miss if one weren’t paying attention.
It’s easy to mark the bigger impacts of parenthood like lack of sleep, the
emergence of grey hairs in your beard or the total and absolute loss of
privacy. But every parent is well acquainted with that list.
Today I offer a more subtle roundup of the amusing tweaks to your life
as a parent. Scanning our list prior to writing this column, I came to an
embarrassing realization: we may, in fact, be rednecks ourselves, overly
concerned with snack foods. You’ll see...
You might be a parent when… you have to keep the subtitles on while
watching TV because you need to keep the volume at near imperceptible
levels in order not to wake the sleeping child in the adjacent room. But
it’s not so much the child, it’s the fact that you’re eating all the chips and
junk food you can now only break out after said child goes to sleep.
You might be a parent when… your candy stash suddenly becomes the
potty treat stash. As soon as your kid knows where you’ve been hiding
the treats, it’s game over. Those treats are now their reward, and while
they can’t remember what you were just talking about five seconds ago,
their recall when it comes to how many M&Ms were in the jar is bafflingly
You might be a parent when… you have enough random snacks on your
person to feed an entire work meeting when the vending machine breaks.
Snacks in your purse. Snacks in your car. Snacks in your backpack. Most
any meltdown can be averted with the right snack at the right time. One
stick of minty gum alone has been known to save an entire
You might be a parent when… you’re no longer annoyed by
your parents’ inability to work their original model DVD
player. Instead, you’re legitimately concerned
that they won’t remember how to operate
their grandchild’s car seat and you’ll come
home to your 3-year-old watching cartoons
in the garage still strapped in.
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You might be a
things like “Peppa
Pig Live” at the civic
center seem like a
great way to spend a
Friday night. In reality, it’s a
nightclub for toddlers complete with a hysterical
crying girl in the bathroom cleaning vomit off her shirt,
loud music blaring overhead and a $20 cover charge
for a wrist band (or, in this case, a plastic light-up
You might be a parent when… you find yourself in a
reverse hostage negotiation, trying to talk your way IN
instead of out. “Think of how your friends are going to
feel today if they have to go down the slides without
you… you don’t want to let them down, do you? Come
on, let’s at least go in and see what’s for breakfast.”
You might be a parent when… poop becomes an
acceptable talking point at the dinner table. And it
doesn’t matter if you’ve got company, you cannot pass
up the mind game opportunity to reinforce how fun it
is to poop in the potty compared to your pants.
You might be a parent when… “Costco” becomes
date night. Next time you’re at the big box store, pay
attention… that couple that’s got an empty cart slowly
meandering through every single aisle as if the outside
world has ceased to exist? They’re parents who’ve
successfully lined up a trustworthy sitter.
Sure, you give up the identity you’ve built up over
the years, along with any credentials you
may have earned, the moment you
become a parent, but you’re
now “Mom” or “Dad”...
and no other title
comes with so many
rewards (or as many
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VOLUME 6 • ISSUE 5
FATHERS / MR. FULL-TIME DAD
YOU MIGHT BE A PARENT...
THE MAN BEHIND THE BENCH
A GLIMPSE INTO LIFE AS A
DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
HAVING A BEER WITH...
ON THE COVER
JAKE HAILE HELPS PEOPLE
ACCOMPLISH MORE THAN
THEY THOUGHT POSSIBLE
ROCK AND ROLL FOR THE SOUL
ASK 30 WOMEN
WHAT ANNOYS YOU MOST ABOUT HIM?
HELP IS ON THE WAY
4 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
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the views or policies of The Good Life Men’s Magazine.
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 5
WRITTEN BY: BEN HANSON • PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
BEHIND THE BENCH
A Glimpse Into Life as a District Court Judge
While much of the greater Fargo-
Moorhead area was shut down or
closing early for the day, the Cass
County Courthouse in Fargo was
open for business as usual in spite
of the record cold snap that had
gripped the region that last week
of January 2019. It was so cold,
the city called off garbage pickup
for the day. Even the post office
pulled its drivers off the road. So
much for their motto, unofficial as
it may be.
When it’s that cold — cold enough
to keep the biggest, toughest trucks
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confined to their heated garages
— you’d think a hot cup of coffee
wouldn’t raise a bit of suspicion.
You would think.
“Can’t let that coffee cup inside,”
said the unnamed guard just doing
her job. “It’s metal. Can’t bring it
in. But you can leave it here and
grab it on your way out.”
Sure, who needs warmth or
comfort inside a courthouse
when it’s minus thirty outside?
Thankfully, up on the third floor
inside District Court Judge Steven
Marquart’s chambers, the mood
was friendly and the good judge
was a welcoming host eager to
share some stories.
Starting Out … On the Campaign
It makes perfect sense that a
judge was at one time a trial
attorney, standing before the
bench representing his clients. It
feels altogether counterintuitive,
however, to learn that the same
judge was also at one point a
candidate who had to campaign
for the job. Something about the gravitas
of the job and the deference paid to
the position makes it seem above the
comparatively petty popularity contest that
is today’s politics. Or perhaps it’s simply
the notion of “winning” a seat on the bench
that feels… well, wrong.
"People were, for the most part, shocked
that a judicial candidate came and knocked
on their door," Marquart said. "They were
very surprised by it, and I had some
remarkable experiences. Once, I knocked
on a door, a kid answered and said ‘Oh,
come in! I'm studying and I've got this
business law question, can you help me?'
So I'm helping with that, his parents finally
come in and start showing me pictures
from their family vacation. I learned going
door-to-door you can multiply by a factor of
ten the amount of people you reach."
Watching Marquart tell that story with
a smile on his face, reliving the whole
experience from fifteen years ago — he
was first elected to the court in 2004 — it
was easy to see why he continues to be
reelected. He’s a natural public servant
with an instinct to help out and do right.
On the Job: Then & Now
Now well into his third six-year term as a
District Court Judge, Marquart has seen
the court change in ways both obvious and
subtle. To the observing public, the most
obvious change has been a steady rise in
the number of cases being heard.
“We’ve gotten busier and busier,” Marquart
said matter of factly. “The last hearing
week, I had 101 arraignments in one week.
These are new cases… 101. That’s a lot of
people to see in one week.”
Asked why the uptick in cases in recent
years, Marquart said it’s a combination
of factors. He credits the professionalism
of the police force in their efforts to take
more criminals off the streets, but he also
recognizes it’s the simple mathematics of a
“Fargo is getting bigger; I get that,”
Marquart said, taking a meaningful
pause before continuing. “One thing I
want to dispel, though… we’ve had a lot of
immigrants come into this country, and I
think a lot of people out there think that
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“Sure, some of the things in court aren’t so much fun. But some are.
I love adoptions... everyone's happy in the courtroom with adoptions.”
all these people commit crimes. I
want to tell you it’s mostly white
folks that we see in the courtroom.”
The other, more subtle change
that's taken place during
Marquart's tenure has been
the rapid increase in efficiency
thanks to technology. It's been a
much-needed innovation that has
allowed the system to keep up with
the burgeoning caseloads.
“The electronic part has been a big
change, and it all started with this
software,” Marquart said, pointing
to the flat screen monitor on the
desk behind him. “I can type in
a case number and see all of the
documents relating to that case,
which is a huge change from the
old days when I’d send a law clerk
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down to the clerk’s office to bring a
paper file up.
“And when I’m on the bench, I
used to have a stack of files this
high,” he said, lifting his hand high
above his head. “Now I can see any
document connected to the case
right on my computer screen on
my desk at the bench. We also use
a lot of ITV [interactive television]
in this courthouse, where they’re
in the jail and just appearing
before me on the TV. That perhaps
has been the biggest change… the
advancement in technology. It’s
The Good, the Bad... and the After
In a job with a fair amount of
paperwork, it shouldn’t be a
surprise to learn that Marquart’s
favorite part of the gig is presiding
over a courtroom.
“I love being in court,” he said.
“Sure, some of the things in court
aren’t so much fun. But some are. I
love adoptions... everyone's happy
in the courtroom with adoptions.
I also like my ordinary criminal
appearance day and just knowing
what’s going on in this community
when you and I are sleeping. I
often say this is the best job I’ve
The hard part comes when he sees
the repeat offenders. Try as he
might to see the hope in each case
and give people their fair chance
to improve their plight, Marquart
says a good nine out of ten
people he sees before him —
in criminal cases, at least —
are what he calls professional
“They have a history of
getting in trouble and are just
graduating from one level to
another,” he explained. “I’m
not there to fix these people’s
problems. I apply the law.”
But after the law has been
applied… then what? How
does a judge unwind after a
day that may have found him
handing down a life sentence
— as Marquart did in the
widely publicized 2011 case
of Gene Kirkpatrick, who
was convicted of plotting a
murder-for-hire that killed
Fargo dentist Philip Gattuso,
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"I go home to a loving wife
and forget what happened
here, and for the most part I
can do that," Marquart said
with conviction. "Maybe it's a
gift that I have but I don't think
much about the decisions I
make after I make them. It'd
drive me crazy if I secondguessed
And what about fun? Are
judges allowed to have fun?
Marquart lets out a belly laugh
“I just enjoy my time off,” he
said. “I’m very happy to have
grandkids moving back to
town this spring… spending
time with family is what I
Indeed, that’s the good life.
Case closed. •
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WRITTEN BY: MEGHAN FEIR • PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
Travis Hopkins’ tale could aptly be called “There and Back Again: A Hopkins Tale,” but instead of
quests in Middle Earth, the Jamestown native traveled back to Fargo after long and adventuresome
stints in New York City, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
He had it all: long, black hair, piercings, a leather jacket, a drum set and a successful band.
He probably even wore tattered, tight jeans with drumsticks in his back pocket.
While touring with his band, Hopkins realized he had an interest in the behindthe-scenes
work of band promotion and coordination. It also paid better.
Since moving back to Fargo, Hopkins has continued using his marketing
skills for a homebuilding company and a health and fitness center.
He is also the host of The Side Stage Show on 95.9 KRFF, which
features entertainers of varying niches, from rock musicians to
While we didn’t partake in the brews at Drekker, we
enjoyed the views from the loft area as we delved into
the story of Hopkins’ life — as told in less than 40
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 11
“My fiancé and I had a discussion.
She wanted a Chihuahua
and I wanted a pit bull, so we
compromised and got the
Good Life: Are you more of a dog
or hamster person?
Travis Hopkins: I currently have
my first dog ever. My fiancé and I had a
discussion. She wanted a Chihuahua and I
wanted a pit bull, so we compromised and got
the Chihuahua. But I love that little thing. She’s 6
pounds of pure entertainment. She puts up with my
antics and understands I’m a goofball. If I want to take
a selfie, she’ll do this cute little pose and stay still. She
knows me so well already.
GL: What’s your hidden talent?
TH: Well, speaking of dogs, I think I’m really good at barking.
GL: Can I hear it?
TH: (Imagine him barking really well in the middle of Brewhalla)
GL: That was really good.
TH: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “Is there a dog in here?”
GL: What’s your non-hidden talent?
TH: I would have to say drums. I grew up in a musical family. My grandpa played with
Lawrence Welk. My dad was a radio DJ, played in powwow groups, and was a drummer in
small bands around the Midwest. I grew up with a musical influence and pushed it as far as I
could. I’ve been told I’m one of the best steering-wheel drummers you’ve ever heard.
GL: How did you go from being a musician to a marketer?
TH: We were on tour on the East Coast and opening for folks like C.C. DeVille of Poison, Cinderella—
older school bands. In that time, you learn how to do marketing and that nobody’s going to come to your
show unless you’re promoting and advertising yourself. It led me to be the live music coordinator for
the Hard Rock Café when I lived in New York City. I still loved playing drums, performing, touring and
recording, but at some point, I didn’t want to be a broke musician and realized I was less broke when I
was the coordinator.
GL: How did you get into acting and on an episode of “The Sopranos”?
TH: When I worked at the Hard Rock Café, there were casting agents that were always coming in after work.
One of them approached me and asked, “Hey, are you an actor?” I just smiled and said no. The bartender,
12 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
who was an actress, said,
“That’s an opportunity that
just knocked that none of us
ever get. You go back and tell him
yes.” So I was like, “If he comes back,
I’ll tell him yes.” A couple days later
he came back and said, “Are you sure
you’re not an actor? I’m pretty sure I’ve
seen you in something.” I finally went,
“I am, actually. I just thought you were
being weird.” He then wanted me to
read for him right away, and in less
than a week I was doing commercials
for Got Milk? and Heineken Beer, and
I was eventually on an episode of “The
GL: With all of that going on, why did
you come back to Fargo?
TH: I came back for family. I was
raised by my mother and grandmother,
from little on up. I came back for them
because their health was starting to
affect their day-to-day life. The least
I could do was come back and start
helping, start being more supportive.
I’m happy to do it. We’ve always been
extremely close, and it’s really exciting
for me to have my mom so close and in
my everyday life.
GL: What’s your heritage?
TH: I’m half Dakota Sioux and half
German, so it’s always funny when
people want to cast me for things.
They look at me for a Native role,
but they’re like, “Ahhh, you’re not
quite dark enough.” And then they
see me for a role that might be more
Caucasian-based, but then I’m a little
GL: What are you most proud of right
TH: Honestly, I would have to say
my family. I’m really proud of what
everybody’s done, the things they’ve
overcome, and what they’re growing
GL: What does living the good life
mean to you?
TH: Obviously, everybody wants
financial security and fun, but at the
end of the day, do you have a roof over
your head, clothes on your back, food
in your stomach, health, happiness,
and your family and friends? For me,
the basic things make life good. •
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WRITTEN BY: KRISSY NESS • PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
Scuba diving isn't exactly a hobby you find a lot of in the Midwest.
When you pair that with a towing company and first responder
training – you have Ryan Sherbrooke.
Sherbrooke is the owner of Midwest Towing here in the Fargo-
Moorhead area and has been a registered firefighter in Fargo
for 3 years. "I love helping people," Said Sherbrooke. "I was
an EMS full-time for thirteen years."
Being the Lead Diver for his scuba recovery business he has
seen his fair share of retrievals. They can be as small as
rescuing a cellphone from the bottom of a lake to salvaging
a pick-up truck from beneath icy waters. "If you break a
water line in your house you know a plumber is coming,"
said Sherbrooke. "But, who do you call when you drop
your car in 30 feet of water?"
With many years of experience in a handful of
occupations, Sherbrooke knows that you cannot do a
job like this alone. "I gotta take my hat off to the North
Dakota responders. They are so willing to jump in and
help - they make our job so easy," said Sherbrooke.
"The last thing we want is a diver in the water with
There are many benefits and risks when it comes
to this job. Whether he is helping someone retrieve
personal items lost when a vehicle went into
the lake, or battling rapids in the icy Red River,
Sherbrooke accepts the challenge because of his
love for helping people.
When people such as Sherbrooke use their
talents and hobbies to help the good of
the community and you see the local first
responders back them up, it really makes you
realize what a great community we are living
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 15
If you are ever curious about what this
operation looks like, they have uploaded videos
and pictures of retrievals they have done over
the years on their Facebook page. It is really
quite an interesting thing to see. Not only are
other vehicles involved but extractors and
exothermic torches as well, and those can
get as hot as 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sherbrooke and his fellow divers have done
other jobs besides vehicle retrieval and the
like. They have also been hired for such
jobs as commercial diving for the city of
West Fargo where they inspected the
floodgates to make sure there was no
debris or water escaping.
PHOTOS SUBMITTED BY: RYAN SHERBROOKE
If you break a water
line in your house
you know a plumber
is coming. But, who
do you call when you
drop your car in 30
feet of water?"
– Ryan Sherbrooke
Sherbrooke seems to enjoy the
variety of jobs he can get while
utilizing his hobby of scuba diving,
but it always seems to come back
to wanting to help people.
"When we can recover that vehicle
and personal private belongings that
were lost, we just gave them back
what they thought they lost forever,"
There have been a few times in my life
where I have lost something special to
me in the lake and I wish I knew there
was someone I could call to help retrieve
Each job is a case-by-case situation
and if Sherbrooke is unable to or
unwilling to help for any reason he
will happily recommend another
company in town or the region to
help with any and all situations.
Midwest Towing and Recovery takes
part in events throughout the year,
for example, every February they
take part in a staged water rescue
for various charities for Giving
Hearts Day, this year they raised
money for CCRI.
With all this community support and
the desire to help others I know if I
ever run into trouble that requires
16 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
a tow or a scuba recovery - I will definitely be calling
Midwest Towing and Recovery.
When asked what the good life means to Sherbrooke, of
course, this is how he answered. “The good life means
to me; giving back to those who provide every day to us
all. Making a difference in one life, in my book, is living
the good life,” said Sherbrooke. “You only leave behind
your legacy in this life, if I've made a difference in
someone else's life and given them hope and happiness,
then I'd have to say that's the good life.”
And what a good life he is providing for people in our
The good life means to me; giving back to
those who provide every day to us all. Making
a difference in one life, in my book, is living the
good life.” – Ryan Sherbrooke
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 17
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JAKE HAILE HELPS PEOPLE ACCOMPLISH MORE
THAN THEY THOUGHT POSSIBLE
As a fitness coach, Jake Haile
doesn’t care about what you can’t
But he will do everything he can
to inspire you to realize everything
you can do.
And inspire is exactly what he
does. But so do all the incredible
people Jake works with.
Because Jake works with people
who are often seen as the least
likely folks to become serious
athletes — they have physical
or developmental disabilities,
Parkinson’s disease or maybe Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder.
But athletes they are.
“This is not about me,” he said.
“It’s about inspiring themselves
and making the community around
That altruistic attitude is evident
immediately when Jake talks about
his job. As a fitness trainer at TNT
Kid’s Fitness and Gymnastics and
operator of the No Limits program,
Jake works with children and
adults with some type of physical
or developmental disability in a
dedicated space that keeps them
safe and with a program adapted
to their individual abilities. In
addition, he operates the Rock
Steady Boxing program, where he
teaches people with Parkinson’s
Disease to box.
“They blow me away with their
ability,” he said. The boxing
program — which is a non-contact
sport in this circumstance — gives
individuals the skills necessary to
box while actually fighting back
against the disease.
“The way I see it, these people
have a boulder placed in front of
their lives, and they could sit and
stare at it, or they could choose to
stand up and push the boulder out
of the way,” Jake said. “I’m helping
them be an active participant in
the treatment of their Parkinson’s
“THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME.
IT’S ABOUT INSPIRING THEMSELVES
AND MAKING THE COMMUNITY AROUND
WRITTEN BY: DANIELLE TEIGEN • PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 19
Steve Holand is an athlete in the
Rock Steady Boxing program,
and he learned about the program
about a year and a half ago from a
family friend working in the health
care field. Holand had been off his
exercise routine for about 5 months,
and he’d noticed his symptoms —
most notably tremors and balance
— were getting worse. Though he
wanted to do something about it
through exercise, Steve said he just
couldn’t seem to get himself to the
gym to work out.
In November 2017, Steve joined
the Rock Steady Boxing class
and quickly realized how much
he enjoyed the intense but fun
workouts. “Jake has a natural upbeat
coaching style, and it’s obvious that
he is passionate about his work,”
Steve said. “In class, he encourages
us to push ourselves but respects
each individual on how far they want
to take it.”
While Steve said getting to know the
other athletes in the class has been
an unexpected bonus of attending
the class, the tangible benefits
20 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
are much more powerful. Steve
said his Parkinson’s symptoms
are much less troublesome, he’s
in great shape and he rarely gets
sick. Plus, lingering shoulder pain
has disappeared and his feelings of
depression have dissipated. “I think
that is remarkable payback for a few
hours invested each week,” Steve
That increase in self-esteem and
an improved self-image is exactly
why Jake enjoys his job. His first
experience with helping someone
realize how movement and fitness
could improve self-esteem was
more than 6 years ago when he
was working for Community Living
Services, an organization in Fargo
that provides support services for
individuals with disabilities to live and work
independently. Jake said he had a client who
was about 12 or 13 years old and in need of
motivation to get healthy. Jake said he just started
playing basketball with the teenager, and the kid
“woke up”. The more engaged the teen became
in playing basketball, the less he experienced his
That’s when it clicked. Jake went to the director
at CLS and asked if he could officially start a
fitness program. He received the all clear and
some funds to outfit a basic gym, and he started
cycling people through the routine. “And people
got happier,” he remembered. “It improved their
quality of life and was making the community
After he started bringing CLS clients to TNT
Kid’s Fitness and Gymnastics to use their
facilities and equipment, Jake partnered with
the coaches of CrossFit Icehouse as well as
TNT Kid’s Fitness and Gymnastics to create
Fargomania. TNT hosted the October 2017
event, which featured individuals with special
needs showcasing their athletic skills learned
during an 8-week training cycle in four timed
workouts at the event. Jake helped write the
programming and watched the individuals
achieve great things. “We were truly being in
the moment with these people,” he said.
Shortly after, TNT Kid’s Fitness and Gymnastics
approached him about providing adapted
fitness programs full time, and Jake jumped at
the chance. After developing the program, Jake
said TNT decided to seek a partner to make
the program sustainable, and the Marv Bossart
Foundation for Parkinson’s Support stepped
in. “If you surround yourself with good people,
then good things will find you,” Jake said.
The partnership provided support and an outlet
for participants for the Rock Steady Boxing
program. “They are the most inspiring people,”
Jake said. “When you are inspired, you become
inspiring. I experience joy with them — how is
that not the most intoxicating thing in life?”
But Jake hasn’t always been this inspired, and
he said it’s important for him to share that part
of his story with people. He wants them to see
that vulnerability is not weakness. Quite the
opposite, actually. “To be vulnerable is to grow,”
And grow he has. As a young man growing up
in Omaha, Nebraska, Jake said he was a “lost
human being” who lacked self-esteem and was
just trying to fit in all the time when his mother
made him attend a conference where he met
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 21
some men from Fargo. Jake said they convinced
him to move to Fargo, so he did.
With just his possessions and some furniture in
the back of his yellow pickup — nicknamed “Big
Bird” — Jake uprooted his life from Nebraska
to North Dakota. He started working in a
commercial painting job and once his daughter
Jaiden was born when he was only 20, Jake said
he started to see life differently. He eventually
enrolled at a technical school in a criminal
justice program before realizing he wanted to
reach people before they entered the criminal
justice system. He enrolled at Minnesota State
University Moorhead with the psychology
program and put his love of movement to work
for the university’s club lacrosse team. He
completed his degree — which has an emphasis
on behavior modification and special education
— and used his experience operating an afterschool
program to secure the job at CLS.
“That’s where I found my passion, my passion
for human beings,” he said. Jake noted that an
important part of his story is the struggles he
has faced — he has dyslexia and understands
acutely what labels associated with disorders
like that can do to a person, how they can limit
what a person is truly capable of. He isn’t afraid
to admit that he has struggled with depression
and anxiety, and he is an advocate for mental
health awareness and treatment.
“I have high expectations for people regardless
of those labels,” he said. “I can appreciate
labels, but so many people with those labels
have been told it’s okay not to do something
because they have Parkinson’s, or because they
think, ‘I am Parkinson’s.’ ”
Helping people see past those labels and those
limitations is what fuels Jake and drives his
purpose. “They fill my cup,” he said.
22 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
In addition to working at TNT Kid’s Fitness and
Gymnastics, Jake is also a CrossFit coach — his
nickname “Omaha” honors his hometown — where
he can instill a love of movement and inspire
exceptional physical accomplishment in even more
people. He also teaches Rock Steady Boxing offsite
at an assisted living facility in Fargo, and he
started offering a program specifically created to
give veterans and active service men and women the
space and support to control their own journey. “They
sacrifice themselves for our country, and I have more
respect for the armed forces than anything else,” Jake
Jake is grateful to partner with the Brady Oberg
Legacy Foundation to offer the program to veterans,
and Oberg’s sister, Tracy Dunham, couldn’t be happier
about the partnership. The decision was easy, she
said, after seeing Jake’s passion for the veterans and
how hard he works to develop a program that works
for each veteran. His involvement has made “a huge
difference because of his willingness to listen and
advocate” for the veterans, Tracy said.
Jake is quick to point out how many positive
partnerships have allowed his work to happen. “I’ve
been blessed and privileged by these collaborations
of human beings wanting to make the world a better
place,” Jake said. The first person he ever saw
demonstrate unconditional love toward all people
was his dad, and he emulates that love through his
Not only is his dad a mentor, but so are the people
he works with. “They trust me enough to want to
be inspired by me, and I get inspiration from that,”
he said. He also mentioned the coaches at CrossFit
Icehouse and their approach to movement and
individual ability. “We don’t live to do fitness, we do
fitness to live,” he said.
That’s what living a good life is to Jake — waking up
every day and having the opportunity to be excited
about the people he works with and the quality of time
he spends with his family, which includes his wife,
Allison, and his daughters, Jaiden, 11, and Cynthia, 2.
It’s about consciously making the world a better place.
“Money and things have never made me happy,” Jake
said. “And it’s not about what I will achieve when I
look back at 80 or 90 years old; it’s did I do something
every day to make the world better? It’s about being
present in the moment every day. Experiences are
And the experience of being around Jake Haile is
remarkable because he exudes authenticity and
positivity. He wants to show you everything you are
capable of doing and being. Because that’s what truly
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 23
WRITTEN BY: KRISSY NESS • PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
If you have been paying any attention to Fargo’s local music
scene in the past 18 months you will already be familiar with
Stovepipes. The potential this band has is unreal, from the
cohesiveness of the instruments to the powerful vocals. This
group really knows how to put on a show and hold the attention
of their audience. They describe themselves as rock and roll
with classic rock influences.
Cody Kostka, Mckay Galbrecht, and Jake Nosal
had been playing music together for quite a few
years before Nosal introduced Alex Phelps to
“I met Jake playing hockey in college and
one thing led to another,” said Alex Phelps.
“He invited me to a jam with the guys and kind of went from
Inviting Phelps to sing for the band really allowed bassist Kostka
and guitarist Galbrecht to focus on playing their instruments
without having to take on lead vocals, and Phelps really matched
the vibe they were shooting for as a band. There is this sort of
Led Zeppelin meets Jack White feeling that you get from their
music, but you can absolutely tell they have a style that is unique
to them and you know it the minute they start playing.
“Medicine Man” off their new EP, Sparkle & Shine, is the perfect
example of how they incorporate their musical influences into
something of their own and it absolutely kills – along with the
rest of their EP.
Last year they played anywhere from 35 to 40 shows in Grand
Forks, Fargo, and Detroit Lakes area. A few of their most
memorable ones were when they played their first Open Mic
Night at Sidestreet Bar and Grille in Fargo, “After getting that
first one out of the way we got, what I would say, a very good
response,” said basest Cody Kostka.
24 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
“It’s cool to have played so many
mixed bills with a band we never
thought we would play with, and
everyone is psyched to be there.”
– Cody Kostka
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 25
Playing at the Hotel Shoreham was a big deal for
drummer, Jake Nosal, “I’m from Detroit Lakes and the
anticipation of playing for the hometown crowd and
going back to a place where I used to watch bands play
from behind the fence, because I wasn’t old enough and I
was just working there was exciting.”
They also opened up for The 4onthefloor at Drekkerfest
4 at their Brewhalla location. “I remember when we were
setting up and it was really packing out and people were
showing up and didn’t have tickets because it was a sold
out event. Seeing people get turned away was like, this
is something, I can't believe this was happening,” said
Playing in Fargo's diverse music scene brings the
opportunity for bands to play together that maybe
“I can’t really give any credit to anyone other than the Fargo music scene,
there are so many opportunities coming up it seems like. As long as you
are just nice, it seems like, and genuine with people, and have a desire to be
better at what you do, the community in this town is super welcoming.”
– Alex Phelps
26 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
“It’s cool to have played so many mixed bills with a band
we never thought we would play with, and everyone
is psyched to be there,” said Kostka. “As far as all the
other local bands we’ve played with, not once have we
had close to a negative experience with anyone.”
Stovepipes have had success when it comes to their
music, though other bands might give themselves all
the credit for their hard work and determination, as
they should, the members of Stovepipes credit their
success to the Fargo music scene.
“I can’t really give any credit to anyone other than the
Fargo music scene, there are so many opportunities
coming up it seems like. As long as you are just nice it
seems like, and genuine with people, and have a desire
to be better at what you do, the community in this town
is super welcoming,” said Alex Phelps.
December brought the release of their new EP, Sparkle
& Shine, which you can find on Spotify, iTunes music
store, or other major streaming sites. You can also find
their EP at Orange Records in Downtown Fargo and
Mothers’ Music in Moorhead.
After this March, Stovepipes won’t have a gig lined up
until summer, they are already talking about working
on new music. “It’s been nice because we have been
working on sets and now we can work on new music
or refine what we have,” said Nosal.
If you haven’t heard Stovepipes play, do yourself a favor
and check them out. They were easy to find on Spotify
so there really is no excuse not to, and I promise you
will not be disappointed.
Hey, they may even bring a little groove to your step; it
is hard not to move when you hear their music. •
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 27
ASK 30 WOMEN
WHAT ANNOYS YOU MOST ABOUT HIM?
Gentlemen, you are irritating. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, certain things you do are rather annoying
to some people. Rest assured it’s not too late and we are here to help you through the process. The
Good Life asked 30 random ladies… “What annoys you most about him?” Names were withheld to
protect the innocent. Stop doing these little bothersome things and make the world a better place!
1. It drives me mad when he
doesn't rinse his prickly little
hairs out of sink and counter top
2. The way he chews his food.
3. Checking his phone every
other minute (turning it off and
on making a clicking sound).
4. Pretending he’s listening to
me – when I know he’s not.
5. Cheering on sports players on
TV. They can’t hear you!
6. Not flushing the toilet or
forgetting to close the lid.
7. Being late.
8. When he’s done doing
the dishes (bless his heart,
he is great at that) and he
leaves the food trap full
of disgusting scraps... for
hours. So, as I scrape the
dried-up gunk off the
strainer, my mantra is
“the dishes are done...
the dishes are done.”
9. Lip smacking when
he eats! Arrrggghhh!
10. Being stubborn.
13. When he leaves his stuff
laying all over.
14. Constantly talking and also
pointing at things when he
doesn’t need to.
15. Doesn’t wipe the toothpaste
glob out of the sink.
16. Clearing his throat
17. Asking me to put his things
in my purse.
18. Video games.
19. Spreading his germs when
he’s sick. I’m pretty sure he
touches every handle, button
and remote in our home. Then
he feels hurt when I follow him
around with a can of Lysol.
20. Not going to the doctor
until he’s dying.
21. When he doesn’t use the
22. Making gulping noises when
23. Interrupts me when I’m
speaking to others.
24. Mouth breather.
25. He doesn’t know where we
keep anything. Tape, scissors,
light bulbs, etc.
26. Not making his side of the
27. Wearing clothes until
they are falling apart.
28. Burping loudly and
then acting disgusted
when I do it.
29. His family.
30. Turning the
channel in the
middle of a
TV show I'm
he can watch
28 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 29
HELP IS ON THE WAY
WRITTEN BY: BRITTNEY GOODMAN • PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
Not all heroes wear capes, they
say. I say, after learning about
the efforts of a dedicated group
of people, some of them wear
Emergency Medical Technician
(EMT) uniforms and work for
F-M Ambulance, an Emergency
Medical Services (EMS) provider,
headquartered in Fargo. You will
be grateful for their skilled, caring
service if you ever need them.
F-M Ambulance will be
celebrating its 60th year of
providing service to our region.
F-M Ambulance began in 1959
by private owners. It started with
a location in Moorhead. Its base
stations then moved twice – first
to 1101 1st Ave. S, Fargo and
then its current location of 2215
18th St. S., Fargo, which was
built in preparations for Y2K and
opened officially on New Year’s
Eve, 1999, where it has remained.
F-M Ambulance Service is a
wholly owned subsidiary of
Sanford Health Systems.
Don Martin, the current
and Public Information Officer
for F-M Ambulance, holding
that position since 2007, has
been with the company since
1994, starting as an (EMT)
Intermediate. He described
his duties as, “overseeing the
dispatch center, ensuring all the
equipment and staff is working at
full potential and that ambulances
and specialty transport vehicles
are being dispatched and sent on
Martin described their work as
critical: “We provide a crucial
and critical service – advanced
life support to the community.
We provide a level of excellence
that has improved throughout the
years. Technology has changed
and driven so much and allows
us to provide better care. We have
better outcomes and survival
rates because of technology and
30 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
how we are continually improving
F-M Ambulance has grown with
the community to deal with its
population growth. In 1994, they
had 14,600 calls for service, which
is 40 calls per day. In 2018, they
had 31,443 calls for service, or
86 calls per day. In 1994, they
only had four ambulances on the
streets and they currently have
twelve ambulances to cover calls.
One dispatcher was on duty at the
beginning, only Monday-Friday.
Now FM-Ambulance has three
dispatchers who handle the call
volume and perform “Emergency
Medical Dispatch” – triaging calls
and giving pre-arrival instructions
to callers. They currently have 130
employees at the Fargo-Moorhead
location. Their parent company,
Sanford Health, has multiple
emergency medical service sites
throughout the region.
In addition to ambulance services,
F-M Ambulance also has disaster
response vehicles including a
Major Incident Transport Unit,
Mobile Incident Command Post,
and a Major Incident Response
Unit with supplies to treat up to
The service has been accredited by
the Commission on Accreditation
CALLS FOR SERVICE
OR 86 CALLS
of Ambulance Services (CAAS)
since 2004 and is the only
accredited service in the state of
North Dakota. They have received
the American Heart Association
(AHA) Gold Plus award for the
F-M AMBULANCE HAS A METRO-WIDE GOAL OF ARRIVING TO THE SCENE
AFTER BEING DISPATCHED IN UNDER 8 MINUTES, 59 SECONDS
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 31
We successfully get a patient who is having an active heart attack
from their home to the cath lab in under 90 minutes. – Don Martin
past four years. Martin explained
what this award means: “We
successfully get a patient who
is having an active heart attack
from their home to the cath lab
in under 90 minutes.” When it
comes to emergency care, time
is critical. Martin explained, “FM-
Ambulance has a metro-wide goal
of arriving on the scene after being
dispatched in under 8 minutes 59
seconds. We average that at 97
percent of the time.”
Martin has dreamed of being
an EMT since an early age. “No
kidding,” he said, “Ask my family.”
He continued, “When I was five
I knew I wanted to be an EMT. I
would collect Matchbox cars that
were ambulances. Everything that
had an ambulance I would collect.
My aunt lived near Piggly Wiggly
and we were so close to St. Luke’s
Hospital, I would always run out
to see the ambulances. I could tell
by the sirens. My family would say
this – I was always that way.”
Born in Fargo and attending
Fargo North High School, Martin
divided his time between Fargo
and the Turtle Mountain Band of
Chippewa Reservation, of which
he is a member: “I viewed Fargo
as a boarding school.”
“My Native American identity
is important to me,” explained
Martin. “Being in Native culture,
family is very important to me. I
spend my holidays and as much
time as I can with my family. It
is very important to know where
you come from. You can’t move
forward if you don’t know where
you came from. You don’t know
where you are going. There is a
difference between who you are
and what you are. It is an everyday
part of my life.”
Part of that life experience
includes volunteerism and
community activities. He is a
member of the F-M Ambulance
Ceremonial Unit, the only EMT
32 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
You are a paramedic,
but you also have to be
a counselor and get them
through that journey.
The bedside manner is
important to get them to
the hospital, knowing they
are not alone and you are
going to be there with
them. They are scared
and anxious. It does not
help the patient if you are
also nervous. You can be
sweating on the inside, but
don’t let it show.
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 33
ceremonial unit in North Dakota.
This group is asked to perform
funeral services for EMS workers
all over the state and region: “North
Dakota, Northwest Minnesota and
Northeast South Dakota, we go all
over,” added Martin.
He is also active in participating in
powwows and has been serving as
the chair of the F-M St. Patrick’s
Parade Committee. For twelve
years, Martin was on Fargo’s
Native American Commission with
a mission to be a conduit between
the Native American community
and Fargo and a liaison with
different programs promoting
Native American culture.”
During the summer, Martin enjoys
his spot on Toad Lake: “I like being
at the lake – the nature and the
quiet.” Martin’s spends his spare
time with his friends: “I am a
social person – I like being out and
Martin explained how F-M
Ambulance’s work impacts people:
“When I think about what we do,
there is a difference between
seeing immediate change and
seeing what happens afterward,
down the road. You may not see it
right away; it may take days, weeks
or months. But it is rewarding
when you see that whatever you
did helped and made life better for
that person.” For example, Martin
has assisted with the delivery of
eight babies during his time at F-M
Ambulance: “But the mothers do
all of the work,” he insisted.
When asked about the favorite
part of his job, Martin said, “I like
working with the people, with my
coworkers, seeing that every day
what I do makes a difference.”
Martin described his work as
“challenging: You never knowing
what you are going to see or find,
whether good or bad, and you have
to be able to cope with it.”
“In my role, we see a lot of bad
things that happen to people.
People are calling us at the worst
times of their lives. Sometimes
when you see a patient, yours might
be the last face they see and the
"In my role, we see a lot of bad things that happen to people. People are calling us at the
worst times of their lives. Sometimes when you see a patient, yours might be the last face
they see and the last voice they hear." – Don Martin
34 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
last voice they hear,” Martin explained.
He continued, “You are a paramedic,
but you also have to be a counselor
and get them through that journey.
The bedside manner is important to
get them to the hospital, knowing they
are not alone and you are going to be
there with them. They are scared and
anxious. It does not help the patient
if you are also nervous. You can be
sweating on the inside, but don’t let it
Finally, Martin explained what “The
Good Life” means to him: “It is being
able to experience the journey of life
with loved ones – friends and family –
and having the experience altogether.
It is facing all that life may give whether
it be good or bad.” •
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 35