The Good Life – July-August 2019

On the cover, Local Hero - Brady Oberg Legacy Foundation, Having a Beer with Program Director and Radio Show Host - Mike Kapel, Cass County Sheriff's Reserve Unit, Scuba Diving and more in Fargo Moorhead's only men's magazine.

On the cover, Local Hero - Brady Oberg Legacy Foundation, Having a Beer with Program Director and Radio Show Host - Mike Kapel, Cass County Sheriff's Reserve Unit, Scuba Diving and more in Fargo Moorhead's only men's magazine.


You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.

JULY-AUGUST <strong>2019</strong><br />


<strong>Good</strong> enough<br />

is not good enough.<br />

Stand out from the rest.<br />

At a single glance, your<br />

marketing materials<br />

reflect many things about<br />

your business to potential<br />

customers. Professional<br />

graphic design communicates<br />

the quality of services you<br />

offer and represents the<br />

standards of your company.<br />

Affordable pricing and<br />

fast turnaround.<br />

Contact us for an estimate today!<br />

Professional Photography and<br />

Graphic Design Services<br />

urbantoadmedia.com<br />

2 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 3


JULY-AUGUST <strong>2019</strong><br />

VOLUME 7 • ISSUE 1<br />

























6<br />

10<br />

14<br />

18<br />

26<br />

28<br />

32<br />


In this issue of <strong>The</strong> <strong>Good</strong> <strong>Life</strong>, we combined our<br />

Local Hero and cover story. We wanted to highlight<br />

the impact of the Brady Oberg Legacy Foundation<br />

and their continued mission to assist our heroes.<br />

If you or someone you know are struggling with<br />

combat-related PTSD and need assistance, please<br />

reach out: bradyoberglegacyfoundation.org<br />

Together we can make a difference.<br />

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

Dawn and Darren<br />

Urban Toad Media


Urban Toad Media LLP<br />

www.urbantoadmedia.com<br />


Darren Losee<br />

darren@urbantoadmedia.com<br />


Dawn Siewert<br />

dawn@urbantoadmedia.com<br />


Meghan Feir<br />

Alexandra Floersch<br />

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

Ben Hanson<br />

Katie Jenison<br />

Krissy Ness<br />


Darren Losee<br />

darren@urbantoadmedia.com<br />


issuu.com/thegoodlifemensmag<br />


facebook.com/urbantoadmedia<br />


@urbantoadmedia<br />


@urbantoadmedia<br />

<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


Driscoll Farms Keeps It Local<br />

Driscoll Farms, located near Glyndon,<br />

MN, has been providing fresh<br />

produce and flowers to the Red River<br />

Valley since the 1980s. <strong>The</strong> current<br />

owners, Jake and Krista Driscoll are<br />

keeping the family tradition alive.<br />

Driscoll Farms operates floral<br />

greenhouses at seven locations in the<br />

Fargo-Moorhead area including the<br />

farm on Highway 9, in rural Glyndon<br />

and also sells produce at <strong>The</strong> Market<br />

at West Acres from late June through<br />

October.<br />

<strong>The</strong> farm has been in their family<br />

since 1963 when Jake Driscoll’s<br />

grandfather purchased it. It started<br />

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

out as more of a traditional farm,<br />

then in the 1980s the family started<br />

growing and selling produce: “It<br />

was a whole-family deal. My siblings<br />

and I would go door to door selling<br />

produce.” <strong>The</strong>y then started selling<br />

wholesale produce to grocery stores,<br />

then to the Dike East Farmers<br />

Market in Fargo in 1985 and have<br />

been at <strong>The</strong> Market at West Acres for<br />

five years.<br />

“Everything we offer is locally<br />

grown <strong>–</strong> you know exactly<br />

where your food is coming<br />

from.” <strong>–</strong> Jake Driscoll<br />

In 1987, Driscoll Farms dove into the<br />

flower business, selling locally grown<br />

flowers <strong>–</strong> bedding plants and hanging<br />

baskets. Driscoll emphasized, “Unlike<br />

other places you can buy flowers, all<br />

of ours are grown locally right on our<br />

farm.”<br />

Driscoll, now 31 years old, grew<br />

up on that same farm and has been<br />

working full time there since he<br />

graduated from Minnesota State<br />

University Moorhead (MSUM) in<br />

2012. He married Krista five years<br />

ago. <strong>The</strong>y recently had their first child<br />

together, Daxton (Dax). “Krista helps<br />

out during the flower season and on<br />

weekends,” Jake said, adding, “But

she is not able to work as much at the greenhouses<br />

since we have our 10-month-old son.”<br />

Driscoll asserted, “Everything we offer is locally<br />

grown <strong>–</strong> you know exactly where your food is<br />

coming from.” Driscoll Farms’ most popular<br />

produce is sweet corn, potatoes, tomatoes,<br />

cucumbers (especially pickling sized), peppers,<br />

squash and melons. <strong>The</strong>y also sell their family<br />

recipe Minnesota Lakes Barbecue Sauce.<br />

Driscoll takes pride in their flowers: “We’re one of<br />

a few in the area that grows everything we sell. At<br />

other places, you are getting things shipped in from<br />

across the country. We pride ourselves on a quality<br />

product and we have good help who take great care<br />

to keep our greenhouse flowers looking good.”<br />

Freshness matters, Driscoll explained: “At a<br />

farmers market, you are likely to buy produce that<br />

was picked that same day or the day before. If you<br />

aren’t buying local, think about all the freshness<br />

lost due to the transportation time. If you come to<br />

our farmers market you get something that could<br />

last you a week, week and a half, easily. With our<br />

produce we use very little herbicides. For our weed<br />

control, you either use your hands or a hoe to<br />

control the weeds.”<br />

Driscoll works full time at the farm: “Me, my dad<br />

Mike, my uncle Jim and my friend Adam are fulltime,<br />

year-round. My mom, Tari, is involved heavily<br />

during the flower season, as is my aunt Connie<br />

and my youngest sister Elizabeth.” Driscoll added,<br />

“When you go to one of our greenhouses, even if<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 7

it is not a family member working<br />

there, you are still getting experience,<br />

as most of our employees have been<br />

with us 20-30 years. It gives us an<br />

edge over other places. Plus, it’s all<br />

locally grown.”<br />

Driscoll enjoys his work: “I like being<br />

outside.” While in college, he juggled<br />

between majors, finally deciding<br />

that the family farm was his calling:<br />

“It is really neat to see a seed in the<br />

ground or a flower in a pot grow over<br />

the months <strong>–</strong> it is neat to be a part<br />

of that process.” Driscoll also loves<br />

interacting with customers, especially<br />

at farmers markets: “<strong>The</strong>re are so<br />

many loyal people coming back year<br />

after year and you really get to know<br />

them.” Working with family is also a<br />

bonus: “It is nice <strong>–</strong> crazy sometimes<br />

<strong>–</strong> but it is nice to work with family. It<br />

is a lot of work with ups and downs,<br />

but it can be very rewarding.” He also<br />

loves that “I can walk out my front<br />

door and pick what I need that night<br />

for supper.”<br />

"I can walk out my front door<br />

and pick what I need that<br />

night for supper. "<br />

<strong>–</strong> Jake Driscoll<br />

Driscoll explained the growing<br />

process: “In the beginning of<br />

February, we start our plants in<br />

greenhouses. Flower season goes<br />

until the end of June. <strong>The</strong>n we get<br />

into the produce which takes us until<br />

the end of October. During November<br />

we do maintenance and cleanup.”<br />

December and part of January is the<br />

8 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

“downtime” where Driscoll said, “We can relax and<br />

regroup.” That time is important: “Last winter I got to<br />

stay home with my son, Dax, and took care of him for<br />

a few months instead of sending him to daycare. That<br />

was great.”<br />

During his spare time, Driscoll with his wife and son<br />

enjoy visiting his parents’ lake place about 30 minutes<br />

from the farm. He and his family are also very into<br />

playing basketball: “Basketball is a big part of my life.”<br />

Driscoll was raised on the family farm: “Growing up on<br />

a farm was awesome. We have a 10-acre farmstead and<br />

outside of the farmstead, there are 300 plus acres. As<br />

a kid, it was crazy, the amount of space we had to<br />

run around all day long <strong>–</strong> I am excited for my son to<br />

be able to have the freedom to be able to do what he<br />

wants.” It is also some hard work: “When I was a kid<br />

we started working early, as far back as I can remember<br />

<strong>–</strong> picking weeds and other farm chores. I have plenty of<br />

fun memories of doing that work with my family and<br />

friends, as well as some memories of just not wanting<br />

to do it <strong>–</strong> but having to do it. Back in high school, the<br />

summers were fun, but you had to get your work done<br />

first before you could go out.”<br />

When asked what “<strong>The</strong> <strong>Good</strong> <strong>Life</strong>” means to him,<br />

Driscoll answered: “It is doing something that I enjoy<br />

doing and having good people around you <strong>–</strong> friends and<br />

family. That’s a big thing to me and is very important in<br />

my life.” •<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 9



Sheriff Reserves Swear In<br />

to Enhance Security in<br />

Cass County<br />


“At one point about 40 percent of our patrol<br />

deputies came directly out of the reserve unit.”<br />

<strong>–</strong> Sgt. Jade Van Den Einde<br />

<strong>The</strong> uniform is the same. <strong>The</strong> passion is the same. <strong>The</strong><br />

call to serve is the same. Much of the training is even<br />

the same. If you were to find yourself at Ribfest, the Red<br />

River Valley Fair or a local street dance, chances are<br />

almost certain you would never know that many of the<br />

deputies protecting your evening of fun were volunteers.<br />

Salary, or the lack thereof, is not the only difference<br />

between the full-time deputies within the Cass County<br />

Sheriff’s Office and its highly trained, well-qualified<br />

reserve unit; but it certainly is the biggest. In fact,<br />

the Sheriff’s Reserve Unit (SRU) — which first began<br />

training volunteers back in 1979 in an effort to help<br />

better manage the safety and security at the Red River<br />

Valley Fair — has become a prime recruiting tool for the<br />

department.<br />

“At one point about 40 percent of our patrol deputies<br />

came directly out of the Reserve Unit,” explained<br />

Sgt. Jade Van Den Einde, the Sheriff's Reserve Unit<br />

Commander. “It can be a huge feeder program for us, as<br />

it’s basically a very long interview process where we can<br />

evaluate them. In Cass County, we typically only draw for<br />

patrol from the jail, where candidates are often already<br />

licensed, and from the reserves, where some may be<br />

licensed eligible. <strong>The</strong>y can prove themselves through<br />

their training and in the field, and we can evaluate them<br />

at the same time.”<br />

Training for<br />

the Reserves<br />

At any given time,<br />

the Reserve Unit is<br />

comprised of up to<br />

25 sworn deputies<br />

that work under<br />

the authority of the<br />

Cass County Sheriff.<br />

<strong>The</strong> unit’s primary<br />

responsibilities are working<br />

large events, ensuring public<br />

safety through activities like<br />

traffic control, responding to minor<br />

incidents and writing tickets. For example,<br />

consider the guy in line at the beer garden who clearly<br />

should not be served another drink… if he happens to<br />

get out of line, an SRU deputy will respond to handle<br />

the situation.<br />

But before any recruit gets tossed into the middle of<br />

an unruly crowd at a barn dance — or asked to lead a<br />

small town parade for a little positive PR — he or she<br />

undergoes a rather rigorous training period to qualify<br />

for the job. Ninety hours worth, to be exact, during<br />

an approximately six-month period. After successful<br />

completion of this initial training period, recruits are<br />

sworn in by the Sheriff himself.<br />

10 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

“<strong>The</strong> training we provide is pretty extensive,”<br />

Van Den Einde said. “We train the first<br />

Tuesday in December all the way up until the<br />

end of June… every Tuesday night. That’s the<br />

most basic training level, after which I’ll allow<br />

them to work a special event paired<br />

up with a veteran deputy.”<br />

For those wanting<br />

to expand their<br />

role and their<br />

volunteering<br />

options,<br />

further<br />

training<br />

is also<br />

available.<br />

Experienced SRU deputies have the option to become<br />

what’s known as Field Readiness Trained (FRT), after<br />

completing a full Field Training program. This allows<br />

an SRU deputy to earn the skills needed to patrol Cass<br />

County in marked patrol vehicles.<br />

To reach this point, an SRU will have completed,<br />

at a minimum, 425 hours of training and at least ten<br />

ride-alongs. <strong>The</strong> training, which includes use of force<br />

training, OC (pepper spray) training, taser training,<br />

defensive driving training, standard field sobriety testing<br />

training, CPR/AED training and firearms qualifying, is<br />

the same training program used to train full time, paid<br />

patrol deputies. So, while all sworn SRU deputies are<br />

authorized to enforce North Dakota Century Code<br />

and make arrests, only SRU FRTs with this advanced<br />

training are authorized to conduct traffic stops and<br />

issue citations.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>y can work their way up to being able to patrol on<br />

their own like a regular officer,” Van Den Einde said,<br />

“but we still limit what calls they go to and try not to<br />

“We essentially saved<br />

the taxpayers of Cass County about a<br />

hundred grand last year.”<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 11

make them the lead deputy on the scene. Instead, we<br />

want them there to assist. We keep four cars dedicated<br />

to SRU FRTs, so we could have up to four volunteer<br />

deputies out at a time, all being supervised through the<br />

radio, phone and GPS technology.”<br />

Impact on Community<br />

“If you were to put a price tag on the number of hours<br />

our volunteer SRU deputies put in, we’d be talking in<br />

the hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Van Den Einde<br />

said. “In 2018 our Reserve Unit donated $99,000 worth<br />

of time based on a deputy’s wages. So we essentially<br />

saved the taxpayers of Cass County about a hundred<br />

grand last year. Other years we’ve had more events<br />

going on, so we’ve hit well above that number. In 2017,<br />

it was $160,000.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> impact to the community obviously goes well beyond<br />

saving money. It’s more about proving a greater security<br />

presence to ensure public safety at larger events. In fact,<br />

according to Van Den Einde, the enhanced public safety<br />

effect is huge. He says it’s been proven that people<br />

who see someone wearing a uniform are less likely to<br />

commit a crime, so the visual presence alone makes a<br />

difference.<br />

“It gives people who are curious<br />

about law enforcement an<br />

opportunity to explore the career.”<br />

12 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

And when a serious situation arises, the<br />

Reserve Unit is also there to provide muchneeded<br />

backup. “Any critical incident that pops<br />

up where we need all hands on deck,” Van Den<br />

Einde said, “we have up to 25 more people that<br />

can drop what they’re doing and come help<br />

and have the training to jump in and make a<br />

difference.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> other benefit to the Sheriff’s Office from<br />

a recruiting standing is that it gives people<br />

who are curious about law enforcement an<br />

opportunity to explore the career. Guys have<br />

switched careers after being in the Reserve<br />

Unit. I became a reserve deputy myself to<br />

get my foot in the door. It lets people have an<br />

opportunity to volunteer and give back to their<br />

community, and they’re literally putting their<br />

lives on the line for free. I don’t know how much<br />

better a volunteer you can get.” •<br />

WANT TO LEARN MORE? <strong>The</strong> Reserve Unit<br />

ramps up recruiting shortly after the Red River<br />

Valley Fair concludes, and anyone interested<br />

can contact Sgt. Van Den Einde directly at the<br />

Cass County Sheriff’s Office: 701-241-5816 or<br />

email: VanDenEindeJ@casscountynd.gov<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 13






<strong>Good</strong> <strong>Life</strong>: If you were a dog, what would<br />

your name and breed be?<br />

It’s not every day you meet someone who actually became<br />

what their childhood self wanted to become. Mike Kapel is<br />

one of those people, and we chatted outside of Drekker’s<br />

Brewhalla on a sunny Tuesday.<br />

As my too-large sunglasses kept falling off my face, Kapel<br />

told me of how his mother was a regular listener of WDAY<br />

Radio. It sparked his interest immediately, and a dream<br />

was born. Kapel knew he needed to end up there.<br />

Since those bygone days, he’s spent 20 years working in<br />

radio for the likes of FM 105.1 and Y94. Five years ago, he<br />

started working for WDAY Radio as the program director<br />

and a morning show host, and his inner child started<br />

applauding and doing somersaults.<br />

However, my job isn’t to tell his life story but to uncover<br />

the weird, the unexpected, and the unknown (kind of), so<br />

read on.<br />

Mike Kapel: Ooh. Oddly enough, my name for my FM<br />

radio career was Big Dog. I would be a big breed.<br />

GL: Like a Great Dane or a German Shepard?<br />

MK: German Shepards and Rottweilers are my favorite<br />

dogs, but I don’t know if I embody them. I’d probably be a<br />

bulldog. That sounds reasonable.<br />

GL: So a bulldog named Big Dog?<br />

MK: Or just “Big” in that case because I’m already a dog.<br />

“Here, Big! C’mon, Big!”<br />

GL: Unless it’s like how some human males are named<br />

Guy, which I’ve never understood.<br />

MK: I worked with a guy named Guy. I always think of Guy<br />

Smiley from Sesame Street. Do you remember that?<br />

GL: I don’t.<br />

MK: He was the cheesy game show host. You need to<br />

get up on your Sesame Street. You’re getting married,<br />

Meghan. You need to know these things. It’s on HBO<br />

now, so it probably has a little more grit and edge to it.<br />

Probably swearing.<br />

GL: Some nudity.<br />

MK: Probably some mild puppet nudity. Probably some<br />

murder.<br />

GL: <strong>The</strong>y want to stretch the limits as much as they can.<br />

MK: Absolutely.<br />

14 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 15


GL: Do you play any instruments?<br />

MK: No, I don’t. I have zero artistic or musical ability.<br />

When I was a kid I played the cello and the bassoon. I was<br />

in orchestra for a short time. I decided to hang it up in<br />

junior high. I wanted to go out at the top of my game.<br />

You don’t want to go out in high school as like a fourth or<br />

fifth chair. I was chair one of one, and I knew there were<br />

two other bassoonists in high school, so I figured if I got<br />

out then I’d always be the first chair bassoonist of Agassiz<br />

Middle School.<br />

GL: Do you think it’s weirder that humans<br />

drink cows’ milk or that humans eat bugs?<br />

MK: I think it’s weirder that humans eat bugs. That’s<br />

really gross.<br />

GL: It’s definitely more foreign to us.<br />

MK: I guess it’s because I’m so far down the consumer<br />

line with milk that, for me, it’s just a clean, easy product.<br />

At some point, somebody had to see the milk coming out<br />

because the cow had some babies and was like, “I’ll give<br />

that a shot!” Because there wasn’t any pasteurization,<br />

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

“I was chair one of one, and I knew there<br />

were two other bassoonists in high school,<br />

so I figured if I got out then I’d always be<br />

the first chair bassoonist of Agassiz Middle<br />

School.” <strong>–</strong> Mike Kapel<br />

they probably died from it. Honestly, at that time, eating<br />

a bug made more sense. As I’m talking here, I maybe<br />

changed my own mind. Maybe bugs were the better way<br />

to go.<br />

GL: Do you have any favorite quotes?<br />

MK: I don’t.<br />

GL: That’s fine.<br />

GL: What’s your favorite climate?<br />

MK: When it’s 40 at night and 70s during the day, that’s<br />

perfect for me.

GL: What’s one thing you<br />

hope people remember<br />

you by?<br />

MK: I hope that we got somebody<br />

listening to the radio to laugh or<br />

think, and I hope we entertain<br />

them and help pass the time<br />

during their day. I remember being<br />

on the other side of that. Some<br />

people go to work every day, and<br />

they might not hate it, but they<br />

don’t love it. It’s just the daily<br />

grind. If I can help somebody just<br />

forget for 5 or 10 minutes that they<br />

hate traffic or aren’t excited about<br />

work, that’s what I like to do.<br />

GL: What does living<br />

“the good life” mean to<br />

you?<br />

MK: Living the good life is just<br />

a good work-life balance, time<br />

with family, not letting work<br />

take over your life, which is so<br />

easy for us to do these days, and<br />

finding the balance for all those<br />

things. Electronics, jobs, screens<br />

everywhere — somehow with all<br />

this technology everywhere, we’re<br />

way busier than we used to be.<br />

Technology is good, but it’s hard<br />

trying to find that balance. That, to<br />

me, is what the good life is; trying<br />

to do all those things and find a<br />

balance. If you figure out how to<br />

do that, let me know.. •<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 17


18 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com



urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 19


Flashback to October 23, 1983.<br />

While most Americans lay tucked in bed that peaceful<br />

Sunday morning, John Dalziel’s life changed forever.<br />

<strong>The</strong> atmosphere of the Marine compound just outside<br />

Beirut's airport was like any other morning as John<br />

grabbed a cup of coffee shortly after 6 a.m. and headed<br />

back to the barracks to wake a friend.<br />

"I was about 100 yards away when the explosion<br />

happened,” says the now 56-year-old retired Marine. “It<br />

knocks you down, and you try to pick yourself back up<br />

and figure out what happened.”<br />

At 6:22 am, a truck toting 21,000 pounds of explosives<br />

charged through the barbed-wire fence, slammed into<br />

the barracks and detonated. 241 Marines, sailors,<br />

and soldiers lost their lives at the hands of Lebanese<br />

terrorist group Hezbollah.<br />

“We spent a significant period of time digging out<br />

our friends plus continuing to do our mission," John<br />

recalls. "My biggest issue was … survivor guilt. Why<br />

did I walk out of the building and my friends <strong>–</strong> my<br />

brothers in arms <strong>–</strong> didn't?"<br />

It’s these horrifying stories <strong>–</strong> similar, yet unique<br />

<strong>–</strong> that haunt many veterans as they return to<br />

“normalcy” back home.<br />

Both a Marine and retired FBI agent, John was<br />

deployed to Beirut, Iraq and Afghanistan seven<br />

times total. But that's not just seven deployments;<br />

it's also seven times John had to adjust back home.<br />

"Nobody ever comes back the same,” John explains<br />

with candor. “It's easy for the vet to leave the war,<br />

but it's almost impossible for the war to leave the<br />

vet."<br />


20 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


"Nobody ever comes back the same.<br />

“It's easy for the vet to leave the war,<br />

but it's almost impossible for the war<br />

to leave the vet." <strong>–</strong> John Dalziel<br />

Back Home But Still Fighting<br />

Depending on the era in which they served, 11<br />

to 30 percent of U.S. veterans suffer from posttraumatic<br />

stress disorder (PTSD). Whether indirect<br />

fire, anticipation of mortars ahead, the unknown in<br />

patrolling outside the wire or just the initial anxiety<br />

of deploying, a number of experiences can cause<br />

PTSD.<br />

"It's the veritable plethora and the entire breath of<br />

knowing you're going into a war zone,” John says.<br />

"What might seem inconsequential to one guy can be<br />

highly traumatic for another. Everyone has different<br />

coping levels."<br />

<strong>Life</strong> is lived on high alert on deployment. Changing<br />

that mindset <strong>–</strong> and letting their guard down <strong>–</strong> is<br />

often the first challenge soldiers face once home.<br />

That’s the same issue the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain<br />

Division, 4th Brigade Combat Team faced after their<br />

year-long deployment to Afghanistan in 2010. With<br />

100 percent mission completion, all 139 troops<br />

returned home victorious.<br />

But even though blood wasn’t shed overseas, 14<br />

soldiers have since taken their own lives. Brady Oberg<br />

was one of them.<br />

‘10 Seconds of Insanity’<br />

A true patriot, Brady’s family wasn’t surprised when<br />

he finally enlisted with the U.S. Army as an active<br />

infantryman in 2009 before deploying to Afghanistan<br />

under Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).<br />

“Sometime over there, his job flipped and he ended up<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 21


being a sniper,” says his sister, Tracy Oberg Dunham,<br />

38. “As a sniper, you only have one job."<br />

When Brady returned home from war, a peculiar set<br />

of keys followed him home. After prodding about their<br />

significance without avail, Brady’s wife, Katie, finally<br />

let it go. Not until Brady passed did the Obergs learn<br />

the back story from his sergeant.<br />

<strong>The</strong> keys were from one of Brady’s first kills.<br />

Taken from the vehicle just thereafter, the set of keys<br />

symbolized the moral conflict that battled within this<br />

soldier from that moment onward.<br />

"Brady had a moral conflict of what he had to do and<br />

what he believed in. He very much believed in his<br />

missions and the military way of life,” Tracy says, “but<br />

you can't be a sniper and have emotion <strong>–</strong> there's no<br />

last-minute thoughts. When he came home, it went<br />

from separating that to all of a sudden I should have<br />

all these emotions?"<br />

Even though Brady was less forthright about his<br />

hearing loss thanks to explosions, he vocalized the<br />

physical pain he felt from the weight carried overseas.<br />

But one thing Brady didn’t talk about was the mental<br />

repercussions of war.<br />

"He would have visions during the day while he was<br />

awake,” Tracy says. “<strong>The</strong> crinkling of a water bottle or<br />

reflections in a window was a trigger.”<br />

Whether it was the unavoidable triggers or vivid visions<br />

of warfare, Brady’s family will never know what demon<br />

convinced him to commit suicide on <strong>August</strong> 6, 2015,<br />

as the result of PTSD.<br />

"I lost my brother to 10 seconds of insanity," Tracy says,<br />

with the insight only a sister could offer. During 10<br />

seconds of terror, Brady made a decision he couldn’t<br />

take back.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Brady Oberg Legacy Foundation<br />

When Brady died, Tracy searched fervently for<br />

answers. In the days between her brother’s death<br />

and his funeral, the same memory kept replaying<br />

in Tracy’s head <strong>–</strong> the two of them sitting around a<br />

bonfire, contemplating life after Brady’s high school<br />

graduation.<br />

22 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


“He said to me, 'I just want to do<br />

something bigger and better than<br />

myself,'" Tracy recalls vividly.<br />

What started as $20,000 from funeral<br />

gifts slowly grew into the “bigger and<br />

better” that would serve as Brady’s<br />

lasting legacy.<br />

Now Chairman of the Board, Tracy <strong>–</strong><br />

along with family and a few friends <strong>–</strong><br />

founded the the Brady Oberg Legacy<br />

Foundation in November 2015 to<br />

create community, raise awareness<br />

for veteran PTSD and fund the Brady<br />

Oberg Legacy Scholarship at the<br />

University of North Dakota (UND) to<br />

benefit veterans wanting to become<br />

psychologists <strong>–</strong> and, in turn, help other<br />

veterans.<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir first mission was to recreate<br />

that camaraderie amongst local<br />

soldiers. From fitness programs to<br />

fishing retreats and exotic ram hunts,<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 23


"everything we do is centered around, 'Would Brady like<br />

this?'" Tracy explains.<br />

Trained to put their country before themselves, many<br />

veterans don’t sign up for these free events. Tracy’s response<br />

to that is simple: “If you don't sign up for you, sign up for<br />

your family. Sign up for the other vets that are doing it, too,<br />

to be support for each other."<br />

<strong>The</strong> second arm of the foundation’s mission is PTSD<br />

awareness <strong>–</strong> both reassuring veterans they’re not alone and<br />

educating the public on how they can help.<br />

With a ruck march in May, an annual golf tournament in<br />

June, the Ride for Combat PTSD in <strong>August</strong> and the Fargo<br />

Defender Dash later in the fall, the foundation organizes<br />

and participates in several yearly events to help shed light<br />

on the matter.<br />

Marching Forward for Fallen Soldiers<br />

Alongside nine board members, John is a valuable<br />

ambassador, having lived through many experiences Tracy<br />

and other civilians haven’t. Last year, he organized a ruck<br />

march from the U.S.-Canada border to North Dakota-South<br />

Dakota border to raise awareness for PTSD <strong>–</strong> all in Brady’s<br />

name.<br />

Starting at midnight, the four men took turns ruck marching<br />

10 miles at a time, often without another living creature in<br />

sight. "<strong>The</strong> aches and pains <strong>–</strong> your feet, hips and shoulders<br />

from carrying 20 pounds to symbolize the 20 veterans that<br />

take their own life every day… you get a chance to realize<br />

why you're doing it."<br />

Rucking 240 miles in 62 hours, the four men finished in<br />

Brady’s honor, raising just over $10,000 for the foundation.<br />

This year, John decided to go bigger, planning a route that<br />

spanned from western to eastern North Dakota <strong>–</strong> a total of<br />

397 miles split up into 5-mile legs.<br />

Recruiting 16 people to march for awareness, the crew<br />

started once again at Brady’s grave to pay their respects<br />

before heading west to Beach, N.D. on May 21 and finishing<br />

on Veterans Memorial Bridge in Fargo-Moorhead during<br />

Memorial Day weekend.<br />

"We're honoring those who can't spend time with their loved<br />

ones anymore, who can't talk to their dad, their brother,<br />

their sister,” John says. “Our key point is it's not a sign of<br />

weakness to ask for help. Put down the gun. Pick up the<br />

phone."<br />

‘Help One More’<br />

Last year when the foundation took off, Tracy reexamined<br />

what Brady would think about the foundation’s efforts.<br />

“Would he say, 'Keep it up! This is awesome,' or 'What are<br />

24 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


you doing? Spend this time with your kids instead,’"<br />

Tracy asked herself. "<strong>The</strong>n I realized at the ruck march<br />

all of these people took four days out of their personal<br />

life, away from their families and work to help a mission<br />

we started <strong>–</strong> and they didn't even know him. It made me<br />

think this is really bigger than what we ever thought it<br />

would be.”<br />

Currently a fund at Dakota Medical Foundation, <strong>The</strong><br />

Brady Oberg Legacy Foundation has its sights set on<br />

becoming a full-fledged non-profit in order to help as<br />

many veterans as possible.<br />

"We had a veteran tell us, ‘You always say you want<br />

to help one. Well, I'm that one … so help one more,”<br />

Tracy recalls. "If we can prevent another family from<br />

enduring the pain we have in losing Brady, that’s worth<br />

it every day."<br />

Defining the <strong>Good</strong> <strong>Life</strong><br />

Earning an Army Commendation Medal for saving four<br />

of his brothers overseas, Brady’s legacy is so much<br />

more than the foundation that bears his name.<br />

"I want Miah and Skylar to realize, this is Brady's<br />

legacy <strong>–</strong> this is what it means and this is why we help<br />

veterans," Tracy says of her children. “<strong>The</strong> good life is<br />

a happy, healthy family and friends to surround you. It's<br />

finding something you believe in with all your heart and<br />

helping a better cause."<br />

For John, “the good life” means “living in a country<br />

that allows us to do the things we can do, protected<br />

by volunteers who go to the sound of gunfire,” John<br />

explains. "We do it so the next generation doesn't have<br />

to <strong>–</strong> that's what we do as parents, and that's what we do<br />

as warriors."<br />

Tracy often reflects on what Brady would say if he were<br />

here to see his legacy live on.<br />

"He wouldn't be the type to say, 'This is good. Now you<br />

can just relax.’ He would be like, 'What's next? Let’s go<br />

bigger,'" Tracy says. “We're going to help one more, then<br />

we're going to help one more and one more <strong>–</strong> all in his<br />

legacy." •<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 25


An Ode to<br />

Brown Bear<br />


Every kid has their favorite toy. Be it a blankie,<br />

a binkie, a stuffed animal or, in my case, your<br />

right thumb, these favorite items get imprinted<br />

early in life and often grow into an extra<br />

appendage that dangles squarely out the<br />

front of said kid’s mouth. That’s where you’d<br />

find my thumb most hours of the day, and<br />

where you’ll find<br />

Macklin’s go-to<br />

stink bomb of a<br />

favorite,<br />

as well.<br />

Before Mack<br />

was born, his<br />

mama and I<br />

(ok, mostly<br />

mama)<br />

researched,<br />

hunted and<br />

shopped for<br />

different options<br />

we thought he might<br />

like. In hindsight,<br />

it was a total guessing<br />

game, and we were probably a bit<br />

arrogant in thinking we could predict<br />

what this tiny stranger would eventually<br />

latch onto. But we were first time<br />

parents, so of course we thought we<br />

knew everything!<br />

Would it be the small, stuffed moose or the<br />

plush teddy bear that he would choose<br />

to snuggle all night? Perhaps the soft,<br />

heirloom blanket we got at a shower?<br />

Or that other blanket? Or this other<br />

one? Or maybe that one? We got a lot<br />

of blankets. Apparently, people were<br />

worried that even after welcoming a<br />

baby into our home I’d still be too cheap<br />

to turn up the heat. <strong>The</strong>y weren’t<br />

entirely wrong.<br />

But it didn’t take<br />

long before Mack<br />

asserted his<br />

proclivity for the<br />

finer things in<br />

life by claiming<br />

a Pottery Barn<br />

Bear Thumbie<br />

gifted by his God<br />

Mother as his<br />

transition<br />

26 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

object — something kids bring everywhere that provides<br />

comfort and stability, much like grown-ups clutching<br />

our smartphones wherever we go. Brown Bear is there<br />

any time of day for Macklin, even when mom and dad<br />

aren’t. Even when we are, that smelly, well-worn square<br />

of brown fleece with a head no longer even resembling<br />

that of a bear isn’t far out of reach.<br />

Macklin can fall asleep in any new place as long as he’s<br />

got Brown Bear (aka Brownie, Brown B, Brommer,<br />

Browns or Mr. Browns) there to chew on. Brownie has<br />

logged some serious road trip miles with us, including a<br />

few frequent flyer miles. Despite multiple flights, Mack<br />

has only cried on an airplane once, and it lasted for less<br />

than 30 seconds over some dropped goldfish crackers,<br />

because Brown Bear was there to soak up his tears…<br />

and drool.<br />

After taking an extended gap-year with me to find<br />

ourselves (turns out we were just over at the nearby<br />

park), he transitioned with minimal fuss to daycare<br />

because Brown Bear accompanied him to his new<br />

class. New babysitter? No big deal. He’s got Brown<br />

Bear. Vaccinations? Flu shots? Dentist visits? <strong>The</strong> end of<br />

Game of Thrones? Mr. Browns is always there to soothe.<br />

In fact, Brommer is so good at soothing, he’s been forced<br />

to multiply. Early on, we made the choice to wean Mack<br />

off his pacifier. It worked great. He got over the nuk in<br />

less than a week. Why? Because the soft head of Mr.<br />

Browns was right there, ready to take up the cause. So<br />

we now own multiple Brown Bears purely for the sake of<br />

frequent washings. I asked him about it recently, trying<br />

to understand how we could possibly help break this<br />

habit. Mack’s response: “Brown Bear likes it. It tickles<br />

him and he laughs.” Well then, as long as it’s good for<br />

Brown Bear… and certainly good for Mack’s future<br />

orthodontist.<br />

I don’t feel any competition for Mack’s affection towards<br />

Brown Bear. With each bump, scrape or perceived<br />

injustice, Macklin will still cry for mom or dad (whichever<br />

of us is not currently available, of course). He will be<br />

quickly scooped into a hug and this is where he will ask<br />

for Brown Bear, our closer. Mom and dad provide the<br />

initial comfort and safety, and Brown Bear is the icing<br />

on the cake to finish the job. And sometimes a cartoon<br />

band-aid, preferably PJ Masks if you have them.<br />

Macklin turns four this summer, which feels impossible,<br />

as I still vividly remember bringing his pudgy infant self<br />

home from the hospital not too long ago. At this rate, I’m<br />

already mentally planning to sneak a Brown Bear into<br />

his luggage when he leaves for college, tech school or<br />

whatever path lies ahead in the future. Maybe another<br />

gap year… this time without dear ol’ dad. Regardless, I’m<br />

glad we have extras because I’m going to need one, too,<br />

when the time comes. •<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 27


28 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

THE<br />



JUST THE<br />

FEELS<br />

<strong>The</strong> Fargo music scene rolls out<br />

another phenomenal music group;<br />

this time we are taking a look at<br />

<strong>The</strong> Knotties. <strong>The</strong>se guys tap into a<br />

unique yet timeless sound, mixing<br />

modern techniques that thrive off<br />

70s psychedelic rock/blues. This is<br />

the kind of music that makes you<br />

want to move and let loose <strong>–</strong> which is<br />

encouraged by the band.<br />


<strong>The</strong> Knotties joined together almost<br />

three years ago and have been<br />

rocking our faces off ever since; with<br />

Channing Minnema on guitar and<br />

vocals, Michael Mooridian on bass<br />

and vocals, and Jonathan Hunter on<br />

drums and vocals.<br />

Between these guys, you can<br />

find explosive personalities and<br />

phenomenal talent. <strong>The</strong> drive they<br />

have to push one another absolutely<br />

shows in their music and they accept<br />

nothing less. <strong>The</strong>re is no question as<br />

to why they are so popular.<br />

I had the opportunity to sit down with<br />

Hunter and Mooridian and boy was it<br />

a ride. In between talking about the<br />

band and all the hard work they put<br />

into becoming kickass I found out<br />

a few fun facts about this quirky yet<br />

ambitious band.<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 29


First and foremost, everyone in <strong>The</strong> Knotties believes<br />

in each other to perform at the best of their abilities<br />

and they cheer each other on every step of the way. “No<br />

matter who writes the song or who comes up with the<br />

music we all go along with it - with no confrontation,”<br />

said Mooridian. <strong>The</strong>y are really good at editing one<br />

another without stifling each other’s creativity and there<br />

is something to be said about that kind of cohesiveness<br />

in a band.<br />

Second, they are an absolute blast to be around and the<br />

passion they have for music is beyond measurable. If you<br />

are looking for a good time then you need hit up one of<br />

their shows, hands down one of the best acts in town.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y perform together in a way that is hard to find these<br />

days - solid and precise.<br />

Third, did you know that not one but two members live<br />

in not so common housing? One lives in an old bank<br />

(Minnema) and the other a church (Hunter) <strong>–</strong> No, neither<br />

establishment is still running and yes, they are there<br />

legally. In fact, their last album was recorded in the<br />

church Hunter resides in. If that isn’t what rock and roll<br />

is all about <strong>–</strong> I don’t know what is.<br />

Finally, <strong>The</strong> Knotties were awarded a grant earlier<br />

this year through <strong>The</strong> Arts Partnership in cooperation<br />

with Jade Presents in which they used to master their<br />

30 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

full-length album. “This is quite an honor,” says<br />

Mooridian, “we are so grateful to have been awarded<br />

this opportunity.”<br />

“Most people don’t go beyond Spotify, iTunes, or<br />

Apple music, so that is where you can find most of<br />

our music,” remarked Mooridian. Although you can<br />

find their CDs locally at Orange Records, Mothers<br />

Music, or <strong>The</strong> Electric Fetus in their Duluth location.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y are also working towards getting their music<br />

pressed onto vinyl, which will match well with their<br />

70s psych sounds and give listeners another platform<br />

to listen to their music.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is something unique about matching your<br />

personality with kind of music you perform <strong>–</strong> typically<br />

<strong>The</strong> Knotties don’t play cover music but they strive to<br />

perform their own original music and these guys are<br />

about as original as they come. Each member brings<br />

something to the table that can’t be matched or<br />

duplicated and it makes for stimulating conversation<br />

and even more interesting music. You can catch them<br />

playing in venues all over town like the Aquarium <strong>–</strong><br />

which is located above Dempsey’s, <strong>The</strong> HoDo, and<br />

Sidestreet which are all located in downtown Fargo,<br />

ND. <strong>The</strong>y have also toured around the country and<br />

plan to again when their self-titled vinyl is released.<br />

If you are looking for a new sound or fun shows<br />

to check out <strong>–</strong> this is your band <strong>–</strong> you won’t be<br />

disappointed.<br />

You can follow <strong>The</strong> Knotties on Instagram or<br />

Facebook to find out all their upcoming shows or to<br />

check out what the band is up to and of course on<br />

their Spotify page where you can also find music the<br />

band is listening to.<br />

<strong>The</strong> good life, according to <strong>The</strong> Knotties, is to play<br />

together as a band for as many people as possible not<br />

for the fame or fortune but for the feeling. To get out<br />

there and rock as hard as they can and turn around<br />

and do it again tomorrow. •<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 31







When you hear the term “scuba diving,” what do you<br />

think of? Chances are you’re picturing tropical fish,<br />

coral reefs, and ocean waves. Whatever you think of,<br />

it’s probably the exact opposite of the upper Midwest.<br />

So, what if I told you North Dakota and Minnesota are<br />

home to avid scuba diving fans? In fact, experts say<br />

these two unlikely states have some of the best scuba<br />

diving around.<br />

Part of what makes scuba diving in North Dakota and<br />

Minnesota so special is the wide range of locations to<br />

choose from. Minnesota alone has over 12,000 lakes<br />

for divers to explore as well as the Iron Range’s many<br />

mine pits. Though there are plenty of rivers in the area,<br />

they tend to be less popular with divers because of low<br />

depths and poor visibility. Those that do dive in rivers<br />

are often looking for old antiques left behind by barge<br />

traffic.<br />

Dive spots are generally chosen according to water<br />

conditions and what’s below the surface. Water<br />

conditions can vary from lake to lake depending on the<br />

time of year. In the summer, some lakes offer visibility<br />

up to 30 feet. However, as water temperatures rise<br />

smaller lakes tend to lose their visibility. In those cases,<br />

divers may be able to see only one or two feet around<br />

them at a time.<br />

Another element unique to scuba diving in the Midwest<br />

is the thermocline. A thermocline occurs in large bodies<br />

of water and is a thin layer where divers experience<br />

abrupt temperature changes. <strong>The</strong> first thermocline can<br />

be found between 24 and 30 feet down. At that point,<br />

the water temperature may drop by as much as 10<br />

degrees in just a foot of water. <strong>The</strong>rmoclines aren’t the<br />

only chilly temperature some scuba divers experience,<br />

though.<br />

32 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

Despite winter’s freezing temperatures, die-hard<br />

divers can’t be deterred. Rather than sticking to the<br />

unofficial scuba season between Memorial Day and<br />

Labor Day, they dive well into the winter. All they need<br />

is the right equipment. As temperatures drop, divers<br />

will don thicker wetsuits to keep them warm<br />

while exploring the icy depths of area lakes.<br />

Some may even swap their wetsuit out for<br />

a drysuit, which is completely waterproof.<br />

Doing so offers divers better protection<br />

against frigid water temperatures.<br />

Popular Locations to Scuba Dive<br />

Regardless of the time of year, both North Dakota and<br />

Minnesota offer plenty of great locations for diving.<br />

From the area’s many lakes to old iron ore pits, there’s<br />

a whole other world under the water. Whether enjoying<br />

up-close views of aquatic wildlife or exploring sunken<br />

boats, there’s no shortage of things to discover.<br />

“From the area’s many<br />

lakes to old iron ore pits,<br />

there’s a whole other world<br />

under the water. Whether<br />

enjoying up-close views of<br />

aquatic wildlife or exploring<br />

sunken boats, there’s<br />

no shortage of things to<br />

discover.”<br />

Lake Sakakawea State Park<br />

Minnesota may be the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but North<br />

Dakota’s Lake Sakakawea is perfect for scuba diving.<br />

At a max depth of 200 feet, divers are treated<br />

views of paddlefish, rainbow trout, turtles, and<br />

frogs in the bay’s aquatic grass. Other exciting<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 33

finds include petrified rock formations and fossils typically found in<br />

deeper parts of the lake.<br />

Long Lake<br />

Near Itasca State Park, Long Lake features unusually clear<br />

water. Once used as a holding area for area logging companies,<br />

divers can expect to see submerged logs near the southeast<br />

end of the lake. Divers will also enjoy exploring the lake’s<br />

scuttled boats and countless other treasures.<br />

Portsmouth Pit<br />

While Lake Superior is technically the deepest lake in<br />

Minnesota at 700 feet, Portsmouth Pit is the deepest lying solely<br />

inside Minnesota. Located in Crosby, Minnesota, Portsmouth Pit<br />

spans 121 acres and has a depth of about 450 feet. <strong>The</strong> depth is just<br />

one reason it’s a spot many divers frequent Portsmouth Pit. Under the<br />

water is an eerily beautiful underwater forest of trees and a diverse<br />

variety of fish.<br />

Louise Mine Pit<br />

<strong>The</strong> Louise Mine Pit is another prominent diving location<br />

in Crosby, Minnesota. <strong>The</strong> eclectic props hidden in the<br />

“Minnesota alone has<br />

over 12,000 lakes for<br />

divers to explore as well<br />

as the Iron Range’s<br />

many mine pits.”<br />

34 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

water have divers flocking to the state-owned mine.<br />

A favorite is the emaciated figure of Friday the 13th<br />

character, Jason Voorhees, trapped below the surface.<br />

Other notable displays include a mermaid, a submerged<br />

lawnmower, and a skeleton man fixing an electrical box.<br />

Becoming a Certified Scuba Diver<br />

Interested in discovering the many great diving<br />

opportunities in North Dakota and Minnesota for<br />

yourself? You just need to become a certified scuba<br />

diver! To do so, you’ll need to complete the Open Water<br />

Diver course as taught by a Professional Association of<br />

Diving Instructors (PADI) certified instructor.<br />

<strong>The</strong> first phase of training is done in the classroom<br />

with students reading from the PADI Open Water Diver<br />

Manual and completing an exam. Divers will then take<br />

part in confined dives in a swimming pool to practice<br />

basic scuba skills with their instructor. Finally, divers<br />

will participate in four supervised open water dives.<br />

Completion of the course will certify divers down to<br />

60 feet, but you can continue to advance with further<br />

training. Once you’re certified, all that’s left is to start<br />

exploring! •<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 35


VALUE<br />

5¢ PER BOTTLE<br />



and MILLER HIGH<br />



Empty and unbroken<br />


MILLER HIGH LIFE LIGHT bottles only.<br />

Return in recyclable original carriers,<br />

cartons or boxes.<br />


Donations go to:<br />

Fargo/Moorhead, Detroit Lakes<br />



or any of the other registered organizations at:<br />

minnkotarecycling.com<br />


You can also donate the value<br />

of aluminum cans, magazines,<br />

newspapers and #1 and #2<br />

plastic bottles.<br />


Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!