FATHERS | DAD LIFE
WRITTEN BY: PAUL HANKEL • PHOTO BY: PAUL HANKEL
As the holidays approach, I wanted to share with you
all some tried and true mantras that I have developed
through years of painstaking trial and error. My hope is
that it will open the door to a more peaceful, restful, and
quality holiday season.
Download the phone app that allows you to expel all
the negativity from your life.
There’s this great phone application out there that,
believe it or not, will help you root out and expose all
of the potentially negative people in your life. Its free to
download and, in my experience, is extremely effective.
It's called Facebook.
Facebook is especially effective over the holidays, the
time of year when mulled wine and PBR tallboys, shared
at family get togethers, tend to loosen people up and,
“let their true colors show”.
Social media is great. Applications such as Facebook,
Instagram, and Twitter allow billions of people to
connect and to share what is important to them with
others. I love this concept (huge 1st Amendment guy).
However, with this great power often comes great
stupidity – in the form of over-sharing, sharing non-
2 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
factual information, and the ability to be a jerk on social
I would highly suggest that you harness the power of this
free-to-use social tool to not only digitally unsubscribe from
negative people, but also consider doing it in real life. Just
PLEASE ... don’t publicly announce that you’re cleaning up
your friends list ... its kind of rude.
When road-tripping for the holidays, just bring the tablet.
I, much like many other parents out there, always intended
on being the, “perfect parent,” especially in regard to
screen time for my son. And then ... he turned two and we
started taking road trips during the holidays.
This stance quickly evolved into frantically waking up early
on the day of road trips to ensure that my kiddo’s tablet is
fully charged and smudge free.
The alternative is a hearing a three-hour detailed
accounting of all the latest Fortnite updates and
reenactments of Youtube videos. To me, the choice is clear!
Just do your best, in relation to your child’s mandatory
We all rue the day that the dreaded PTA envelope
arrives, containing this year’s big fundraiser. Its
always the same format: sell as many as you can
so your child can participate in (insert activity).
To make matters worse, the sales drive has now
morphed into some form of cutthroat competition,
that pits students against each other in a contest to
see who can sling the most (insert product).
It gets better ... in an effort to bolster sales, students
are incentivized by a list of cheaply-made knockoff
prizes ranging from RC drones that break after one
use, to off-brand MP3 players. Sell thirty coupon
books – win a plastic light up sword (batteries not
included) ... UGH.
You have two choices: you can, like me,
procrastinate on participating and end up writing
a large check, or you can awkwardly harass your
family members into purchasing whatever your
child is slinging. As a testament to this, I now have
a glovebox full of Blue Book Coupons that I plan
on distributing to family members at Christmas.
Either way, you’re gonna have a bad time. It’s best
just to power through it!
Just let her be “basic”.
One day, you will walk into your home and be
greeted by the smell of apple pie. You’ll excitedly
trot into the kitchen, only to find out that there is, in
fact, no ACTUAL apple pie and that your significant
other has just lit an apple pie scented candle. This
travesty of occurrences is not just limited to apple
pie scent ... pecan, pumpkin, banana cream ...
there’s a scented candle for every pastry flavor!
My suggestion is very simple and resonates
especially well during the holidays: Just let her
be basic. Go one step further: embrace female
seasonal tendencies! I, for one, look AMAZING in
flannel and will happily pay 11-17% more to shop
at Target, in order to avoid having to go to Walmart.
Wear the flannel. Pay $400 for the fall photo
shoot. Embrace the pumpkin patches. Put up the
Christmas tree (in late October for some reason).
Watch the Hallmark movies. Take her to Target.
I hope this concise and curated list gives
you some insight into how to navigate
the oft tumultuous world of the
holiday season. Read through
it again and then take it to
heart. Now … go get your
Carhartts on. You’ve got
Christmas lights to hang (in
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 3
VOLUME 8 • ISSUE 3
FATHERS - DAD LIFE
A DAD'S GUIDE TO SURVIVING THE HOLIDAYS
5 TIPS TO FIGHT HOLIDAY STRESS
DILWORTH'S FIRST THERAPY K9
4 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
CONSERVING WATER AT HOME
HAVING A BEER WITH
RADIO DJ - FISH
ON THE COVER
HURRICANES SLED HOCKEY
THE ART OF ROASTING COFFEE BEANS
Urban Toad Media LLP
OWNER / PHOTOGRAPHER
OWNER / GRAPHIC DESIGNER
READ A PAST ISSUE
FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER
ASK 30 WOMEN
WHAT ANNOYING HABITS DO YOU
WISH YOUR PARTNER WOULD BREAK
FOR THE NEW YEAR?
LOCAL HERO -
FARGO MEMORIAL HONOR GUARD
HONORING THOSE WHO HAVE GONE
FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM
The Good Life Men’s Magazine is distributed six times a year
by Urban Toad Media LLP. Material may not be reproduced
without permission. The Good Life Men’s Magazine accepts
no liability for reader dissatisfaction arising from content in
this publication. The opinions expressed, or advice given,
are the views of individual writers or advertisers and do not
necessarily represent the views or policies of The Good Life
Men’s Magazine. urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 5
"Fatigue is a
big sign of stress.
Don't wait until
to take care of
your mental and
_ Dr. Sauer
WRITTEN BY: BEN HANSON
5 Tips to Fight Holiday Stress
For most of us, this is going to be a Holiday season unlike
any other. We're heading into winter already swimming
in a sea of uncertainty that is driving up anxiety ahead
of would-be family gatherings around the Thanksgiving
dinner table (never mind Christmas… let's agree to take
things one step at a time!).
And speaking of taking things one step at a time, Dr.
Forrest Sauer, founder of Twin Oaks Health Solutions
in Fargo, says that's the guiding principle we should be
following right now in order to maintain our mental and
emotional well-being. He shared five tips that you can
use to help fight holiday stress and arm yourself against
potential anxiety-inducing encounters with family, friends,
in-laws and even the nightly news, as we continue to battle
through the pandemic.
You can use these tricks to keep your mental edge yearround,
and Dr. Sauer says they're especially helpful when
the familiar warning signs of stress start to appear.
"Fatigue is a big sign of stress," he explains. "If you find
yourself drinking too much coffee or not getting enough
sleep, that's a sign your body is stressed. Same thing with
motivation … if you notice you feel burned out all of the
time or are starting to lack empathy, find time to put these
tips into action. Don't wait until the holidays to take care
of your mental and emotional health."
1 Maintain Your Routine
Dr. Sauer says the most important thing we can do
during times when knowing stress levels will be high is
to maintain a routine. "If you don't have a routine, set
one up before the turkey, before the Christmas cookies,
before the pumpkin pie …" explains Dr. Sauer. "Your daily
routine will provide some built-in comfort, even if it's just
psychological. Your brain will be more at ease if it knows
what's coming next."
2 Avoid the Perfection Trap
6 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
When the Covid-19 pandemic first broke, it seemed
like you had to do everything absolutely perfectly to
stay safe and keep those around you safe. Diligence
continues to be important, but Dr. Sauer says don't feel
like you have to live in a bubble. "Don't hold yourself
to a false expectation that everything is going to go as
planned, because you're setting yourself up for failure,"
he says. "Being perfect is the enemy of success and will
only breed more stress. I work with clients and they
expect themselves to be perfect, but it's unobtainable ...
you're asking for guilt and frustration." So, make your
holiday plans, know what your comfort and risk levels
are and stick to your plan. If a monkey wrench gets
thrown in, give yourself the grace to follow your plan.
3 Plan Ahead
Notice a pattern? More planning! When it comes to
holiday gatherings, you know what you're walking into.
You know what temptations are going to be spread
out on the table. You know what conversations have
the potential to get heated. Go in with a plan and set
appropriate expectations. "If you know you're going to
Thanksgiving with the family or inlaws, set up a plan
on what you want to eat, what you want to do, and set
that expectation for yourself … don't waltz in without
a plan," Dr. Sauer cautions. "For example, if you ate
two dozen Christmas cookies at Grandma's last year,
set the goal to only eat six this year. Same with your
interactions. Know what conversations you're willing
to have and which ones you need to avoid to maintain
4 Limit Your Media Exposure
It sounds like an impossible task. Many of us are glued
to our smartphones, endlessly scrolling through Twitter
or Facebook (TikTok?) Not only do we have a worldwide
pandemic ratcheting up our stress levels, but we also
have perhaps the most heated political atmosphere in
a generation. Dr. Sauer's prescription is simple: limit
your exposure. Just like maintaining your physical
distance can protect your physical health, limiting your
media exposure can preserve your emotional energy so
you can respond to the situation with composure. Plus,
you"ll have more time to spend on things that really
5 Elect an Accountability Partner
If you've ever joined a gym or attempted to "go on a
diet," you've likely heard the same advice. Having
someone else to hold you accountable can keep you on
track and help you stick to your plan. "It's really hard to
remember your commitments and health plan with so
much else going on — especially when there's a pan of
your favorite pie staring you in the face," Dr. Sauer said
with a chuckle. "Find someone close to you who won't
let you slack and give them their assignment." •
Special thanks to Dr. Forrest Sauer at Twin Oaks Health Solutions,
medical consultant for our Men's Health section.
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 7
Dilworth's First Therapy K9
WRITTEN BY: DANIELLE TEIGEN • PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
For the last several months, a new face has been making
the rounds within the Dilworth Police Department as well
as throughout the community of more than 4,400 people.
She's happy to stop when officers, city employees, children
or residents want to offer a quick hello, and every morning
she's ready to do her work and do it well.
Her name is Officer Keely, and she's a black, four-legged
addition to the police department.
She's a community canine, which means she's not as
specialized as a drug dog, and instead performs many
different duties as a therapy dog for officers or crime
victims as well as being an approachable fixture within
Chief Ty Sharpe said he'd been contemplating the idea of
adding a canine to his force for some time, but research
indicated the small department -- just seven officers
-- would need to make an investment of about $50,000
to purchase, train and certify a drug dog. Plus, Sharpe
worried that the dog would be under-utilized thanks to the
fact that Dilworth sees little action in the realm of drugrelated
and violent crime.
So, he pushed the idea to the backburner. Then Sharpe
found out from a friend in Ohio that a program had been
developed in Franklin County (Ohio) for training therapy
dogs, and the police department there had recently
integrated a Poodle into its force.
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 9
Want to follow along with what
Officer Keely is up to? You can
follow @DpdKeely on Twitter
and @OfficerKeelyK9 on
Sharpe was convinced, and after speaking with a few city
officials, he put together a presentation discussing the
costs and benefits associated with having a community
canine as part of the Dilworth Police Department.
"I likened it to the idea of a firehouse dog from the '50s and
'60s where firemen would find these strays and feed them
and they'd just end up roaming around," Sharpe said.
In his presentation to the city, Sharpe wrote that "as a
police department we are constantly evolving and looking
at new methods and ways to deliver our message and
services to the community. Recent studies on the surge
in [post traumatic stress disorder-]related illnesses and
the use of de-escalation tactics [and] several studies point
to the calming effect of a therapy dog and the release of
oxytocin," which helps "reduce our stress response and
reduce general anxiety in people when produced."
Sharpe had crunched some numbers and determined that
a community canine would cost approximately $2,500
a year, and a local business had expressed interest in
helping defray some of that cost.
The city was sold, so Sharpe moved forward with the plan.
He'd learned from Franklin County that the ideal dog was
about 18 months old and any breed could serve in the role,
so he figured finding the right animal would be relatively
easy. He was wrong.
10 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
"The roadblock was finding the dog; it needed to be about
18 months old, and the temperament was what you're
looking for," Sharpe explained. He loved the idea of using
a shelter dog and being able to give an animal another
chance and purpose in life, and he started corresponding
with a local golden retriever society about using an
animal from them. However, they noted that nobody gives
up a golden retriever unless there is a serious issue with
the dog, and that wouldn't do for what he was looking for.
Finally, a dog popped up at the Detroit Lakes Humane
Society, and he called immediately to learn more about
the animal. Shelter employees listened to what he
needed, and they confirmed that the dog in their shelter
would be a good fit. However, more than 50 people had
expressed interest in her and 15 people had already
applied to be considered for her adoption. Sharpe applied
immediately and learned soon after that their adoption
board had reviewed all the applications and selected the
Dilworth Police Department as the lucky new owner.
And that local business that expressed interest in funding
the program? Northwest Bank agreed to fund the first
year of Officer Keely's time in the therapy dog program
and provided the $2,500 needed for food and veterinary
needs. In August, Northwestern Bank President told
KVRR that community commitment was a core value of
the organization, so funding the program was a natural
When Officer Keely came on board as the face of
the therapy dog program, Sharpe anticipated slowly
integrating her into the community because, at about
10 months old, Keely was actually much younger than
the 18 months outlined. He expected maybe bringing
her to the department a day or two a week and gradually
introducing her to community events. He was pleasantly
surprised to find that was not necessary.
"She just took to it. The first day I had her I got stopped
at a daycare, and I pulled her out of the car and she was
right in the middle of about 25 kids who were around 5,
6 years old," Sharpe said. "They petted on her and she
just walked away."
Sharpe was delighted at how well she'd handled that
situation, and he said she immediately made herself
at home in the police department, getting to know the
building, the officers and the city employees. In her six
months on the force, Officer Keely has quickly adapted
to her role and knows when she puts her vest on, she's
ready to go to work. (At night and on weekends, she lives
with Sharpe and his family and is happy to shed her vest
for some games of fetch.)
While the pandemic cancelled many events Officer Keely
would have participated in, she's been able to serve in her
role during the department's Lunch with a Cop program,
and she also appeared at the Night to United in October
(dressed as Batman, no less). She's visited the school
and daycare facilities and may even expand her role into
Moorhead schools. As Sharpe wrote in his explanation
to the city about the program, the possibilities for how
Officer Keely can be involved in the community are only
limited by the imagination. He wants people to know
Officer Keely is an approachable animal, so they are
welcome to come up and ask to pet her. His car, which
has no bars in it, displays a sticker designed specifically
to embrace the idea of an approachable "Community
Canine" that people can interact with and get to know.
He said it's all part of his department's goal to be
approachable to the community and connect with
residents on a much more meaningful level. And Officer
Keely is helping them do that, one puppy step at a time. •
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 11
WRITTEN BY: JEFFREY MILLER
Last issue I wrote about conserving rainwater. While it's
easy to look up and see the rain, it can be more difficult to
think about the water that is used in homes and apartments
each day. As each person uses water every day, conserving
our water is something that benefits everyone.
It may come as a surprise to many, but the City of Fargo
gets its primary drinking water from the Red River, with a
backup of the Sheyenne River.
According to the City of Fargo, the current usage for
drinking water is 8 to 10 million gallons of water per day
in the winter, with 15 to 16 million gallons of water in the
With that much water being filtered from the river and
being utilized, it behooves all of us to conserve it. With
a metro population of over 200,000 people, even small
efforts can have a tremendous benefit on the resource.
The toilet in your home can be a major source of water
inefficiency. These appliances account
for nearly 30% of a home's water
consumption. A leaky toilet can
accumulate thousands of gallons
of water wasted a year. While
that is hard both on the resource
and your pocketbook, thankfully
it can be easily fixed. An easy way
to check for leaks is by adding food
coloring to the tank. After waiting 30
minutes or so, check the water in the bowl. If there is food
12 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
color in it, there is a leak. It may take a new flapper or
valve, but the small cost of the fix will pay back many times
over in water bills. Why pay for water you aren't using?
Sticking with toilets, older toilets use anywhere from
three to seven gallons of water per flush. Newer models
use 1.6 gallons or less. If the old toilet is performing well,
a simple way to reduce the water per flush is to put a
couple 20-ounce soda bottles filled with sand in the tank.
The bottles will displace the water and lessen the water it
takes to fill the tank.
Leaky faucets are also a major source of
wasted water. Water loss at the rate
of one drip per second can waste
more than 3,000 gallons per
year. Simply replacing the leaky
faucet will stop this waste. If the
faucet isn't leaking, but water
conservation is desired, installing
an aerator is an inexpensive way to
reduce the water used by almost half,
with little reduction of water pressure.
Like old toilets, old showerheads are
notorious water wasters. Simply
installing a modern showerhead
can reduce water usage by up to
50%, with no noticeable decrease
in water pressure. By reducing
showering time, water usage can
be reduced further.
Washing machines and dishwashers
are often run on less-than-full
loads. The amount of water
used in a quarter load is
the same as a full load,
so maximize the water
usage by only running the
appliances when the load
is full. New high-efficiency
machines also use less water
than older washers.
When washing dishes by hand, fill one side of
the sink with hot, soapy water and the other side
with cool, clean water. Rather than letting the
water run while washing, rinse the dishes off in
the cool water. According to the EPA, this will
result in a reduction of water use by half.
Container gardens are becoming popular
additions to many homes and apartments.
Maximize water use by catching water in a bowl
or bucket when rinsing food in a colander or while
waiting for the hot water to kick in. The resulting
water can be used to water the container garden,
houseplants, or flower beds.
Reducing our home water use can be done
by using these simple changes. Not only will
the water bill go down, but the most precious
resource on Earth won't be, literally, going down
the drain. •
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 13
HAVING A BEER WITH | FISH
14 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
Before his on-air
identity had been
hatched, “Fish” was
attending college in
Mayville, N.D., when his friend
suggested they go into the wedding
DJ business together and move to
Fargo. Fish fell for it hook, line and
sinker. The problem (which turned
into a blessing) was that some of his
credits from Mayville didn’t transfer to
MSU Moorhead, so Fish knew he had
to find an internship and earn them
That’s when he caught wind of an
opportunity at Radio FM Media. He’d
always liked public speaking, so it
seemed like a natural fit. That was
in 2014. Since then, Fish has been a
radio DJ for Q105.1 ROCKS from 7 p.m.
to midnight and now for 107.9 The Fox
from 2-7 p.m. Like a Fish to water,
he’s learned everything he knows
from good ol’ fashioned observation
and coworkers’ expertise.
On a beautiful fall day one week
before his wedding, Fish made time
to chat over a beer and his phone at
Drekker’s Brewhalla to tell me some
specifics about the man behind the
mic. I didn’t even make any horrible
puns during the interview. Read on
to find out more about the radio
Good Life: You’re in a grocery store
standing right behind another person.
You’re not abiding the 6-feet-apart
rule. You’re both wearing masks.
What would be an extremely creepy
thing to say to them?
Fish: I’d go up over their shoulder all
creepy like and whisper, “Hey, want
some hand sanitizer?”
WRITTEN BY: MEGHAN FEIR
PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 15
HAVING A BEER WITH | FISH
GL: What are your thoughts on
decorating for every season?
F: As far as decorating, I’m a big
and put-lights-up kind of person. My
favorite holidays are the Fourth of July
and Halloween. Halloween is handsdown
my favorite holiday. So I get the
Fourth of July to blow stuff up, and
then I get the spooky, scary stuff for
Halloween. I’m very into decorating for
all the holidays and getting involved.
GL: If you could convince someone of
one thing, what would it be?
F: For me it would be that people need
to listen to everyone else’s opinions
and be open to their ideas. They could
be wrong and be completely against
your views, but take a minute and
listen to each other. I think our world
would be a much better place if we
just took time to listen to each other.
GL: If you had to make up a cuss word
substitute, what would it be?
F: Off the top of my head,
GL: Do you buy the same kind of
shampoo every time or do you switch
it up a lot?
16 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
F: Before my fiancée came into my
life, I would get kind of the same thing
all the time. My fiancée’s mother is
a hairstylist by trade, so now every
other time I’m getting something
different. It smells and makes my hair
feel different every time. I’ve done
that with body soap now, too. I’ll get a
different scent or brand almost every
time, just because it changes things
up a little bit. Life is boring with the
same thing over and over again.
GL: If you’ve ever had Corn Flakes, do
you eat them plain, plain with milk, or
with sugar and milk?
F: Sugar and milk, and here’s the
thing about Corn Flakes; it’s not like I
go out and search for Corn Flakes all
the time. But every once in a while
I’ll catch this show called “The Food
That Built America,” and it’s about
Hershey’s, Kellogg’s and all those
brands. If I catch even a little bit of that
episode, I’m eating Corn Flakes for a
week straight. Sometimes I’ll put a
little honey on them with milk. That’s
really good, too.
GL: What would be a better name for
a dry cleaning business?
F: Shirt So Clean. It markets better.
Think of all the laundry detergents
out there. As someone who works in
marketing, I could brand that. Maybe I
have my next career choice—opening
up a dry cleaning place called Shirt So
GL: You could also make a new candle
scent named “Shirt So Clean” and it
would have that weird detergenty
F: Yes, one up from the “clean linen”
GL: What would your best friend
assume you’d done if you were
arrested without an explanation?
F: We had my bachelor party a few
weeks ago and we actually talked
about what I would get arrested for.
If I’m getting arrested, I’ve probably
already had a few too many drinks.
I might get a little argumentative, if I
don’t know why I’m getting arrested,
so disorderly conduct or resisting
arrest—or speeding. One of those
three, for sure.
GL: Did you grow up believing in
Santa, and at what age did you realize
he wasn’t real?
F: Yes, I grew up believing in Santa.
The reason I found out he didn’t exist
was because my parents had gotten
me something for Christmas and it
broke, so we had to take it back
to Sears. I was like, “But wait a
minute,” and then it all clicked.
Everything came together and it
was not good. I kind of already had
known, but that put all the pieces
together. I was like, “I’ve been lied
to.” The feeling of getting lied to
as a kid feels the same as being an
adult. I don’t remember what age
I was, but I was still pretty young. I
didn’t cry, but I was angry. My dad
still jokes about the day I actually
found out. My mom was always
like, “You have to believe in Santa
in order to get gifts,” so even after
I didn’t believe I was like, yup, yup.
To this day—at 27 years old—I still
get the gifts from Santa. That’s
just how my mom operates, and
so does my fiancé.
GL: If you were to come up with a
new tradition what would it be?
F: Fireworks for every holiday.
GL: Yes! That’s something I could
get behind. Anything else?
F: This is less of a tradition and
more of a standard, but I don’t
think you should be able to start
decorating for Christmas until
after Halloween because I like
Halloween so much. You can
celebrate for a little more than
the month, but don’t be selling
Christmas stuff in October. Let
me celebrate my Halloween and
Thanksgiving and then celebrate
GL: What does living the good life
mean to you?
F: Doing what you love. Doing
things that make you more
fulfilled and make your life more
joyful, and having people in your
life that support you and the
things you like. Focus on yourself
and what makes you happy in life.
Keep all the negative people out. •
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 17
ON THE COVER | SLED HOCKEY
WRITTEN BY: ALEXIS SWENSON • PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
Bill and Adair Grommesh founded Hope, Inc. in 2006 to
offer their child, who was born with a disability, access
to adaptive sports. They quickly fell into sled hockey
with Bill serving as the coach and have been watching
the Hurricanes gain traction in the Fargo-Moorhead
community since. As one of the most competitive sled
hockey programs in the country, Bill and Adair Grommesh
cannot stress enough how incredibly valuable each athlete
on the team is.
up and didn’t have many victories. Then, we started to win
a few games and then win a few tournaments. In 2018 we
had the best Junior Sled Hockey team in the country. It
was a long journey that we never would have imagined in
a million years. The best part is that it’s more than hockey.
The belonging piece is the number one part of why we do
this,” said Bill Grommesh.
“When you start a competitive program, you’re going to
have bruises and bumps. At the beginning, we just got beat
18 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
Many players have been on the Adult team for several
years including Dr. Tom Rene, age 48, who has played
with the Hurricanes for six years. “It’s been fun to see the
program grow over the years. The camaraderie is great
here. My friendships are better than they’ve ever been.
We’re a family,” said Rene.
Hurricanes sled hockey players range in age from 5-60+
and both men and women are welcome on the teams. At
minimum, there are always two adult teams and at least
one junior team which is rare for a community the size for
Fargo-Moorhead. The junior team is capped at age 18 and
players can move up depending on their skill to play at a
“We have a lot of players and interest. Large cities don’t
have the number of teams and participants that we do. We
want to make sure that anyone that plays sled hockey is
feeling welcome and finding success. We get folks
where they need to be on the ice, on the team,
and finding success,” said Bill Grommesh.
Within the program now, two women, Chloe Kirkpatrick
and Brynn Duncan, have made the USA Women’s National
Sled Hockey team and two men, Tyler Shepersky and
Grant Boser, have been repeatedly invited to participate in
the national Paralympic development camp, U.S.A. Hockey
Sled Select Camp, in Buffalo, NY in hopes of someday
making the U.S.A. Paralympic sled team.
Of 16-year-old Shepersky, Bill Grommesh said he’s an
intense, fierce competitor. “He’s all in and his family is all
in. Together, Shepersky and Boser are a very tough duo. I
place them on opposite teams during scrimmages. They
want to win so badly and kind of keep tally at practices.
There’s no love lost when they play against one another.
During tournaments, they’re back on the same team and
compliment each other well,” said Bill Grommesh.
HURRICANES SLED HOCKEY
PLAYERS RANGE IN AGE
FROM 5-60+ AND BOTH MEN
AND WOMEN ARE WELCOME
ON THE TEAMS.
• • •
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 19
ON THE COVER | SLED HOCKEY
WHAT IS SLED HOCKEY?
While some folks are unsure what to expect before joining
the team or watching the sport, everyone on the team can
assure you that it’s no small feat to play sled hockey. The
sport closely follows the rules of hockey and has the same
high-intense physicality, camaraderie, and competition as
stand up hockey. The only difference is that the players are
strapped into a sled rather than standing. Each of the three
Hurricanes teams are competitive in their own right when
they play against other teams at the same level across the
While the team practices year-round, the official season is
from November to April. Practices are held three times a
week to prepare for three regular on-season tournaments
and nationals at the end of the season. For Hurricanes
players, being on the team is about getting quality exercise,
spending time with friends, and, of course, winning.
“We’re here to win. Well, we’re also here to have fun, but
the competitiveness is definitely here,” said Jarvis Wiest.
Wiest plays on one of the adult team teams and used to
play hockey competitively prior to an accident that resulted
in paralysis of his legs. “Hockey is in my blood. I’m glad it
can still be a part of my life at age 35. I’m truly blessed with
what Bill and Adair have accomplished over the years. The
camaraderie and friendships are incredible here,” said
20 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
Anthony Segura, age 60, has played on the adult team for
four years. “I love being around these guys and getting
exercise. It’s a great energy release. Sometimes, you don’t
know how to release negative energy. Well, this is a great
way to do it,” said Segura.
MORE THAN HOCKEY
For Bill Grommesh, the greatest part about coaching the
Hurricanes is that it is so much more than just hockey. “For
me, the best piece is the camaraderie: the joking around,
the connections players make, and how they’re supporting
each other on and off of the ice. I love to see the emotion
from the parents. When parents bring their kids for the
first time or when adults play for the first time, I get to
see the realization on their face that they can do this, that
they’re going to find success, and that this is something
incredibly awesome. That’s by far the best part of what we
do,” said Bill Grommesh.
“FOR ME, THE BEST PIECE IS THE
CAMARADERIE: THE JOKING AROUND,
THE CONNECTIONS PLAYERS MAKE,
AND HOW THEY’RE SUPPORTING EACH
OTHER ON AND OFF OF THE ICE.”
– BILL GROMMESH
• • •
With such a wide age range of players, a sort of natural
mentorship has emerged, unplanned.
“It gives a sense of assurance and hope to parents that
it’s going to be okay. Kids have an outlet here; they have
what everybody else has. Kids and parents can see that
these adult players have a family, a job, and friends. It’s this
deeply rooted sense of self within our whole family and
striving to be the best you can be. Not everybody is going
to achieve that Paralympic goal, but we want everyone
to find success and be the best they can be,” said Adair
Coach Grommesh has focused heavily on building a team
of high integrity that plays a clean, fair game and for the
players to display good sportsmanship on and off the ice.
As a result, the Hurricanes have earned recognition across
the country as being a team of integrity and highly skilled
athletes. This has increased their likelihood of being
invited to play in various tournaments including the junior
team being invited to play in the First International Youth
Sled Hockey Invitational last October in Grand Rapids,
Mich. They were one of only three U.S. Junior Sled Hockey
teams from across the United States invited to play against
an All-star team from Russia.
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 21
ON THE COVER | SLED HOCKEY
THE HURRICANES HAVE EARNED
RECOGNITION ACROSS THE COUNTRY
AS BEING A TEAM OF INTEGRITY AND
HIGHLY SKILLED ATHLETES.
• • •
Travel is often required to play in these tournaments.
The top adult team always opts to travel due to having
three players who are trying to vie for the Paralympics.
The Hurricanes teams have traveled to San Jose,
Calif.; Tampa Bay, Fla.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Detroit; Chicago;
and Minneapolis to play teams from Texas, Seattle,
Baltimore, Chicago, Philadelphia, D.C., and many
“It’s not only playing the sport, but being able to
experience travel. A lot of kids in wheelchairs never
get this opportunity and the things that they’ve been
able to do is great. Being able to do that as a team just
draws them closer together,” said Adair Grommesh.
22 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
There are many ways to
support the team throughout
the year including attending
or volunteering at the March
fundraising tournament the
Hurricanes host on their home
ice at Angel’s Arena in Fargo, ND.
“The financial piece is always
huge, but more importantly,
we want people to help spread
the word of what we’re doing.
If you know a disabled veteran,
or anyone who has a mobility
challenge, tell them about our
organization or help them get
here,” said Bill Grommesh.
For those who are interested in
joining the team, Bill and Adair
Grommesh and the team are
more than welcoming. “Once we
get them here, they’re hooked.
We see all the positive parts
about participating in the sport.
We realize the anxiety and
depression that comes along
with having a disability. We want
them to come here so they can
have an outlet from that. And we
hear from our athletes that this
sport and this team help serve
as an outlet from the challenges
of having a disability,” said Adair
“The biggest message I would
want people to know is that we
are athletes out here. We enjoy
it and folks will get hooked on it
too if they try it. A lot of disabled
athletes don’t know about it, but
we want them to come try it,” said
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 23
WRITTEN BY: KRISSY NESS
PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
When you think of coffee, what are
you picturing? Maybe it is a delicious
cup of espresso, or perhaps an icecold
caramel latte? Believe it or not,
coffee first originated in a protein-rich
snack bar accompanied by animal fat,
according to pbs.com.
Although we call them coffee beans, in its original
unprocessed form, coffee is a cherry-like fruit – which
becomes red when ripe while the bean is the pit.
There are a couple of ways they can harvest these
beans from the fruit – washed and natural process.
Washed (or wet) is the process of removing the fruit
from the bean and then laying them out to dry, rotating
them often; this is the most popular form.
The natural process involves keeping the fruit and
bean intact and undisturbed, where they get laid out
to dry as a whole unit until they are separated from
the dried fruit and sent off to a roaster before being
brewed, according to Coldbrewhub.com.
Now that we have the history of coffee down, we can
get into it with one of our local roasters, Dexter "Dex"
Dutton of Thunder Coffee in West Fargo, ND.
Thunder Coffee has been open for a year this October
in their West Fargo location. It is safe to say they are
doing well if they had the initiative to jump into the
"It is not super common to have a roaster for a café
our size. Usually, cafes that have been around a little
bit longer have a larger following," laughed Dex.
The Oklahoma native took a big chance opening up
a coffee shop with his brother Skyler Dutton, and it
has paid off. Not only for them but for coffee drinkers
When they first started a year and a half ago, Dex
took a crash course on their old 250 kg roaster, which
24 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
produces about a half-pound per 20-minute session.
"I picked that up, but I didn't spend too much
time on it. I roasted maybe 20 pounds
and burnt all of it; it was undrinkable,"
laughed Dex. "So that kind of
discouraged me, but we opened
up the West Fargo location and
got that going, so I didn't have
too much time to think about
that; it was kind-of a faraway
As time passed, and they
honed in on their coffee
business. Through the café,
Red River Market, providing
coffee for Black Coffee and
Waffle Bar, and keeping the staff
and customers caffeinated at Drekker
Brewing Company, amongst many other
"When COVID kind-of kicked off, we saw that
was going to be a thing we decided
we needed to do something with
roasting, so I hopped back on
that half-pound machine. We
"It is not super
common to have
a roaster for a café
our size. Usually, cafes
that have been around a
little bit longer have a
– Dex Dutton
got 100 pounds of green
coffee in and I roasted a
little over 130 pounds
on that roaster," stated
Now, remember, that
is a half-pound per 20
minutes. This is what
dedication to the craft
Fast forward to September,
where they had a 12-pound
roaster from Mill City Coffee
Roasters installed in their additional
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 25
"Before getting this roaster, I rented some time on a
10 kg machine – still only getting about 12 lbs each
batch - and I feel like I got it more under control now,
so how do I dial that into this machine?" specified
Dex. "I did take a class with Mill City Coffee Roasters
after we bought this roaster, but prior to that, I had
no formal coffee information."
To be clear – there was some time between
purchasing this roaster and installation.
Because of the amount of coffee they are putting
out, whether it be for specific local businesses or
shipping their product across the country to places
like Alaska, Georgia, Oklahoma, and so on, getting
this roaster was the next best thing they could do
with their expanding business.
"We send a lot of coffee to Drekker through the
cold brew they go through because each half-barrel
keg of cold brew they go through takes 15 pounds
of coffee," exclaimed Dex. "If I had been doing that
on our old half pound roaster, that would have been
what, 30-40 roasts!"
Dex is also a part-time employee for Drekker
Brewing as a bartender and a beer delivery
driver for their Minneapolis drops.
"It is so awesome to go into a place I work part-time
and drink my coffee there, or tell people about my
coffee, and just seeing people love the product. That
is super reaffirming to me," stated Dex.
As they begin to expand even further with their
coffee business, the roaster addition can help them
reach levels they weren't able to before.
"We plan to be roasting five times a week, and I
won't be able to keep up with that, so we have sent
one of our employees through the same training
course," stated Dex. "Providing that value to the
local community but also able to reach an audience
that is much larger than our location in West Fargo,
that's the goal."
If you haven't had a chance to grab a cup of their
delicious coffee, I highly suggest you do it sooner
rather than later. You won't be disappointed. •
26 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 27
ASK 30 WOMEN
ASK 30 WOMEN
Gentlemen, the upcoming new year is the perfect time to become a better human, or at least a less irritating more self-aware human.
2020 had been less than perfect for many of us. One thing the health experts may not report: Quarantine life has created an all time
high for irritating habits. The little and not-so-little things that drive your partner crazy. We asked 30 random women...
WHAT ANNOYING HABITS DO YOU WISH YOUR PARTNER
WOULD BREAK FOR THE NEW YEAR?
AVOIDING THE DOCTOR. VISIT THE
1 6 11
CUPBOARD DOORS OPEN.
ASKING ME IF I HAVE PLANS
CONSTANTLY ON HIS PHONE.
2 FOR SUPPER AT 5PM WHEN I’M 7 STAY OFF YOUR PHONE. 12
STILL AT WORK.
MAYBE READ A BOOK?
NOT CALLING OR TEXTING IF HE’S
MAKING SNIFFING NOISES
3 8 13
GOING TO BE LATE.
ALL THE TIME.
GETTING MAD WHEN I MOVE HIS
4 9 14
STUFF. HE THINKS IT’S ‘LOST’.
EAT BETTER, BE HEALTHIER.
SWEARING, LIKE YOU’RE
IN THE PUB.
STAYING IN THE HOUSE
WAY TOO MUCH. GET OUTSIDE
AND ENJOY NATURE.
CHEWING WITH HIS MOUTH OPEN
AND SMACKING HIS GUMS.
LEAVING STUFF EVERYWHERE.
TEXTING. YOU CAN ALSO USE
5 SMOKING… STOP IT ALREADY! 10 15
THAT PHONE TO MAKE CALLS.
MAMA NEEDS HER ZZZZ’S!
28 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
ONE WORD… PROCRASTINATION!
HIS ROAD RAGE!
HE HAS NO PATIENCE FOR
TRYING TO GROW A BEARD.
IT’S JUST NOT WORKING.
SLOUCHING. SIT UP STRAIGHT.
I CAN'T TAKE IT!
HANGING ON TO THOSE OLD
T-SHIRTS. PLEASE, BUY SOME
SCREAMING AT THE TV.
DEBATING POLITICS WITH
NOT EXERCISING ENOUGH OR
AT ALL. EXERCISE MORE
OR AT LEAST SOME.
BITING YOUR NAILS. EWWWW!
SPITTING CHEWING TOBACCO,
OR JUST STOP USING CHEWING
TOBACCO WOULD BE NICE.
NEVER CLEANING YOUR CAR.
ANY ANNOYING NOISES THAT
COME OUT OF HIS BODY.
YOU DON’T HEAR ME.
WHERE DONE START? LOL…
CLEAN UP HIS ACT!
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 29
LOCAL HERO | FARGO MEMORIAL HONOR GUARD
Local Hero: Fargo Memorial Honor Guard
Honoring Those Who Have Gone Before Us
Relatively new to the area, the Fargo National Cemetery is a special place for veterans to receive their
final farewell. Located at 8709 40th Ave. N., County Road 20, Harwood, N.D., the Fargo National Cemetery
officially opened on Sept. 7, 2019 with a dedication ceremony from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The
new cemetery is operated remotely by officials at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minn.
Prior to the new cemetery being constructed, North Dakota was one of only ten states to not have a national
veterans cemetery. Phase 1 of the construction has been completed which offers more than 3,000 casket and
cremation spaces to accommodate burials for the next ten years. The cemetery provides casket burials, in-ground
cremation burials, columbarium niches for cremation burials, and a memorial wall.
30 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
WRITTEN BY: ALEXIS SWENSON
PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
Fargo Memorial Honor Guard
Along with the establishment of the Fargo National
Cemetery was the development of the Fargo Memorial
Honor Guard. The Fargo Memorial Honor Guard is solely
dedicated to the Fargo National Cemetery. It is a volunteer
group made up of roughly 30 veterans from the United
Patriotic Bodies in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
Fargo resident, Marv Nicklay, serves as the Sergeant of the
Guard for the Fargo Memorial Honor Guard. At 80 years
of age, Nicklay works to coordinate all the Honor Guard
volunteers. He jokes that getting involved was just like
joining the service: he said yes without knowing what he
was saying yes to.
Upon joining, Nicklay polled the United Patriotic Bodies
for interest in the Fargo Memorial Honor Guard and began
recruiting members. "Now members are coming from word
of mouth when they hear about us at their local meeting or
from others who are involved. It's a lot of work, but I enjoy
it," said Nicklay.
"We all volunteer
because of our love for
our fellow veterans."
– Russel Stabler
Nicklay is also responsible for creating the duty roster which
involves contacting each of the roughly 30 volunteers for
their availability on a weekly basis. The day before a burial,
Nicklay finalizes the duty roster and emails the group with
their assignments. Monday through Friday, there are five
burial slots offered each day at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1
p.m., and 2 p.m. Nicklay also completes a monthly volunteer
Man Hours report and submits it to the Volunteer Service
Dept., Fargo VA.
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 31
LOCAL HERO | FARGO MEMORIAL HONOR GUARD
Additionally, he helps onboard new
volunteers including making sure
they have all that they need and
directing them to the tailor who will
fit their uniform appropriately.
To conduct a ceremony, the minimum
required number of individuals on the
rifle team is three and the maximum
number is seven. Nicklay strives to
have seven individuals along with a
bugler and a squad leader. If the group
is short on available people, Nicklay
fills in. Nicklay also is responsible for
watching and handling the rifles that
were loaned to the group from the
"We've got good, dedicated people.
We're out there no matter what the
weather is. If it's downpouring, we
stay there—we stayed out even before
we received our rain jackets. In the
wintertime we have parkas," said
The cemetery has been especially
beneficial to veterans who are
originally from the Fargo-Moorhead
"About 9.5 times out of 10 after a burial,
some of the family members will stop by
and thank us for doing the honors."
– Marv Nicklay
32 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
area who wish to be buried close
to home, but live elsewhere in the
country. Oftentimes, families would
bury their loved ones at the state
cemetery in Mandan, ND. Now, having
the option of the national cemetery in
Fargo means that families do not have
to drive as far to visit their loved ones.
Giving honors to those who earned it
Nicklay is deeply rooted in this
community of veterans and is humbled
to honor those who have served.
"The guys that we have volunteering
are dedicated people. Their main
purpose is being there and rendering
final military rights for the veterans
who have earned it. For myself, I do it
to give back to the veterans for what
they gave to us," said Nicklay.
A particularly memorable experience
for Nicklay occurred over the
summer. During the three month time
period in which the Fargo Memorial
Honor Guard was unable to perform
ceremonies due to the ongoing
pandemic, 13 veterans were buried at
the Fargo National Cemetery without
"They should have honors and receive
the honors they earned. On August 8,
Jason Hicks, United Patriotic Bodies
Commander, set it all up so that each
of those 13 veterans would receive
their deserved honors. There were
about 140-150 family members
in attendance and it was well
appreciated," said Nicklay.
The day consisted of a ceremony
every half hour where the individuals'
name, rank, branch of service, and
service date was announced. A
chaplain led a prayer service and
18 Fargo Memorial Honor Guard
members spent the entire day out at
Additionally, Nicklay appreciates the
peace and honor family members
receive from the ceremony. "About 9.5
times out of 10 after a burial, some of
the family members will stop by and
thank us for doing the honors. When
we're done firing, we pick up the brass
and present the empty casings in a
pouch to the family. It's a presentation
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 33
LOCAL HERO | FARGO MEMORIAL HONOR GUARD
touch type thing we leave with them that they really appreciate,"
For others, volunteering is a natural way for them to give back
and stay connected with the veteran community. Ron Freed of
West Fargo, N.D. has been involved with the honor guard for
various organizations since 1972. Serving the Fargo Memorial
Honor Guard as Squad Leader is his way of giving back. Freed
volunteers up to five days a week and enjoys being surrounded
by like-minded individuals.
"It takes a dedicated crew of guys that will come out there day
in and day out in any kind of weather. Weather doesn't mean
anything to us. We go out there with humility and honor to do
this for our fallen comrades. We all feel good about doing it. It's
in our DNA," said Freed.
Fellow member Russel Stabler of Hunter, N.D. immediately
filled out an application for the group as soon as he heard it was
forming. "I strongly believe in taking care of my fellow veterans
and their families. This is just one thing I can do besides what I
do with various other veterans groups. We all volunteer because
of our love for our fellow veterans," said Stabler. 70-year-old
Stabler also serves as a Squad Leader and fills in as Minister
"A lot of people aren't aware that we even have a national
cemetery here. It's a final resting place for veterans, their spouse,
34 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
and eligible family members," said
All members and veterans of the
armed forces are eligible to be
buried in a VA national cemetery if
they have met minimum active-duty
service requirements and were not
dishonorably discharged. Members
of the reserve armed forces who
pass away while on active duty,
while on training duty, were eligible
for retired pay, or were called to
active duty and served the full term
of service may also be eligible for
burial. A veteran's spouse, widow or
widower, minor children, and under
certain conditions, adult unmarried
children with disabilities can be
buried in the VA cemetery.
The Fargo Memorial Honor Guard
works to express honor, respect,
and gratitude for so many veterans
who have served their country.
"They were promised this and we're
making sure it happens," said Freed.
To get involved with the Fargo
Memorial Honor Guard, Nicklay
suggests contacting your local
veterans organization. "We're
always looking for volunteers.
We've got members from all groups
representing the United Patriotic
Bodies. There's always someone in
a local group for interested parties
to talk to and learn more," said
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 35