The Good Life Magazine – November-December 2020

TheGoodLife

On the cover – Hurricanes Sled Hockey. Local Hero – Fargo Memorial Honor Guard. Dad Life – A Dad’s Guide to Surviving the Holidays. 8 Tips to Fight Holiday Stress and more in Fargo-Moorhead’s only men’s magazine.


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

platforms.

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

school fundraisers.


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

November). •

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 3


NOV-DEC 2020

INSIDE

THIS

ISSUE

VOLUME 8 • ISSUE 3

02

06

08

FATHERS - DAD LIFE

A DAD'S GUIDE TO SURVIVING THE HOLIDAYS

MEN'S HEALTH

5 TIPS TO FIGHT HOLIDAY STRESS

OFFICER KEELY

DILWORTH'S FIRST THERAPY K9

4 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


12

14

18

24

CONSERVING WATER AT HOME

HAVING A BEER WITH

RADIO DJ - FISH

ON THE COVER

HURRICANES SLED HOCKEY

THE ART OF ROASTING COFFEE BEANS

PUBLISHED BY

Urban Toad Media LLP

www.urbantoadmedia.com

OWNER / PHOTOGRAPHER

Darren Losee

darren@urbantoadmedia.com

OWNER / GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Dawn Siewert

dawn@urbantoadmedia.com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Meghan Feir

Paul Hankel

Ben Hanson

Jeffrey Miller

Krissy Ness

Alexis Swenson

Danielle Teigen

ADVERTISING INQUIRIES

Darren Losee

darren@urbantoadmedia.com

READ A PAST ISSUE

yumpu.com/user/thegoodlife

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK

facebook.com/urbantoadmedia

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER

@urbantoadmedia

28

30

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

BEFORE US

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM

@urbantoadmedia

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


MEN'S HEALTH

"Fatigue is a

big sign of stress.

Don't wait until

the holidays

to take care of

your mental and

emotional health."

_ 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

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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

sanity."

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

matter.

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



OFFICER KEELY

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

the community.

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

Instagram.

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

fit.


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

summer.

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

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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

back.

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

personality.

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

decorate-your-lawn-with-inflatables

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,

“flabbernackle.”

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

Clean.

GL: You could also make a new candle

scent named “Shirt So Clean” and it

would have that weird detergenty

smell.

F: Yes, one up from the “clean linen”

scent.

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

Christmas.

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.

THE TEAM

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

higher level.

“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

country.

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

Wiest.

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

Grommesh.

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

others.

“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


GET INVOLVED

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

Grommesh.

“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

Segura. •

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

roasting business.

"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

everywhere.

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

goal."

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

venues.

"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

larger following."

– Dex Dutton

got 100 pounds of green

coffee in and I roasted a

little over 130 pounds

on that roaster," stated

Dex.

Now, remember, that

is a half-pound per 20

minutes. This is what

dedication to the craft

looks like.

Fast forward to September,

where they had a 12-pound

roaster from Mill City Coffee

Roasters installed in their additional

location.

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?

LEAVING THE

AVOIDING THE DOCTOR. VISIT THE

1 6 11

CUPBOARD DOORS OPEN.

ASKING ME IF I HAVE PLANS

DOCTOR, PLEASE.

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

EATING POORLY.

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.

SNORING…

MAMA NEEDS HER ZZZZ’S!

28 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


16

ONE WORD… PROCRASTINATION!

17

18

19

HIS ROAD RAGE!

HE HAS NO PATIENCE FOR

HORRIBLE DRIVERS.

TRYING TO GROW A BEARD.

IT’S JUST NOT WORKING.

SLOUCHING. SIT UP STRAIGHT.

20

21

22

SLURPING COFFEE.

I CAN'T TAKE IT!

HANGING ON TO THOSE OLD

T-SHIRTS. PLEASE, BUY SOME

NEW CLOTHES.

SCREAMING AT THE TV.

23

24

25

26

27

DEBATING POLITICS WITH

EVERYONE.

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.

28

29

ANY ANNOYING NOISES THAT

COME OUT OF HIS BODY.

ACTING LIKE

YOU DON’T HEAR ME.

30

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

Fargo AMVETS.

"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

Nicklay.

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

honors.

"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

the cemetery.

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,"

said Nicklay.

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

when needed.

Eligibility

"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

Nicklay.

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.

Get involved

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

Nicklay. •

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 35


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